Saturday, 10 October 2009

Apron chic

I have been following Dottie Angel's record of her progress in the Utmost Challenge with great interest, and love the way that she transforms the act of using the recycled and handmade into a style statement of great originality. She really does demonstrate that reusing and making your own is by no means an unsatisfactory alternative to mass-produced, and shows us all that secondhand is not at all second-rate: on the contrary it is a way of producing something very covetable.



And if anyone is listening, I would love one of her beautiful aprons for Christmas (unfortunately the Head Chef is not familiar with Etsy or Paypal, nor even is he au fait with internet shopping - I did mention to him this morning that I would also love some Skein Queen Squini Balls for Christmas, and he very kindly said that if I cared to buy them he would put them in my stocking. Which is not the point, is it?)

Which brings me to apron chic. You may have read this post where I trace out my life history in aprons, rather than coffee spoons in the manner of Prufrock, and I feel that I have entered a new phase of apron wearing. Handmade waist aprons as a style statement: Mrs B started me on this path with my lovely Mia Casa pinny, and now Charlie at Forget-me-not Fashion has tempted me further, with the beribboned little number below.



 As Princess Bunchy said to me as I strode up the lane to school in my pinny, 'Mummy, that apron is lovely: you look just like a farmer's wife!' It was a compliment, I assure you, farmers naturally being held in high esteem in our rustic residence, and the pockets are just right for keys and mobile phone, as well as the quantity of hankies necessary in this lurgy-ridden household. (I was going to say snot, but I didn't want to be vulgar.) And I think that the combination of wellies, woolly gloves, quilted waistcoat and apron, all worked together to conjure up the effect of agric chic in the Princess's mind.

I don't want to take my usual Gladstone-sized bag on the walk to school, for I have Princess Bunchy's lunchbox and luggage to manhandle, not to mention a naughty dog. So an apron with pockets is just the thing.



And for those of you muttering about how the Utmost Challenge has lasted all of a week before I have cracked under the pressure, I say this to you: my new pinny ticks all the boxes! It is handmade by an individual using recycled fabric, and a student at that, and I am all for supporting impoverished students, being the mother of one whom I fear will be in that state before long. (I can say that in the full knowledge that he doesn't read my blog.) There are also the extra accoutrements that make an apron perfect: the essential pockets, and tabs for tea towels; even a sweet little felt and bead embellishment which is removable for washing.




I am also going to make Princess Bunchy a new skirt for the party that the Commander-in-Chief and my dear mamma are going to hold to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary - gold medals all round for such an achievement, I think, and a new party outfit did not seem unreasonable. (Just in case you were wondering, I will wear a frock I bought from People Tree two years ago. I am debating whether to wear an apron.) So I have bought some fabric to make Miss Iris, the lovely bubble skirt pattern that I won in the giveaway which Samantha at The Handmade Dress held a little while ago. (Under the terms of the challenge, I have allowed myself craft supplies for a stated purpose, but not just for stashing.) The fabric is washed and nearly ready to go - I have only a week before the party, so I had better get my skates on.




And last but not least, I must thank Ruth, my partner in the Letter Writing Swap organized by A Bun Can Dance; just look at the lovely parcel which arrived at my door yesterday. It was a wonderful treat to get, just as I was going off to work. As you can see, it was a really thoughtful package, the contents of which encompass all of my interests: gardening, cooking and creating, all wrapped in crepe paper and ribbon. I had quite forgotten about crepe paper - it fascinated me as a child in its stretchiness, and I always associate it with Christmas, and making your own crackers using cardboard tubes, and crepe paper in red and green.



Ruth is a very accomplished quilter and not only has her own quilt shop, but also a bag shop on Folksy. And she manages to do all this with a toddler still at home, which makes my excuses about not having enough time to finish things rather unconvincing!

And, finally, as they say, since this would appear to have been quite a miscellaneous post, belying its title entirely, here is a little amuse-gueule. Or rather, not so little. Just to turn you orange with envy.



From many of the comments on my previous post, it seems that it hasn't generally been a good year for the squash family, but perhaps the drought here in the far south-east was not such a bad thing, after all. It means that we have had a good deal of sunshine, and although I feared that all the watering in the world would not make up for the lack of rain, I think it was the pig manure what did it!


27 comments:

marigold jam said...

Lovely post Pomona and well done with all your recycled/hand made shopping. I just had a look at those squini balls - aren't they lovely I can see why you might want some.

Jane xx

Elizabethd said...

I did enjoy reading that! It's amazing what can do with 'preloved' items, isnt it.

We have so many pumpkins here, not in our garden as we dont care for them, but locally there have been some very big ones!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the apron wearing thing. I'm wearing one right now, and when I was out collecting crabapples. They are so handy, and really do keep clothes clean underneath. And they are comforting and flattering. What more could you want in a garment?!?!

BTW - Nice pumpkins ;-)

Jen

(nb sorry about anonymous post - having problems commenting on your site and mine)

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I, too, have an affinity for Dottie angels aprons, tho if I am to have one, it will have to be made by me...and that is no easy feat (what with my love/hate relationship with the seam ripper!)

Catherine said...

The aprons are fab! I love aprons and have a little bit of a collection!

Floss said...

Oh, Pomona, it's just taken me 3 hours (on and off) to read your post! I was sustained through various other activities by the idea of coming back and learning about your wonderful apron (although I compeltely forgot about it while we ate, which I think is forgivable!)

I wear full oil-cloth pinnies in the kitchen, because I am a very messy person, but maybe an apron with pockets has its advantages elsewhere...

Ruth said...

Just wanted to say you are more than welcome for your little packet of goodies! I should say thank you for all those lovely things you have said about me - you have made me blush!!!! :) xx

whoatemycrayons said...

I have been pondering on making a pocketed apron from tea-towels. Now that Princess Bunchy has confirmed that they are indeed 'cool and trendy' I will have to invest time into making it a serious consideration!

Jenny said...

I love the pinny in the picture. Is that your new one? I love the big bow at the back and the patch pockets. Just lovely.

Frances said...

What a fabulous post this is, full of all sorts of great ideas and thoughts.

I agree with Floss, took me a while to read it, and still feel that I haven't given it fair time.

Rambling here. Yes. Just let close by saying that I do love aprons, and do love thinking about lots of ways to re-use lots of things, and try not to buy anything more than I absolutely need.

Cheers!

The Garden Bell said...

Nothing is better than an apron with a big old bow... Tooo cute.

Love the pumpkins.

Michelle said...

I love the apron...

And pockets are a must in my book...
I am the very proud owner of a
"dottie" apron and I absolutely adore it...

I keep "dottie's" for special occasions like popping down the street to grab the milk and bread when I want to have a "just ran out the door" look but with style...

Menopausal musing said...

It's the big "Alice In Wonderland" bow at the back of the pinny.......... Oh my,oh my, OH MY!... isn't that just the prettiest of pinnies?????

Laughed at your last picture and comment re the squash family. His Nibs agrees that it would have been the manure that did it.

Tabiboo said...

'Oooooo aaarrrrr' lovely pinny!!

I love the history of pinnys and they can make such a beautiful statement, but even though I own a fair amount of passed down and thrifted pinnys (originally for their fabric) I still can't seem to feel comftable wearing one and I haven't the heart to chop them up for the fabric - hey, ho...

I'm sure I'll figure it out one day,

enjoy the rest of your weekend,

~Nina x

jennyflower said...

That apron look is really cool! Mum made me a money belt for wearing at fairs, she told me that it should be plenty big enough because she tried it on my Dad, but it barely met 'round my middle! It will be a while before I try on a tie up garment again!

Michela said...

I've never seen anyone wearing an apron and being so elegant!

silverpebble said...

What a perfect apron. I think it's rather more like a very pretty overskirt. Very becoming indeed.

I did like the way you politely avoided saying snot (he!).

I so admire Dottie Angel for her project. I am off to peruse her delicious designs further.

julieknitsjuliesews said...

I have enjoyed your post. The apron idea is really good, I have never worn one to be honest, I should do and then it would stop me wiping my hands on my jeans all the time. Very bad habit, the pumpkins look good. best wishes Julie.C

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Hello Pomona

I love pinnies and aprons. My English Granmother always wore pinnies with roses on. She looked so feminine in them. Influence by her and my Belgian Grandmother I have been wearing them for years!
I somehow get a good feeling wearing one, I feel more organised and ready to tackle the housework.My ex husband didn't really approve, he found them grannish! I wouldn't be without one.
About to pop over to the other links you've mentioned.
Isabelel x

Kelly said...

I love your pinny! You look gorge in it!
A very glam farmers wife!!

Lots of Love

Kelly xxxx

dottie angel said...

oh pomona,

i am so heartened to hear you have worn that beautiful apron out and about. i am actually rather envious of it... it truly looks a treat on you, plus i do think an apron always looks it's best when worn with boots :)

the funny thing is, i don't actually have an apron wrap of my own yet... i am thinking of making myself one with a fabby pillowcase i came across the other day. i already know the words to inscribe upon it, most perfect for my random acts of culinary delights...
"just because"

lovely catching up with you and your challenge... thank you for the kind words about my creations, it made me most happy :)

Tif

Bobo Bun said...

You wear an apron with true panache Pomona. I love the idea of them and see pictures such as you and Dottie Angel wearing them and they look just right. I need to work out how they can look just right on me too. Perhaps I should take my slippers off when I go out?

Great post as always.

Mrs Bun x

Cottage Garden said...

Pomona, you certainly know how to wear a pinny - 'Apron Chic' par excellence!!

Great post as always - sorry I haven't been by for a while, I'm off to have a good catch up and check out those fab links right now!

Jeanne x

Lola Nova said...

I read your post on Saturday and just now have found the time to comment.
As I was reading your post I had to laugh because at that moment I was wearing my apron with boots and a swingy skirt. A friend complimented me earlier and I told her that I was wearing the latest in 'Farm Wife Chic'!

You look smashing in the whole ensemble and your pumpkins do make me a bit jealous!

Anna said...

Lovely apron! You look very chic!

Anna x

Surfer Rosa said...

I adore that pinny - it looks fabulous! I've taken to wearing a utility belt around the house (daft I known) but sooo useful - hankies in one pocket, crochet hook and WIP in another and the other pocket is a whole assortment of things being taken from A to B (stray lego bricks, jigsaw pieces, bits of dropped biscuit). I should swop this for a chic apron (thinking I might just try make one ....)

Greedy Nan said...

I'm with you all! Love to wear an apron. I'm not organised at all but with an apron look half the part at least!

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