Stitching Old & (almost) New Together

004I was given a handful of really old collars by my girlfriend almost a year ago (thank you Sorcha!) and finally I have decided to put them to use, and started by performing stitch-work surgery to one of my favorite thrift shop finds, a linen jacket shirt with a ruffle at the bottom and big shell buttons. First I took the top button off, turned in and stitched down the high narrow collarless shirt to the dimensions of the lacework collar…
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Then I pinned the hem of the collar  just inside the edge of the shirt…

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Then simply whip-stitched the two things together and then turned the collar out, without ironing,  so it has that lofty personality of the collar…. and voila !

004The thing is , these few antique collars have cast a magic spell on me as I am in love with the -old-fashioned ritual of hand-stitching on a hand-made collar on to not-so-new clothing.  I just can’t imagine what might blossom from this seed, except that with this old collar I now have …

” Something Old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. “

outfit for wedding

Hey! I’m getting married tomorrow!

A Woolen Apron

I got to thinking about clothes again. About why we wear certain things, and why trends clothing work the way they do.  About why some clothes stand alone, tested through the fickle constantly changing fashion.  Jeans are one of those things in the modern day, perhaps, but as for traditional clothes which go way back centuries upon centuries ~ I call attention to the apron !!!  You see, I have a fascination with things of olden times, and things of olden times particularly sentimental and artful in their function.

It gets me thinking even more closely about the utilitarian aspect of clothing and wonder about how the apron came into existence ,  and why it still exists.  It is obvious to me, that in a day when everything was made by ones’ own hand in a completely power-tool-void life,  one’s simple wardrobe was made and owned as a valuable & prized possession, to think if for instance, one lived without much in the way of access to replace easily. How would one make their clothing ~ worn day in and day out ~ last?  Well, an apron of course !  This is my theory anyway.

An apron covers and shields one’s finer clothing,  takes the beating from the soil, from the weather, from the activities one immerses one’s self in day in and day out.  An apron only needs washing once in a while, not regularly like one’s clothes worn close to the skin. An apron is to me, a sort of armor to protect what is beneath. To me the essential value about The Apron is as important as shoes, or a hat.  To me the symbolism and metaphor around The Apron is sentimental and empowering !

Take a look at an apron closely.

Note the sophisticated empire-waist’d apron , of wholesome woven cloth, worn by Jane Austen’s sensible character Elinor in “Sense & Sensibility”. . .

regency apron worn by Ellinor in Sense & Sensibility

And my favorite little jewel “Daisy” standing in the row of aprons . . .

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. . . the gathered & tied over-the-skirt variety I happen to be very fond of, worn by farm women of all ethnic cultures.

wool apron
Perhaps the most simplistic construction in old apron artifacts , just a piece of woven cloth sewn to a cord, worn by rural Old World folks . . .

Bulgarian-apron

Bulgarian wool apron

I have seen the no-tie variety, and am very intrigued about these elegant full-bodied aprons , where one can simply ‘throw it over the shoulder’ and not even have to tie a cord, as if one’s hands are already messed with a necessary & urgent task . . .

Wikipedia-apron-1922

 I am so keen on making myself an apron, I’ve written a little poem for the occasion !

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A Plaid Pocket * by Jenjoyce