Friday, August 19, 2016

Living the gentle domestic life (in an apron)...

A few months ago I began a Facebook group for those who are stitching this year's BOM project, "Gentle Domesticity". 

At first the conversation sprung from sharing photos of completed blocks, asking questions to do with stitchery, and generally comments pertaining to sewing. 
But then I began asking different questions to group members, questions like what we find important in our role as homemakers, chores we struggle to complete, or ideas for re-purposing items. 
I figured that if we're like-minded in stitching blocks about the gentle domestic life then maybe we should take advantage of the almost 600 strong membership and share our thoughts and ask questions about our lives as homemakers.
The conversations which followed have been truly encouraging, respectful, and interesting. It's a blessing to have such beautiful and wise hearts who are open to sharing their lives with us and I look forward to future growth in this aspect of our group.

If you'd like to join the Gentle Domesticity Facebook group it's quite easy. 
Just go here and either myself, Heather or Fee will approve you. 
As soon as that happens, introduce yourself and chat away!


When I think about the role of homemaker, or what it means to be one, the image of my Nana in one of her many aprons always comes to mind. They were faded, well worn, and as much the uniform of her 'profession' as a nurse in medical attire. Back in the day all women I knew wore an apron, but then there was this huge block of time when aprons became almost obsolete, in fact I think they were looked on as an embarrassment? 

Thankfully, the humble apron has had a resurgence in popularity, so I did a little wander around Pinterest the other night to find some new/old patterns that may be useful to you, patterns I'd like to make for myself - like this one from the Vintage Crafts & More website...

This simple pocketed apron has a tutorial and is kindly shared on the Yards & Yards blog...

This sweet half apron also comes with a tutorial! It's shared on the Sew 4 Home website...

...and don't forget the slip-over apron I made last year with a pattern shared by Amy Barickman. 
The link to download the PDF pattern is in this blog post.

Beautiful aprons made by my friends Fee, Barbra and Margaret hang by the side of my pantry with the ones I've made myself, and are used every day - but I always need a couple more. They're a joy to make, and especially lovely to gift for birthdays and special occasions.
(Even dear Blossom wears one of my aprons now!)

Before I go can I show you a photo of my dear Nana, complete with apron and hair in curlers?
As a child I noticed most women of Nana's age wore curlers at home - glad that's not come back in vogue!

The wonderful little black and white dog with Nana is Soxie.
He used to walk me to school every day, and meet me at the school gate each afternoon to bring me home again. My life fell to pieces as an 11yo when he died.

Simpler times, I miss them, but we cannot live in the past, only make the best of the day at hand and show love and care to the people we're blessed to have in our lives right now.

I hope you have a lovely weekend! 
Perhaps we'll all be making aprons? I know my friend Heather has just made a pretty one so I'm extra inspired, and I do hope she reads this and puts a photo on her blog...hint hint Heather dear...



  1. I love wearing aprons and wear one whenever I cook! Now my daughters wear them too and love the ones I make for them.

  2. Aprons bring such wonderful memories, I have two from my Mother and one has a cross stitch pattern to it. I love the patterns and 'yes' it is time for me to make one.
    I owned a food business and we just wore white aprons I should have been different & worn more colorful ones.

  3. My mother and grandmother wore them, too, Mama half aprons and Mamo full ones. I love that drawstring apron! I'm forever out in the yard wishing I had more hands for anything from sticks to blackberries! Thanks for a very thoughtful post. I'd join you but I am not on fb. It sounds like an uplifting group, but with you starting it, why wouldn't it be? =)

  4. Good Afternoon Jenny! I would love to join you on facebook, yet at this time, I am a bit overwhelmed with my Daughters wedding, making gifts and clothing, preparing for Christmas as much as possible and both my husband and my Father are not doing very well health wise. Hopefully at a later date. I have never worn an apron until this year in the garden and it sure did help. I do plan on making one for my Daughter as a bridal shower gift as her new role as wife. Thank you so very much for sharing the links and all of your memories! But, with a little bit of a smile and a whole lot of giggles....I wear curlers any time I want my hair to look really special! Have a fantastic creative day!

  5. Thanks Jen, Been a bit lazy so it's still in progress but I promise I'll finish it this weekend. LOL!

  6. I've made aprons for friends and family, but my own are store-bought and have a lot of mileage on them. I'm inspired now to make some pretty ones for myself! Thanks, Jenny!

  7. I love aprons and how they were such a part of daily domestic life. I own several and yet seem to never wear them. Thank you for sharing these beauties. Your Nana and Soxie are adorable. Blessings Dear...

  8. I love the Basket Apron. I just made two aprons. The first one I embroidered a vintage design of a kitten with a bowl of cherries that have spilled over. It's the large pocket and I used yellow fabric, then crocheted a lace edging to go across the top. The apron part is a yellow with red cherries all over it. The second one I used Downton Abbey green floral fabric for the apron and chose pink to embroider words for two pockets. One pocket says "Good Lord Willing" and the second pocket says "and the Creek Don't Rise". It was an old embroidery sampler and I liked the saying. My friend said she always heard Good Lord Willing and the Creek don't go Dry. I'm not sure which saying is correct but I love the end results. I have rooster and egg fabric for my next "egg gathering apron" featured in Mary Jane's magazine. I wish I had some fresh eggs to gather. Be blessed.

  9. I was asked to wear a "pretty" apron when volunteering at our Quilt Guild's Fall sale & tearoom. The half apron you showed it just the ticket. I think I will make a half version as well as a full version. Jenny to the rescue! Thanks.

  10. I love aprons. And I need them. When I do the dishes, I can not help splashing water. Often apron I saved my skin splatter hot oil in the frying pan. For this reason I like integers and large. The apron and the dishtowel are my two best assistants :) Hugs

  11. I have a few aprons but never wear them. I always forget until I've already splattered my clothing!! Love the picture of your Nana and Soxie. Sweet memories!!

  12. At morning tea the other day Grandma was describing how they used to cut up toilet rolls to make little rollers to put in their hair each night to ensure it was curly.

  13. Of course, I love this sweet post about aprons! :-) I started wearing one regularly when I was in my teens - in the 80s when they weren't popular. ;-) I bought a red plaid apron marked down after Christmas from the Avon catalog and I wore that thing to death. hehe My mom also had a couple of oil cloth aprons from England that I wore quite often when washing dishes since I a great hand at soaking myself while doing that job. I eventually used those aprons to make patterns for new ones as I needed or wanted them, and the rest is history. I have worn them ever since, but the real reason is that I'm just messy in the kitchen and aprons have saved my clothes more than once. :-)

    Your wrap around apron is so pretty. I've never had one like that, so I might need to think about branching out. I will probably share this post with my readers as well. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Really enjoy your blog and designs. I make my own aprons and have used the same pattern for years. I finally wore out the last one and had decided to try a new pattern. My husband basically told me no, that I had to make the same pattern. He said it just wouldn't be me if I didn't. Ha, ha, well he said it so sweetly that, of course, I had to use the same pattern. I have also made aprons for my daughters-in-law and for all my granddaughters except for the last two who are only 2 years and the other 8 months. But, in time, they will get an apron from Nana as well. Have to keep the tradition going and I love it when I see them wearing their aprons.


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