I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

of Aprons and Memories

I like to hang clothes on a line.  They smell good, I’m outside, I’m saving money, I’m outside….  In Colorado, we are a “right to dry” state, which means that anyone can have a clothesline in their backyard…..it usually is a roll-up type and if you are renting, the landlord has the final say and if you live in an area with an HOA, their rules take precedence over the state laws…?????? BUT we are a “right to dry” state.  This makes me happy.  When I lived in WA state and when I lived in the UK, I hung clothes out to dry. Even in humid conditions, they got dry.  In the winter, they freeze-dried…  Now I live in arid CO and boy, do clothes dry fast here, even inside.

Last year I made a little clothespin holder that hangs on the line.  It is an old plastic vinegar bottle that I cut up and drew on with magic markers to make a little brighter. It works, but sometimes if the wind is strong, it will fall off and finding clothespins in the grass is not easy, especially when your hubster won’t mow the lawn as often as your neighbors would like.

A few days ago, I saw a picture of a clothespin apron and knew I had to have one.  Rummaging around in my fabric stash I found some potential fabric, but I also found three old aprons that my grandmother had made.  One was red and black patchwork, the second was blue and white patchwork and the third was turquoise with touches of pink and brown.  My grandmother loved brown. I have a twin-sized patchwork quilt she made and the main colors are varying shades of brown, with touches of blue and orange. I recognize some of the fabric from shirts and dresses my mom kept.

My grandmother was a seamstress of mediocre ability. When I was a teen, she made me a pair of gold pants out of polyester that I hated, but had to wear as we were not rich enough to ignore gifts merely on the premise of dislike. I loved my grandmother, so that was another reason to wear them. I’m sure she made me other things to wear, but those pants are the ones I remember.

She was also a woman that didn’t blend in with the crowd.  True, she had married, but she also had a job as a secretary before she met my granddad and she was a member of the Women’s Institute, and went around speaking to other women on the latest medical practices of the day.  I have one of her speeches.  It is about child-birth.  At that time in the 20’s, the best thing you could do when pregnant was to not eat much.  The old wives tale about eating enough for two was considered “old hat”.  Babies were smaller when you didn’t eat much and therefore easier to deliver.  Ether and wine was considered the best pain-killer when giving birth.  My grandmother also included a short dissertation on the latest in child-rearing practices. The one that my mom remembers was that everything had to be on a schedule.  If it wasn’t time to eat, you didn’t eat.  Grandmother would play classical music until it was the correct time.  Both my mom and her sister love classical music.  I guess it was the promise of food at the end….lol   Later on, my grandmother loosened up and became much more easy-going. She was a gracious woman with a good heart who was always trying to help her fellow man.

Grandmother and me working together.

Grandmother and me working together.

It was the turquoise apron that caught my eye as a potential clothespin apron.  The front is partly stained yellow from some unknown substance but there is a row of triangles sewn to the bottom edge,  The whole things looks like grandmother sewed it up by hand. I found some checkered turquoise fabric and decided to use that as the pocket. I also found some pink trim that looked nice around the edges and along the bottom, just above the triangles.  I made the pocket big enough to cover most of the yellow stain. It went together in a jiffy and I am pleased with the results, I just need to wash it and am rather worried that I will ruin it because of its age. I think I will soak it first and see what happens.  Maybe I should have washed it first?  Too LAte!!!

update: I washed it. It held together. I have used it.  It works!  🙂 The pocket looks crooked in the picture. It is not. 


Picking up Things You Like at the Thrift Store…even tho you have no use for them…..

Yay for picking up things you like at the local thrift store/garage sale/giveaway even tho you have no idea how you are going to use it.  I found this adorable turquoise 50’s style short sleeved top this spring.  A friend was moving away from the country and had piled some of her clothes in one room in the building where I work. She just didn’t have room for everything she owned, so I went through them along with other co-workers.  She is short like me and wears cute things. Well, I think they are cute.  I found the top and a couple of other things.  Apparently she was taking all the cute things with her……lol.

Time passes. The adorable top is hanging in my “to do something with” stash.  The fabric looks like a rough-woven cloth, lots of texture, but a smooth hand.  I was thinking of maybe sewing a skirt onto the bottom edge and making a dress out of it, but  couldn’t find a fabric that worked well with the texture of the blouse. So it sat there.

Until today.

Enter crisis mode.  I have an annual meeting I attend and usually wear something quite nice to it.  I didn’t get around to buying something nice to wear and the meeting is this weekend.  I have a skirt and shirt combo of blues and greens that was my Mom’s, which I like to wear in the hot summer, as it is a thin fabric and bright colors. I usually wear a tank top under the shirt. I pulled it out to pack it up and noticed the tank top was stained….OH NOES!  What to do?  It is a casual cotton tank and although the color goes well with the outfit, it didn’t quite have the penache to pull it off completely.  Enter the adorable blouse.

Grabbing a seam ripper, I took the sleeves off, then hemmed up the raw edges.  It took me about 20 minutes.  I now have a nice textured sleeveless shell that looks great with the thin, smooth fabric of the blue and green outfit.  I say again…YAY!


Yes, yes, I know…it doesn’t take much to make me happy….:)