After our daughters went to college, I began looking for something to fill my time. I had talked a long time about making aprons for fun and maybe to sell. Our oldest called me on it and, as a Mother's Day gift, named and designed my shop on Etsy. Now I had to start doing what I had talked so big about all these years!
Getting started really wasn't as difficult as I thought, however, with a little help. Our youngest daughter (who is very creative in sewing, crochet, knitting, quilting and cross stitching) sometimes gives me advice. My husband graciously helps me set up and take down booths at craft shows. Both of them help me during shows when needed. The oldest continues to help with shop settings and book work (she did earn a master's degree in accounting, after all).
Someone asked me how long it takes to make an apron, but there really isn't an easy answer to that question. Sometimes I know exactly how to put together an apron, and it comes together in a day. Often, however, I have only an initial basic design in mind and create while putting it together. So, it can take up to a week to design and put together an apron, depending on how "creative" I am on a certain day! I may have to look at a piece of fabric for quite a while before deciding how to make it into an apron.
My aprons are created in a smoke-free and pet-free home. Keep in mind the vintage linens and fabric used are just that -- vintage! They may not be perfect, and frequent washing could possibly make the threads weaker, especially on older pieces. I do machine wash and dry all of my fabric and linens before sewing them together to make sure they will stand up to use. However, most of them are cotton and still susceptible to shrinkage in the future. So, I recommend cold water wash and line dry. And, of course, cotton usually needs ironed!
The hunt for vintage fabric, linens and notions to make my aprons is so fun! I go to estate sales and local charitable thrift shops and sales to search for those "just right" finds. it's always a privilege to find fabric in thrift stores that support international missions.
When traveling overseas, I always look for items to bring a little international "flair" to my shop. I have found a few doilies in Greece, and fabric in Turkey and Germany. Some estate sales provide items from overseas missionaries, including fabric purchased in Africa. Recently I purchased some Hmong fabric, and look forward to designing aprons around its' narrow width. On a related note, it is so exciting to know that some of my aprons have been sent as gifts to Japan, Australia and Austria.
I am very attached to some of the aprons I make and it is hard to sell them. However, I am glad someone else can enjoy them and appreciate them. Thank you to my customers for your kind comments at shows and in Etsy reviews, and for your purchases.