28 January 2013


I needed half a metre of Kona Charcoal to complete a quilt I'm making as a gift. My local fabric store has a $10 minimum spend before you can use eftpos and I had no cash on me. The half metre of fabric cost $6 so I needed to spend another $4 to put in on my card. I searched around the bargain table and found this fabric which I thought would work for an apron for Lily. It seemed very kitcheny and a bit 50's to me, which I always think of as a high water mark of apron wearing (I'm thinking Marion Cunningham from 'Happy Days'), though I confess to being an apron wearer myself.

When I first started sewing my friend Paula gave me a lesson and we made two little aprons for Ruby and Nina who must then have been four and two (Do you remember that Paula?). We still have those funny little aprons, made out of improbable materials that I had to hand, like faux suede and calico, though they no longer fit. I made Grace a groovy orange apron with a striped pocket similar to the aprons in this post but somehow I'd never got around to making an apron for Lily.

Half a metre turned out to be more than enough. I could have made two if I'd used a different fabric for the ties.

Lily loved her apron and the other girls were pretty keen on it too and requests were made for new aprons all around. The next day I got an email from my fabric store alerting me to a 10% off sale they were having that very day. It all seemed serendipitous and so different colourways were chosen and purchased. I sewed up these aprons, varying the design a little from Lily's to make the gathered waist line wider than the top. These took a bit more fabric. Grace's used half a metre and the others three quarters of a metre with some remnants.



The new aprons then led, unprompted, to a desire to cook. My friend Meredith had given the girls 'The Silver Spoon for Children'a few years ago. This is a really excellent cook book for children as it is aimed at children cooking by themselves and it takes them through every step in order and with clear explanations so that they have their pot of water boiling away while they then go and chop veggies or whatever. The recipes are simple but not 'kids' recipes. They are actual dishes that I would want to eat. Ruby wanted to make risotto, a very simple one with cheese and saffron, and she wanted to do it all by herself. I'm rapt to see her chopping onions properly. (she wore goggles to keep from crying)

Nina decided to make pumpkin damper. I cut the skin off the pumpkin for her, but she did the rest. (the recipe was from the internet)

Grace and Lily 'made' jelly from a packet.

So, what started as a quick trip to the shop to finish a quilt, ended four aprons and one very tasty dinner later. I realise that the fun for the kids was definitely doing it by themselves without my interference and I am keen for both the interest and the independence to continue. I'm not great at not interfering so it is a big challenge for me, too.


  1. The pumpkin damper looks like it would be delicious.

    I love things like aprons that encourage participation. For years I made them as gifts for every kids birthday party that my kids attended.

  2. I do remember the aprons, and I'm often nostalgic about the girls... have been offline for ages so it's good to be back! P ;)