happy-final-entry-day apron·ology#4 Giveaway

APRONS | NOTE CARDS | NEW! Apron Memories® Limited Edition

Shop Apron Memories: APRONS


Welcome to Apron Memories®, EllynAnne’s on-line emporium for all things apron-y. Her creative outlet since 1999, the designs showcase the domestic art of handsewn stitchery and the old fashion ethic of quality workmanship.   Apron Memories® designs have been worn by Bree on Desperate Housewives and featured in Country Living, Mary Engelbreit, Frontier Airlines magazine, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Vogue.

Each apron is handmade with love and is of heirloom quality;
Treated kindly, the aprons will be cherished by many generations.

The Apron Memories® collection is a Grassroots Royalty project, homegrown and handsewn in Pueblo, Colorado.

– FREE SHIPPING within US on purchases $50 & over –

DomestiChic_Deni ♥                                                


DomestiChic_Erin ♥                                            

As worn by Bree on ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives’


Of the over 600 aprons EllynAnne has collected, this bright happy design is based on her favorite. The deep red skirt showcases the fan-shaped pocket and gore panels, which are pieced of genuine vintage fabrics. Details include finished seams and handmade bias binding. In the tradition of an apron as part of a bride’s Trousseau, “Erin” revives the Victorial good luck saying: Something old is the vintage hankie pocket; Something new is the apron; Something borrowed is the recipe and advice slipped into the pocket; Something blue is the old button. The white skirt is framed in a print selected by EllynAnne and guaranteed to please.



DomestiChic_Karen ♥                                                


Vintage Domestic Chic_Mary                                    

Apron - Mary

This aprons’s flirty peplums and figure-flattering design make it the perfect accessory to an outfit, attitude or occasion. EyllnAnne will choose Karen’s fabric combinations, which are guaranted to have you smiling and feeling very very cute.
This versatile style can be worn to do everything, from baking a pie to wrapping a wriggly baby fresh from a bath. A vintage hankie adorns the pocket. Fabric combinations and hankie pocket embellishment are individually selected by EllynAnne and guaranteed to please.



DomestiChic_Smoochie ♥                                                


The envelope package that your apron will come in - click to view larger

Your apron purchase is packaged in a cloth envelope. A bookmark sharing the apron’s inspiration is clipped to the fabric with a petite clothespin.
Smoochie, as featured in VOGUE, is an enticing apron with a quilted lips pocket. Certain to get even the most sport-bessotted mate to turn off the TV !


"I love creating each apron and I guarantee you will be delighted with your purchase."
~EllynAnne Geisel~

The fabric combinations for trims, waistbands, ties, borders and panels are individually selected by EllynAnne. All aprons are designed to cover and fit most.

  • FREE SHIPPING within US on purchases $50 & over.
  • International shipping costs quoted via email.
  • For specific measurements or fabrics, contact EllynAnne

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globalapron Sweden

 Malin Lidén, is an apronista from Uppsala, Sweden. Her globalapron contribution is vivid with detail – the darkness of her great-grandmother’s existence, a mother’s love for her child, making do, and a woman’s ingenuity. 

My great-grandmother Ester lived up in the north of Sweden. It was very poor there and an especially hard life for women. The nearest food store was 36km (approximately 22 miles) away, and Judith, her daughter (and my grandmother) walked 12km (7 miles) to school.

My grandmother was a little girl in the 1930s, and when she needed an apron, Great-Grandmother Ester sewed one that would grow with Judith for some years. Fabrics were hard to get and, on top of that, expensive, so an apron such as this was a smashing idea, if you ask me! Decades later, my grandmother found her little apron and showed it to me. Redesigned and named the Ruuthie, this children’s apron is one that I now make and sell.

We live in a time that make us be extra careful with what we already have, so I re-cycle old fabrics and give them a new life in the form of my Ruuthie aprons. Here are Bianca and Maija washing up in their Ruuthies.
Bianca and Maija washing up in their Ruuthies
Maija baking gingerbread cookies and Leo and Texas in Ruuthie
Maija baking gingerbreads at christmas time              Leo and Texas wearing Ruuthie rock 'n roll
rock ‘n roll.

Great-grandmother Ester past away in 1982, and Grandmother Judith is now 86 years old and lives in Arjeplog, a native lapic town with a population of 3600.

I live in Uppsala, Sweden’s 4th largest city, and very close to Stockholm. And I manufacture my Ruuthie Apron here in Uppsala. I just love aprons and I am very happy to be an apronista and share my love of the apron through my great-grandmother’s design.

Estate Sale Surprise

Too often, an advertised estate sale is a forage through junk, the relatives having already hauled away the good stuff.
When I read about an estate sale at this address, I knew it to be a neighborhood of tidy homes with tidy yards and residents who moved in and stayed the duration of their lives. If the family hadn’t ransacked everything, this sale held promise.
Treasure Trove exterior (Medium)
Surprise! There was hardly space to walk, the first floor and basement a warren of rooms stuffed with a lifetime of acquiring.
Treasure Trove interior 1 (Medium)
It was in a closet that I saw this file drawer, and upon opening…
Treasure Trove interior 2 file drawers (Medium)
…patterns!! Boxes in other rooms contained even more. My total
Treasure Trove interior 3 file drawer open (Medium)
take was 80, although it could have been many more, but I was only interested in the vintage.
Treasure Trove patterns displayed (Medium)
Such gorgeous covers. I’m still giddy with the discovery and purchase and so happy the family wasn’t interested in “mother’s stupid sewing stuff.”
Treasure Trove patterns close up (Medium)
Among the patterns were several for men, including this one dated 1954. Can only imagine what she promised for him to put on that coolie get up. 
Treasure Trove santa costume (Medium)

Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Vegetable Vases inspire Vintage Va-voom

With the sudden appearance of one leaf on the yard, then two hundred, tunnel vision set in and all I could see was the dining room’s table covering needed to be changed out. From sunny Fifties fruit to something more…fall-ish.

I’ve had this quilt topper forever and having not once made a move toward sewing it to a backing, I decided instead to use it as a tablecloth.

Last night was the covering’s inaugural with a dinner for four. I set out to buy a bouquet for a central vase arrangement, but the grocery’s selection wasn’t great and the cost not worth it. Then I saw the price of green peppers, 4/$1.00.

Instead of a single vase, the hollowed green peppers served as individual vases at each place setting. I bought a flowering mum plant (cutting the blooms from the stems) and 4 colorful peppers to add some bam!, as Emeril would say. So easy and so beautiful.

Pepper vase 3 [640x480]

Love it when a spontaneous inspiration turns out much better than the plan.

Pepper vase 1 [640x480]

With the dishes cleared, the topper is a marvel of fabric squares dating from the late 1930s into the 1950s. At first glance, it looks like a haphazard placement of florals, but stepping back, you can

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 1 [640x480]

see there’s a sense of design to her selection of square placement.

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 2 [640x480]

The size of the topper is large/queen, so we’re talking a lot of fabric scraps that had to be of a certain size.

Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 3 [640x480]

So fun how she decided to include two squares of the cowboy fabric. Quilt Topper_dining table cloth 4 [640x480]

The borders aren’t finished, so there are lots of threads dangling, which one day/some day, I will or not get to. Actually, retaining the raw edging retains the mystery as to why this topper was never completed. When next guests are seated around the table, I’ll ask this very question. What a great conversational starter! What do you say? Chiming in welcome!


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Final Day to enter Mary Can Sew Giveaway!

Countdown! Today is it – the final day to enter this Giveaway!

dictionary_sew_cropped [640x480]

Caleb wrote up the Giveaway and posted it on his site:

To celebrate Spring, Apron Diva EllynAnne Geisel is featuring a loaded giveaway on her blog Apron Memories. One lucky winner will win yardage from my Confections and Suburbia fabric collections courtesy of Robert Kaufman.

Also included in the giveaway is a personalized copy of Judi Ketteler’s new publication Sew Retro

Judi Ketteler_book cover [640x480]

and two personalized copies of EllynAnne’s own book Apronisms.

Layout 1

To enter, leave a comment on the Apron Memories blog by today, April 6th. So hurry, and good luck!

Winner of this Giveaway announced tomorrow.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

a Sew-Lovely Giveaway!

a Sew-Lovely Giveaway!!


When I was invited to be a guest on Ellen March’s new PBS show, SewItAll!, there were multiple tapings scheduled for the day. My segment, Awesome Aprons!, began the marathon. Following set-up, run-through and make-up, there was lunch, and the opportunityea_Ellen March

to visit with the next-up guest, Steffani Lincecum, whose segment is titled Knockout Knockoffs, where she teaches how to duplicate a favorite skirt using a paper rub-off technique.

Steffani knows her stuff. Just visit her website to learn of her background as a wardrobe designer in movies, television and for celebrities (Madonna!). Despite my love of all things Hollywood, it was her technique for creating a pattern of a beloved skirt (and who doesn’t have one) to be sewn over and over that really caught my interest.

Sefani_ea book

Steffani has a gorgeous book just out that outlines exactly how to apply the rub-off technique to more than just a skirt, including an adorable purse, which I am bent on making.

Happy news here: Steffani has provided a copy of her book for me to give away. But that’s not all…

Steffani_book cover

Ellen March is also offering a copy of the latest issue of SEWiTAll

SewItAll mag cover [640x480]

So, to one lucky winner, Steffani’s book and Ellen’s magazine!

To enter, just leave a comment on this blog entry. Deadline for comments is late Sunday evening. Winner selected by Random Human and posted Monday, February 14th.

If you haven’t already contacted your local PBS station about carrying Ellen’s show, please do.


americacomesalive logo

Storytelling is a major component of my apron journey. I never tire of listening to an apron recollection nor the process of translating the story into a unique voice. My friend, Kate Kelly, also uses storytelling within her niche project America Comes Alive! Kate has a way of making sense of today’s events through stories from America’s past. She is an accomplished author and writes about very interesting topics, like today’s magicians and Houdini, the American vacation, and air travel, when the skies were friendly.

Kate has a Valentine’s Day Giveaway going on. For a chance to win a $25.00 gift card to amazon, simply email Kate your favorite Valentine memory (kate@americacomesalive.com). The winner will be chosen on February 13.

I wouldn’t recommend Kate’s site if I didn’t enjoy it! Nor would I promote books or other such media if I didn’t believe there was value and entertainment in the selections. I feel very lucky to meet such talented women, who are also so sweet and generous.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

A Button Box Quandry

Oh, the sadness when a covered button loses its dyed-to-match leather top. For weeks I’ve considered the option of cutting a small piece of fabric from the inside hem or cuff, but figured if one button popped loose, the others will eventually do the same.

The only option left was replacing the four buttons with new. And for that solution, I turned to my button box. Actually a large tin, it once held moon cakes – pastries particular to the Chinese new year celebration, which we’d received as a gift from “Ben,” our very sweet Dali guide when we visited China several years ago. I have great affection for this tin because it reminds me of that trip, which was our 30th anniversary gift to ourselves.My button box holds a joyful jumble removed from shirts destined for the rag bag to a collection of vintage beauties. I know people who separate their buttons by color and display them in old canning jars, but I like mine loose…the better to swirl my fingers through the layers, revealing a hidden gem I don’t remember ever seeing before! My button fixation goes backto when I was a girl and learning to sew. Threading a needle, tying off the end in a knot and sewing mismatched buttons to a piece of scrap fabric was a rainy day activity or to occupy myself on a summer day too hot to do anything but sit under a shade tree.

I’ve always enjoyed the quietude of hand sewing, even when not exactly by myself. I find hand stitchery the perfect road trip complement to PC’s listening to sports radio as he drives. And so it was this past Saturday, settled in the passenger seat, button box atop my lap, I selected replacements to the jacket’s top two buttons.
And here it is four days later, and I’m stuck choosing the third button. I know the final button will be the butterscotch-y yellow, but which of the three to sew as the third. Help!xxea
Tie One On…an apron, of course!
P.S. Just a few days left to enter the Apron Lover’s Giveaway!

The Voice of a Book’s Cover

Choosing the cover to a book is akin to naming a baby. Once all contenders have received equal consideration and votes are taken, the semi-finalists are picked apart then put back together, with everyone weighing in. My voice was for a cover that conveyed warmth and vibrance, with a kick of kitsch yet coaxing of nostalgia. 
Of the boxes of vintage fabric and household cloth I provided for consideration was flour sack toweling that my mother-in-law had embellished with embroidery.  This grouping of 3 – China, Glasses and Vegetable Polka – were the finalists, with China the hands down winner. 

Else, my mother-in-law, had apprenticed in England as a seamstress in a couture shop. Her speciality was handbound button holes. Imagine the intensity of the stitches required for a buttonhole! So, the gaiety of these transfers must have appealed to her lighter side, yet her professionalism never left her – check the backside of the towel. Over fifty years later, and the stitches are still intact and immaculate.

That’s the thing about stitchery and the women of earlier generations – the embroidery is their voice, telling us…I was here
I hope you love the cover as much as I do. It honors Else, and my PC, her only child. 
Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Celebrating the Artistry of Women

I’m always on the look out for new ways to incorporate vintage goods – whether a doily, handkerchief, hot pad, household linen or just a bit of pretty lace – into a new sewing or craft project…not that I’m any great shakes at either!  I’m more about embellishments than the details of construction.  
Aprons from the 1920s -1940s are my endless inspiration. Without the mind-boggling aisles of craft stores to provide materials with which to be creative, women relied on the ladies’ magazines of the times and pattern books for new projects to beautify their homes and their clothing, like this sweet butterfly lace pocket:

Prettying up an apron with a lace pocket or embroidering a name on a handkerchief or crocheting a lace edging to a muslin dishtowel were how women used to embellish and enliven the mundane through stitchery.  
Aprons to linens – celebrate the handiwork and artistry of women.
Tie One On…an apron, of course!