Tuesday, February 9, 2010

my vintage pillow case apron!


While digging through my bag of assorted fabrics this morning I came accross a pair of vintage pillow cases my mother in law had passed on to me a couple of years ago. Although they were in perfect condition, no soils, stains, or funny smells, I hadn't been able to use them as pillow cases because they were huge, and I had no pillows which fit. So I had thrown them in with the rest of my fabric collection with the thought that one day I could cut them into scraps for a quilt.
But this morning, when I pulled one of them up and flattened it out to admire, I noticed the lovely scalloped edges, and the sweet little buttons. And I realized suddenly that it was large enough to be sewn into an apron. 

To my excitement, I saw that two of the buttons would fit perfectly in the middle, and would give the apron a look similar to overalls (and what's more country than overalls?) I quickly laid an existing apron which fit me well over the pillow case and traced along the edges with a pencil, leaving room to fold over and sew. I cut along the line through both sides of the pillow case so that the top would overlap and be closed by the buttons; this also provided a nice thickness. I located a spool of pink thread and got out my needle pillow, and set to work doing a running stitch along any open sides.
Once the apron was sewn, I added the neck and waist straps. Taking two odd strips of fabric, I tied them with a knot in the middle to form a shabby bow, which I sewed to the top left corner for a little girlie detail.

I love how it turned out! And it was so simple. The whole process took about an hour. It feels great to make something simple, pretty, and recycle vintage fabric all at once. 
I have a second identical pillow case and I wonder....would one of you sweethearts like to be my apron twin? 

Leave a comment here, telling me about your favorite kind of Birthday Cake, and I'll pick a winner tomorrow, on my birthday!

The winner will get the twin to this pillow case, and will have the opportunity to make a vintage pillow case apron for themselves. All I ask in return is that they share a couple pictures of whatever they turn the pillow case into...quilt, baby blanket, napkins, or indeed, an apron...in a blog post so we all can see!

Looking forward to reading about your favorite birthday cake!

Thank you all for your kind, heartfelt notes yesterday. It really makes a world of difference when you feel the warmth and comeraderie of other people. There are still a few questions which remain unanswered, and still moments of panic or tears, but mostly, there is the strong conviction that love conquers all, that friendship has the power to heal a hurting heart, and that troubles shared are troubles lessened. So thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

XOXO country girl


  1. ooooohhhhh!!! I LOVE the apron!! What a sweet idea and the end product is adorable! :)

    My favorite birthday cake is cheesecake drizzled with a fruit topping. Not traditional, but makes my knees weak every time:).

    Happy early birthday! And thanks for your comments; I will also live vicariously through you, as Austria seems to be quite a magical & beautiful place.

  2. Dawn how creative you are, truly! A beautiful way to use an old pillowcase, I would never have thought of it! My favourite birthday cake, requested every year from my Mum but now made by my sister as my mum hates making it is: Devils Food Cake with 7 minute Marshmallow Frosting. Plus sprinkles & sparkles!! Glad you're feeling better, good times will return for sure xoxo LOVE Rachel

  3. Hi Dawn! I didn't have time to say something yesterday but I read your post and was deeply moved; I'm glad you're feeling creative again today. Your apron is just wonderful!
    PS. I've sent you a little something I made for you in the post. Did you get it?

  4. I forgot to say: my favourite birthday cake is vanilla and strawberry. Yum!

  5. Loving that apron Dawn! I don't have a good apron. I love that it is made from the fabric a loved one gave you! Amazing... My favorite birthday cake is either a strawberry shortcake like cake (the more fruit the better and different types, too... raspberries are my favorite, and blackberries and currents and peaches!!!) or a really good moist and cakey chocolate cake with a rich chocolate frosting! Oh, great! now you got me thinking about cake and mmm.... Thats what I want to eat now. Not sure it would make the best breakfast though! ha ha ha...

  6. Dawn--you are so creative, I continue to be amazed at all you think of and do. Love the apron it truly is beautiful!! My favorite birthday cake was when I was about 4 or 5 years old my aunt brought it over and I tell her I still remember it to this day! She had made several layers, they were all a different color! Back in the day when you could buy a package of food coloring (red, green, yellow and blue!) But what she did was magical and still a vivid memory to this day some 60 + years later!! Thank you for stirring this beautiful memory for me again!

    xoxo Gert

  7. Friendship does have the power to help heal a heart as I am learning these days but as for love conquers all...I am lacking a little faith in that right now relationship wise but maybe, I'm hoping love will surprise me in the end if I just hold on...and keep hope in heart.

    I simply love what you have done with the apron! So pretty and so clever! I'm rubbish at finding time to craft so don't send me the pillow case - but I bet there will be loads of talented people out there who will be able to do something fantastic with it! :)

    As for favourite type of birthday cake...for me it used to be christmas cake - believe it or not - but nowadays...hmm... a nice soft victoria sponge with butter icing and strawberries would be much welcomed or a banana chocolate cake with honey drizzled on top....hmmmmmm! xxx

  8. It's so pretty Dawn. Really sweet. I fished out some aprons my grandmother had made for me a long time ago the other day, I will take pictures for you to see. They're shabby chic and I didn't know it. I guess they're vintage too after all this time. I love vinatge linen.
    I guess my birthaday cake is something that fills the room with warmth and love.
    A friendship cake with ingredients a girl would add to wish a friend happyness..... chocolate for sure.... orange liqueur maybe.... almonds....lots of frosting and cherries on top.
    What I usually have is a fragant rasperry jam crostata with lots of lemon rind on the pastry..... my birthday is near Christmas so there's always a panettone on the side too.

  9. that's adorable and sooo cute on you. i love apron's and i've been lucky to have inherited my granma's.
    when my girls were little i used to make them dresses from aprons too, so precious, my favorite the embroidered ones!
    happy birthday tomorrow!
    my favorite birthday cake is the one my children and husband choose for me, whatever it is, whereever we are!
    xo lori

  10. That apron is quite likely the cutest one I've ever seen! SO cute!

    Naturally, I'd love to join your contest :) My favorite Birthday cake of all is a three layer vanilla cake, with vanilla butter cream filling, and whipped cream frosting♥ Yum.

  11. darling sweet apron, my dear..just charming..

    glad you're feeling better, my sweet....

    you sure did a great job on it....love you sitting there in your jeans holding that whisk...too cute...

    favorite birthday cake: angel food with whipped cream and raspberries.....

    Happy Birthday wishes...i did send something in the mail too...i hope it makes it there..it sure is a long way away....

    sending love across the sea...

    kary and buddy

  12. Absolutely lovely Dawn! I used to do lots of crafting, and some of the things I used to make were aprons and tea towels from pretty vintage fabrics, and bed linens. Some of the old linens and pillow cases even have ruffles on them so they make ultra cute and girly aprons. I really need to make more time to do these wonderful things :)
    Not usre I can choose a favourite cake...it isn't fair on all of the other tasty cakes! However I will say that decadent, rich chocolate sponge layer cake with a drizzle of chambord over the sponges, whipped vanilla cream, fresh raspberries, and topped with choclate ganache is pretty amazing! Golly i just made my own mouth water!
    Love to you on your Birthday eve...I hope you like your presents?!
    Morwenna xoxo

  13. The pattern is gorgeous, the inspiration is amazing and the apron is absolutely fabulous.

    Happy Birthday for tomorrow and the warmest of wishes and hugs,

    take care,

    Nina x

    ps. thank you for cheering me up too yesterday, in retrospect my grummpyness seems very, very daft now. N xx

  14. I didn't post yesterday because I wasn't sure if what I was going to say would be right in your situation. I'm not really part of the blog world, I just like to visit for inspiration and some calm happiness:). But, I really felt for you yesterday, so here goes...

    Having your own company can be tough. The highs are so high and the lows are devastating. I have my own company with two other partners and right now we are in a transition that is up one moment, soul crashing the next.

    You work so hard and everyday is a leap of faith. To take a new path is sometimes the choice we have to make and it is so hard.

    I send you a hug and the best of good things to come!!

    My favorite cakes are the cakes of my childhood. Every year, we got to pick whatever we wanted for flavors and decorations. It was something you truly thought about for a long time. Money was tight for us because my parents were divorced, but this tradition was always carried on (still is).

    Happy Birthday, Dawn!!


  15. German Choc. is my favorite!
    Love your blog.
    Happy Birthday!


  16. Tomorrow is your birthday?????? Oh happy birthday to you my dearest!!! I just LOVE this apron, absolutely LOVE it! I'm not quite sure that I could ever replicate your beautiful design, but I suppose that if I were the one that you chose, I would do my best to make an apron too.
    My favourite birthday cake would have to be a thick moist carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

  17. Gorgeous!

    My favourite kind of cake is Carrot Cake (made with pineapple and raisins).

    Have a lovely birthday!

  18. Mmmm... Favorite b-day cake. I am going to have to say chocolate. Chocolate with a cream cheese frosting? Yes... I think that is what I will say. Slightly unconventional, yet DELICIOUS! And the cream cheese would be sweetened with maple syrup I believe, and the cake too. Mmmm... chocolate! Love your APRON! So adorable. Happy to be in your drawing.

  19. OH, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I think it is going to be a great one for you. The storm before the calm. Merry wishes for a happy day. xo

  20. That is the prettiest apron, but how will you bear to use it? It might get stained! O no!
    Happy Birthday Wishes, Dawn!

  21. hello again:).....

    Happy Birthday!! I hope your day is filled with wonderful things!!


  22. when i was young my desired cake was always a bakery cake white with buttercream icing - we never ever got that at home except on very special occasions....now, it's strawberry cake with strawberry icing

  23. Thanks for finding me and commenting...secondly wow beautiful blog space you have carved out here. I love it. I could sit down and eat a big slice of apple pie and chat with you. So Happy Birthday...and hopefully we'll meet again! xo

  24. Ok. it's the 10th now, so
    Happy Birthday, dear Dawn!

  25. Happy Birthday I left an award for you on my blog.

  26. Happy Birthday, dear Dawn! I so hope you have a special and wonderful day today!! Filled with joy, simple things, gifts and, of course, cake!

    My favorite cake is one my sweet husband started making for me years ago - it's a hazelnut cake with a cream filling and chocolate glaze - I love everything hazelnut and chocolate! And this cake is divine!!!

    Happy Birthday!! Love, Silke

  27. P.S. I forgot to say - Gorgeous apron! I wish I could sew like that. I think you might be inspiring me to try... Happy Birthday again!!!

  28. oh dawn! i love this so much...so sweet! the top with the cute little buttons...it's perfect!
    when i was a kid my flute teacher would make the most fabulous cakes...but my favourite was milk chocolate hazelnut. she would have 4 layers with the creamiest icing and then would make chocolate wafers for the top {she always made mine with white chocoate and then made dyed them pink!}...the sides were coated in crushed hazelnuts...mmmm...i still dream about those cakes...my fave.
    today is the 10th here in canada...and so i wanted to tell you happy birthday my beautiful friend. i hope you enjoy every moment of your day...doing all the things you love most!
    warm wishes & big birthday hugs

  29. Happy Birthday! love the apron, I have a thing for them. I am a white cake kind of girl or strawberry.

  30. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAWN! I don't know how to send you a message direct but wanted to be sure that you knew I'm thinking of you today and hope you have 'sunshine' in your heart this glorious day!

    xoxo Gert

  31. That apron is so pretty and such a herald for spring. You did such a fabulous job of sewing it together. It's right out of Anthropologie!
    My favorite cake is a poppyseed batter with raspberry jam filling.

    My favorite cake is chocolate and nuts ;)


  33. A very creative use of the case! I'm afraid one of my favorites is rather boring, but I like it. White cake with dark chocolate frosting. It's my favorite. Even if you like it, don't pick me...I would not use it as I don't sew anymore. It would be a waste!

  34. what a beautiful apron!!! my favorite cake is cheesecake...any kind :)

  35. Oh I hope your birthday is happy. I just found your blog and love it. I will visit often and share it with others. How can I pick just one favorite birthday cake? But I guess if pressed, I would have to say.. the chocolate with chocolate frosting decorated with sweet little violet flowers picked from our back yard. Baked and decorated with love by my daughter. Beautiful and yummy!

  36. The apron is so sweet and gives me some ideas for old pillowcases that were once my mothers.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Think Spring!

  37. How creative and fun, Dawn...Here's to April birthday gals!!! Mine is the 13th...Gladys Taber is the 12th, Susan's is in April, too!! :)

  38. Happy early birthday!!!!! How fun and exciting!! My favorite cake is poppyseed cake and I haven't had it in ages. My mom is German and her baking style is quite European--it's just what I'm used to. This cake---well, I can just taste it NOW!!! I'd have it with tea, milk....or just gobble it down!!! It's moist and wonderful!! My youngest daughter's birthday is next wednesday, the 13th and her husband's birthday is today!! the 6th. My sweetheart's birthday is the 22nd...so April is a big month around here!! Love you!
    And...I'd be HAPPY to send you Sue's books!!

  39. And I find the apron to be just charming and would LOVE to be your twin, minus being pregnant right now!! LOL xx Joann

  40. Just now saw this darling apron post, sweet Dawn!! You did such a lovely job on it and I am sure your mother-in-law loved it also! Vintage fabrics touch our hearts, whether there is embroidery, or handmade lace, or delicate prints! Hoping all is going well and sending love and hugs, Sherry xx (Hope that Feb BDay was a happy one!!!)



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