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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Just The Teeniest Bit Obsessed with Whatever-These-Are

Aprons? Pinafores? O, please no, NOT "pinnies." Jumpers? But not British Jumpers. See the problem? I don't even know what these should be called. Aprons, maybe, except me in an apron is like a javelina in a tutu and is just about as useful. Being the totally non-domestic person I am, the traditional uses for an apron—you know, pairing it with heels and lipstick for vacuuming or baking cakes from scratch—are kind of out there. Far, far out there.  Beyond Pluto.

But. But! I am not domestic, but I *am* messy. Very, very messy. As in: I may be the only adult you know who can get my clothes dirty eating a grape. Drinking a cup of lukewarm coffee. Brushing my teeth (toothpaste is hard to get off once it's dry unless you just go ahead and wash it, you know?) I splash myself every time I wash my hands, and soap dries funny on fabric, too. Oh, and don't forget the cat hairs. Cat hairs everywhere. So here I sit, covered with stains and crumbs and cat fur and lint and dust and who knows what else.

Used to, I just had some scungy clothes I put on when I was at home. Ugly t-shirts, faded sweatshirts. Whatever was around. But when I quit doing that and started wearing Only Clothes I Love, I also started wearing something over my clothes when I ate. Also when I did pretty much anything else. And as I've been working to refine my wardrobe, making it totally functional and totally fabulous, I've realized that layers are my best friend for many, many reasons. Warmth, because I'm always cold. Protection, so I can peel off the top layer and pre-treat it with a stain stick and just put on another top layer. And both The EGE and I wear layers because it's the perfect way to add more color. He usually wear 2-3 shirts; in the winter he might wear even more. They're all color-coordinated, along with his underwear and socks, and it's how he likes to dress.

On one of the many trips to the vet so far this year, I had on one of these, and it was perfect: I didn't have to come home and change clothes but could just take off this Thing and stick it in the laundry bin. (In the past, I'd put on The Painting Clothes to go to the vet. Painting Clothes—the set of clothes you keep to wear when you're painting walls and ceilings. I have Summer Painting Clothes (t-shirt and shorts) and Winter Painting Clothes (sweatpants and sweatshirt), and you can look at them and figure out the color of every room in our house.

Anyway, so I started making these. This one I showed you: it was already whatever it is, given to me by my friend Miss Julia, and embellished by me. I wore it and realized it was too long,
 It hobbled me when I walked, and I can't deal with that.

so I cut it off and re-hemmed it, and then I realized it was still too long and cut it off again.
 It's perfect now. I wear it over jeans or leggings, of course.
 Then there are these next two that were Flax sun dresses, and I showed you the beginnings of that experiment here, with these photos:

I didn't show y'all this one when it was a dress, but it was similar. I altered it and showed it to The EGE, who said, "Wow. That's great. But it's. . . .black." He was right, so I had to figure out a simple way to add a lot of color. Simple because I don't know how much I'll like it until I wear it a lot.

 The secret, for me, to turning a dress into one of these is cutting down the sides. It gives you more room for whatever you wear underneath, and the part you cut away can easily become pockets.
 This was fun to stitch at The Wine Rack. I like having something to take with me that's easy and mindless and requires only one color of floss = less stuff to lose or drop or make a mess with.
 Then here's this one finished. I started out using the blue and the off-white because of the buttons, which are old ones that I think maybe be bone or something. I don't really know. And I put the red cross on it and then went, "Bleah. Red, white, and blue are *not* my thing." So I added in a lot of orange because I really like red and orange together.

I'm currently working on four more of these and hope to have more to show soon. I'll try to get some photos of me wearing them with actual clothes and stuff. If only selfies didn't creep me out so. . . .

I don't know that I love having skinny straps, but I'm kind of intrigued by them right now and so ordered a set of 4 sizes of bias tape makers, the little metal-and-plastic ones, to try making some of my own just to see how that goes. Three of these things I'm working on have just regular shoulders, rather than skinny straps. The brown one, above, has some issues staying put on my shoulders, so I have to work on that part. I wanted the back open like it is, and doing that means a long piece of strap that wants to fall down all the time. I tried criss-crossing them in the back, but that makes the whole back waist part bunch up, of course. So I'll do more experimenting there.

I heartily recommend these for everyone, in whatever shape and fabric you want. Better than a store- bought apron, they're useful and can be embellished and, of course, worn as a part of your regular clothes (not just at home; I wear these everywhere because: pockets!). I find these simple Flax linen dresses for like $10 at the resale shop (they're way more online, but you can still find them). If you make some, let us know!


Andrea R said...

I have been enamored of the aprons that have no straps, but cross in the back (bad description, but I've found a pattern in French online, so I'm hoping to adapt it). I hate waists strings and skinny shoulder straps, so I am looking forward to making some of these when I have the time. I tend to wipe everything that's on my hands especially on my pants, so this should definitely prolong the life of my wardrobe. Ink and paint just do NOT come off the way one thinks they should.

Carol said...

I love the black one especially because it looks like it has a string of pennants on it! And I love pennant strings.

Just Jen said...

on my To Do list. will post photos when I'm done!

kathleen codyrachel said...

I have to start using my sewing machine - as I keep buying men's xl shirts at my church's thrift store 2 or 3 dollars - but not nearly as cute as your jumper/apron (japron?) !

WingingIt said...

Toooooooo cute!!!

Melly Testa said...

I want one!

Dora said...

Why not call them cover-alls? I like them for their style and functionality.