Sewing, What I wear

The Seven Year Stitch apron

Mr Dreamy & I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary in just a few days.  I can’t believe it’s been that long!

We got married in Hawaii, just down the road from my parent’s farm.  I was a very practical bride: we didn’t want our wedding to be a fantasy or a fairytale, we wanted it to be the best reflection of what we could really be as people.

As a practical bride, I did all sorts of things on the day.  I got up early and made my own bouquet, and the bridesmaid’s bouquets.  With a lot of help from aunts and anyone with strong arms I made chocolate mousse for 80 people without any egg beaters (the fully equipped kitchen of the venue, wasn’t).  I set tables and arranged flowers, and, to the horror of the aunts, I got down on my knees and scrubbed the dancefloor.

Now, any practical bride who is going to scrub floors on her wedding day needs a good apron, and I had a stunner: an embroidered early 30s number that covered me from knee to neck, and wrapped all the way around to my back.  It was given to me by an aunt on the condition that I would actually use it, not just store it as a vintage textile.

I’m pretty sure wearing it to scrub floors on your wedding day is the best possible use you could put it to!

Unfortunately there are no photos of me scrubbing the floor (to my everlasting regret), but there are a beautiful series of me in the apron, making my bouquet:


I’ve always wanted to make a replica of the apron, because I do feel a bit bad using it, and it has a rip under one arm (it was there when I received it).  So when the Sew Weekly Apron challenge came up, I decided it was time – and a perfect time too, with our anniversary so close.

I didn’t have time for the embroidery that was on the original apron, so I repurposed a stained vintage doily that I’ve been holding on to for just this type of project.

The rest of the apron’s decoration scheme was decided by the doily.  I trimmed the pockets in blue ric-rak and rosy pink binding, and used the pink binding to bind all the apron edges.  I added more blue-ric-rac around the apron neck, and sewed together a few lengths of checked bias-tape (the same stuff I used on Aline’s bonnet) for a sash.

Then I sucked it up, and posed in the kitchen, trimming the stems of my peonies (my springtime indulgence, and yes I actually cut them) and in the bathroom, pretending to dust while Felicity was mesmerized by the blinking camera timer.  I hate both rooms – they are dark and pokey and impossible to keep clean.  I can’t wait until we buy a house and I can have proper versions of them!

At least my apron is cute though!  In a very 1930s way – charmingly shapeless and frumpy.  😉


Pssst…since I mentioned it, want to see some wedding pictures?  There are a few here.


  1. Felicity is staring into my soul in that last picture……

    That looks like a very practical apron. While I think little skirty aprons are cute, I always spill flour down my front so a decent bodice is a great idea.

    And I love your pre-wedding photos – so much more special and real that posed pictures of you slowly getting drunk as your face gets painted. (well depends on your lifestyle, lol)
    I have always said if I ever get married, it’ll be like that – casual, meaningful and happy. CONGRATS on 7 years!!!! What an inspiration!

    • And does she like what she sees? 😉

      I definitely think aprons need bodices and all the rest. The skirty ones are only good for putting on and looking cute just before your guests arrive!

      I love the pre-wedding shots. We were so lucky that the photographer was there the day before, and the whole day. I should have posted a link to her site – she does amazing work. And she and I were the only ones up when I was making my bouquet.

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes!

      • I second Hayley — congrats on seven years!

        Mr. Dreamy should grow his hair out again — it looks great.

  2. I’m miffed that your original post was lost for a bit on Sew Weekly and then the comments closed! I wanted to tell you that I love the re-purposing of the doily to decorate and create a finished edge for the pockets. Ingenious!

    And, your cat’s expression in the first shot is priceless. Loved your casual style wedding philosophy – I was in the same category, methinks. I also did my boutonnieres and most of the flowers for my wedding as well as the bead work on my my tea-length garden wedding dress.

    Congratulations on your 7th wedding anniversary! 7th year is wool or copper?… either way, congratulations and all the best!

    • It was a bit of a disappointing saga wasn’t it? I was afraid my post was completely lost, so re-wrote this post from memory. Literally as soon as I was finished my post popped back up – but without formatting. Bummer. C’est la vie.

      So thank you specially for commenting here!

      Being a casual bride is a good thing. Less stress!

      7th is traditionally copper or wool, but we aren’t fussed about being traditional. Not that I couldn’t think of lots of types of wool I would like for a present 😉

  3. Zombie Fissy! I can see mind spinning the words “Camera, I want to eat your brains!” I need more coffee. I’m freaking myself out this morning!

    • Haha! I think she’s really wondering if the flashing red dot on the camera has anything to do with the red dot of doom. The minute it comes out she starts meowing and freaking out.

  4. Happy Anniversary! I hope you two have a lovely time.

    The apron is very cute–and is that the Frumpy Dress I spot beneath it? I just love that dress. Back to the apron, though, I think the little embroidered details from the doily are very cute too.

    P.S. I love those peonies!

    • Thank you!

      That is indeed the frumpy dress under the apron. The apron looks terrible over jeans, but perfect over the dresses it was meant to be worn over. I want a Frumpy dress with sleeves now though.

      I love peonies too – they are my very favourite flower, and every spring I buy them for as long as they last, but that’s really only 3 bouquets worth.

  5. chris says

    the first photo posted looks like it should be painted in oils by a 19th cent. master painter = ) love your apron! you are an extrememly talented lady = ) felicity, as always, is awesome!

    • Elise says

      Happy Anniversary from New Mexico!

      I adore aprons: I kept all of my ‘uniform’ aprons from various jobs because they are so darn useful! And in a terrible anti-feminist way, the idea of putting on an apron to work on a marital home has a nice metaphor in it regarding marriage: The house represents your marriage, and the apron represents your dedication to working on it.

      • Thank you Elise! I’ve never had a job that has a uniform apron. How many do you have!

        I’ve never thought of aprons in that way. I usually just put on grubby clothes to do serious cleaning (like Emily in her unfortunate wrapper). For me aprons are a bit celebratory – I usually wear them when I am doing serious baking for an event, or at Thanksgiving when I’m already dressed pretty, and want to keep it clean.

    • Wow, that’s the best compliment you could give my terrible kitchen! I suppose there is something very old Dutch Master about horrible kitchens 😉

  6. I love re-using old embroideries – I can only bring myself to cut up the stained ones but that’s enough. The pockets are very neat. And I agree with your other commentators there’s no point in an apron that does not protect you from all your cooking ingredients (I too made my wedding dress, knew nothing about the superstition and have been married 35 years!)

    • I’m the same with old embroideries – I can only cut up the stained ones. I’ve got a whole stack of nice ones I sometimes consider using for a doily quilt, but I have so many other quilts I never use, it seems a pity to do anything to them.

      Wonderful to hear another happy made-my-own-dress wedding story! I think the made dress superstition is more prevalent in the US than the UK.

  7. For a truly practical cover-up, I still argue that nothing beats my lab coat 🙂 But hey, any apron style that permits floor-scrubbing on one’s wedding day is pretty dang awesome! I’m in total agreement about those flirty-skirty aprons being useless when it comes to covering one-self with flour…or flowers…

    I cannot get over Felicity’s face in that last picture! I love that you are including her more in your blog!

    • True, but lab coats still have the button-up problem! What I really, really want is a Japanese apron. All the museum professionals who go to Japan with art come back with these amazing apron jackets with sleeves and wraps. They actually look good on, and have pockets, and don’t have fiddly wraps. I need to get my hands on one so I can copy the shape.

      I’ve always included Felicity lots, I think I just went through a lull. And her face is hilarious, but the best part is that there are 7 images in a row in that series where I move and change, but Felicity looks exactly the same. It’s hilarious, and creepy!

  8. Lynne says

    Very best wishes to the two of you for a happy anniversary day!

  9. Wau!!! You are brave bride – chocolate mousse for 80 people without any egg beaters!!!
    This is impress me very much!%))

    • I wasn’t trying to be brave – I just wanted to make sure everyone was happy and fed. It never occurred to me that the kitchen might not have egg beaters! Luckily there were lots of aunts and friends to lend a hand! And the resulting mousse was very good.

  10. Your apron looks very housewifely, and Felicity is a laugh!!! Congrats on reaching 7 years – I loved all the photos of your wedding.

  11. Lei, you are one of the best bloggers I know. I find your posts so engaging (the photo to text ratio is perfect).

    Congratulations to you guys on your upcoming anniversary 🙂 And I pray that you’ll soon have a house of your own so you can pose in rooms that you feel proud of!!

  12. Demented Seamstress says

    Happy 7th Anniversary!
    Your apron is nice, it covers up the whole front of the dress very thoroughly, just what aprons are supposed to do.

    Sorry for commenting so late. I was away this weekend visiting my grandparents who were celebrating their 60th anniversary. Funny coincidence, isn’t it?

  13. Jamie says

    Ha! I can’t get over how hilarious Felicity looks, her eyes! Is it o_o or @_@ ? Decisions…

    I’m amazed at mouse for 80 without beaters… you and your family are champs! I thought my life was hard when I was tasked with making whipped cream every holiday -with- eggbeaters… our little old family friends were shocked when they saw me going to town with the hand-beaters and the next time they saw us, concocted a story about poor Jamie-rella who was forced to scrub on hands and knees and make whipped cream by hand, and then presented us with a very nice set of electric beaters… <3 Ahh.

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