Monday, April 30, 2012

A Simple Apron to Sew

Aprons have become very popular again. Just look in magazines, on the net, or in book and craft stores, and you'll find numerous apron ideas. For most, it's the new fashion statement. For me, it's a necessity.

The first year we moved to the farm, I realized why our grandmothers wore them--for the obvious reason of protecting clothing--but for the less obvious reason of providing pockets to carry all kinds of tools, supplies, work gloves, keys, etc. Aprons have been a big help to me in the garden or in helping John with his building projects.

Looking at all the brightly colored aprons for sale on Etsy, I decided I needed something to spark up my own summer wardrobe--a working apron with big pockets and lots of fun trims--something that's fast to make and durable. I went to my stash of fabrics and started measuring and cutting. It was a projects that grew as I went along.

The apron turned out so well that I thought I'd share it with you. Even a novice seamstress will be able to put this one together!

Supplies Needed:
 3 Coordinated Fabrics, approximately 3/4yard each
Several Coordinating Trims, such as ribbons, rick-rack
1 Re-cycled Denim Pocket 
Recycled Shirt Buttons
Scissors, Pins, Needles
Sewing Machine
Serger (optional)
Chalk or Pencil for Marking


Gather together all the supplies. 
Decide where each fabric is to be placed--apron, pocket, waist band, ties.
Cut apron 16" x 25"
Pocket 10 3/4" x 25"
Waist band 4 1/2" x 25"
Ties 4 1/2" x 33" (x2)

Turn under 1/4" at the top of the pocket piece and stitch down.

Stitch selected trims onto upper pocket. Play around with the trims. Have fun with it.

Cut a piece of green ribbon (I used grograin). Pin vertically for the flower stem. Stitch down sides, top, and bottom of the ribbon, turning under the top of the ribbon.
Position the recycled pocket so that the lower flower stem is covered. Pin and stitch.

Stitch pocket onto apron at the bottom, placing the right side of the pocket to the wrong side of the apron so that the seam will be hidden inside the pocket.

Flip pocket up to right side of apron. Divide the pocket into sections by running vertical lines of stitching. I decided on three sections for my apron--one line of stitching at the flower stem and one between the flower stem and the right edge.

By now, your apron pieces are probably not even. Not to worry.  Take your ruler and "square" it up! This is important for the apron to hang correctly.
Fold the waist band in half and press. Interfacing can be placed inside for added strength. I actually used a single piece of the same fabric.  
Stitch band onto apron.

Fold ties in half and stitch a 1/4" seam. Turn to outside, placing the seam to the center. Press.

Pin ties to waist band, lining up edges. 
Run a line of stitching down each side of the apron, including the ties.

Turn side edges under and stitch. Your apron is almost finished! 

For the flower, cut at least three circles of different sizes from the left-over fabric. I cut 2 denim and 1 each of the multicolor and pink fabrics. You can use Fray Check, or a similar product on the edges, or leave the edges to fray, as I did.
Stitch down each circle with regular or embroidery thread. I used a double strand of regular black sewing thread.

Position flower and stitch down.

Now, add recycled shirt buttons for the flower center. Tie a bow with your choice of green ribbon for the flower leaves. Attach. (I used a clear button, but you can just tack it down by hand.)
Maybe add a fun pin and a pair of garden gloves and you're ready for work!

I think I'll go to work myself. . .
Time to head for the garden. . .

Linking up with:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Retro 50s At The Old Greyhound Bus Station

Copyright: D Duncan 2012

Retro 50s Party
The Place: The newly renovated 1937 Grayhound Bus Station,
Blytheville, Arkansas
The Date: Saturday, April 28
The Time: 6:30 p. m.

Copyright: D Duncan 2012

Let's take a peek. . .


"And, she'll have fun, fun, fun
Til her Daddy takes the T-bird away. . ."

For more history:
 Greyhound Bus Station

Friday, April 27, 2012

Inspiration From "The Homeplace" In Kentucky

I have a confession.

Even though we live and work in this historic district of a 1930s Delta farm, my true heart is in the two centuries previous--the 18th and 19th. Even as a child, I was drawn to the colonial and pioneer periods in our history. The year that our family traveled to the northeast on vacation, we visited Colonial Williamsburg. I was enchanted from the moment we arrived. I told my Dad I'd work there one day. I'm sure he laughed inside, if not out loud. But, "one day" came, and I did live my dream. I "dressed up and played" everyday, loving every minute of it.

I've loved being back at the farm, too, 
but that colonial/pioneer spirit is still strong within. 

Now that we no longer tour people through our home, we've decided to turn our keeping room into the more primitive style of those earlier centuries. And, to get some inspiration, we visited The Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes in Tennessee.

We won't be going this primitive. The furniture, the arrangement, and the accessories were my interest. Can you imagine cooking a meal for 10 or 12 on this stove? 

I love the sideboard with the crocks on the shelf below. 
You can barely see the checked floor cloth.
I'm keeping it in mind, though. . .

We have a blue cabinet, stored in the garage--
not exactly like this, but I like the splash of color.
We also have a cupboard much like the one on the left.

I had to look inside. . .a little sparse, don't you think?

Guess where the primitive high chair we found is going?

At the back door. . .

The Homeplace gave me so many ideas. 
And, it was so much fun stepping back into pioneer history for a day. 
I've missed that.

For more information about The Homeplace, click here.
We'll be starting work on our keeping room this week. 
More about that later. . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Biz Did It



Wish I'd taken a "before" photo so you could see just how dirty, stained, and awful these gloves looked when I brought them home from an auction.
It was one of those bid-on-the-entire-box kind of things. 
Once I got them home, I almost wished I hadn't bid at all. . .
Besides looking bad, these gloves smelled of mold and mildew.

What was I to do?
Not being a person who gives up on anything vintage,
I pulled out the Biz for an overnight soak.
And, just look how white they came out. . .
I was so surprised.

Hanging them to dry on the clothesline took out that moldy odor.
They look and smell like new.
I'm sold on Biz. . .

What's your favorite method of cleaning vintage clothing?
Anyone want to share?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Finds From Three States

Sounds like we've been traveling, huh?
Well, yes--and--no.
Our farm is in the northeast corner of Arkansas, bordered by two states--
Missouri and Tennessee.
In fact, we're only 8 miles from Missouri, "as the Crow flies."
So it was relatively simple to go junking in all three states in one day. . .

We found a few primitives--and a few "shabbies"--
Not a bad day at all. . .

Tin items
Wooden Bowl
Oak Basket
Large Cheese Box
Henry McKenna Jug
Prim High Chair
Prim Youth Chair
Wooden ???? Basket of some kind?
Sugar Pail 
Small Pickle Crock
Prim Doll

Bed Tray (I love this!)
Glove and Hankie Boxes
Box of Vintage Baby Shoes
Vintage Child's Mittens--2 sets
1930s Porcelain Doll
Hat Box with Strap
Vintage Stool
Oval Tin Container

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vintage Store Labels

Old store labels are fascinating to me.
I love the artwork and attention to detail.
Here are a few from Our Old Country Store
 that I think would be great for crafts. 
Right click, save image, and print. . .

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