Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vintage Softness

Vintage Softness

This is currently my favorite apron that I have created.  My inspiration came from a set of 4 matching handkerchiefs.
The handkerchiefs are so soft to touch.  The softness was going to be my focus.  This apron needed to have a soft overall finish instead of using starch to press out the crease lines of years of use.  Two of the 4 matching handkerchiefs have been damaged by simple use.  There are holes and worn threads in a couple of areas.  I have incorporated that into the design.

The first apron detail came from a very worn section of one of the hankies.  I decided to inlay a piece of crotched lace ribbon which had a very similar look to the original hankie.  After I stitched the lace over the damaged section I cut away the backside (the actual hankie itself) and added a strip of pink guilting cotton to give a soft color showing through.

Two of the four hankies were used in whole and then two were cut.  There was one hankie cut in half diagonally and the other was cut horizontally through the center.  I used a basting stitch creating a few gathers and stitched the sections to the bottom edge of what would be the center base hankie.  For the side hankies I actually used 2 which if there was no damage I could have used only 1.  These hankies were cut on the diagonal and the damaged section was added to my “one day I will use it’ pile.  

The underskirt and waistline sash came from leftover quilting fabric my mom used to make a quilt for me over 10 years ago.  I love that I can incorporate memories in to my creations.  For me this is the significance behind my designs.  So many have grandma’s doilies in the linen closet but what are we going to do with them?  

I am still searching for the perfect embellishments to complete my apron.  I do have a few vintage pink buttons that match perfectly.  It is just not enough yet.  I am going to do a feature on the left shoulder area and then again on the right side waist.  Maybe a few fabric roses from the green cotton will bring the balance of color up to the top of the apron.  I will post new pictures when I find that final touch.  

Thanks for visiting, 

Monday, March 7, 2011

It’s the Real Thing

So hard to believe it is true.  I am so excited that there are others out there in the world that can share in my interests.  I have a true passion for designing and creating aprons mostly from vintage linens.  And to find out that there are others out there that are driven by the same is so awesome.  

I first became aware of the magazine Apron-ology in the winter of 2010.  I ran into a cigar and newspaper shop in my home city to pick of a magazine for my mom.  Her publication was not there, however....this is when I first spotted my new favorite!  I purchased my copy and read every page from front to back.  I had so many design ideas passing through my head that I had to actually start jotting them down. There was no way I would be able to recall the idea and create them all immediately.  The other worth mentioning reason for making the list was that I was 9 months pregnant at the time with my 4 son.  There was not going to be a lot of design time in my near future.  

Within the first few pages of Apron-ology I saw the call for submissions.  It was at that time that I decided I was going to submit and be published in the next issue.  The current issue is the “next issue” and I am published!

To be published has now been marked off my Bucket List.  I had submitted 3 aprons of all different tastes to be evaluated.  I was very proud of them all but was truly surprised that the apron I considered the simplest to create was the one that was chosen.  It just goes to show that sometimes less is more.  

I also have a fabulous best girlfriend who I immediately showed my prized new favorite magazine to last winter.  Her creative juices started flowing and 5 of her original designs were submitted to apron-ology.  Here are the 2 aprons that she had published.  

What can be better than having your work published?  Sharing that with your BFF that is also published.  Congratulations Julie!

Enjoy the few photos I have attached and please come back to visit again.  I have so many more creations I would love to share with you.    


Sunday, March 6, 2011

An Easter Heirloom Apron

I am so excited to turn this tablecloth into an apron.  Just a few weeks ago my sister-in-law passed this piece onto me.  There is a lot of research that I am still needing to do with it.  I was given a bag of family linens and instructed  “not to just sell them.”  There is sentimental value to these treasures and once I looked in the bag I could understand why.  

Now I just need to do the research and find the stories that are attached to all the stains.  My pictures truly do not do it justice.  I opened up this square tablecloth with beautiful embroidery.  I am not sure if has been handmade by my mother-in-law or one of my husband’s grandmothers.  

The part that got me really excited after seeing the embroidered bouquet of flowers were all the stains!  There are bright pink ones, yellow ones, and blue ones.  At very first glance there was a randomness to the stains but then when I really paid attention there was a perfect pattern and explanation.  How many children were sitting around the table dying easter eggs when these splashes landed on the tablecloth?   

I can see where the bowls where sitting and what color had been in each bowl.  My heart starts beating faster when I see the linen and have so many questions.  How far back did the family dye easter eggs.  It is a tradition we do at out house.  I have decorated eggs at my husbands house for the the 15 years we have been together.  Are these stains from when he was a little boy or are they from his mom having decorated eggs when she was a young girl?  

The apron has yet to be created but there will be one out of this tablecloth.  It will be a piece that stays in the family.  
Do you have family traditions that can be traced by vintage linens?  I would love to hear your stories.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Butterfly Beauty

This beautiful piece was a treasure my Auntie Ann found at a little antique shop in Ontario.  She told me that she found a wooden chest and opened it to explore.  It was filled with treasures.  That is if you are an apronologist I guess.  I certainly consider opening a chest of vintage aprons a successful treasure hunt.  

The piece is hand embroidered with the backside as neat and tidy looking as the front.  

For right now this piece is sitting on the sidelines waiting to be recreated.  The complete inspiration has not come out yet.  I will let the piece sit out in view for a while and one day the inspiration will come.  

This is the process I go through with nearly all my designs.  I find an antique linen I love and let it sit out where I can see it everyday.  It may sit there for months on its own or I may pair it with a piece of fabric that seems to match.  Then I will be in an antique market one day see a jar of vintage  buttons and the full vision of the finished apron will hit me.  It is then that I race home and can not wait for the boy’s bedtime so I can create the vision in my head.  These are late nights but the result in the morning is breathtaking, to me anyways.  
How do you get your inspirations?

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Farmer’s Wife Apron

I would truly love to know the stories behind some of the pieces I collect.  This beautiful apron was found at an antique market and fell in love.  It is so simple and yet would have so many stories to share.  I can tell that it has been homemade and I envision a farmer’s wife to have worn it.  I see her out in the yard pinning up laundry to the line with pins coming from her pockets.  I see kids playing on the grass and pulling on the hemline.  I can also smell the fresh apple pie that she made this morning and just took out of the oven.  

The pink details are bias tape while all the other edges are finished with a double folded hem. 

This is the apron I have been choosing to wearing in my kitchen over the past 6 months.    
Thanks for visiting, 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

My First Apron

I was digging through a packed up box from a move 6 years ago and this is what I found.  The very first apron I sewed.  

It is nothing fancy but it did complete a requirement while I was in university.
For one of my surface design classes, where we were using dyes and paints each day, I was required to wear an apron.  Until I found this apron I had not remembered making it.  I do remember buying a couple remnants at a hugely discounted price.  There apparently was not enough fabric to make 2 ties so I created a buttonhole and looped the 1 strap through and knotted.  A functional way of making it work I guess.

The finer details I notice today is that it is very boxy.  There was no pattern used.  I laid the fabric folded in half out on the table and cut.  The pockets are just one chunk length of fabric with a line stitched down the center creating 2 pockets.  It surprised me to see that I had lined it!       

It was fun to find this.  At the time this was made there was not even a hint that I may one day be creating one of a kind designs in vintage aprons.  Kind of fun to look back and see where it all started.  
Thanks for visitng,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Simply Supper

Well after being told about this fabulous way of preparing suppers I finally put it higher on my priority list and made it happen.  

A few weeks back on a Friday night I took my oldest son with me on a special date.  
We attended Simply Supper in Edmonton, AB.  We made 12 suppers in 1 hour and 15 minutes! 
I chose from a long list of possibilities for the month that were being offered through their website.  They had a great list of meals with an explanation of ingredients listed beside each.  I narrowed my choices down to 6 and decided to double each one.  
I came home with 6 different meals to prepare 2 times.  
They were all transferred to the freezer and on those rushed evenings of activities I am not preparing food all day I simply need to spend 30-45  minutes of cook time without the preparation.  With 4 little boys at my feet, any time not needed in the kitchen is wonderful.  
I am very happy to have made the time to go and discover for myself what I had been told about.  
The meals have been wonderful and there is only one yet to sample.  

The price did scare me a little bit.  My budget is to stay inside of $15.00 for a supper which will feed 3 adults and 4 children.  I even try to go as low as $10.00 per meal.  The price per meal when broke out in the same manner is $25.00.  After, thought and tasting the great meals, the price is not expensive.  I am not spending time to plan what I am going to make, creating the grocery list, shopping, or prep time for the meal each day at home and I can turn the attention to the boys instead. 
The other wonderful thing is that my son had an awesome time being one on one with Mommy.  He even made a little video at a restaurant afterwards to tell me how much he enjoyed being on a date with me and not having to share me. 
More than the time I have saved in the kitchen my children are made the priority and that brings a very large smile to my face.  
Thanks for visiting,