The ‘Seven Year St-Itch’ apron

Mr D and I are celebrating our 7th anniversary in just a few days – my how time has flown! We were married in Hawaii, just down the road from where I grew up. I was a very pragmatic bride: I wanted our wedding day to be the best kind of day we could really have together, not a fairytale.  As a pragmatic bride I made my own bouquet, made chocolate mousse for 85 people (with only forks to beat the eggs and cream!), and, much to the horror of Mr D’s aunts, even scrubbed the dance floor. Of course, a bride who scrubs the dance floor needs a good apron, and I had an awesome one: a vintage early ’30s embroidered workhorse.  It was given to me by an honorary grandmother only once I had promised her that I would actually wear and use it, not just store it as an vintage item. The apron is everything you could want in an apron: it covers everything you are wearing, has nice big pockets, plenty of fabric at the side to wipe your hands on, and doesn’t shift oddly as you wear it.  It also has adorable yellow flowers embroidered on the pockets, and hand-worked blanket stitching to finish all the edges.

I think wearing it on my wedding day to make bouquets and chocolate mousse and scrub the floor is pretty much the awesomest use I could have put it to! I’ve always meant to make a replica of the apron, as the original is a little fragile, and with the apron challenge and our anniversary coming up, it seemed the perfect time.I took a pattern from the original, cut apart a stained vintage embroidered doily to decorate the pockets, used some vintage polished cotton for the fabri, trimmed the neck and pockets with blue ric-rac, and bound the whole thing in vintage pink bias binding.

Hmmm… Well, it’s certainly very early ’30s.  Not a suggestion of a figure, despite the sash


Just the facts, Ma’am: Fabric: 1m vintage polished cotton with rust stains, which I carefully cut around Pattern: Taken from an original 1930s apron Year: ca. 1932 Notions: Bias binding, ric-rac, embroidered doily, bias-ribbon for sash And the insides? Flat felled seams Hours: 2 First worn?: Mon 5 Nov (so that’s Sunday 4 Nov for the rest of the world) to wash dishes, trim my peony stems, make grilled-cheese sandwiches and pretend to dust the bathroom. Wear again?: Yep.  I think this might be this year’s Thanksgiving apron. Make again?: Probably only if I seriously de-frump it. Total cost: $0 –

everything was inherited stash.


Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.


Comments are closed.

  1. You captured a wonderful expression on your cat’s face! Your photo is so clear and natural looking.

  2. Thank you. There should actually be a whole post, with lots of pictures and a great story. I don’t know what happened to it!

  3. The cover image looks great! Aww, maybe the post because truncated. Perhaps you can check it out in the WordPress dashboard? :/

  4. Argh, what’s up with WordPress? Things seem to be going screwy for a lot of us. Well, your featured photo looks great! ;) I love the composition with the cat, and maybe things will get sorted soon and we can learn the story behind the name!

  5. I sent Mena a quick message. Maybe she can fix it on her end. I can’t wait to read about your apron and read about it. Your feature photo looks adorable, especially with the kitty. :)