Tuesday, 31 May 2016

coming together for a cover-up !

Pin It now!

I didn't want to enter the kitchen so soon ! But a tummy needs what a tummy needs, no matter sun or rain, muggy or cold. There's no grumbling with rumbling. Leftovers, you say ? Yes, of course, but one still has to make something in order for there to be leftovers, right ?
And one doesn't want to get one's pretty dress dirty in the process !
So off I crawled to the kitchen, .... taking a little detour through time and the sewing room. 

'Make something' first !
Stepping back a couple of years.... My MIL needed nightwear ASAP due to an emergency hospitalization leading to a long recovery/rehabilitation thereafter. Luckily I had recently bought a lot of cotton fabric for both of us and could sew them out quickly. Here is one such, a hand-block printed Bagru cotton :
There was no time for anything fancy ...
But still too simple, so I rummaged through my frugal button stash and found some matching buttons to put along the front … (these buttons were left over from a 2nd birthday dress I had sewn for my niece).
And the sleeve, though not clearly visible, has an open box-pleat at the base and a minimal puff at shoulder.

One of the advantages of sewing oneself, is you get to keep all the leftover fabric pieces :-D  
There was a decent-sized rectangular piece that could be used for an apron, since it was pure cotton.

Apron from 'leftovers' ! 
My pinterest challenge for May 2016

What pattern to use ?
Tropical weather can be quite hot & humid as we approach monsoons, and add to that the heat in the kitchen. Even the thin apron strap round the neck can cause discomfort & perspiration ! I have been looking for apron patterns that circumvent the neck strap/string & saved a few on my DIY-Sewing board.
Despite the lovely ideas, they all had a kind of skirt around the waist, and wider straps behind needing much more fabric than I had or wished to use. These projects gave me a very good idea but customization was called for. 

Firstly, I had only about 35”x 22” (plus enough seam allowances all around) of this material. Plenty for a straight-cut apron; not enough for pleats and skirts.
Secondly, the fabric suddenly seemed a bit thin for a durable apron; not enough body.
Rummaged through my fabric stash & found this plain blue fabric.

A double-sided/reversible apron ?
Yes ! Keeps the boredom away ;-D

How to adorn ?
Another rummage, this time through my tatting stash.
I had 30 blue & white motifs in 3 sizes which had been sewn on to a blue silk sari & gifted to my MIL in 2000. Unfortunately, the sari colour ran & the white turned pale, spotted blue :-(  Eventually she removed & returned the motifs, knowing I would put them to some sort of use, & wore the sari plain.
Perfect for this fabric print & colour ! Picked the ones where the white thread was more evenly ‘dyed’. 
3 small motifs & 2 medium motifs were arranged & sewn only through the printed fabric.
The pattern is from the only tatting book I had for decades (gift from a dear friend) “Tatting Favourites” from Anchor Design Center

…. and Painting !
My idea was to do some freestyle monotone fabric painting on the plain blue side. That was the reason I used dark blue sewing thread on the light blue fabric. But practicality ruled. See, once the front is ironed, it will leave an ‘imprint’ on the back; so it would not really be a reversible apron. The blue would just have to settle for being a lining.

How to strap it on ?
Still strapped with the neck 'strap' problem….
I couldn’t decide whether the strings should go straight down the back or make a cross. This led to difficulty in estimating their length and position (one should have a mannequin or a live model!). Hmm, as I write this, it occurs to me that I could've used crocodile clips to estimate !!!
So the decision was postponed – 4 strips were sewn – 2 on top & 2 for the belt.
Meanwhile the remaining sewing, including hand-hemming the bottom seam was completed.
I was still lost, and the last day of May to post the pinterest challenge was fast approaching… take a deep breath and Think girl !!! 
Rummaged through my meagre leftover neural stash .... and  Eureka
Adjustable strings !!!
Rummaged through my closet & cut out an old beige bra & removed the ahem “bra strap adjustment slide rings” – quite a mouthful (hmmm, didn’t know the term, but Google always obliges).
 Once I saw that it would work, I cut out another black one for black rings.
One ring went into each belt, and the rings for adjustment went on each shoulder strip.
The adjustable segment was hand-sewn.
The belt rings are free-sliding at present, leaving me the option of wearing the strings straight or across my back. The final tacking down of the rings on the belt will have to wait till I wear the apron for a bit & adjust to comfort.

The belt strings are left long enough to be tied in front .

That’s my challenge completed & solved to my liking, literally using leftovers – quite a cover-up!

Aren’t you just curious to see what the other pin chicks are up to? I am.
Let's visit them and check out their immense creativity at
& our newest member

Related Posts : pin chick in the bed room ,
the kitchen,
the bathroom,
the dining room


  1. Lovely apron and a good use of using tatted bits which we all have, love the colour.

    1. Always helps to recycle & repurpose, isn't it :-) Agree about the colour, Margaret - reminded me of peacocks.

  2. I made my first apron when I was in 7th grade, complete with my name embroidered on the front. We didn't use a pattern, just followed the teacher's directions. I remember being so proud of my accomplishment! I've had a fascination with aprons ever since, although I've never thought of embellishing one with tatting. I love your Pinterest challenge!

    1. Your apron would've been so pretty, Diane, with your name embroidered ! And in 7th grade !
      This is my 2nd apron with tatting .... here's the 1st one - http://tipsaroundthehome.blogspot.in/2014/09/tatting-away-vii.html - an adaptation of Patty Dowden's Sunshine Snowflake.
      My kitchen linen has a lot of simple motifs sewn in the corners :-)

  3. oh wow Muskaan this is beautiful! you are so talented. tatting and now sewing, where do your talents end? what a fantastic pin this month, I've really enjoyed your blog today. well done!

    1. I forgot to ask..... could you send us some of your nice weather pls? we have heavy rain today and I'm so cold!

    2. Lol, Suzanne, my talents fall far short of yours! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the post -- I did spend a lot of time rummaging for the right words & phrases, and am happy with the result ;-)

      Yes, we'very been enjoying gorgeous weather for the last 2-3 days with intermittent sprinkling of rain and breezes. Respite after a long heat wave. I can send you my 1st pinterest challenge (memory afghan) to cheer you with its bright colour-fulness and warmth. Hugs

  4. Great use of 'left overs' to make something really special!

    1. :-D, Jane ! I did enjoy wearing it y'day ... Felt quite special !!

  5. I love the apron! And muskaan's is fantastic as well. I love aprons. I've made a fair number of them, usually for someone else. Maybe if I adorned mine as the two of you have, I'd think to wear mine more often.

    1. Thanks, Eliz. I've adorned my aprons with all sorts of stuff - embroidery, cross-stitch, lace, applique, simple piping ... just can't seem to repeat the same pattern/adornment; want to try something new/different each time ;-)

    2. I apologize for failing to realize whose blog I was reading. For some reason I had Wanda and her remodeled kitchen on my mind instead of you and your efforts to avoid the heat. I somehow concluded that you had both been decorating aprons with tatting. Can I blame the headaches? ;) I have lots of tatting that is sitting in a box doing nothing until I do a demonstration. This looks like a great way to enjoy my work on a daily basis. I may have to put aside my tatting to sew up a few more aprons first though.

    3. Ah, yes, Eliz, your comment was a bit confusing but then I thought perhaps you were referring to Diane's comment & my reply. Even if the head didn't sit straight, we all know your heart is in the right place :-D
      Besides apron, here are a few pics of tatting SOUP (sewing on/using projects) on my kitchen towels & table linen : http://tipsaroundthehome.blogspot.in/2014/10/tatting-soup.html
      So don't wait to sew the aprons ;-)

  6. Great way to repurpose the tatting. It looks like it's done with white and a variegated thread. You'd never know that the dye from the first piece of clothing ran off onto the tatting!

    1. That's a cool perspective, Robin ! Never thought of it as variegated :-D Thanks

  7. I love the apron idea! The only apron I have worn on a regular basis was the mandatory one while teaching tatting at the JoAnn's Fabric Store years ago. I can never stand the ties around my neck (nor lanyards/nametags). It would be great to decorate something with tatting I wear often. Since my kitchen skills are minimal, I don't seem to need something to keep my clothes clean. :O

    1. Ditto, Mel ! I only wear a chain/necklace if it's a formal occasion. Lucky you don't have to step into the kitchen often ;-P
      I love cooking & experimenting, but sometimes it can get quite hot.
      Especially now - we are back to muggy weather - 40s with high humidity :-(

  8. Replies
    1. going to make myself another one as soon as the weather eases off a bit, Sue :-)