Friday, August 31, 2007

Eensy, Weensy Apron

Maren is so generous with her sewing abilities. I have to show off Myla's new apron that Maren made. It's adorable! It's double-sided - one side is brown and pink floral and the other side is pink polka dot. Myla was very kind and let me put it on her and take one picture.
Then she declared the photo shoot over.
Thank you so much Maren!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Boy trapped at Joann's: the video story of James Buchanan

So I was trying to get some fabric a couple weeks ago to start the kid-prons, and my kids really hate Joann's... (duh. they don't sell popcorn or sodas like Target and there is no play place like the mall - all they have to offer is overpriced candy that I buy only when I'm in a pinch). At most stores I can hand James a truck or some toy off the shelf to entertain himself with - for some reason handing him a floral arrangement just doesn't have the same effect... so here is James stuck in the cart with nothing to play with ...

the clock was ticking I knew my time would be really short. Every mom knows the clock begins the moment they are placed in the cart and when the time is up the alarms will sound even after you frustratingly throw everything on the counter and leave in a huff, you further know that the alarms might not go off the entire car ride home and no matter how high you crank the radio - the alarms are always louder. So it's best to have a game plan before you enter the store. I didn't have one, but noticed my ridiculously overpriced digital camera in my purse, I weighed in my mind the possibilities of it getting broken verses the precious time it would buy me, and then remembered Jason bought the even more overpriced warranties they sell that surprisingly covers pounded-to-death-like-a-hammer-by-a-3-year-old-trapped-in-his-version-of-Dante's-inferno - so I did what any rational mother would do in hopes of a few quiet hours of shopping, I handed James my camera to keep himself occupied so I could choose the perfect shade of bias tape and basically waste my time looking at things I will never buy. This is his story through the lens of my camera....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Sisterly Endeavor

So, my sister, the one that can turn anything to gold, loves cupcakes. She posted a blog entry about all things cupcakes and this spawned a thought in my head, "I wonder what would happen if we combined the best of both our worlds; Ms. Cupcake meets Ms. Apron?" When I googled "cupcake aprons" this apron popped up and I was so excited because it is the same apron that Chelsae brought to Apron Night. I thought, "Well, isn't this ironic? A little too ironic." So my sister tells me that she wants me to make a simple diner style apron and she will make cupcake appliques to add on top of them and that is when I found this version of her vision.

She later informed me that she loves the ruffled one, especially in different shades of pink. I can see it now, and it is so stinkin adorable. I had to share all this with my Apron sisters because I am so excited to start this apron that Chelsae brought, I feel a lot of potential in this apron! And there is just something so sweet about cupcakes and aprons!

Friday, August 24, 2007

A babypron! (thanks Christie for the play on words)

Because I have been bored of sesame street re-runs, and can no longer spend any money at the fabric store, (my monthly allowance was swallowed up by my last purchase) I decided that I would make my own pattern for a baby. I chuckled the whole time thinking, who the heck thinks of stuff like this, I must be seriously deranged. But then when I put it on my little Oliver, I decided that my creativity would bring a little bit of joy to you all in Arizona. This Apron is definitely cuter in person. If you all would like the pattern, I can send it on down, just let me know. Wish I could come to Apron night!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All Country!

Here is the final product of an apron that I started about a month ago, and the wait was so worth it! I love this one, it has the practicality of the 40's apron but a little bit more pizazz. I took the pattern from the "The Apron Book" that Christie checked out at the library and I actually had to make my own bias tape...not as difficult to do. Actually, Mare brought over a Martha Stewart Living Magazine a loooong time ago and it had an article in it about making bias tape and it proved very fruitful, along with a handy tool that I found at Joanns! The fabric is total control but that is exactly what I wanted, I love the raspberries and the polka dots! If anyone needs the pattern, I have it all cut out and ready to be used! See you all tomorrow, can't wait to be reunited with everyone again!
P.S. I just got Chelsea-fied today and so my hair does not look this cute all the time, she is just a total hair goddess!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Reversible!!

I finished my first reversible apron today. I made a Thomas apron for Cade. It's a tad too big, but he'll grow into, right? That way he can keep it around longer. I had to bribe him with some candy in the pocket to wear it and let me take a picture of him in it.

At first he wasn't amused.
But then he really started getting into it! I did not tell him to start posing like this. He just did. It was so funny.
Thomas pocket on the boring red reversible side of the apron.
I have to say that I'm glad that I practiced on Cade's apron. I am making a couple of reversible aprons for a friend of mine and I was able to figure it out with Cade's apron (and Aubrey's instructions!). I forgot to sew the ties in, so I had to pick it out and do it over. Then, the fabric I had chosen was a stretchy fabric (on the clearance rack at Walmart) and I melted the fabric when I ironed it. Luckily I was able to sew that inward. By the way, apparently the ghetto Walmart on Main is closing out all of it's fabric. Christmas/Halloween fabric is $2/yard and the rest of the fabric is 25% off. I got the Thomas stuff there on total clearance too. So those of you who are doing aprons for Christmas gifts, head on over to Walmart and check out their fabric while it's cheap.

I'm Back!

Hey Apronistas, I am back in town and of the looks of things, it seems that I have missed out on alot by missing Apron Night on Thurs...serves me right for thinking I could skip out last week. Shame on me! BUT...I hope with what I have discovered will make up for it. I was blog stalking on the The Apronista blog and found this link for a reporter who is looking for apron stories from women who sew there own aprons. Here is the link:
Check it out! As soon as I saw this I thought immediately of all the amazing writers that we have in our little group and with all this talent flying around, we could have a good chance of them using a story about our apron club! This blog alone would be worth something to turn into them. Just a thought, we can talk more about it on Thursday!

ramblings from an iron who has lost her steam

So I was sitting on my porcelain throne contemplating the complexities of my kingdom (and reading this months Martha Stewart's Living magazine) and stumbled upon a little gem that made me smile and think of all of you.

"35 million" is followed by this little thread of sewing truth "The number of SEWING HOBBYISTS in the United States, up 17% from 2000, per a recent study by the Home Sewing Association." In a generation where buying clothes is cheaper than making them and the price of fabric is about the same as a night out. Sewing has moved from being a necessity to an hobby.

Not everyone knows how to sew anymore. It is a skill that has vanished like the 80's claw bangs hair-do (thank heavens) - but now it has gone from being something common to special and unique, like our club. No matter what brought us together, there is a deep bond that sewing somehow touches. The act is singular in nature (sewing machines aren't built for two) but we rejoice in each others successes, personal victories are won at each level of completion, and needs are met as we sit around chat, eat, (and sasss - right Christie?)

Who knows why sewing has this magic to it. It is just cloth and thread, but maybe it goes back farther then that and touches a memory central to who we are: watching mom mend a torn dress, standing next to grandma as she sews the bindings of a quilt together, (or to not be sexists) watch as Kevin (the only guy I know, and revere for his sewing talents) finishes up his latest creation. Maybe that is the answer... or maybe it is seeing the work that goes into making something for someone else.

I think, ultimately, it is serving someone else. Whether you make your apron as a gift for someone else or to cover your best Sunday dress as you make dinner for your family (and friends), giving your time to make cookies with a sweet child, or just cleaning your house - it's comes down to doing something for someone else and finding your greatest happiness as you give just a part of yourself away. I thought I had lost my apron making steam... but actually I found it. Through scraps of fabric I didn't think I could make anything out of - comes excitement and counting the days 'til apron night when I can reveal my latest creations... You ain't seen nothing yet, baby. Sew on!

Friday, August 17, 2007

This happens to be the most spastic situation ever! I ran to the fabric store the other evening with both kids. I grabbed two fabrics that I liked and decided to make my friend who is stationed in Germany an apron. Her husband was just sent to Iraq so I am feeling very sad for her and wanted to cheer up her life a little. I am pleasantly surprised by how well the two fabrics jam together. And quite happy that the SINGLE FOLD bias tape that I bought on ACCIDENT because my children are not very patient at fabric stores, was easier in the end to work with!!! Most of the creations I make that end up looking half decent are because I don't put much energy or effort into it. Total apron making time: 1 hour 45 minutes.

I hope she can prance around the house in this apron and make the 15 months go by faster!

PS. whoever picked out this pattern...bless you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Dream Machine

So just like Jill I am on a quest to find my wand (aka dream machine) and I think I have found it. It is called the Singer HD 110 (I know your thinking, "what the h.. is the HD for") that, Loverly Ladies. stands for Heavy Duty. This isn't a machine for pansy lightweights. It's a serious green fighting (or sewing) machine. Not to be trifeled with by the faint of stitch.

This is pure street stuff. Do not doubt it's streetness. It is "green S from the block" - but can it sew canvas, or fleece without bunching, you inquire? Sweetie - I can do more than that, it will slam dunk your denim before it even knew what hit it. It is revered for it's reupolstering uses. It is simple - it don't need no fancy controls - it don't do no fancy stitching. And honestly, when the hell am I going to be embroidering daisies and butterflies I ask you! It won't happen. I know I want to spend around $300 and everything in that league and above is for the quivering quilters, ready with thier laptops to programme the latest kitten and flower patterns into their sewing machines... whoa slow down there techie gramma - you are way too advanced for me. I need to keep it on the down low. I need to keep it simple and REAL. Since joining our group I have made 8 aprons and have used a total of 3 different stiches. Plus the fact that it has a cool retro design and a 25 year warrenty helps. Yep, I found my machine. THIS IS MY WAND!! (Now if I can just wait until my birthday in November)


Oh my gosh ladies, I have the coolest news ever!!!!!! Okay, you remember how excited we were to find out that we were known throughout Joanns? Well, that was small beans ladies, we have reached a whole new level of cool status! Now, many of you have probably checked out some of the links on this blog and on my own and there is one titled, The Apronistas. This a blog all about everything aprony, it is one of my daily blogs that I check out. Anything you would ever want to know about aprons and other aprony type projects is on this website and it is put together by two domestic goddesses that met on each other blogs. Well, long story short, this blog is known all over the craft/apron blogging world. So you might be wondering why I am telling you all this, well, here is what has happened! Here is a comment that was left one of my entries:

Domestic Chicky said...

I am SO jealous of your Apron Club! Do you take long-distance members (California)? LOL
I would love to have one or all of you do a guest post on the Apronista!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

I am so tickled that she left a comment for us and that she wants us to appear on the blog...and that she is SO jealous of our Apron Club! Ladies, you all rock! I feel so honored and proud to be part of such an amazing little club with all of you! Keep rockin, we'll see what she wants us to do next!

a tribute to muffins while wearing aprons

While we were in Utah we watched this crazy home video about Cunningham Muffins on Youtube. My kids and all the cousins couldn't get enough of it. They watched it over and over and over again. It reminded me of making movies with my friends when we were kids and how funny we thought we were. So I posted it as a tribute to home movies and the fact that he is wearing an apron that reminds me of my grandmas, but also because this morning my kids started to recite the skit and it was too cute not to record, plus James is wearing my apron. Check it out! It is too cute.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry Potter and sewing machines!

So I have just finished the last installment of the Harry Potter books and while I am glad that I will never have to wait in anticipation for another book (the wait is agonizing), I am thrilled that the series isn't really over for me because I can still reunite with our young British wizards when they release that last few movies. But I had noticed a reoccuring theme throughout this book and it is that the wand chooses the wizard. Those two become one with each other, the wand almost knows what to do before the wizard even casts the spell. Well, my family all chipped in and gave me a Joanns gift certificate to get a sewing machine of my own for my Graduation present (I should be graduating more often;)). So tonight for FHE Ty and I went to Joanns to check out their sewing machines and I felt like I was trying out each machine like Harry did when he first arrived at Draigon Alley and had to find the wand that was right for him. I was waiting for a machine to pick me and bond with my soul! I was struggling, there wasn't that bond with any of the machines (probably because I was looking at the low end machines, at least this is what the sales lady felt compelled to remind me about every five minutes). And than I found out why, the sewing machine section at Joanns does not take Joanns gift certificates. Well, I'll be damned, who knew that that particular little section in the middle of the store was not part of Joanns but a company leasing out space to sell machines. So there I was possibly feet away from my wand, and I couldn't get it. Needless to say, I was a little irritated (okay alot irritated) and I spoke to the manager (much like I did with the Charleston guy) and they are going to try to help me out. I can't wait to have that machine and see what kind of magic and power it conceals, what kind of treasure we, together as one, can create and share! It is only a matter of time, I know it, I can feel it!

Apronpalooza 2007

So I just got back from a fun 2 week trip to Utah, Idaho, & Montana. We saw a bear near our camp in Montana, swam in a freezing cold lake, and used glorified outhouses while we camped, but one of the greatest parts of my summer... was realizing how kindred my mom & I really are, and how aprons add an element of fun untouched by any other.

I made 3 fancy smancy aprons to raffle off at my family reunion. When I got to my parents house I decided to make 2 more (my cousin, dad, and brothers pictured wearing my aprons above). Then my mom whips out her bag of tricks and nearly blew my apron right off. She had made 6 double sided aprons. I just so happen to have 5 sisters (very top picture on this post) - not only did she do this, but she also made 12 kids aprons.... I was blow away. She didn't tell me that she was making aprons for "the big event aka raffle" we were just thinking along the same aprony lines. It was a apronista's dream come true. I won one of her aprons and she made sure she had the most tickets to win my Mary Engelbreit apron. It was so much fun. I thought of you all often and knew we would have shared a blissfull tear at the shear number of aprons being proudly worn. It was truly a beautiful sight.

This is the group with all the aprons that they won. There were a few younger apronista's that couldn't sit still long enough for the snapshot. Along with the raffle - aprons were worn with flair... just get a little looksey:

Just a few pictures that show us at leisure in our beautiful aprons. My brother raffled off 15 marshmellow guns so many of our warriors are sporting the ever popular weapon of choice along with their fabulous aprons. The poic to the far left is Avery wearing a half apron while Evan sport the full Mickey Mouse, wich was a hot ticket item.

My tribute to Christie & her love of black & pink polkadots, modeled by my neice & again by me. I have the pattern if anyone is interested, although I would suggest a few minor alterations.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Aubs!

Today is Aubrey's 31st birthday! We hope it is a wonderful day for you and that you get pampered and loved! Have a happy, happy birthday! And hey, thanks for being born lady!

One thing I love and admire about Aubrey is how thoughtful she is. Check out the sweet package she sent the SSC. It was full of fabric, a fun pattern (with altered instructions, no less!) and a poem she wrote herself. We were so delighted to get it in the mail and read it at our last apron night! Thanks Aubs!

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Official!

So, without further delay, I am thrilled to announce the making of my very first Apron. Here are my thoughts: Bias tape is left brained, and almost requires the coordination that a very skilled pianist has when playing Bach, or Chopin. I do not with all intention have the skills of a basketball player or a violinist, or a my bias tape situation leaves much to be desired. Also, when putting the side panels of this particular pattern on, make sure you put them on right the first time, other wise the side straps fit very nicely tucked in your arm pits. The Apron however, not flattering at all. Attaching the panels incorrectly will ultimately remind you once again of bias tape, and unpicking 3 yards of bias tape will, in fact make your eyes bug out. The end result however, worth every moment! Thank you ladies, for the pattern, the fabric and my new best friend:
Bias Tape!

Also, I thought it only fair to post the most hideous picture of myself I have ever seen, proof that it was late and I had worked hard to finish it!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I'm SEW Frustrated!

Remember the LOVE I was showing my sewing machine last week? Remember when I said that we'd never part? Remember when I said that I love her and feel like she's my friend? Remember how I said, "I don't know what I'll do when she kicks the bucket?"Well, I'm about ready to kick her. Part of me feels immensely guilty for betraying my sweet sewing machine and talking about her behind her back; the other part of me feels betrayed because she's not working for me! I've done everything I know how to do, but my expertise is very limited...especially since we don't have a manual for her. I have found many sites where I can order a manual, and will probably do that--after my sweet hubby comes home and has a look at her. In the meantime, she is sitting on my table next to the pile of material I have cut up looking at me rather defiantly. When she's working again we are going to have a serious conversation. She simply cannot pull this nonsense on an Apron Club Night. And yet here she is...pulling it. So hopefully I will come to apron night with a functional sewing machine. If not, well, hanging out with you fine women will be a blast, but there will be a part of me missing--my sewing machine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A really sweet gift!

Yesterday I received this fabulous apron made by my sister in law Christie, who happens to be one of my favorite people, and one of my dearest friends. The black and white polka dots combined with a monotone pink on pink stripe is a great combination, not to mention the great detailing, and letter "a" on the side for Aubrey. This was such a wonderful surprise...and something I had hoped she would do...make an apron for me, so that I too could relish in the excitement that only the secret stitch and women life June Cleaver, and Mrs. Brady experience when heading to the demands of the domestic house wife, in a time where t shirts and sports bras are becoming the norm for women's attire. I opened the box, found the apron and proceeded to wear it while finishing laundry, tidying up the bathrooms, taking out the trash, and preparing dinner. All while listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. When I hung up my Apron after finishing my daily routine and tucked the kids in bed, I realized that the apron had in fact made things seem less demanding. That maybe inside this very practical girl is a feminine goddess ready to take on the challenge of making my first Apron and then being initiated into the secret stitch...really, I think you all have found what I and so many women are missing...a change from the mundane, a uniform for a very important job, that is all too often over looked.

Cheers! Thank you!
You aprons bring joy to you, and whoever you bless them with.

The Utah Chapter of the SSC

I'd like everyone to meet Aubrey, the newest member of the Secret Stitch Club. Aubrey is actually the Utah chapter of the SSC and is my sister-in-law (Kevin's brother's wife). Since Aubrey has her first apron (and that is the established rule of the SSC, to be introduced on the blog when the first apron is completed--aren't we so official with our rules?!) I just wanted to tell you all a bit about her, since you probably won't get to meet her in person, therefore getting to the know the greatness that is Aubrey. Aubs (affectionately called by her friends and family) is one of my favorite people. She looks for the best in life and has the greatest laugh! Everyone is always laughing when Aubrey is around...she's the life of the party. She is the mother of two beautiful little boys; Aiden, 2 and Oliver, 5 months. She is an opera singer and a voice teacher. She's wonderful. She is also a great little seamstress, so hopefully she'll be able to give us some great pointers! I just sent Aubs a pattern that we all use, so in between teaching voice lessons and caring for her two little boys and hubby she'll be whipping up some cutesy aprons for sure! She'll be contributing to the blog now, so hopefully you'll get to know her a little better. Welcome Aubs!

Aubrey and Christie

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Here is a picture of Em and I at the last Apron Night, she did a great job with her first apron huh? It was so fun to have her and Kim with us...ladies we are trendsetters, no doubt about it!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My Distraction from Dart Making

So, I am dying to start my apron with the black and white fabric BUT I can't seem to figure out how to make darts and there aren't any good tutorials online, so I deviated a little from my apron and finished my Celebrate Banner...check it out!

I am in love with it and my oldest sister called me up like five minutes after I posted pics of it on my blog and she said I motivated her to start on her own and that she has been meaning to make one for a while. For her to say this is a HUGE compliment, everything that girl touches turns to pure gold. And than she was telling me about this really cute Fourth of July banner that she saw and I think I have found my next banner to conquer...this one is adorable!

She found it on, she has a really cute style to her crafts! Now I just have not choice but to figure out these dang darts...anyone have any advice or tips? Oh wait...I can read the new Harry Potter book to stall, that sounds like a great idea!

One Month

The Secret Stitch Club blog is one month old. Let's just talk about that for a minute...
In the mere 30 days our blog has been alive it has been visited 932 times. 932 times! Can you believe it?! We have posted 35 times. We have shown off at least 14 beautiful aprons handcrafted by us (I think there are more that we did before the blog existed). We have had one Girl's Night Out! There have been 2 birthdays and one pregnancy announcement. We have visited Joann's and other fabric stores countless times. We have had visitors and have added four new members to the club (if they are brave enough to stick around). And we have become even more insanely obsessed with everything apron-y (is that a word?). How many collective hours do you think we've spent just blogging about our aprons, not even including sewing them?! I love it. So cheers to our blog. Happy One Month Birthday.

His & Hers Aprons!

Okay girls, first of all I apologize for posting so much today! But I had to share what I found on this blog - his and hers aprons! I love how they coordinate but are still unique. So fun! I have a pattern that would probably work for the mapron. It's a generic work apron, and then we could use any one of the other apron patterns for the woman's apron, just coordinate the fabric. I'm so inspired! (As if I didn't have enough projects on my list...I think I might move this up to the top, or second or third at least.)

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