Gardening Apron…

UPDATE: I just changed the name to Red Hand Apron and now I have the theme to the Red Hand Gang running through my head…..showing my age there ūüėČ

Finally, something new to show you! ¬†I know, it’s a miracle!! ¬†To be honest, I had thought it might be the end of the summer holidays before I actually got around to getting anything photographed and listed, but we had a rare hazy cloud this morning, so before (the last, for a while – hurrah!) school run, I took some swift photos so I could finally share at least one of the new designs.

Winter 77019The idea for this design goes way back, actually to when I was scanning my Dad’s slides some years ago. ¬†The image of these jolly little dungarees, kindly modelled by my brother at some point in the late 70’s, coincided with my want to make an apron, I loved the idea of the simple red hand on denim. ¬†It was around this time, that I got distracted by the¬†Apple Aprons, but the idea stayed with me and was always on the list of ‘must’ makes.


Skip a few years to early 2013, when I saw and bought this linen (Lecien-Isso Ecco and Heart – Red Birds and Trees), specifically for the project, but by then I was a bit aproned out and decided to take a break from sewing on miles and miles of bias binding.

DSC_0061This Spring, I became excited by the garden. ¬†I’d rather lost my focus in recent years, I find I feel a bit thinly spread sometimes and often it’s things like the garden that suffer, but with renewed enthusiasm I decided to get on with the gardening aprons (it was always an apron for the garden in my head, no idea why!) as it’s something I wanted to use myself. ¬†DSC_0062I pulled fabrics from stock and had a play to decide on the pocket details. ¬†After trying all kinds of ideas, including solid block stripes of linen at the top, I settled on a subtle line of ric-rac peeking out of the seam of the ‘hand’. ¬†I really like it, it adds a simple detail without going over-board.


There are a few changes in method from the apple aprons. ¬†I only included 2 pleats on the waistband and they aren’t stitched down plus they have been moved slightly further apart so they fall above the hand opening.DSC_0091 The waist ties are not bound in bias binding, but have a little sandwiched between the seams, so it allows for the same look as the apple aprons but removes the nightmare that was involved in attaching those to the apron bib. ¬†It’s these little details that keep me awake at night. ¬†These bibs had been¬†half stitched for some time, but I couldn’t decide on how to finish off the ties themselves, I imagine sewing things together in my head when I’m trying to sleep, which can be annoying but it usually results in a solution and I’m especially pleased with this one.

DSC_0049All the fabric is pre-washed (40 degrees, wool wash, because of the linen) and I was pleased to be able to use denim from my stash as well as the royal blue linen on the apron reverse. ¬†Because it was stash denim and I practically used every last inch, there is a single join in each of the apron tie lengths, but it’s quite neat looking so I’m happy with that.
DSC_0114They are listed here on my own website. ¬†My Folksy shop is rather neglected but I’ll be filling it up in September, when I come to list all the new stock.

I’m rushing to get this post written and published, I’d forgotten how long it takes to edit photos, and get the whole lot uploaded to the shop, or that I’d need to do this before blogging; but I’m keen to be done with this one before I pick the boys up.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging here and there, over summer, but if not, see you on the other side!


I Hear Thunder…

Today I’m sweating in the studio (nice image huh?!) as I do all the time in this crazy heat, whilst waiting for the thunder storms to come. ¬†I do hope they arrive, I woke at 2am last night and could hear lots of ¬†rumbling in the distance, the sky was flashing like crazy and I couldn’t get back to sleep so I watched and waited in eager anticipation for the storms to reach us and total bummer, they never did! ¬†They just passed by in the distance, hence another hot and sticky start to the day.


Lack of sleep and complete boredom of the weather means I’m taking it easy today. ¬†I have been ploughing slowly through work, it’s been quite therapeutic to empty the project boxes as each one is completed, some of these have been on the go for years now. ¬†I have new things ready to show but I need to photograph and list them first, and for that I definitely need cooler weather, ideally with a little light cloud to soften the shadows; although my Lightcase has arrived, so I could try that out for some of the smaller items.

DSC_0059 I’ve just bought two large pencil bundles from Ebay. ¬†They are the old design Derwent Studio ones as I much prefer them to the newer style. ¬†I received my first big tin of these when I was in sixth form, I clearly remember them being a main Christmas present, they were super expensive at the time. ¬†What’s left of my stash (added to over the years) sits in a jar in my studio, but F keeps ‘borrowing’ them for his drawing as he prefers the selection to his own collection (I’ve no idea why as the boys have so many pencils and crayons between them), my aim is to get a set together for each of the boys, so they leave mine alone!¬† I also like the idea of¬†using them in product photos, so I’ll naturally be keeping a set back for myself. ¬†I love seeing them all lined up in a row.DSC_0066I’m gathering together gifts for the teachers, all a bit late this year as I’m not very organised. ¬†One of the teachers is due to have a baby soon and as the most common thing I sell for little ones is the linen mice, C has written a message on this one’s bum that I’ve machine embroidered over. ¬†I’m not very inspired, otherwise, and it might be the remaining flower brooch cards….or lavender birds….or recurrent jelly made by the boys for the others. ¬†I need to decided this weekend as school’s nearly out for summer.


I was pleased to find an excuse to finish these linen boys up though, they’ve been half made for a good year or so. ¬†I’m not sure why all the others were completed at the time I started them and these three were abandoned at the leg attaching stage but it’s another project box I can empty and it keeps my stock topped up.DSC_0040Now it’s time to just wait for that gentle pitter patter or rain, or ideally a torrential downpour!


Tudor Boy….6?

I am pretty sure I never published this post showing the (final?) outing of the Tudor Boy costume and as it’s the end of the school year, now seems a good time to finish it and press the button. ¬†I’m afraid these entries are often more for my own record than anything else, so you might want to skip this one…oh and if you’re waiting for shop sewing there will be so many posts in a row in a few weeks time, you’ll be sick of them all!!

DSC_0253 DSC_0054DSC_0020DSC_0018Back in March The Tudor Boy costume came out again.  I think this is about the 6th time it has been worn by the boys, it really was a good make but is definitely getting a little too tight now (I originally made it for my oldest when he was in reception, as above), although it might get another outing yet.

DSC_0016See how happy C is about wearing it…again…he moaned sooooo much that I ended up getting quite cross. ¬†He’s quite particular and couldn’t get past the fact that is was 1666 History Day and not actually Tudor Day so he figured the costume was wrong, I struggled to get him to understand that this outfit is fine to wear for both. ¬†You can see the original post for the costume here…..I am sorry it’s doesn’t really offer any help in drafting your own pattern, I get endless emails on the back of it asking if I have one (a pattern, that is) and I feel terribly guilty explaining I just made one especially for my own kid but have no record of it and if I’m honest, it’s to complicated for me to attempt to explain how to draft one to share on-line.

DSC_0146Also early this year, F needed a costume for the school play, and knowing how well the Tudor one has done (and knowing a similar style will be needed again in the coming couple of years) I made a kind of generic ‘ye olden days’ tunic and shirt. ¬†Annoyingly F has had a growth spurt and I’m afraid it might not even last for the next two years, despite my making it a ¬†bit large.

DSC_0020 DSC_0022I’ve been sorting all my online photos and it’s been really good to have them nicely filed. ¬†In the ‘school’ folder from this year I also have ‘bad hair day’. ¬†Here is F rocking a mohican. ¬†What a moody monster ūüôā ¬†I have no idea where he gets the grumpy attitude from *ahem*.

DSC_0016And nonchalantly strangling his brother.  Says it all really.

charlie australian dayIn case you are mistaken in thinking that I always make costumes for the boys, here’s a more recent one,¬†¬†C for Australia Day – G’day Folks! – Hat with corks, boomerang and¬†kangaroo in pocket and beach wear…no stereotyping¬†there then!


Any my fav¬†bought costume of this year, a cloak and tie for F for Harry Potter Day, along with chop stick wand. ¬†Job done. ¬†Actually this was a great buy, it’s an adult size (I have learnt to buy adult sizes for F in fancy dress costumes as he’s very tall and I find the cheap stuff comes up small) the cloak is actually quite well made. ¬†It’s well cut and stitched, plus fully lined, there is no way I could have made one for the ¬£15 it cost…there was a fear it might self-combust due to the synthetic fiber content but otherwise it was great.

That concludes my quick round-up of some of this year’s school costumes, I wonder what we’ll need for 2015?