mrs. chamber’s apron
This year’s beloved teachers’ gifts – aprons. First off the rank – Mrs. Chambers. Had to be done, she’s leaving early. I bought the fabric weeks ago, but true to form, only started pulling it together this morning. Sigh. I never learn.
Mrs. Chamber’s is Abby’s Japanese teacher – and such a lovely, lovely woman. Very caring, interested, generous, compassionate, and always excited to do more for our Abby who loves her Japanese classes. She even gave Abby a beautiful Japanese book she’d seen in a university bookstore earlier this year. She knew Abby would love it and put it to good use, so she bought it for her and gave it to her. Yes, Mrs. Chambers is one of several women we have found at Abby’s school to be such gifts. And we love her.
Now, my Year 10 music teacher once told me that she truly hated being given presents that were music-themed. She was a funny woman – sarcastic but very entertaining and her scorn for themed gifts left a deep impression. Thus, each year I try to think of something that reflects each teachers’ interests, but that isn’t corny. With Mrs. Chambers’ apron, I wanted fabrics that were rich and beautiful and wouldn’t look out of place in a pretty kimono – but weren’t japanese fabrics and were not put together in a traditional Japanese way.
I think this combination of colours is just right. And the sumptuous flower created by the Dresden plate, is a nod towards the Japanese love of gardens and flowers. I always have a chuckle over the flower beds in Hayao Miyazaki’s films – in his world, everything flowers at once no matter what time of year it is – either a reflection of his yearning for constant beauty or Japan is indeed peculiarly blessed :-)
It’s my own design – and I am mostly happy. I wanted it to be very covering so its wearer could get really stuck into the Christmas cooking without any of their special clothes being splashed. So I’m pleased with the skirt part of it – but the neck band – oy! That took 4 lots of unpicking before it was the right length. As for bodice – I did chop off an inch before attaching the skirt, but I reckon it could almost come up another inch. Perhaps it also needs to be a little more triangular? Hmmmmm ….. And the waistband – too wide. I don’t know what I was thinking when I cut it. I don’t like mean little narrow waistbands but I think this one could lose at least an inch. Never mind – there’s three more chances to perfect the pattern.
Besides, I like THIS one so very much, I think I may make a dress version – make the skirt meet at the back and button down the middle. There’s tonnes of the florals left and I only have to walk up the road to Darn Cheap Fabrics for the stripe.
Yes, I think it will make a very fine Christmas Day dress. And fingers crossed, Mrs. Chambers will be tickled pink by her apron and put it to very fine use.