Friday, August 5, 2011

Apron Thanks

A dear friend admired one of my aprons a few months ago and inquired about whether I took commissions. I assured her that I do, but after thinking about the project for some time, I realized that I could not accept payment from this selfless woman. She gives her time, her treasure, and her many talents with a recklessness I admire. Thus the thank-you apron was born.

Not surprisingly, an apron of this gratitudinal magnitude required a trip to one of my favorite fabric stores (in Ann Arbor, where so many of my other favorite stores live), where the fam helped me choose the three coordinating fabrics. (Okay, mainly they walked around and picked out other fabrics I should buy them to make purses and aprons and pjs and pillows with.)

The friend I made the apron for gives me an earthy vibe, so I chose fabrics in that range, but she also loves to get crazy, hence the bold prints and the zany orange stripes. I made this a pretty apron, with ruffles and a drawstring on the bodice because this friend gives so much of herself to others that she often forgets to pamper herself. I wanted her to remember that she is beautiful and well-loved each time she puts this apron on.

A few years ago when I opened my etsy shop (etsy is like a huge online shopping mall for handmade and vintage items), I thought it would be smart to have a label that would help create a brand for my work. I found Jennifer's Jewels on etsy, and she helped me design a sew-in tag that would suit my purposes. It didn't take me long to sew through my first package of labels. I reordered another (larger) supply a month or so ago. (PS: in case you didn't know, I no longer stock my etsy shop. I found that sewing is more fun when I sew for those I know and love.) (I do take commissions, though!)

I almost thought I was done with the apron, but when I held it up and squinted my critical eye at it, I realized it needed a pocket. For the pocket, I cut two large rectangles of contrasting fabric (so the pocket is lined), a narrow strip for the trim, and sewed them together. But a big straightforward pocket was too boring for my fun apron--and certainly too boring for my fun friend. I played around with the shape, folding it and turning it on a slight angle, and I came up with this design. It looks a little like a flower itself, I think. The extra pleats make the pocket nice and roomy inside.

And here it is, the finished product. You can see the belt ties hanging down in back. I used two different fabrics for them: one for the front and one for the back, so when tied, the colors will both show.
I can't wait to give this to my friend. I hope she knows, each time she wears it, how much we love her and appreciate all she does.

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