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Monday, October 18, 2010

Jan's Clothespin Apron


This was DragonPoodle Studio’s first commission.
Back in the spring I took an armful of my aprons over to show Mary Bob.  She is a terrific audience because she used to sew and we can tech-talk.  She thought that Jan might like one of the clothespin aprons and asked me to make one, for which she would pay me.  We discussed fabrics and decided on denim.
I couldn’t just leave it at that (just denim).   Using a heavy ticking on the back lets the ticking show through at the pockets.  I had a great red calico bias tape with tiny tiny yellow and dark blue flowers and tiny tiny green leaves.  I had a free embroidery design (thanks, gonesewing at cuties.com) of a simple floral wreath that I thought would look good peeking out of the pocket.  I was going for a classic traditional look with a DragonPoodle twist.

Some embroidery projects take a million years to come together.  You never know what it is REALLY going to look like until it is stitched out.  I usually end up with at least a couple of not-quite right samples.  This one came together in about a minute.  I knew that the embroidery needed to match the colors in the calico, bright primaries for the flowers and a darker forest green for the swirls and leaves.  As each color stitched out I breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction.  They were all just right, even the lime green for the flower centers.

The design is circular and I could have just used the same version on both pockets, but I only recently learned how to reverse and flip designs so I had to do this.

At this point I pulled out all the rick rack that coordinated with the calico and embroidery and took everything over to Mary Bob’s.  We had a great old time playing with the design features.  She chose a giant red rick-rack for the waistband which surprised me.  I had taken that spool over just as a joke; I thought it was way too big.  But it does look good—it is the full width of the waistband.  In fact, I like this apron so much that I’ll probably make another one exactly like it for myself someday.

We’ve got a running joke between us about how nobody can afford me.  Because she used to sew she has a very good idea of how long things take.  We had a scuffle over payment:  she wanted to pay me, I didn’t want her to.  I suggested that she put in an extra donation the next time her church is helping someone in need, and tell God that it’s from me.  We both know that I am no church-goer, so I told her she could help get me right with God.  This tickled her and she finally agreed.
By the time the apron was finished she had already put a generous donation into the church plate.  She told me how much she enjoyed doing that.  I call this a win-win-win-win situation!

She was disappointed that I hadn’t included an embroidered label, so I made one and added it to the back.
Of course she couldn’t wait for Christmas and gave it to Jan right away!  They both seem very pleased with it, and so am I (she says, modestly).  Jan modeled it during a Saturday coffee morning.  She had on a blue and white dress and the whole outfit (dress + apron) was absolutely adorable.  She refused to let me take her picture, so you will just have to imagine it.