Inspiration from a Painting

No matter what goes on in the Apron Company, it’s the creation of something new that lures me. There is always a fabric, an idea, an image, a feeling or a mood that develops into a new apron. There is little that compares to a day alone in the studio to work with a new idea and watch it become born onto a dressform. Me, the machines, the fabric piled on the cutting table and the ideas in my head all play very nicely together. We are bestest friends.We could play all day. We make all sorts of amazing pieces that we love.

But then reality sets in and can ruin everything. I will explain. Oh sure, you can design anything, all sorts of fun, beautiful, inspiring things. But to sell it, well that’s another matter.

Once my best friends and I create a new piece and we get past our awe in ourselves and finish patting ourselves on the back, we think of you, the customer. You need to be able to wash the apron. I can’t count the designs that went into the washer and came out unrecognizable. Disappointment prevailed on those days. If it did survive the washer, it then has to survive the dryer. If we are still in the game, we then have to develop a fair but workable price point. Once we have survived these, we then have to move to marketing. Can we photograph it in a way that it will sell? Do we have a good model for the piece or should we use a dress form? This is the point when it becomes a bit humdrum or better stated, it begins to feel like a regular job.

But right now I am in my favorite stage. I am inspired. This painting gnaws at me. I think of it, dream of it, and feel its mood, like a new lover that has absorbed your soul.

Classic traditional white cotton aprons


This is a painting I saw and fell in love with the white apron. It looks like silk ribbon on the bottom treatment. It drapes beautifully with a softness that you don’t see with cottons. My heart devours this. I want to recreate this in my own vision. I want aprons that drape like that. I long to work with silk ribbons. Where is my new partner…..the fabric?

IMG_1395 fabric samples for new aprons


I now have possibilities. I have narrowed it down to three samples.  I am ordering yardage and the playground of reality will begin. Can I sew silk ribbon to it? Will the pieces play nicely together? And the the Lord of the Studio will be confronted; can it be washed? Will the fabric shrink but not the ribbon? This has happened before. This is what we refer to as the suspense of the washer machine. It is the ultimate determiner of our product line.

I also found two samples of hand woven fabric. Do you see those rough looking squares in the photo above? I want to play with them!  They cost too much, I can hear my partner lecturing already. But darn, are those awesome!

So I await yardage for my new white choices, and will test it out on my machines, and then ask King of the Studio;The Washer what opinion he will offer. If the new choice survives all that, I get to return to the cutting table and play enthusiastically in the world of silk ribbon and design on some new very drapey classic looking aprons.

I’m sure I am going to break down and purchase a bit of handwoven yardage. Just for me, to play with in the studio, to create what? I have no idea, but I crave its presence in my hands.

And my first question for the handwoven is, will it even hold a seam? I mean, honestly, if I can’t create a seam, I got nothing…..hmm……still, I really want this in my hands.

finding fabric ideas for new aprons

I will have to think on this one…..



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