Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When you become your mother....

I do believe that one of the big difference between men and women is that men always carry a little bit of their mother with them. Women always carry a lot of their mothers in their brain. And right now she's reading this and saying "Uh! Well...you should BE so lucky."

So what does this have to do with the craft du jour? My brother, sister and I were notorious for coming to my mother the day before a school event and saying "Oh mom...by the way, I need a colonial shirt/a pioneer dress/a turkey costume/a pink poodle skirt for tomorrow." And while she would roll her eyes and let us know she was not pleased with the timing of our requests, the next day, we had what we needed. She would hand it over to us, sigh and say "Well it's just going to have to do." And always we would be the best dressed kid in the place. She's pretty magic like that (you should see the curtains she made for my niece's nursery. They are divine. But my niece is the only grandchild and of course, the favorite...she's my favorite too.)

I never picked up on my mom's perfectionist gene, but when Chad asked me to make him an apron for an Associate Appreciation Cookout tomorrow (guess who's manning the grill...), the part of my brain that is my mother snapped into action. Voila!

While I didn't have many fabric choices, Chad picked this one. It's an outdoor fabric, so it has good shape and will clean up easily. Especially important when you're cooking hamburgers for 2,000 odd employees.
This is a Butcher Style Apron and is incredibly simple. Click here for a good tutorial I found! Otherwise, if you understand the basic shape, just wing it (like I did). Fold the fabric in half long ways and cut out a rectangle. It should be the size of your chest to how far you want it to wrap around on the side. Then figure out where you want it to stop on the top of your chest and cut a curve to accommodate your arms. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, pull out an old apron, fold it in half longways and use it as a pattern.
To avoid hemming the sides and neck (because I hate hemming soooo much), I decided to back it with a little of the corresponding fabric I had in the ol' stash. So cut the same shape on the fold for the lining. Obviously sew right sides together with the neck loop and back ties sandwiched in the middle of the two fabrics in the appropriate locations. Stitch across the top first, then do the sides. Flip inside out and hem....it's truly that simple. I did top stitch the neckline...it made it look a little more finished.

For added fun, I took an old GEICO tee and backed the graphic with iron on interfacing. Interfacing makes things stiffer and ensures that the fabric won't fray. And like magic, there's a Gecko hanging out on Chadson's apron. Obviously you can get creative with this. I fully intend on recreating this craft and having some fun wit add ons. Think of the possibilities: Pockets, slots for grill tools, pictures, sayings, the list goes on and on.

TA DAH!!!! He's so handsome :)
By the way...if you know me, you're probably getting an apron for Christmas.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

After going Etsytastic for the past month or so, I am completely burned out and the sight of my sewing machine makes me itch.

Thankfully, like in Mary Poppins, the winds have changed and my favorite of all seasons is upon us. I love fall for its amazing holidays (Halloween is like Christmas for crafters and drag queens alike), there are gourds of all shapes and colors, the fact I can wear my sweaters again (because you know, chubby girls look better in sweaters) and I love football season. I can think of no better Saturday than having the windows open with a lovely breeze and the TV on with game after game. I particuarly enjoy sports because the plot is always simple: someone will win and someone will lose. No love triangles, baby daddies, class hierarchy, eliminations...just a winner and a loser. It is uncomplicated, fall bliss.

I especially love that my husband and I watch football together, but I am not one to veg. Not to say that he's a couch potato, the man can seriously get things done. After the house is clean, chores are completed and he's gotten a bike ride in, he definitely loves a good veg. Me? My hands have to be busy, working, doing, creating. If I'm sitting still I only think of more projects I would, could and should be doing.
So I restarted a project I had attempted earlier...my wedding sampler. Originally, I was going to complete this project on linen but there was total drama. And that would completely ruin my drama free football season. So I started over using 18ct Aida which is small enough to have the same effect. Stitching Snobs would say differently but why would I subject myself to an annoying craft? Completely not the point.
Above is the design. I am very unimpressed with any hint of country decor, and stitching walks a fine line. I like to think of this as more of a vintage colonial look. However, it's testing my ability to finish a lengthy project. This one is going to take all of football season!

Obviously I've done the date. On either side of the couple will be our names....and the dog will have a head. Eventually :)