Hot! The “Rhinestone Cowboy” Apron

The Facts 

Fabric: refashioned rip-off cowgirl jeans I made for an act I used to do, plus left-over pony/cow print upholstery fabric and a pair of old jeans (I knew they’d come in handy eventually).
Pattern: self-drafted.
Year: contemporary.
Notions: sequin appliques, rick rack, ribbon, cheapo bling – all from stash that I’ve been meaning to use on a costume for ages.
Time to complete: 8 hours.
First worn: 23rd July 2012.
Wear again? ABSOBLOOMINGLUTELY, it makes me smile.
Total price: $0 (£0), zilch.

The challenge: “Reality Check: This week, we’re taking a realistic look at our wardrobes and sewing that missing piece”.

Look. I honestly, honestly was going to make something sensible this week. Check out my website for proof. I’d done my research about what items every woman is ‘supposed’ to have in her wardrobe and discovered I have less than a third of most lists. But the one item that topped most lists, and that I don’t own is a Little Black Dress.

I’ll be honest. I really don’t like black. You’ll remember I made the bowled over skirt because I didn’t own a black skirt. Black washes me out and I’ve never really been able to see what others see in it.

But I thought I’d step out of my box and make myself something sensible, after all I thought, funerals over here in the USA seem to expect black clothing so unfortunately I might need something to wear to one someday. (Colour is encouraged at my family’s funerals which tend to be celebrations of life).

I’m nearly 2/3rds of the way through making a black jersey Butterick 5243. But I really wasn’t enjoying making it. It was the last week of school holidays before back to school and we were doing the last minute shopping required and trying to squeeze out those last drops of fun.

And then Friday happened. The atrocious takings and ruinings of lives in Aurora. It hit me hard, thinking about all those teenagers  (and we’ve learnt since all types of ages) who’d gone to the midnight premiere…..just like my 15 year old daughter had wanted to.  I couldn’t bring myself to sew at all on Friday or Saturday, and definitely not a black dress.

So I’ve put it to one side. I had been finding it hard making a black dress that didn’t appeal to me in the slightest anyway, but the Aurora shootings couldn’t have been more of a reality check. I spent the weekend not sewing but spending extra time with my kids and husband. I’ve cried a lot (hey, I’m cyclothymic, I often find it difficult to find the proper perspective) and we’ve hugged a lot and tried to find things to do that make us laugh.

And I only started sewing again this morning once I’d dropped them back off to school. Life is too short to spend doing something that doesn’t make you happy.

I’d been meaning to do something sometime for Angry Chicken’s Tie One On challenges, where people make aprons to a theme….and the latest theme (which you still have time to make your own apron for) is Rhinestone Cowboy. You’ve got until August 1st. I also had a costume from a Jessie the Cowgirl act I retired (to an edited soundtrack of me singing You’ve Got a Friend in Me that goes into Lady Gaga’s Telephone….accompanied with me doing the dance from the video…..badly… made ‘sense’ when you saw it honestly).

The rip-off trousers were one of my favourtist costume pieces I’ve ever converted. The joy of pulling trousers off in one move always amuses me. I just wish they didn’t take so long to put back on again. But I didn’t buy jeans to convert enough sizes too big, so the adding of velcro down the outside seams meant they’d always been a bit too tight.

I had great fun sewing and glueing the bling onto these and I’m wearing them with the Jessie shirt I made a couple of years back. Btw I’ve only just discovered the name of this bush behind me is a Texas Ranger….seemed appropriate, and I love this time of year when it comes into bloom after rainstorms.

You always hear people saying of youngsters taken too soon that they were full of life and often the life and soul of the party, they made everyone smile. They had fun. This comes out in many of the bios of the 12 lost in Aurora last week. I’ve probably been hugging my daughters and husband a lot more since the tragedy than I usually do, and I hope that I can keep up making the most of every minute I have with them, because life is too short.

RIP Jonathan, AJ, Jesse, Gordon, Jessica, John, Matt, Micayla, Veronica, Alex, Alexander & Rebecca. My heart is with your friends and families.



Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. Tempest Devyne you make me smile and your apron makes me smile more.

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve spend a lot of time in tears the past couple of weeks (bad time for animal advocates and rescuers) and this whole Aurora thing just made my head go ‘ping’. I love your apron, thanks for the smile through tears.

    • Life is tough. But I know it’s far tougher for so many others around this planet of ours. When I started out as a burlesque performer one of my drivers was because I wanted to make people laugh, it’s nice to know that my sewing can make me and others smile as well. Thank you.

  3. Yeah, Tempest – there isn’t a week that goes by that you don’t make me smile and I think most people were effected by the tradegy. My husband was 3 buildings down from the twin towers and I was an emotional wreck until I saw him round the corner home. That feeling has never left me and that’s ok because I make sure I tell my husband everyday how much I love him.

    Waiting on bated breath for you Olympic creation!

  4. I love your apron, Tempest. And I love your post as well. Tragedies like this always make you take a little time to reflect and be thankful for what you have. Just keep getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other – and wear this apron as much as possible, because that’s gotta help!!

    • My dressform is wearing the apron at the moment, it makes me smile every time I walk into my Sewing Lair :) I think it is good to stop sometimes, look around and remember what’s truly important in life, because sometimes I forget.

  5. YESSS! Your apron is just amazing and dazzling to behold!

  6. Thanks for making us all smile! That apron is outrageously funny.

  7. I don’t even know what to say anymore. I can see you wearing this at a BBQ-having fun the way I;m sure you do. So glad to know you Tempest!

    • Wombat is good. I always say that when I don’t know what to say. It gets me funny looks though…I’m looking forward to our next BBQ or party so I can do it justice :)

  8. You make me smile, outrageously awesome as always Tempest.
    I just love the pull string on the back of your shirt. Brilliant apron too. You make the best Jessie this side of SW.

    • You can’t see them but it took me forever to source and then adapt the buttons big enough and the right shape for the Jessie shirt….so the pull string was a must….except kids always try pulling it and it’s actually just sewn in place for show, manys a time I’ve lunged backwards when they pull it.

  9. Great apron! It’s very you! Will you actually use it for barbecues?

    Re: your LBD dress. What works for your wardrobe and your reality doesn’t need to be what others think it practical or necessary. If black isn’t you, don’t wear it, and don’t force yourself to sew it. There are plenty of other women doing it for you! The guides are pointless if you don’t look good in the item and won’t wear it. You wear sequins – those are your reality. My wardrobe actually ‘needs’ to include dozens of historically accurate outfits – my job depends on it, that’s my reality!

    • Haha yes Leimomi, I will be wearing it to BBQs, and parties, and probably to school if we do a craft session. I know my stuff is a bit mad, but so am I and as we’ve discussed before life is too short not to wear stuff you love.

  10. What a great apron, Tempest. I actually found an apron trouser pattern a few months ago and joked around with my friends that I would sew myself a cowboy apron to wear around the house. You beat me to it. I think we would have all been very disappointed if you had sewn something truly sensible this week…although in a way, it was probably the most sensible thing for you to do to cheer up a bit after this terrible Aurora tragedy. You’re not being oversensitive about this. My husband and I were really down, too, and had a few crying episodes. Don’t make yourself a black dress if you don’t like it anyway. I don’t own a LBD either, probably never will although black suits me quite well… But I like colors and black depresses me. I have a few black t-shirts (because they go well with my red and pink clothes) and one single suit that I have only worn twice in my life – to the funeral of my grandmother and the funeral of my oldest uncle. Unfortunately, my family frowns upon wearing colors at funerals.

    • PS: The pattern was from the 70s and I found the image on ebay. I didn’t buy the pattern because it seems like something one could easily draft oneself. That’s where I got the idea though.

    • Its strange isn’t it. I decided earlier in the week I’d try really hard to like black…there’s a couple of designers on the new Project Runway season 10 who are very into black (no spoilers) so I’ve been looking at their work and other black stuff in fashion magazines, but try as I might, it doesn’t click with me at all. I’d love to see that pattern, sounds cool.

  11. There’s no need to waste your energy and creativity on an LBD, this apron is so much more you! Well done :-)

    • Thanks Jennifer….I have a cunning plan for the LBD though….it might re-emerge as a LBOID in the near future. And nope I’m not going to tell you what that stands for yet ;)