Don’t Bug Me!

Normally, I say NO to custom orders – I learned that one the hard way! I really love it when someone says,

“I want one JUST LIKE THAT! Oh, except, could you make it pink cupcakes instead of aqua cupcakes and add some lace, but leave off the buttons and add another pocket. – And I need it by Saturday.”
lemon apron
A plus size lady recently inquired about an apron that was no longer available in a pretty lemon print. When she told me she had trouble finding aprons, because they were all made for ‘stick insects’ I nearly fell on the floor laughing.
Praying_mantis_india
With special Brownie points for making my day, I agreed to see if I could get more fabric and help her out!

Just DO It!

Writers have writers’ block. I wonder what it’s called when apron makers get stalled? I should find that out, because it happens a lot!

When sales are happening on the ETSY shop (www.etsy.com/shop/SusiesTieOneOnAprons), that’s a good motivator for me. When I find fabulous new fabric, that can generate some excitement. But sometimes, in the doldrums of winter or the lazy days of summer, I need a jump start. I’ve tried just about every theory . . .

Often if I just do SOMETHING – no matter what, just doing something gets things moving. I need a motivational poster for that. I like this one from WisePrints on ETSY (www.etsy.com/shop/WisePrints).
Just Do It

The advice about eating an elephant works, too – one bite at a time . . .
eat-elephant

Sometimes I talk to my fabrics: “So, what do YOU want to be?” Sometimes they tell me; sometimes they don’t! “Okay, then. Back in the closet for you!”

Occasionally, I try to bribe myself: “If you finish just ONE apron, you can take a nap – have a treat – buy more fabric!”

When all else fails, I make some easy aprons: “Why, look at you! You made 15 aprons today! You go, girl!”
boy apron banner

Flying by the Seat of my Pants

When I started this whole ‘making aprons’ thing, I thought it would go the way of macrame’ plant hangers and photo cards – in other words, I didn’t think it would last! Now approaching apron #2000, I’m still flying by the seat of my pants.
Because I thought I’d get over this (ha!), I didn’t jump in feet first and buy a lot of special equipment. I had a sewing machine, a camera, a few patterns and a computer. That’s all I needed, right?
It wasn’t long before I had to get creative about storing stuff.
*I used an old bookcase for my children’s fabrics

List of needs, recent aprons, fabric for 'next up' (on top), fabric for kids (bottom)

List of needs, recent aprons, fabric for ‘next up’ (on top), fabric for kids (bottom)


*A curtain rod was hung in a corner for kids’ aprons
An early shot of the kids' section - not so roomy now!

An early shot of the kids’ section – not so roomy now!


*Plastic egg crates on sale from Walmart ($1!) gave me some fabric storage under the kids’ aprons
*I had one small closet for aprons and I added plastic storage bins above and below for all manner of stuff – trims, ribbon, scraps, etc.
Your basic crammed closet - plus doorway overflow

Your basic crammed closet – plus doorway overflow


*Command hooks gave me more hanging space (as did a back of the door hanger)

*Clotheslines were strung up in the backyard for photo sessions

*My daughter’s rolling cart became my mobile accessory organizer
*I got a plus size dress form (bought her a big girl bra at Wally World) and named her Gertrude
*My husband made me wooden racks to use when I have overflow
*Baggies became my new best friends!! I use them for everything from patterns, to buttons, clips, D rings and bobbins

*Grandma’s dining room buffet became my mailing station
*Every spare closet in the house has SOME aprons in it! So does my storage room.
*My ‘sweatshop’ has no less than a DOZEN lights to help my failing eyes
*Plastic buckets hold trim scraps (and, yes, they do get used!)
*Rubbermaid tubs hold pounds and pounds of scraps (for patchwork aprons, scrap projects and quilts as time permits)
*Patterns have been traced onto Dollar Store paper in every size. Keeping them organized is an ongoing battle and fodder for many UFFDA days!
*Color coded storage units hold trims and thread (and the overflow spills out from there!)

I love seeing people that have ‘inspiring’ and organized work spaces – maybe someday. Until then, I’m still FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS!