While She Was Spooling a Vintage Tablecloth Apron

A sunflower in the making.

Outside while she spools around, a sunflower is in the making.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has a sign in the front of her house welcoming passers-by to inquire about services she provides. Among them is, of course, Spooling and Alterations.

Lately one of her neighbors called asking her if she would make up some aprons from vintageĀ  fabric tableclothes.

She informed Ms. ST that they are hot properties and everyone wants one.

The neighbor has a good job that she goes to everyday but also has a space at an “antiques and collectibles” shop that she is trying to develop for her retirement.

Ms. SpoolTeacher would love, love, love to be able to sit and spool aprons all day. But there is a problem…

“Well, let me ask you a question. How much are these aprons selling for?”

“Oh, gosh”, the lady replied, “they are selling for $30!” (as if that is a lot of money.)

“The problem is”, she said to nice neighbor, “I see aprons for sale all over for as little as $6 – $15.”

“Oh, but these are very well made and unique.”

“Oh”, Ms. SpoolTeacher said.

“Here’s the problems”, she said as nicely as she could… “It would take me, at a minimum, three hours to make an apron of any sort. I have to charge at least $10 p/h for my labor. How could that be profitable for you?”

She waited with bated breath…

“Three hours! Why would it take you that long?” (the all too familiar refrain Ms. SpoolTeacher has heard for decades)

She wanted to ask nice neighbor if she already had the aprons designed, cut and ready to stitch. If she has all the thread and finishing notions purchased. Then she wanted to ask her if she had looked into China for cheap labor or if she would be willing to hire illegal aliens!

She didn’t though. She went on to talk to nice neighbor for about an hour, because nice neighbor realized she knew who Ms. SpoolTeacher was and remembered her shop…

“I always wanted to stop in and see what that little shop was all about. It looked so unique and wonderful from the window at night as I was driving by.”

“Hmmm”, Ms. SpoolTeacher said in her mind.

For many years, Ms. SpoolTeacher herself has haunted antiques and collectible’s shops. She even had a space in one at one time but realized it is all about Real Estate, and that seldom do the vendors actually create a living for themselves. But she did manage to hoard a collection of things that were worth more than they were asking for. This has long been her way of saving for the future, thinking that another day along her Road Less Traveled, she will have a shop again and sell these treasures for what they are really worth, along with her labor in the form of an already “very well made up and unique” apron from a vintage table cloth…

cut in four squares

Voila! In a mere two or three days of here and there hours, upon hours of designing, planning, measuring, cutting, stitching…

It shall remain in her repertoire of things she can teach others to make unless someone is willing to pay $200 or more for the labor and it’s intrinsic value.

It’s not enough to make things once…

It’s not enough to make things once… Ms. SpoolTeacher has a bad habit of making little wrong assumptions against her better intuitive judgement.

She originally made this little “Springing From The Hem” apron and hadn’t yet made the belt to slip through the waistband gather-able casing. She had been using a belt to show it’s capabilities. Finally, lately, she took a length of green plaid cotton and married it to a width of red gingham, wide bias tape to make a “drawstring” for the waist. Well…what was she thinking! She had to make it again to make it long enough…

Long enough now! (oh look at those great coffee drops)

Shame, shame, coffee stain! Time for Paint Monster to emerge again.

And as one of her motto’s says, “No Scrap Left UnSpooled”

So what do you suppose she can do with these…???
Go over and see what Mary Adams does with her scraps… and then let her know what you do with yours.

And isn’t that a beautiful purple lovingly crocheted doily Mrs. Diaz made and then gave to Ms. SpoolTeacher!

Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, that is what you are.

Cupcake, muffin, doughnut…are secret words for those who know, Ms. SpoolTeacher’s secret club words…

You know who you are don’t you?


“No Scrap Left UnSpooled, go to ConSewVation to see the whole story of this pillow’s InSewVational metamorphosis…http://consewvation.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/scrappy-designer-pillow/

All Done, except for new pillow insert

Pretty, eh?

And of course, Ms. SpoolTeacher worked diligently on the Red Gingham Yoga Dress last night and she will be posting the progress later, but for now…here is a teaser…

Bias Hem Option. Ooh la la!

She didn’t like the length, so cut it way down and added a bias hem option. She will show you how she did it, stay tuned.

She also didn’t like the vintage puffy sleeves, which are out of date for her intent and also don’t lend well for how she wants to interpret her body image…if she gets real brave, she may post a picture of herself in the dress a little later. (It’s so much work to put make-up on and do the hair and scrub the feet and polish the nails….just soooo much work that could be better time spent Spooling Around…)

Bias Armhole Option to replace puffy, out of date sleeves

More work yet to finish the armholes and put in a zipper. She thinks she wants to do something creative on the zip as well…

See what she did with the pillow back..

Always a tag of Purple

Nothing simple, many gyrations to get to this, lots of InSewVation, and IntuitSewn

Be sure to find us doing ConSewVating over at ConSewVation.wordpress.com.