Holiday Sewing: 5 Beautiful Linen Aprons

Do you cook? I do. Does your kitchen get very messy when you do? I do. Do you wear an apron? Me neither.

I always thought there was something too cute about them. Too housewivey. Until I saw a coffee barrista sipping their slow made brew, dressed up in a chambray shirt and covered with a pale olive green linen apron.

Sewing is one of the oldest textile arts, which arose during the Paleolithic era. This craft is done by fastening or attaching objects using stitches made using a needle and thread. In the past, men sewed fur and skin clothing using bone, antler, or ivory as needles and the thread was made by animal parts including sinew, catgut, and veins. As the years passed by, people invented spinning yarn or weaving fabric to sew but the common way of sewing is still done by using hands. Fine hand sewing is done by artists for haute couture, fashion, and custom dressmaking. Searching for the right materials for the clothes you want to create can be hard, especially if you are looking for a specific type of cloth or a special color of thread. If you need the materials to be delivered in your home as soon as possible, you can choose a logistics company that uses drones. Check out for more information.

Aprons can be beautiful, especially when they are at work.

Here are Jones and Didier Murat, a beautiful couple who run Vergennes Laundry, via Remodelista.


The next two aprons are made of linen and can be found at Shop Fog Linen. The cool thing about linen is that is becomes softer with every wash, but if you like the crisp look you will have to iron it after each wash, otherwise it will look like in the photo above.

blue grey garcon apron

full apron navy blue

Another nice full apron is this one from More & Co. It’s made in softer striped linen and has one small pocket.

linen apron 1

In case you were wondering how difficult it is to make the pattern for one, this apron from Mill explains it all:


Do you have some linen or cotton around? Don’t you feel like giving your cooking a little bit of style?


Sky Turtle was Hacked

Hello readers,

Last week my blog was hacked and long story short I lost the content I wrote in the last 2 years. If you have a blog and haven’t made a backup in ages do it now. If your hosting promises weekly backups, check if they don’t make backups of an empty site, backup that overwrites all previous backups (this is Hostgator).

I’ll try to slowly recover some of the posts I wrote in the last couple of years. Thank you for your patience. And for reading.


On Sewing with a Time Limit and the Beautiful Sewers of the British Bee

Have you watched The Great British Sewing Bee? I have just watched the second episode and I’m inspired to sew more and learn more.

The contestants are amazing. I don’t know how they could find so many beautiful and talented people who sew so well.

I think the challenges in the show are difficult because of the time limit. This can changes a person’s way of sewing completely. I am a rush sewer (not that I watched the show I know I can say that without thinking people thinking I am a hole in the pavement:) so I think I could have done well in some of the chalenges, especially the 1 hour ones. But for people who take their time (something I am trying to learn), having a time limit might make sewing very stressful. And many of us sew because we like to, not because we have to.

I’ll go back to how amazing these people are. I don’t even know if I could ever be as good and as methodical as Ann or as neat as Lauren. Stuart is fantastic; he’s witty and funny and such a quick learner, I think. Tilly is great too. I can’t believe she’s only been sewing for a couple of years, I didn’t know that. I really like her approach to pattern making, to construction, to sewing in general. She fits sewing to her purpose and her technique with her personality. I think she would have done much better if she was given more time!

My favorite sewer is Mark though. He seems like such a nice person, I really like his style and he seems to have a nice family as well. His costumes are exquisite, they must require a lot of work, lots of time and lot of attention to detail, which is something the judges have said he was lacking. I disagree. It’s just the time limit. And the types of garments that he has to sew. Why would Mark need to sew a skirt? I don’t know how to make men trousers, but I’ve made trousers before and they are pretty similar when it comes to pattern, construction and fitting issues.

What do you think? Have you watched any of the sewing challenges?

On Personal Style: What is It?

“What constitues great personal style? This is one of the questions I get asked the most. We tend to think that to achieve great personal style someone must have perfect clarity about who they are and what they stand for. I politely disagree. I think conflict about who you are often leads o even greater expression. This is why young people, or the young at heart, are those that inspire or move fashion forward. They are still strugling to find themselves: “Am I a rocker? A footbaler? Or a little bit of both?” These contradictions produce the most interesting looks.”

Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist

I bought Scott’s first book because there is something in the people he photographs that is deeply interesting. Maybe it’s because we all love to look at other people and that has somehow become weird or dangerous to do on the street. To be able to look at interesting people from the comfort of your own sofa or desk, to study them and try to understand what is it about them that you like so much – that’s maybe why street style photography has become so popular.

We all see all kinds of interesting people everyday, but do you ever stop to really look at them?

Those Clothes We Love to Hate

Have you ever spotted a dress, a coat, a jacket, what have you, loved it, had to have it, made it (or bought it), only to realize there is something terribly wrong with it, that will never allow you to wear it happily?

Maybe it’s too transparent, or maybe it clings too much, maybe it wrinkles like crazy, or maybe it makes your bottom look fat and your legs short. You love it, you hate it.

What do you do? Do you zip and bare? Do you keep it “just in case”? Do you give it away without thinking twice?

Here’s my list of unbearable discoveries made about garments I otherwise love:

The length of the dress is perfect, but people can see your underwear if you walk too fast – do you wear fancy knickers and walk like a lady?
The fabric is beautiful and itchy – is there a magic softener?
The shirt is fantastic, but it wrinkles horribly the moment you put your bag on your shoulder – do you wear a clutch and try not to move too much all day?
The pants are great, until you wash them the 15th time and they lose their perkiness – can they be saved?
Everything is perfect, except it makes me look 3 sizes bigger – should this matter?
What about you? Do you have a love-hate relationship with the clothes you make? What annoys you? How do you deal with it?

The Spring Apartment Cure

I’ve started my spring cleaning and instead of rolling my sleeves and getting to work I’m here blogging, and reading about other people who clean :)

I really like the idea of the Apartment Therapy cure: in one month you get to clean, organize and improve the space you live in by doing something every day.

There are some things that I like but I wouldn’t do, such as buying flowers. Not because I don’t see the point, but because my house has a lovely terrace with plenty of plants and flowers, even in winter (one of the perks of living in Barcelona :)

Other things seem to be central to “the cure”, such as framing a picture don’t work for me as I already have lots of things on shelves and I fell that my walls would thank me with for the white space.

However, I do like the idea of assessing your space, what you own and how you use it, then making changes and enjoying it, either alone of with friends.

Some ideas I really like from the cure:

1. Using green cleaners for your home

I’ve started to use vinegar and baking soda for a while now to clean surfaces and the inside of the fridge and now I’m testing this spray solution with one part water, one part vinegar and baking soda: it cleans just as good as the stuff you buy (you might need to scrub a bit more in difficult areas, but you could count it as exercise :) , and it doesn’t hurt your hands or the environment.

2. Inventing an outbox, a neutral area to store objects you’d want to throw away but are unsure of. You just keep them for a week in there and if you’re still unsure you keep it for one more week and so on. A little prison for things you could trash, give away or sell.

3. The therapeutic idea of cleaning

Cleaning is well… a chore. Maybe you listen to music when you do it, maybe you sing on the top of your lungs, or maybe you just do it and keep your mouth shut about it. Yet “the cure” talks about cleaning as a way to get to know better your house: your remove all the expired food in the pantry and you clean it so you can enjoy it better, you thoroghly and passionately (sic!) clean the floors so you can sit on a bit floor pillow and read a book or have a cup of tea – just something you don’t usually do.

What about you? Is having a clean house important for you? Have you ever used green cleaners?

On Doing Less, Focusing on What is Meaningful

How many of the things you do in your free time are (still) meaningful to you? If you could learn anything, what would it be? Why are you sewing? Why are you blogging?

Before I get to the point and explain why I’m asking those questions, I will start with a short (super-short, I promise) story about keeping less for feeling better.

For a while now people in my team at work were complaining that there’s too much work, too many partners to work with and too little time for them to reach their goals and do quality work. The top management started looking into the issue and while the idea as to see where they needed to bring in more people, they discovered that they could actually afford doing less. It appeared that more than 70% of the partners and projects they were working with was bringing them 5% of their total monetary goal. Every month, every year.

So they decided to stop working on those 70% percent of accounts, focus on the ones that really mattered and use the extra time to think about what they wanted to do and find new best performing partners. 3 weeks later it was already working, people feeling more that they owned the situation and not the other way around, bringing in new partners and staying on course with their monetary goals.

I think this can apply to almost any areas of our lives. We sometimes do things because we got used to doing them, not because they bring us pleasure or are meaningful to our lives.

Think about the things you do in your free time. Do you always think or how you’d like to spend that time if you didn’t have a habit or the hobby of_________ (you fill in that space)?

I, for example realized I was spending a lot of my free time sewing bags for the shop. I like making things and I love when people send me feedback like: “love the bag, I wear it everywhere” or “made my day”.

But on the other hand, I wanted to learn more (and write more) about pattern making and didn’t have the time to do it.

I also tried to work on a new sewing project every weekend, but most of the time I would choose a 2-3 hour project because I didn’t have more than that to invest in it. I laso wasn’t investing enough time in learning new techniques, reading about sewing and pattern making, and overall enjoying the whole process.

I was speed-sewing and creating garments I knew how to deal with.

So I took a little vacation from the shop and started to spend my time more on the explorative and the learning part of sewing. And exploring other areas that interest me, such as illustration (see the image above:)

What about you? How often do you sew? Are you interested in learning new techniques or making really complicated garments? How much time in a week do you spend sewing?

And have a lovely Sunday!

How to Get Perfect Darts with Tailor Tacks

How to Get Perfect Darts with Tailor Tacks
Can you believe it’s already the third week of January? It seems like only a few days I was napping next to the Christmas tree, eating gingerbread and enjoying the slowness of everything. But it’s the third week of January and there are things to be done, people to see, new projects to start.

This week I learned something quite cool: using tailor tacks for darts. I don’t know why I never put any attention into this previously, but it’s quite a time saver, you get perfect darts and there’s no mess or unhappy after-washing incidents.

First insert the needle once through both layers of fabric. This is a skirt dart, but a bust dart works the same.

taylor tacks 1

Then slightly open the two layers, making sure the thread is long enough to cut.

taylor tacks 2

And snip, making sure you left the threads a bit longer, so they don’t get fished out when you move the fabric.

taylor tacks 3

Another thing I mark on the fabric are the dart legs. You can mark this with tailor chalk or washable marker, but I just create small snips at the same time as I cut the fabric from the pattern.

taylor tacks 4

Now all you need to do is match the snips and create a triangle with your tailor tack (that pink thread at the end of the triangle)

taylor tacks 5

You then sew the dart, making sure to sew a few stitches backward when you start and end your line. Some experienced sewists say you shouldn’t backstitch at the end of the dart. You can simply tie the threads at the end, but I do this when the fabric is crisper and I know the pleats are not going to be pulled to much, thus they will not show on the right side of the fabric.

taylor tacks 6

Just remove the tailor tack and here you go: your perfect dart.

taylor tacks 7

Now press and continue with the next steps of your project.

Do you have a different way of getting perfect darts? Do share :)


A Cute Vintage Gathered Yoke Blouse

This is another idea from ”Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth.

And it seems so easy to make also: just cut a (sort of) diamond shape above the bust, then slash and spread the remaining part of the bodice to create pleats. Then sew back together.

I would work with a relaxed version of the bodice for this. The bodice I made with this method comes out very fitted. For this blouse I would just grade it to a bigger size so the blouse has some movement. And it’s easier to take in then release a garment anyway :P

This is a very similar garment (image from here), with long sleeves, a shirt collar and made in black silk.


Various Vintage Necklines and How to Draft Them

Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you many new sewing ideas and lots of hours of sewing fun.

One of the books I started the year with was “Precision draping; a simple method for developing designing talent” by Nelle L. Weymouth. Published in 1889, this is a lovely book; everything is so well explained and it just makes pattern drafting seem so easy! I got to this book via The Perfect Nose, who posts lots of vintage goodies as well as marvelous sewing projects of her own.

One of the things that I sketched into my notebook for future reference were the necklines and how to design facings. My favourite were the sweetheart neckline, the triangular keyhole neckline and the peter pan collar, both the rounded and the pointed version.

The full lesson on neckline facings can be found here and these are the drawn notes I took while reading. Drawing helps me both remember notions I would like to experiment with and understand better what it is to be done. Just don’t get to bored by the repetitive busty lady shown below.

1. The Sweetheart Neckline
A rounded and rather modest sweetheart neckline is shown here, but you can make it as generous or as square as you like it.

The Sweetheart Neckline

2. The Keyhole Neckline.
A triangular shape is shown here but the same can be done with an oval shape.

The Keyhole Neckline

3. The Peter Pan Collar
The Peter Pan collar has been getting a lot of attention lately and I’ve seen many tutorials and even made my own following the pattern of a blouse I have. This all seems silly when you notice how simple it actually is to draft. If only I had pictured it like this 6 months ago.

The Peter Pan Collar

4. The Pointed Peter Pan Collar
Another reason why I am such a sucker for sewing books is learning the names of things. And then calling them by their names, dammit :) This is such a pretty collar; did you know it was called a pointed peter pan? How do you call it?

The Pointed Peter Pan Collar

Hope this sounds at least 25% as exciting as it does to me and if not, well, I expect you to write about it in the comments section :) I’d rather be told when I am boring than yap yap yap alone.