Note from Nancy: Please welcome back guest blogger Mary Mulari, who will share details on another one of her clever apron patterns. By the way, my sheets sat in the washing machine overnight, hence the wrinkles. This is not staged photography, just real life!
By Mary Mulari, Guest Blogger
Welcome to another top ten apron blog! This time it’s the Clothespin Apron Pattern with variations. First I’ll show you samples from my seminar collection and at the end, the story of Karen’s apron—my newest creation with the pattern.
Half Aprons—The Quickest Way to Sew
The quickest way to use the pattern is to make a reversible half apron, with a row of pockets on each side. Here is the flamingo theme apron, one side trimmed with piping and the other with rick rack. Grosgrain ribbons were chosen for the apron ties.
All the aprons you will see have open bottoms. You can carry garden produce when you lift up the top apron layer and insert the vegetables or flowers, or even clothes off the clothesline, in your temporary carrying device.
Note from Nancy: My neighbors couldn’t help but chuckle while I was having my photo taken in my little garden! I am sure they were thinking, “What’s Nancy doing now!”
Option Two—Add a Bib
Another option for this apron is to make it a full apron by adding a bib to the half apron. These additions give extra strength to the apron when you fill the pockets with clothespins, cleaning supplies, or gardening tools. The yoke can be made from contrasting fabrics, but if you want the yoke to blend in, choose the same fabric as the apron body.
I added the clothespin embroidery design from my embroidery CD “Appliqués for Aprons.” The ties and neckstrap are grosgrain ribbons and the neckstrap is adjustable in length with D-rings. There’s also the option of a yoke addition to the top of the bib.
Clever Tie Options
It seems to me that black backgrounds in apron fabrics are smart because spots or stains can hide in the prints and background! There’s no law that says both of the ribbons have to be the same color and they’re longer than usual so they can cross on the back, loop through the rings on the opposite side of the apron, and then tie at the waist. This tie method eliminates the irritation of neck straps that rub on the back of the neck. You might find that you prefer this method, and it can be used on any of my apron patterns with waist and neckties. (Examples: Favorite Reversible Apron, Hot Dish Apron, and Spoonful of Color Apron from Easy Reversible Aprons—Full Flair)
This full apron has a unique tie system, which you can see, on the back of the apron.
So Many Fabrics—So Little Time
A few years ago I designed a collection of baby fabrics for Marcus Brothers. This apron shows that the soft prints and stripes can be used for more than baby quilts. You’ll see the clothespin appliqué/embroidery used again, this time sewn to the apron as a small pocket.
On the reverse side of the apron, you can also see the piping and rick rack trims that work so well with these colors. On the apron bibs are designs from my book and CD Embroidery Machine Essentials: Appliqué Adventures.
The Story of Karen’s Apron
This apron is a surprise for my friend, Karen. It’s not her birthday or Christmas, times when I would give her a gift. Sometimes it’s a great idea to make and give a gift of encouragement and friendship—for no usual gift-giving reason.
When I was planning this apron, I sent an email to Karen to ask two questions. Knowing she’s had some recent changes in her diet and her health, I asked, “Do you still drink coffee? Do you still hang clothes out on the clotheslines?” I needed to know this in order to pick the fabrics for her apron. Her immediate email reply was “Are you kidding? I hang clothes on the line with a coffee cup in my hand! Did you just invent a clothespin holder with a coffee cup holder attachment?” She still doesn’t know why I asked the questions, but this blog entry will reveal the answer.
Here’s what I chose for fabric, a unique combo of prints! The top yoke of the apron is a fish print because Karen’s husband Ross is a talented fisherman, so Karen has cooked many a walleye for dinner. The skirt fabric is coffee cups, and the pocket fabric is floral to represent Karen’s love of flower gardening. Piping is the chosen edge trim. The neck straps can be tied and knotted in the back or overlapped and held in place with Velcro strips.
I decided that one side of the apron would be a yellow print with clothespins and general laundry motifs. I added three different colors of rick rack to the yellow laundry side. One of the apron ties is also from the yellow fabric, a 3″ wide fabric strip pressed and stitched just like I showed you in last month’s Hot Dish apron blog.
Before cutting out the pattern, I had the pleasure of auditioning and lining up the prints on a picnic table at Lake Vermilion during a week of vacation.
My quiet napping companion was our dog Buster, now 13 years old, and in the relaxation mode.
The new coleus plants in the flowerbed were so striking that I couldn’t resist taking a photo of them too.
There wasn’t time to get a picture of Karen in her apron for this blog, but watch for her in an upcoming apron blog. Actually, I’d like to see how she manages to hang clothes and hold a coffee cup all at the same time!
Here’s hoping these aprons and notes will inspire you to try this apron pattern, to plan fabric choices for someone’s special interests, hobbies, or occupation, and to get out your trim stash to add some accents.
And now for this month’s recipe:
Renee’s Taco Soup
1 lb. hamburger, browned with 1 cut-up onion
Add the following ingredients—do not drain the cans (approximately 14.5–15 oz. cans)
1 can red kidney beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can chili beans
2 cans Rotel Chunky Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 cups salsa
1-1/2 cups water
Mix together in a medium-large soup pot and heat well. Serve with crushed corn chips, sour cream, and grated cheese. Leftovers are very tasty too!
Renee and I use the mild variety of the ingredients above, but you can choose to liven it up even more.
Thanks for reading this blog and making aprons. The stories from bridal showers continue to convince me that reversible aprons are the most popular shower gift!
Note from Nancy: A special thank you to Mary for her 5th installment of creative apron ideas! Mary has given me at least three different aprons as gifts, all of which I use on a regular basis. I’m kind of a messy cook!
If you’ve missed the other four apron ideas, click below to see what you missed: