Cookin’ with gas

Guys, I don’t know what has become of me.

Not only have I made something sensible, but I’ve also made something that hints at domestication. If my mother was alive she’d never believe it.

I’ve made an apron.

?

Let me start out by saying that I’m not known for my cooking skills (at least, not in a good way), or indeed for being a domestic goddess of any sort. Cooking and cleaning are not things I enjoy in the slightest. My Nan was an awesome cook (Nans always are the best though, amirite?), cherry pie and roast lamb being my personal favourites of her dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I lovvvvve eating the food, I just can’t cook it. I tried making an apple pie the other week and the pastry was so hard you actually needed Thor’s hammer to break it up. No lie. (Disclaimer: Aaron is celiac, so the pastry was made with gluten-free flour, which may have contributed to the outcome. That’s my excuse for it, anyway).

l 41528 when your cooking is so bad even the ingredients are horrified by what youve done to them

So for me to make an apron, it’s kind of a big deal.

I was fed up of the frying pan spitting at me and getting grease on my clothes, and apparently aprons are good for stopping that, so I thought I’d have a bash at making one.

I chose the fabric before I chose the pattern, because let’s be real – that’s the fun part. Apron patterns are really all pretty much the same thing, and on the scale of excitement they don’t rank very high. So fabric first. A normal quilting weight cotton would have probably been okay to use, but I wanted something a bit thicker so headed for the canvas section of Minerva Crafts. They stock canvas fabrics from both Art Gallery and Cotton and Steel, so there are lots of modern designs to choose from. I figured that a good choice for a kitchen item is always a food print (see also: paragraph above where I confess my love for food), and although an apple isn’t really my go-to snack (in fact it’s pretty much never that – who chooses an apple over delights such as chocolate? ??‍♀️), I like the retro-style print. It kind of reminds me of one of those fifties wives, with a tiny waist, and perfectly styled hair and make up. Which I am not, obvs, but ??‍♀️

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The fabric I chose is a cotton and linen blend canvas made by Cotton and Steel, which i figured would be a good choice because we all know how cool their quilting cottons are (and if you don’t, go check ’em out). The canvas isn’t actually as heavy as I was expecting – I was kind of thinking it would be something like a thick denim, but it’s not, it’s more like a heavier quilting cotton.

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2717

Either way, it held a press reallllly well – which made making the apron a little bit easier – and it’s a pretty good weight for the job.

kwiksew 3247 kwik sew ladies girls easy sewing pattern 3247 aprons oven mitts

After browsing the selection of apron patterns available (honestly, it was so exciting I’m not sure how I managed to survive the experience and remain sane), I chose Kwik Sew 3247. There was no particular reason – it was an apron (this being the main requirement), it came in one adult size only (no time wasted faffing about what size to make, #win), and it didn’t have too many fussy pockets on it (which I was going to leave off anyway, so I guess that didn’t really matter too much in the grand scheme of things). I’m happy with my choice.

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2710

The construction method of the apron was pleasantly surprising (see above for lack of knowledge/interest around all things domesticated) – the neckband and the waist ties are actually one complete strip, and they slide through a channel down either side of the apron. This means that you can adjust the height of front bib by shortening the neck strap. I was a bit worried that the apron body would just slide down the straps, and that it would get super annoying super quickly, but I can confirm that this definitely will not happen. For starters, canvas isn’t a slippery fabric in the slightest (if you made a satin apron, it would be a different story), and you’ve gotta yank it quite hard to get the body to move up and down that strap. It’s quite a snug fit – when you’re making the apron, you’re gonna need something to help get the strap through the channel. I used a loop turner, which if you’re unfamiliar (as I was, before I had one), is a pointy metal stick that looks like this:

HL275B

You use it to turn narrow tubes (think: spaghetti straps) inside out after sewing, but you can also use it to pull things through tubes (think: drawstrings). Super useful and really cheap to buy, you won’t regret getting one.

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2698

If you’ve got an overlocker, it will make the apron-making process a bit easier for you – there’s some exposed edges going on around the back of the apron, which you’re going to have to finish somehow. I’ve overlocked mine, but you could always use a zig zag stitch instead, if you’re better at keeping one straight than me. I’ve never quite believed that pinking the edge stops fraying (??‍♀️) but feel free to give that a whirl as an alternative. Let me know your findings ?

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2706

I’m pleased with the apron – it fits well and does the job. And it looks kind of pretty. You get a matching oven mitt pattern in the envelope as well, but I don’t really have any desire to make a mitt. The towel that lives in the kitchen does a fine job doubling as an oven mitt, but it’s nice to know that I’ve got the template ready and waiting if the urge to sew a mitt ever hits me.

The obvious place to photograph an apron would of course be the kitchen. If you saw my kitchen, you’d understand why I passed up on this and instead headed to the forest. It’s really not inspiring, as far as kitchens go, and it’s proper small. I did briefly consider taking the apron into work with me, and photographing it in the building’s canteen – which looks much more like a proper kitchen than mine does – but I thought that was still a little weird. And even then, it’s not a particularly pretty kitchen. It’s just a kitchen, all grey and shiny and oven-y. So yeah, the forest it was.

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2708

It’s kind of nice, now and then, to make things that aren’t clothing. I’ve dabbled in a few things recently, including a wallet (done – to be blogged soon!), a Bionic Gear Bag (almost finished, just need to put the main zip in), a knitting needle case (not even started) and some clear vinyl pouches. I’m about to start a backpack as well, for one of my Minerva Blogger Network makes, and I’ve also just bought the pattern for another backpack – the Raspberry Rucksack by Sarah Kirsten. Ah, so many projects, so little time.

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I actually have a few more ‘sensible’ things that I want to make – I need an ironing board cover, because mine is grey, boring, and a bit manky, and I also need some new cushion covers because the dog has ruined them by sitting her fat ass on them for 20 hours per day ?

But, I can only handle so much sensible-ness in one go and I think I’ve had my fill for a little while, so these are things that you might see here on ze blog a bit later on in the year.

In other news, I lost most of my Sewing Sunday last week ??‍♀️ Let me paint the scene: The sun is shining beautifully, so we take a few minutes to sit on the patio outside. We sit together, enjoying basking in the warmth, and Leela comes to sit with us. She loves the sunshine.

life is good 5c0eb7

Then, a honeybee buzzes past us, and Leela dives at it to chomp it down out of the air. She succeeds, and then spits the mangled, drool-covered bee out on the floor. I’m quite concerned that the bee is sort of half-dead – but can’t bring myself to put it out of its misery – so instead we put it back on the bee-plant that all its friends are on in the hope they will help him, or take him back to the nest. Or something.

We’ve been here before with Leela. She loves to eat pretty much any flying object that buzzes round her – including flies (I know, don’t even get me started on how disgusting this is). She’s ended up with a puffy face before from taking on a wasp – and losing – but we managed to prevent catastrophe by removing the chewed-off stinger out of her mouth and giving her an antihistamine. We’re expecting this time to be the same. Oh, how wrong we were.

We look in her mouth to see if we can spot the bee sting, and we can’t, so we hope that she’s not been stung and keep watch over her.

The first sign of a reaction is the puffy eyes. They’re a little red and swollen, so we give her an antihistamine. Next time I check on her, her whole face has puffed up, her eye is swollen closed and she’s got massive hives all over her head. Time to call the emergency vet. You see, with allergic reactions the danger is that the swelling spreads to the throat and cuts off the airway – obvs not good. The nearest emergency vet that’s open on a Sunday is (thankfully) just a few miles away, and they book me in and say that the fee for an emergency out-of-hours appointment is £160. Ouch. But what do you do? We said we’d be there, and called an Uber.

For reference, this is Normal Leela:

img 4315 1

And this is Lumpy-Head-Fat-Mouth-Squinty-Eye Leela:

Leela

We usually walk to our regular vets, or take the bus, but this emergency hospital was somewhere new and the buses would take too long. I was worried that the swelling was getting worse with time so wanted to get there as quickly as possible – and a taxi would be the fastest way. It’s up to each individual Uber driver whether they carry a dog though, so I had to check with them once the booking had been accepted. The first driver said he wouldn’t take us (‘I got stuff in the boot‘ he said – I wonder what would have happened if we’d had suitcases ?) but we got lucky with the second one.

I should mention that Leela hates the vets. With a passion. She’s very vocal about when she’s not enjoying things, or if she feels uncomfortable. She’s a bit misunderstood, bless her, and most vets think that she’s gonna take their hand off. So she normally has to be muzzled, which you can imagine she enjoys immensely. She’s unwilling to let the vet look in her mouth, to check the state of the swelling and reaction, so the next option is to give her a shot of anti-inflammatory – which needs to be put directly into a vein rather than into the back of her neck, like they do with normal vaccinations, so it’s absorbed quicker.

nope t240mr 2

It takes three of us to hold Leela still (me around the middle, Aaron’s got the head and the vet’s assistant has the back end) while the vet shaves her leg for the injection. First the front leg gets a buzz cut, but the vet then decides against doing it in the front leg for whatever reason, and so then the back leg gets shaved as well. Leela seems to particularly dislike having her leg shaved, and I start to dread the actual injection. The vet seems to take an eternity to find a vein – all the while I’m trying to sing to Leela to calm her down (telling her that if she could just leave the poor flying insects alone, she wouldn’t have to go through this) and with every second, my heart is breaking that we’re holding her down and forcing her to endure something she’s clearly so distressed about. I know it’s for her own good, and in this case could actually be life-saving, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it and I hope she can forgive me.

She gets the shot, we pay the bill and find another Uber that’ll take us home.

Leela spends the rest of the day snoring on the sofa, sleeping it off, and by the following morning most of the swelling has gone down thankfully. She doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge against me, which I’m happy about.

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Because of the bee-drama, I lost sewing time on a rapidly looming deadline for a wedding outfit I’m making. The top is finished but the skirt is… ahem, a little too snug. Current plan of attack is to reevaluate the remaining seams that haven’t been let out yet (there ain’t many of them, let me tell ya), and/or consider Spanx. It’s the thighs where it’s tight, which funnily enough seems to be the area that’s bulked up the most since I started weights classes at the gym. There’s a slit up the skirt on the side-front which kind of releases some of the pressure, but if I raised the slit to where it’s tight on my thighs it would be… somewhat indecent. And definitely not wedding-appropriate, fo sho. Once I’ve figured out how to get the extra width, I’ve then gotta put the lining in as well – which I’m hoping doesn’t take up too much precious thigh-space. If the worst comes to the worst, I can actually get in the skirt – I just can’t move very much – so I’ll just stand really still for the whole night ??‍♀️?

regret nothing

Oh yeah – I almost forgot the pictures of the apron ??‍♀️ Here it is in all it’s apple-ness! ?

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2684

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2712

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2693

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2701

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2689

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2716

Kwik Sew K3247 Apron in Cotton and Steel Canvas 2681

⭐️Fabric and sewing pattern was provided free of charge by Minerva Crafts, as part of their Blogger Network programme. All opinions are totally my own, and believe me – when I don’t like something you’ll know about it ?⭐️

Next week on the blog is my round-up of our trip to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia a couple of weeks back!

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11 Comments

  1. Cindy
    March 10, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Oh…my lovely 2 and 4 legs….. I hope you get this my last 2 weeks comments seem to still be in the sky…any way, what a horrid day you all had. Ask your vet for an Epi Pen for this allergic reaction, we keep 3 in our fridge just in case, 1 to use, 1 that may get dropped in panic and a spare in case of any other problem…. but it would save you and darling pouch all the stress and 160 plus gbp…. The apron as always is a star, but why oh why no picture of you in it ?? Come on girlie…I wore one every day for 23 years and mine was plain boring white…

    Take care all off you xx no more bee eating you 4 leg xx

    • Sarah
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 3:09 pm

      Hey Cindy! I hear ya, loud and clear! (Not sure what’s happened to your other comments?! ?)
      Thankfully the doggo is all better now, but yeah – what a drama. I’ll ask the vet for an EpiPen, thanks for the tip – I wouldn’t have thought to do that!
      Erm, yeah I forgot to actually take pics of me *wearing* the apron ??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️ Can’t say I’ll be wearing it as much as you’ve worn yours, I tend to forget that I’ve actually made it and forget to put it on when I’m cooking ???

  2. Kat
    March 10, 2019 / 9:25 am

    It sounds like we are the same kind of Masterchef lol, but I do actually own an apron! I made it myself when I firstly attempted patchwork (badly) but it’s very bright and lovely and though the squares don’t match in some places, I’m very proud of it! Defo helps against the grease splatters! Love the apple fabric you chose! x Awww Poor Leela!! Silly doggy! My daughter is allergic to nuts and swells just the same as your fur baby so I feel your fear there! Hope she’s completely recovered now, bless her! xx

    • Sarah
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      Ahh thanks Kat! Haha yeah it takes some certain deficiency somewhere to be as bad as me at cooking ? Plus I’m always dropping knives and spatulas on the floor ??‍♀️? A patchwork apron sounds fab… and a mismatched one will look way better than a perfectly aligned one – I prefer the craziness! ?
      Leela is thankfully all better now ta, though I am a little edgy about the approaching summer now ? ?

  3. March 10, 2019 / 11:03 am

    Please don’t feel bad about your pastry – gluten-free pastry is the biggest nightmare ever! I still haven’t figured out why it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. Technically the same rules apply as to wheat flour pastry – don’t over-handle the dough and make sure you have cold hands, or use a pastry blender. You must have cold butter to rub in too. Gluten-free flour needs more water than wheat flour, but it’s a really fine art as to how much and it’s so temperamental I reckon it’s dependent on the weather or some kind of gluten-free pastry God being in your favour!!! Anyway, I’ve had so many disasters since going gluten-free, that I set up a blog to try and help other people find recipes that actually work. I haven’t had much time to update it recently because I’ve had a baby but I promise to get back to it properly soon. You might find it helpful? https://glutenfreeness.wordpress.com

    Back to all things sewing related. I made some aprons for a present and I just drew around an apron I already had (but yes, you would need an apron for that!) It’s such a simple pattern, you could probably free draw the shape yourself, rather than go to the expense of buying a pattern. I added some extra for the seam allowances and double-turned the edges. I did add a pocket and even pattern matched it – go me. To make it easier, I just used matching wide twill tape for the apron strings. It worked brilliantly and was so much cheaper than buying one. I went for a plastic oilcloth (only because I couldn’t get actual oilcloth anywhere around here) and I’m so sick of getting a wet patch on my front when washing up!

    I’m glad Leela made it through her ordeal. Last month our cat had a £600 blade of glass extracted from his throat. That was the cost of a Sunday vets visit, 2 or 3 more trips to the vet and all the drugs and procedures needed to find it! Ouch.

    • Sarah
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      Erm… what’s a pastry blender?! ??‍♀️???‍♀️ Thanks for the link to your blog – I’m DEFINITELY going to check this out because even before you throw gluten free into the mix, I’m a shabby cook ? I have a friend who is a seriously epic baker, and she tried making gluten free stuff with not much success – I thought if there’s no hope for her, I may as well not even bother trying ???
      Loving the fact that you pattern matched your apron pocket ?????? And also yes that bloody washing-up-wet-belly ?? I get that too!
      Erm, yeah – I apparently didn’t think of using twill tape, that would have been like 100% easier ??‍♀️ Ah well, live and learn hey! ??‍♀️
      Ooh your poor kitty – how did he manage to swallow glass? How did you even figure out he’d swallowed it? ? Hopefully he is all better now? ??

  4. March 10, 2019 / 12:06 pm

    Ouches! The apron reminds me of my first ever compulsory school sewing project, which was somewhat similar ion shape. The straps were different though, and actually simpler in engineering, and just as multi-adjustable. No halter-neck loop, the long straps just got stitched to either side of the bib front, then you had two little loops stitched into the corners of the widest part [where your channel starts]. Straps tucked through loops, tied at back waist, job done. I’ve hated aprons ever since, but I did make a very kitsch frilly one for my daughter a few years back, in all sorts of girly pink frills. She seemed to like it though! [something like this one http://www.beckycookslightly.com/2014/02/30-free-vintage-apron-patterns.html%5D

    • Sarah
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 3:19 pm

      Haha, those apron patterns are epic! Much more exciting than the one I just made ??‍♀️? Not sure I’ll be making any more aprons, but your method does sound much easier!!

  5. Sharon
    March 10, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    Hi. I always love reading your posts on a Sunday with a cuppa. I am also coeliac and buy ready made GF pastry from the supermarket (Tesco or Sainsburys so far) as like you I found I could use my homemade pastry as a brilliant doorstop. It’s also in already rolled sheets and I do believe you can get it in the frezzer section as well as the chilled. Give it a go.
    Aaaaaand did you know that in America there is a magazine called Apronology!!!!! So if you do ever get the kitchen goddess groove going on you could make all sorts of funky functional aprons. Glad Leela is better. X

  6. Nicola Ashman
    March 11, 2019 / 6:44 am

    I have to wear aprons as I’m such a messy cook (and eater) . Know what you mean about dogs though why do they wait for the most inconvenient time . Last time was the day after my daughters wedding when Reggie got into some Christmas chocolate ate the lot including wrappers . Emergency vet and £160 later thanks a lot boy . But still love him

    • Sarah
      Author
      March 13, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      Haha… poor Reggie! Can’t believe he ate the wrappers too ?? Hopefully he was all okay?!??

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