These are simple aprons that tie in back, and have two silkscreened patch pockets. The pocket on your left has a quote from one of my favorite books, Little, Big. It says:
I will live in a house
By the side of the road
And be a friend to all.
In Little, Big, the quote appears stitched on a sampler in one of the character's living rooms. In the book, below the verse, are the words "Margaret Juniper 1927." I was excited when we bought our house and found it was built in 1927, because I knew of the verse long before and had always remembered it. It's modified from a charming poem by Sam Walter Foss, written in late 1800s.
The pocket on the right has a drawing of a little house that was inspired by the book The Little House and a vintage greeting card I've had around forever (and it's similar to the cottage-y symmetry of my own house, with the pointy thing in front). The details are hand painted, and the little flowers in front are actually done in puff paint! I love puff paint. It has sort of a bad reputation, and you can really make some ugly stuff with it, but I love it and use it all the time to make little signs and stuff for the shop. It adds a shiny, dimensional effect to things.
Here's a tip if you are inclined to sew rounded-corner pockets onto something flat like this. Run a bit of straight stitching (just use the machine) around each corner -- I kept my tension the same as when regular sewing because these are very short rows of stitching, and if they're too loose they don't hold up properly. Then gather the corner just a bit, so it puckers. This will pull in the extra fabric and allow you to turn the hem under easily. Then press it flat, pin it like crazy, and stitch, very carefully, as close to the edge of the pocket as possible. I also backstitched onto the apron itself at the top edges of the pockets where they meet the apron, since this is a place of tension, caused by hands going in and out, and I felt it needed a bit of extra support.
The bottom "banner" is patchworked strips, much like the Pinafore handbags. Some of the aprons have eyelet ruffles on the hems, when it seemed like the thing to do.
I'm interested in how so many vintage aprons seem fascinatingly fussy. For such a seemingly "practical" garment, it's amazing how many old ones you find that are made of things like organza, and lace, and have ruffles, and really fancy embroidery. It's clear that aprons were expressive of the skills and tastes and creativity of their owners -- what does it say that so many contemporary aprons are so boring, just that plain canvas and a D-ring neck-strap! I was just going for sweet, pretty, and happy, with a few nostalgic references to those fancier ones of yore. It's so cool that aprons are coming back into fashion. I've been trying to get away with taking them outside the house since I saw Jennifer Connelly wearing one so adorably in one of my favorite 1988 VHS-only movies, the quirky Some Girls (and if you like Patrick Dempsey, he's in this, too). I copied many of her clothes from this movie when I was in college -- I thought she had the perfect wardrobe here. Anyway, I'm excited to wear one of these to work tomorrow. They're vaguely practical, but I imagine they're really mostly for the dilettante cupcake baker.
Anyway, I'm happy about these, and relieved that my idea worked the way I was hoping. These will go directly onto the web site when I've got a dozen or so finished. I've got a lot more to make, so I'd better go!
Oh wait -- forgot to say thank you to everyone who went over to Whip Up yesterday and gave me a shout-out over there -- how nice of you! It made me feel so good to read all those comments, especially the funny stories about your own naming dilemmas. As far as my advice on specific names goes, mmmm, believe me, you don't want my advice. Pudding and a homonym, remember.
This is one of those hard choices in life that every woman must make for herself.