Thursday, 15 December 2011

An apron for my daughter


You may remember that I'd been bemoaning the lack of time to make my daughter an apron for her Christmas stocking (as she has outgrown her old one). It was an idea I'd decided to put on a shelf for another time, but then we had a conversation about bags, which wouldn't naturally make you think of making an apron, but read on, because in my head it became the only adequate response to such a conversation).

My daughter was trying on my handbag in the mirror one morning (not handmade, but rather, Radley, whose handbags I adore) when we began discussing her compulsion to try it on every time I'm not actually attached to it. I was happy about this as one of her Christmas gifts is a little bag (not Radley, as she's only ten), when she said that she loved the bags that I make myself more than anything else though and dreamt of having a miniature sized one for herself. Ouch (although yes, there's an element of delight in discovering that my child loves the bags that I make, more than those made by Radley). I had considered making her a bag, but then had bought one due to the many other gifts I've made this year and the need to sleep at some point. However, the bag-related guilt induced by this conversation, meant that it suddenly felt absolutely imperative that her apron, at least, should be handmade by me.


She has begun stealing my own apron when she bakes, so I knew that I only needed to scale it down a little to have a perfectly sized one. I considered making it in practical home dec. weight fabric with an intense Amy Butler pattern which would camouflage evidence of baking mishaps...but frivolity won out (not least because that morning a friend had dropped in the Liberty Home Sewing book that I'd lent to her and I remembered all over again the loveliness of an apron with splashes of Tana lawn). So here it is, to my own design & pattern: it uses some Kaffe Fasset green shot cotton, and some Liberty Tana lawn for the bindings. It has little floral-bound welt pockets at either side, a detail that I'm completely loopy about.


I would like to keep it for myself, which is a good indication that she will love it, as over the last year she seems to have developed very similar tastes in clothing.


The above photo gives the appearance of my skulking by a wall....I don't recall actively skulking, but I'm quite delighted to find that it may have happened inadvertently while photographing the apron (purely because I like the word. It also appears that I am skulking in a strange top that causes me to bear a close  resemblance to a human blueberry...in reality it is a soft heathery grey).


In other thoughts, I, and the rest of my family, are feeling distinctly unChristmassy. Having been spoilt by recent Christmases which have had snow to either side of the actual day, the unseasonably warm weather this year is meaning that it's difficult to adopt a festive mindset. We are at the stage when even a morning frost is being longed for. It makes me think of a Christmas from my childhood when my family lived in Melbourne, Australia and my sister and I paddled on our new stripy fabric lilos in the sea at Brighton beach in the sunshine on Christmas day. It was really lovely, but to an English person - used to dark nights and the glisten of frost at Christmas - distinctly odd and unfestive. I don't remember having a tree that year and seem to recall that the presents came from pillowcases, rather than stockings (I'm guessing that this had something to do with us having recently moved there, as I'm sure that Australia celebrates Christmas with just as much enthusiasm as anywhere else might). What kind of weather do you associate with Christmas...and do you think that it does colour your festive spirit?

Florence x

12 comments:

  1. It's so true about a Summer Christmas! My husband is British and we live in Melbourne. Sometimes on a cold morning in the middle of our July winters he'll say it feels like we should be going Christmas shopping!

    I also have to admit to having a pillowcase instead of a stocking growing up!

    Your apron is absolutely gorgeous too!

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  2. As a lifelong resident of the US Midwest, I've come to expect cold and snow for the majority of the winter (and spring). We always joke about spending the holidays in a tropical locale, but in reality I think we would not feel very "Christmassy."

    We are experiencing warmer weather than normal right now, so it has become a challenge accepting Christmas is only 9 days away. Not much time to get those handmade presents done. :)

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  3. Yes, cold is definitely a feature of my christmases - to my mind its been cold enough these past few days though! I don't ever recall having a white christmas or even snow a few days before, but that would be so lovely. The apron is gorgeous btw, I think the pockets are amazing!

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  4. We had a heavy frost this morning combined with a low sun for a perfect crisp December morning, I almost felt festive! The apron is fabulous!

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  5. I was in Oz prior to Christmas a few years ago and it was most discombobulating to find oneself standing in 35 degree heat and sun on a Melbourne street looking at a Polar Express display in a department shop window!

    Anywho, we have the cold up here north of the border, but I'm still not feeling Christmassy. Maybe it'll sneak up on me next week when I'm not looking...

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  6. I'm of the Dickensian school of thought - the more snow the better but only if you have electricity and lots of stuff in the cupboard!

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  7. Gorgeous apron! I hope your daughter loves it. I always associate dark mornings and the wind whistling around the house with Christmas, as I was brought up in the Welsh valleys.

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  8. Strangely enough, here in Sydney we are have some very cold and wet weather not at all like an Australian summer. Just last night, my friends and I were moaning to each other about how unchristmassy we feel because of the cold!
    Moi

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  9. We spent a year living in Melbourne when I was little too. I remember that my wee brother was very worried that Santa wouldn't be able to find us. I'm pretty sure we had pillowcases that year too. And we spent Christmas day swimming in the creek at the farm of some friends.
    Beautiful apron. Juliex

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  10. GORGEOUS apron, Florence! Those pockets are very special.

    I'm struggling with the whole festive spirit thing too and I agree that the August weather in October might be partly to blame (lovely as it was). I once spent Christmas in Sri Lanka with my grandparents and swam in an outdoor pool on Christmas morning - very odd. Also, I'm sure my Dad said something once about having pillowcases instead of stockings, and he had childhood Christmases all over the world including some in Australia.

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  11. Oh yes, a bit of frost would do the trick; it doesn't have to be snow. There's nothing worse than a wet, muddy Christmas.
    We always had pillowcases when we were kids.

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  12. The weather here is certainly cold enough! I'm down south. As I can't afford the heating this year and have just the one heater on low in one room, the fact that after some very icy weather, the last couple of days have been milder does not make me feel in the slightest bit miserable. On the contrary. In fact apart from the last couple of days, the weather has been extremely cold. My Christmas will be a bit happier and certainly more comfortable if the temperature would like to get truly unseasonal, as milder or not these last couple of days, it's still rather cold!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x