Sunday, November 1, 2009

Frenzy of Sewing .... and things

It's been awhile since I've posted. This fall season, into the Christmas season, is a busy time of year for us crafters/sewists/needleworkers. And then there's work (at least for me it's thankfully only part-time), being a mom, grandma, and wife. During the month of October at Wheeler Farm where I work (a county-owned working historical farm) as a bookkeeper (/tour guide/camp counselor/editor, etc.), we had a Halloween event going on daily (except Sunday) that included a trip through the corn and hay maze (geared for kids 12 & under, but anyone welcome), a pumpkin from the patch, and a tractor-pulled wagon ride.

Here are some of the workers setting up the hay part of the maze...

We stayed open most evenings until 8, but Friday & Saturday until 9. OMG - we were slammed (except for 2 days in the month when it rained). We not only made our revenue goal, but exceeded it by over 700%. Needless to say, this little bookkeeper has been busy counting, depositing, preparing reports, solving problems, etc.

This is the hay maze before it was decorated. You can see the cornfield behind it, and the historic farmhouse in the background. Oh, I can't tell you how much I love working here...

But all work and no play makes Cathy a grumpy girl, so I began putting together things for the December Christmas Boutique I'll be participating in on December 5. I spent a couple days just washing (and in some cases, ironing) fabrics for potential use. (Note to self: start washing them when you first bring them home to save yourself some time!!!)

One of the things I wanted to try was a denim-bibbed apron like the one that my friend Gerry gave me at our September crazy quilting retreat. She posted about her aprons here. So, I've been sewing away, and this is what I came up with in the last 7-10 days or so.....

After having to trudge off to thrift stores (don't you feel sorry for me? LOL) to go hunting for bib overalls or bib shorts, I was able to glean a collection of about 18 or so. My requirements were that they be in very good condition, no embroidered motifs (there are a lot of Disney ones out there) or labels that couldn't be removed or covered with a yo-yo flower, and that I pay no more than $2 for a child size and $3-4 for an adult size. I did pay $5 for one adult pair that was in a sage green because it was such an unusual color. I ended up being very open-minded about colors as long as they fit the other requirements....

Of course, the overalls had to be washed again and then cut off just below the waist, and the pockets and shoulder straps (with clasps) trimmed off, too. That's what I did differently than Gerry; I re-used the straps. Instead of making a new tie to go around the neck, I just sewed the two ties to each other in the back. They're still adjustable in the front. Take a look.

This denim was a gray-blue with brown stitching, so I chose this brown-background coffee print - a kitcheny theme - to go with it. I've photographed these aprons on my Victorian dressform with the 18" waist, and I've learned a few things from this photo session. First of all, Victoria is going to need some sort of undergarment on to show off the apron tops better and cover some of her less glamorous features, LOL.

This apron has blue checked ties. I love the country feel that the denim gives the aprons; perfect for selling at the Farm!!

I had this wonderful scrap of home dec fabric and it just didn't look right with blue denim. I ended up with a khaki-colored denim bib, but I'm still thinking it needs some decoration on the pocket to carry some of the red up a bit. I've got the perfect piece of vintage red and ecru trim to add....

This was my first effort, and so far it's still about my favorite!

However, I'm not too happy about the grosgrain ribbon ties, so those will probably come off in favor of blue checked ties. I've got yards and yards of the home-dec weight blue check.

And I've got enough of this fabric to make one more apron. My plan is to use any aprons that don't sell as Christmas presents. This one may become my own! ;-)

And we mustn't forget the girls!! This can be used as a girl's apron or Playtime Pinafore - you know, like when kids do arts and crafts, or whatever.... The apron above is a Laurel Burch fabric (dog theme). The one below is just red checks with red checked trim and a daisy border.

I'm going to do another one similar to this with the daisy fabric and a checked border....

Now, here's my challenge to myself. This is where the "frenzy" from the title of the post comes in.... I've got to kick it up a notch here, if I'm going to get a sizable inventory of things ready in the five remaining weeks before the boutique. In addition to these aprons, I have three denim chef-style aprons to decorate, and a few half aprons I want to do with hankies, sheers, and/or vintage linens. I also plan to make some stuffed owls, hearts and cats, some lace and button cuffs, more dishtowels and oven mitts, and some handbags. And I'm sure there are a few things on my list that I've not mentioned.

So...... My goal this week is to finish 6 aprons by Saturday night. And the 3 denim ones next Sunday. Nine more aprons by this time next week. That's about one per day during the week. I may not finish one every single day, but it should average out to that. So, feel free to nag me!! :-) I'm hoping things at the Farm will settle down after Monday (when I have to finish the October deposits and cash reporting). And I've got 3 medical appointments on Monday (mammogram), Wednesday (dentist) and Friday (annual physical) to cut into my production time. But I am Woman, and I shall succeed! I may not cook or clean this week (but who cares about that?) , but I will reach that goal. And that's because ... next week is Stuffed Things week.

And to throw a wrench into the entire plan, I've GOT to CQ a 6" block for the Flower Fairies Round Robin I'm in so I can mail it out in the next week or two.....

Maybe sleep is overrated???


  1. Sleep is over rated. That's why I am up at 3:30 blogging!
    You've got alot to do, so get to work!

  2. Hello Cathy... first of all, let me say, I've missed you, and thanks for visiting my blog! No wonder you love working at the little farm - it is adorable and looks like such fun... and active. Now the aprons... I love them... can I make them too? I had some of my own bib overalls, but I'm not sure if I kept them or not, I already know how I'd change up the style, VBG! My you are busy... I am glad I am not the only one, LOL! Good luck getting everything done, keep some time for yourself, and most of all, have fun doing it all! Chat soon. Hugs.

  3. Hello Cathy, The aprons are great looking. Good to hear you are loving your job. You are certainly a busy beaver. Hugs Judy

  4. Yikes, Cathy! No sleep for you! But I am pretty sure you can do all that, and make it look easy!

  5. Hi Cathy

    Good to have you back sleep or no sleep. Will take you any way we can get you.

    The aprons are wonderful. I think we will all be out looking for bib overalls. Don't know if there will be many in Florida though.

    All kidding aside don't let yourself get too run down or thats when the flu bugs bite.



  6. You have been busy!! They look great and I like how you've embraced where you work and found a way to's to more apron frenzy! Sleep later!

  7. I hate to sleep, but I'm trying to get on a better track of discipline, cuz I've been getting sick too often, and the fault lays at the feet of too many 2 a.m. bedtimes.

    Your aprons are wonderful! You have your finger on the pulse of what's popular, for sure. I'm amazed that after all the derision of the 50's housewife, we're so into her symbol, the apron.

  8. The aprons are great. I did do some with the shoulder straps like you did but I didn't like the way it rubbed on my neck... The children's one are precious... Hugs Gerry

  9. Oops, I was logged in under my son's name, that comment is not from Adam, but from me,Karla!

  10. I can't even pick a favorite, I like them ALL so much!


I appreciate your visit to my blog and love your comments!