Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Comforting Cloth Between Stitching and Cooking: The Apron

The word, Homemade, is long--at least when you are embroidering it! Thirty minutes later, I have finished rusticly writing Homemade onto some polka dots, along with a little heart and a button. This will be a cute pocket on my first homemade apron.

There is something sweet and comforting these days about tying on an apron to create food and art, plant seeds, or sweep the kitchen with my new broom (handcrafted from real broom corn and oak by a local artisan--I love sweeping now). An apron connects me to Mom, the aunts, and Grandma. It gets me ready to stir up a batch of cookies or can fresh garden tomatoes. In an apron, I'm CEO of my little homemade world--a nice place to be sometimes. (that's my Grandma, Mary, on the right)

So, it occurred to me, why not stitch up some special aprons? Artistic, creative aprons. I could also embroider Homemade on an old piece of cross-stitch linen I found, for a pocket that could be attached to vintage fabric from one of Mom's old old tablecloths. For another apron I could use the topiary fabric, found in an expansive fabric shop last summer in North Carolina (the textile capital), for a confident bib. Colorful ribbon will make a nice shortcut on some of the aprons for ties. I have a stack of cross-stitched angels, which were part of an ornament-making frenzy in 1997--could be cute appliqued to a few aprons (angels in the kitchen).

So there, I have a plan. Why didn't I think of this a few summers ago, when I played a "Who Mom" in Seussical the Musical, and I had to embellish an apron for my costume (The Who's were in all yellow--I knitted my headband too)! Anyway, I am going to stitch SEVEN DAYS OF APRONS!!! They will be inspired by that little saying that once guided homemakers everywhere in their weekly chores: the old Monday Is Wash Day saying. I'm going to revise it a little as I go.

I have to remember that back in the day before automatic washers and dryers and dishwashers, chores were hard labor. People had to wear their clothes more than once before washing, even their work clothes, and so aprons were not just a fashion, but truly a necessity. And it really did take at least a whole day to do the laundry.

Starting Monday, Laundry Day, I'm going to produce an apron a day. I guess that will, in my world, make every day sewing day. But that's okay. I'll probably end up selling these in my flea market booth. In the meantime, this weekend, inbetween fireworks, I'm pulling together the material from vintage fabric and scraps (my favorite thing to sew from), along with what to applique (I LOVE to sew things onto things). So we'll see what happens from there. I'm making up my own pattern too. But, if I do this, my reward will be this lovely book I saw at Barnes & Noble all about aprons, with patterns.

This is a project to celebrate our homemade past and the independence we have now, to buy it or make it. Happy 4th of July everyone! Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch! (Today, I just did a little writing and dreaming.)

Thanks Mom and Grandma.


  1. How awesome!! I love it! You are so incredibly imaginative, talented and creative! I want to try to make that cheddar bread recipe!

  2. Thank you guys! I hope you make the cheddar bread--you'll love it!