Tag Archives: aprons

Apron of the Day:”Sweet and Hot”

This is not one of my Yin/Yang His/Hers kind of reversible aprons — it’s all hot sweet cuties, from the chic babe walking her pup to the saucy chick motorcyclists flashing their frilly panties. It was a blast to create because I giggled my way through the sewing.











On this side the print features cowgirls, flamenco dancers, babes in capris chatting on the phone: I love them all.











For (hee hee) a “fabric artist” like me, it’s all about the print. Fabrics for me are like my children;how can you play favorites? That said, this week these motorcycling mammas are my bevvy of firstborns.








Even Loulander laughed — I’m glad I had the prim red gingham trim for the pockets.










I’ve some dazzling Asian prints I can’t wait to cut into, but what think you? Should I begin this year’s crop of holiday aprons?



Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, How Cool is That?, Needlework, Reversible Aprons, Sewing

Apron(s) Of the Day

The weather has cooled, and it’s as if degrees in the 80s are my favorite high 60s. I get up earlier, I have more energy, I think  about accomplishing  stuff like cleaning bathrooms and weeding, which were beyond me during the heat wave in July.

I went back to my roots and sewed a version of my “Farmhouse Lady” apron. I love the scalloped hem (not too visible because of my poor photography) and I’m mad about the farmhouse prints. I have a soft spot in my heart for this apron because it’s the first I ever made, in prints rooted from my stash.

Attention, Uncle Lloyd: Supermodel Willow showed up tonight, if only to show her ass as she scratches topsoil over shit.

Man, do I love these prints:


















Here’s the apron, which I’m mad about.











The reverse:












This is a brand new apron, fun to make, practical, tied together at the sides, and featuring a full back as well as the front. It’s tied at the sides with twill tape, for much sizing adaptability. Amazing feature: it’s open at the bottom, so it can be used as a laundry bag or a receptacle for gathering beets or tomatoes from the garden.  I’m going to call it “Kitchen and Garden.” It’s tabard style.









Bright print. Verso: A pretty, subdued, Chinese print:









It’s easy to wear, has deep pockets for garden trowels and random radishes, and I love twill tape ties:











I should have pulled the fabric down and straightened the apron. I’m not only a bad photographer, but a bad stylist. Note Willow burying, well, something.











Here’s a better idea of the swell properties of the apron. Clean, useful, plain.

If either apron strikes a chord and you want to buy it, shoot me a message.




Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Needlework

Men in Aprons

I’ve been working on two apron commissions. I like saying commissions. It sounds as if Lorenzo di Medici had called me on my cell: “I want my portrait on one side and pale lavender chintz on the other.” Janice and Debra, I hope to get yours in the mail tomorrow, and although I’ll take snaps before I send them, I won’t post the pictures until you get them. Kim, I’m assembling your fabric. Next week, Babe.

But here are a few pix of two of my favorite men, in previously unpublished photos. When I see the brilliant cleanliness of Lloyd’s kitchen, I’m surprised he didn’t run screaming from mine.

Here’s the tender side, wrought from fabric left over from what I call “The Lloyd Memorial Guest Rooms Curtains.”

Thanks, Lloyd, for sending me the pix displaying  your apron and the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s the internet debut of a reversible I’ve made only once before, and Honor bought it as a Christmas present for a friend who’s not so much a cook as a crafter. It does have that smock vibe, and it’s no strings — there’s a cunning flap (closed with Velco) that can be adjusted to fit most. I apologize for the pictures — Lou Zoolander  was impatient and I could barely snap off a shot, let alone do some professional styling. He kept wailing: “My ice cubes are melting! Hurry!”

He stepped towards me as I was snapping — hence half his head is missing.

Back detail: it would look better had he given me time to adjust the band.

I could have made full length Lloyd Memorial Guest Room Curtains!

I like this pattern a lot, and might adapt and dabble further with the design. It wouldn’t work as well for men as for women. but it’s plain enough to inspire lots of ornamentation ideas.

I love a man in an apron, and wish I could find, in my madly disorganized Picassa files, a couple of shots of my buddy Dean in his cupcakes and skulls. Tomorrow I’ll write about something cheap and high-minded — John Milton?

I think not.


Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Needlework, Ten bucks or fewer

Meet the Neighbors: Today’s Photo Shoot

Our next door neighbors, the Simpsons, have been our friends since the day they moved into their brand new house twenty eight years ago. A  Higher Power has blessed us: they’re still here! We’ve raised our kids together, landscaped several times,attended what seems likes a century of Parent’s Nights, prayed our children into the driveway after they got their licences, and have performed more than a quarter century of mutual cat-sitting. The Simpsons  know more about us than anyone but our parents and children.

If you’ve seen my apron photos of Lou looking handsome, but bored and glowering, you’ll understand why I thought I’d spare him the necessity of modelling my backlist — all those aprons lurking in the linen closet in the times before Facebook. Because, if I ever get an apron business plan together, I vow to use only fabulous “real” people as models I set up a session for today at noon with the Sensational Simpsons. I tell you, I’m a genius! Not only is their house two gallons of Windex cleaner than mine, but they actually got into the process! With Lou it’s stand-and-shoot. The Simpsons discussed shots, props, and they actually smiled.

This is a small sample of the pictures I took today — I want this to be about them, not my aprons. I’d love a modelling agency to spot this and sign them all up. Let’s start with Charlene.

She’s an inspired decorator, still the Kool Aid Mom, and she’s holding prop tomatoes from her garden. The UPS truck seems to stop every other day to deliver a piece of genealogical evidence, she’s such a great housekeeper that I swear she could make soup in her toilet, and so help me, her garden has rooms. Here’s a charming little sliver along the side of her house, all marigolds and those tomatoes.

A couple of you have asked what a Ball Apron  looks like. This is close, but not frivolous or lacy enough.

Char always gets it, always understands. I’m not half the woman she is.

Shake hands with Big Dale, and that is one firm handshake. He’s a Vietnam era Marine, a retired cop with twenty years in, a teacher and a role model to his kids’ male friends. His day job is making sure that the atoms at Fermilab don’t overheat. He’s the straight- up skilled, endlessly kind neighbor of your dreams. He’s been taking classes with his daughter at Sur la Table, and I know his knife skills must be fearsome.

I love this menu Charlene prepared for their last family dinner party:

This is a man whose masculinity is so secure that he didn’t mind posing in this:

He might have preferred the cowboy verso:

(Great gams, Big D!)

I could write a book about Little Dale, and someday I may. I’ve known him since he was four, and he was my daughter’s partner in crime and friendship until the politics of third grade boy/girl stuff separated them for awhile. Honor totaled one car when she was in High School. Little Dale pushed his parents’s auto premiums as high as cornfields in August.  What Little D always possessed, and still does, is a ton of charm. He teaches college level Anthro and Archaeology now. Charlene and I have a collection of first day of school pix of Honor and Dale heading for yellow  bus. Here’s the 1990 edition:

Little Dale (as tall as his father now,) had, um a late night. Here’s his big boy self, refreshed with a samurai attitude and a breakfast beer. God, I love this kid.

The reverse:

Obligatory kitty photo:

I was one lucky photog today. Christina swung by! She’s the daughter of the house, a florist, a gardener, a mother and so gorgeous that restraining orders were taken out on some of her high school boyfriends. Like her brother, she possesses ridiculous amounts of charm and smarts. Here’s the verso of the “Ball Apron.” Another member of the Simpson tribe is due next week.

If I were religious I’d use the” Blessed” word for whatever prompted two young couples to buy adjacent lots in the ‘Ville, and hang in here. And Lou has some serious competition in the high fashion  world of  apron modelling.


Filed under Apron of the Day, Born in Chicago, Collections, Free, Home, Into the Mystic, On the Street Where I Live, The 'Ville

Apron of the Day

Actually, this is the Apron of Yesterday. I’ve had a busy day, which included mailing off my first apron order (two aprons!) so I’m only half way through today’s apron, which is a holiday reversible numero.

The pretty pink print closeup:

Here’s the VERY masculine and silly Guy Side:

Here’s the closeup — I need to see if this fabric is still available:

So that’s the Apron of the Day feature for 8/18/2000. Now I’ll go write a proper post!

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Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Collections, Needlework, Worth it anyway

Apron of the (Very Busy) Day

Even though I’ve been unemployed for too long, for reasons unknown my Mondays have continued to feel as they did when I was working: grim days when I lack motivation, energy and productivity. All this, though I get two more hours of sleep a night than I did in the dear old days of health insurance. Today I decided it was gonna be different.

Although I got up at the hour you working stiffs are taking your morning break, it took three cups of coffee (grazie, Lloyd caro) to emerge from the Monday morning fog. My eyes hurt — another story — but I sat down to write my biweekly article for the Village Chronicles, and because today’s the first comfortable day in weeks, mercury-wise, my thoughts turned towards baking. Specifically to the Dutch confection Boterkoek, aka Butter Cake. It’s simple and ambrosial, and if you aren’t taking statins now, you will be after a slice of this simple, moan-inducing slab of bliss. (Recipe tk on Friday at villagechronicles.net.) It was the research that took the time. I knew the recipe was in a tattered copy of The Pleasures of Cooking, the greatest food magazine ever conceived. If you’re interested in” The P of C” I wrote about it here: http://margaretmcarthur.com/pages/carl.html.

I conned the table of contents of every cooking magazine we’ve ever saved and after half an hour I was approaching despair. Yep, I found the recipe in the very last issue of that enormous stack. Then I did a little on-line research about the Boterkoek and sat down to write my piece. As a food writer I’m not a recipe gal, but this literary version of what’s called by sleb chefs “a stand and stir” show is what my publisher wants. But writing is writing and, mes amis, it’s not always easy.

A couple of kind relatives and friends have expressed interest in my aprons which has made me furiously to think about marketing, maybe even making some money from my needlework. (By the way, if an apron strikes your fancy for you, or as a gift, shoot me an email. Until my business plan is in place I’ll provide friends and fam pricing and free shipping.) But to start a biz you need inventory, and that’s what I’m slaving over. Today’s yin/yang apron:

My supermodel wasn’t inclined to have his epidermis destroyed by the mosquitoes in the garden, so here he is in the living room. (And yes, this is as tidy as my parlor gets.) We call him the Atheist Mennonite: he wears dark , long-sleeved clothing year round. He has never worn a pair of shorts in his life and never will.

Detail of the daisy fabric and the jumbo rickrack trim.

The Guy side:

Detail of the fab wheels:

I recieved my shipment from fabric.com and cut out two more aprons, one yin/yang, one Autumn Festivals/Christmas. Gotta get inventory.

I promise to forsake aprons for awhile, my readers. This was never meant to be an apron blog. In fact I think I have an idea for tomorrow — the mighty Rodeo Burger.



Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Needlework

The Yin/Yang Apron

When it’s a cool rainy day in the ‘Ville and a woman’s read all her library books, decided that folding laundry is a task that can be put off almost indefinitely, and is wearied of watching the weeds grow, what’s a girl to do? Well, work through her fabric stash and bring another apron into the world, of course!

I’ve been sewing reversible aprons for  years, even though it involves two yards of fabric instead of one. For one thing, sewing a seam and turning the apron inside out is easier than all that edge finishing involved in a single layer apron. For two, you get an apron that can avoid the washing machine by a factor of two. And best of all, for a person who adores prints and design as much as I do, you get two separate looks, and I get the fun to riff on themes, trims and general apron couture goofiness.

Mary Mulari is, best I know, the inventor of the reversible apron, and a pattern of Mary’s I bought in a quilting shop in Galena, Illinois when I was visiting my sister in law, was the inspiration for my fascination for the genre. More about Mulari here: http://www.marymulari.com/

And for awhile I was content to make aprons with witty, pretty versos. But then, and I think this is my idea, I considered doing a kind of masculin/feminin thing: A pretty girly fabric  and trim on one side and a Guy print on the other. A couples’s apron? A Bi apron? Neither of those terms worked for me, soI’m gonna go with Yin/Yang apron.

The fun amusing fabric-shopping outcome of this was  finding macho cotton prints. Who knew there were so many? Cowboys, John Deere, NASCAR, Guitar Hero, golf.

John Deere.

Today it was NASCAR — I cut off the supermodel’s head because Willow was demanding to get into the picture:

And cupcakes:

Bonus pic of the Greta Garbo of cats: Ajax in the herb garden:

I realize this penchant for girl/guy prints and reversible aprons is just one of those Maggie Things — a brain worm.

But it satisfies me in so many ways .


Filed under Five bucks or fewer, Needlework, Worth it anyway