Friday, January 8, 2016

My sister's apron

 Mid-November, I suppose it was, I serendipitously ended up checking out a library book, just because I fancied the cover art. Judge a book by its cover, I did, and it couldn't have been better. 

The book is about a grief- and poverty-stricken seamstress who comes upon a simple, hardworking town and appeals to the townspeople to take her in on the condition that she can sew their clothes for them. She tells them of the many things she can make with lace, beadwork, etc. and they say "no, no, we are but simple hardworking folk, we need none of that fluffery!" {paraphrased, you think?} So she agrees to make them very common clothes indeed, but in so doing becomes very depressed. Then she gets the idea to embroider the insides of the pockets of the townspeople's work wear As the book proceeds, the workers starts having visions of the far off places interpreted in the sewer's stitches and begin to experience joy. 

I originally thought that my sister would love the book as much as I did and then, that very same week, Purl Soho came out with their free pattern for the Linen Cross Back Apron. What did I have in my stash but three yards of linen that my sweet sister had given me!? So you can see where this went...

I gave her a copy of the book and an apron with pockets filled with scenes from the book. Some of which were traced using my lightbox (ox and plow, seal, vases of flowers from the mayor's wife's windowsill) and others were free hand drawn just for the sake of it (the shell, needle and thread, sunshine, waves) in keeping with the themes in the book. Because of the level of whimsy the project inspired as well as the very colorful pictures in the book, I didn't sweat too much about what item was what color. I just picked colors from my stash that worked well with the gold linen and used up quite a few scraps, as evidenced in the shell. The seal - don't you just adore him?! - is actually a light lavender but it was just right on the yellow. 

She loved it but I honestly think I loved it more. It was hard for me to give up but if ever I were to give something that thoughtful to someone I am happy it is her. She was reading the book and wearing the apron, but shortly after snapping this picture, I (in bossy little sister fashion) took the book from her and declared it needed to be read {abridged} to the whole family. I bawled like a baby and instead of actually getting to the end of the story, blubbered, "It's a good book!" and shoved it back in her arms. Julian rolled his eyes, and if thought bubbles were real, my brother would have had one over his head that read "#awkward".

Keep it classy, Amanda. 

P.S. The book is out of print but you can find a copy here
P.P.S. The apron was the most well made garment I've ever sewn. It uses French seams and the tutorial is not very detailed, {read "frustrating"} but because of the construction of the apron, you couldn't even see the back of the embroidery from inside the apron. The only way to see it is to look down into the pocket from the perspective of the wearer. Magic!


I made the Jayne hat for my sister's husband, Allen, and it was perfect and appreciated in every way.  


  1. beautiful stitches and I think when you love a project so much and you give it away well that just says how very much your person is loved :)