If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Les Tabliers de Paris

Dear Ann,
Here I am with a Magic Remote Blog Post! Perhaps you thought you’d have the whole place to yourself for two weeks; forget about it, sweets. I can’t keep my mouth shut even when I’m not here. I fully expect that after I die, I will continue to chat for at least three weeks.
The Apron Thing–What’s Up With That?
Amy of Angry Chicken/Kingpod fame has started the coolest thing: Tie One On, a monthly show & tell of homemade aprons. Like Loobylu’s wonderful Month of Softies, the idea is simple: People who share the same mad love–in this case, for vintage aprons–make a new one that is inspired by the theme of the month, and send in a picture for the gallery. When the gallery is published, new heights of worldwide crafty ecstasy are reached. Everybody gets inspired, and in my case, envious, covetous (insert your deadly sin here).
You can partake of the domestic goodness even if you don’t sew. Knitty to the rescue! Here’s a great handknit party apron pattern from Jordana Paige. Knitters can adapt it any way they like. I’m thinking about sawtooth edging, eyelets, and dishcloth cotton……ooh, denim? Blimey, that’s a great idea. (See, I said ‘blimey’ because I’m over here in England, get it? I’m practically British already. I say ‘bloke’ now, too.)
This month’s theme is Home on the Range. You know I am a huge fan of All Things Cowgirl, and I also love the kitchen-stove connotation of ‘range’. And hey– anybody who has an abandoned fried breakfast on their back burner from Stacey’s fry-up-along can make wonderful use of those handknit bacon and eggs–the perfect accent to any Hotpoint range.
Rachel, I think you know it already: Lala needs a properly Western apron to go with her fantastic Mary Maxim birthday cardi. No back-talk, Miss Sassy–git busy!
O, la la!
I’ve been getting into the Japanese craft books, in a small way. A few months ago, my first acquisition was this marvel:
Mais oui, Les Tabliers Sont Arrives de Paris! This fantasy of French aprons, through a Japanese aesthetic, is beyond delightful. It’s lyrically photographed, kitschy and exquisite. The ISBN is 4-579-10972-4. For further enticement, here are a few pages:
(And you thought the Rowan models were skinny?)
(If an apron doesn’t make you feel housewifey enough, a matching kerchief is just the thing.)
(Another kerchief, but not so much housewifey as housewaify.)
(On the left, a denim apron with gussetted pockets. On the right, an apron you can wear to the office, provided you keep your back to the wall.)
(As with most of the Japanese craft books, the instructions themselves are suitable for framing.)
OK, that’s all I have to say about aprons. For now.
Love, Kay




  1. So you go to England and blog about Japanese interpretations of French aprons? So cosmopolitan, you fancy thing!

  2. Kay,
    I lived in Japan for 3 years – and trust me – Japanese women wear aprons *all* the time. They have some really cute ones, too.

  3. Lucky you in England! I am so envious. Haven’t gotten into the apron thing. But I do like the cowgirl/fiber food stuff.
    Have you seen Regina’s work?

  4. housewaify. You slay me! Juxtaposing Ann’s fern sketch and the Japanese apron instructions makes me think Ann missed her calling as a Japanese apron instruction illustrator. There’s a career path I bet she never considered. Or anyone else in the free world, for that matter.

  5. Kay, I’m only a week behind you! Send important yarn and fabric shopping information by next Thursday!

  6. Very nice apron book! And yes, Japanese women wear their aprons EVERYWHERE, so why not wear cute ones? Those Japanese, always ahead of the game.

  7. Oh, for goodness sake, (I’m trying not to swear), I have eschewed those (not swearing again) aprons for years, my Mom the antique dealer, foisted ancient ones discovered in my Grandmother’s Vermont kitchen drawer on me many a time. Hate them, although in recent years do relent to put one on but only for floury bread baking and MAYBE for Thanksgiving dinner prep. OK, must go post this same message at angy chicken or the related aprons blog. Tell me, is anyone but the Japanese wearing them? In public?
    Wendy {still knitting, definately not sewing aprons, but using the sewing machine to make a “skirt” out of a plastic shower curtain for my 11 year old’s hover craft project, Janome HATES sewing plastic fabric the way I HATE aprons…(perhaps if I weren’t 40 something and didn’t have memories of aprons I’d like them more…)}

  8. Those Japanese books are gorgeous. By coincidence, I just received a knitting book that I ordered months ago (I posted some pix on my blog if anyone’s interested) and it is equally yummy.
    I can remember my Mom getting together with her sisters and sewing up a dozen aprons at a time. I recall a chiffon phase–blue, pink, yellow, and peach frothy confections. I’m not sure how practical they were, but Mom did use hers when she was entertaining. Wish I knew what happened to all those groovy aprons.

  9. wow-kay, thanks for the great shout-out. I have to tell you, I just got that book-and sweet jesus, it is amazing! now I don’t have to scan it either! I can just send everyone over here! thanks and hope you are having a great time.

  10. OKay, so I have to apologize AGAIN for second-guessing you. When you described the Japanese French-style apron book to me, the inward monologue ran something like, “Kay needs HELP…again,” but these are gorgeous.
    Kaysalwaysright, Kaysalwaysright, Kaysalwaysright…

  11. I find it slightly disturbing that one would even contemplate using any of these beauties for mucky jobs …. unless the purpose of an apron has changed somehow over the last few years and no-one told me ?
    How’s it going in the deep south (not that Emma lives all that far south but hey it’s still over the border) ? North of the border is pretty fun too if you ever care to venture this way …. :0)
    Heather x

  12. Hmmm, very interesting. Here’s my SAT-style hypothesis… apron:sewing::scarf:knitting.
    No sizes, no intimidation, no real way to mess it up, but with infinite cuteness potential given the right fabrics/yarns and the right photographer. 😉

  13. I have enjoyed your blog so much, but after yet another “skinny” comment count me out. I am thin, I was BORN that way, Japanese models, just like American and European models are THIN, just because people are THIN doesn’t make them a freakin joke. I find this common on a lot of knitting blogs. Maybe I should stop knitting because i obviously don’t fit the mold.I’ll miss your blog. It really was a nice read.

  14. Hi Kay,
    I was wondering where you got the apron book? I’d like to get my hands on one!

  15. These aprons are most awesome. Love them.


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