Apron Memories


An apron for each day
one for company too
create your own memories
this apron’s just for you.
© Sue Pitchfork 2005~

The Old French root for apron is naperon, “small table cloth.”

I sewed my first apron in high school sewing class and then wore it during home economics class.  It was blue with big white flowers, very 70s.  My name was chain stitched across the front.  The apron is but a memory however the skills learned have served me well.  When I moved out of home in my teens I knew how to cook and sew on a button.

My mother always wore an apron around the house up until last year.  When she went to live in assisted living accomodation, she declared she would no longer be wearing her apron.  I guess for her, it was time to let others do the work.

The one thing I regret is discarding my mother’s self drafted apron pattern.  When she was cleaning out her home I requested one or two of her aprons.  Alas, it was not a priority in the bigger scheme of things, and I never did get an apron.

My mother’s aprons were very practically designed.  And there was no tie loop around the neck, which I discovered over the years, to be a nuisance when suffering from neck aches.

Last weekend I went on my first Op Shop [thrift store] Tour.  It was a free event, organised by a neighbouring Council for National Sustainability Week’s festivities.  1paint
The first Op Shop visited is where I found a modern apron that crossed over my back [image below].  It was originally priced at $4 but due to the 50per cent off sale, I scored it for half price.  Where the safety pin is, I have since sewn the two ties together.


When I tried it on a home it did not fit well.  I could have worn it ‘as is’ but I knew it would annoy me.  Therefore the last couple of afternoons have been spent in my studio, making alterations to it.

I have darted the front to fix the gaping neck, lengthened the back straps and added two new button holes, replaced small button with larger ones, shortened the hem, added a pocket that was made from a doiley and added cotton ‘lace looking’ braid to the neckline.

As for my mother’s apron style, I am currently making a similar type apron to what she wore, from an old dress picked up a couple if years back at a clothes swap run during National Sustainability Week in the City of Brimbank

Images x3 below:  My finished Barbara Apron [named after my Mum].  I will add a pocket when I come across something I can use.


Front of the Barbara apron.


Left side of the Barbara apron


Back of the Barbara apron

Beat The Man!!


Off Centre Gift Giving




Front of Jack’s hoodie upcycled by Nanny Kaz


A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

RUDE recently attended our granddaughter’s christening.  If you remember RUDE Girl made a contemporary nakashi kantha as a gift.

We were keen to also give a little gift of love to her brother, who is nearly four.  It was not like we had to give him a gift, but I had this secondhand child’s size 4 hoddie, in my ‘things to refashion’ tub for over a year. 

I had been waiting for the universe to provide a cute logo from a recycled tee-shirt.  And sure enough, just before the Christening, the right piece found me.  No Spiderman logo, however something just as awesome, and with attitude – just like me and our grandson Jack.

Innovation is serendipity, so you don’t know what people will make. Tim Berners-Lee

Here is the link to a You Tube video explaining how I revamped the hoodie.

Beat The Man and embrace off centre and away from shopping centre gifts!

Mariana’s Eco Fashion Mindset


“Some people save animals. I want to save clothing” 

Mariana Kirova ~ Garment Upcycler & founder of Eco Fashion Sewing


For this Friday’s blog post, RUDE were keen to feature Mariana from Eco Fashion Sewing     Thank you Mariana for accepting our invitation to share your passion for eco-fashion.  It’s over to you.

There is no other couple you can find online that is so authentic, dedicated, open and giving as RUDE guys are!   We all need to be more concerned about the waste we create and to be responsible for the things we acquire.  How to use and care for them, as well as how to repair and continue to reuse stuff (instead of dumping it).

RUDE’S ‘Beat The Man’ approach, and relating to what Karen and Danny are doing, was what encouraged me to follow Rude Record some time ago.  My hubby’s hobby is electronic, electrical and technical stuff repair,  and I’m into clothing and textile reuse.  Therefore us, having very similar interests to these RUDE guys was awesome.

That¹s me, Mariana, with crochet and lace makeover

Mariana with a crochet and lace makeover



I have loved textile scraps from a young age.   After moving to live in Australia with my husband and son in 2010,  I studied Fashion Design.

My first creative alteration as a fashion student (cushion turned into a bag);

My first creative alteration as a fashion student [a cushion into a bag]

My sewing room as fashion student

My sewing room when I was a fashion student

After graduating, I worked for a few years in bridal and general dressmaking, and also alterations. However, my heart was not in this type of work, and  one day I quit doing it.

Today, I rework and upcycle clothes and materials, in my studio, at home in Perth, Western Australia.  I source materials mostly from local charity shops.  Recently,  I found a Good Sammy warehouse, where lots of the unsold clothing goes.  This has become my main reservoir for raw materials.

My last purchase of 8.5kg bag of T-shirts from charity warehouse

My last purchase of 8.5kg bag of recycled T-shirts

I started my Eco Fashion Sewing blog to connect with like-minded people, like RUDE Girl, and share my knowledge, with one thing in mind;  to help others alter and making new from old.  My main goal is to develop a platform with digital products, for others to get into clothes upcycling, with some helpful knowledge and guidance of quality sewing finishes and professional redesign tips.   I recently published my first essential eGuide It covers important basics like designing with colours, and a group of techniques that can be adopted when upcycling.


I love mending and altering, yet usually my mind is also thinking how to enhance the look of a garment.  I will fix with an embellishment to cover a spot, or will enlarge a small size garment in a complimentary creative way, as I demonstrate in my tutorials




All my sewing machines are second hand.  I have a Brother domestic sewing and embroidery combo,  Bernina overlocker and Juki industrial straight sewer. I love my industrial sewing machine.  It just meets my stitching quality freakiness.

My sewing room recently after finishing a project (before vacuuming the floor;)

My sewing room just after finishing a project, and before vacuuming the floor



 I’m fortunate we rent a place with an additional room, big enough to accommodate my passion,  (for now, ha ha!).  Recently, I started selling garments I make on Etsy , but soon I’ll be selling at some local Perth markets as well.


Many creative sewers can rework and give back to the community by selling re-designed garments.  I’m finding this a good sustainable way to keeping the circulation of already produced textiles alive, and it helps to reduce textile waste at the same time.


The online presence of RUDE’S Karen and Danny on Facebook @ruderepair , and their Rude Record blog on WordPress, is giving me hope that together, we can shift the ‘fast over consumption’ mindset from ‘what we have’ to a happier, more natural way of living, focused on ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my passion and re-creations, RUDE guys!

Mariana, it was a pleasure featuring you and Eco Fashion Sewing this week.  We also want to promote your Facebook page and notice that you have a market coming up on the 11 June, 2016.  RUDE is inspired by your passion for refashion and keeping textiles out of landfill.  And what’s also inspiring to us, is that you are generously sharing your fashion design knowledge and skills with others.  If we strive to have this sharing and caring mindset, we will go a long way to beating The Man.

Beat The Man and eco-fashion your mindset with Mariana!


Worn out belt on a cardigan replaced with a belt closure

A worn out belt on a cardigan is replaced with a belt closure

Darn Day


I grow old learning something new every day. Solon

RUDE Girl spent years believing creating things was for other people with artistic talents.  I watched my mother sew out of necessity, not joy.  I did not like a sewing teacher at high school, and remember a lime green gaberdine skirt that was never finished or worn.  I cannot remember getting any help with it at school or at home. 

However, I can remember making my home economics apron and cap.  I guess I learned some hand and embroidery stitching making these items.


Home Economics students at Pascoe Vale Girls High School, Melbourne, Australia.  Students would make their apron and cap the year before commencing home eco studies.  Image: Courtesy of the PVGHS Facebook Group

My senior school years were filled with English, maths, language and science subjects.  I went into professions that were not related to the creative arts.  There are no regrets and many benefits, however now it is time for me to use my hands to make, maintain and/or repair.

Maybe it is being around RUDE Boy that has brought out in me my need to make. He goes to his shed to tinker, and I want to go to my studio to tailor [of sorts].   Or maybe it is just my time to move from healing hands [nurse, wife, mother] to creative hands.

Whatever it is, there is a pull to create and it is very strong.  Gosh, it may even be the realisation of my own mortality, and wanting to leave a legacy [i.e. the gifting of RUDE Boy’s sashiko jeans to a museum of 21st century oddities]

Last week I decided to teach myself machine darning.  I had never tried it before.  And with all the repair and mending I am embracing, it was time to stop procrastinating and darn well do it!  So, as this blog’s title suggests, I had a darn day.  And of course, I was keen to share my experiences.  Here is the link to the darn video.


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Beat The Man and darn well believe you can!

Vested Interest


I always find it difficult to dress in between seasons, but I quite like putting T-shirts on with a vest over the top and another layer so you can peel them back as the day goes on. Poppy Delevingne

Layering is always a great way to look different and to keep your look younger. Basic tees, vest tops, jackets, leggings, shrugs, etc, can be mixed up to add spunk, variety and colour to your look. A good sense of mix ‘n’ match is required to make this look work. Tena Desae

When I came across this vest [image below] in the pile of textiles at a TIP SHOP [point of landfill] I knew why no other textile scavenger had rescued it.  However, it’s boring black blandness was not going to deter me from saving it from landfill.  I immediately knew that the vested interest I had in the rescue of this vest, was related to keeping my chest warm between the summer and winter months.

Snapshot 1 (31-03-2016 7-44 AM).jpg

After I soaked and washed it, I tried it on, and realised it was uncomfortable to wear.  The metal zip was heavy and scratchy.  The shape of the vest was boxy and flapped around my middle.

For these reasons, this padded vest has hung in my wardrobe for a couple of years.  With my recent de-cluttering, the time had come to either revamp it or donate it to a charity shop.

I did not want to devote too much time to the project. I decided that a quick revamp was in order. I gave it a little bit of thought, and with some inspiration from Pinterest, I had a light bulb moment.  Where did I store that fake fur collar?  I was hoping it had not been donated in my massive clean out!  PANIC.

Here is the video link to the revamp.


Below are some styling images of the revamped vest displayed on Jen, my mannequin.

Beat The Man, and as a priority, make sure your vested interests fit you well.


Messing with Manchester


I love doing laundry! It’s so satisfying. I love the way it smells. I love doing the sheets.

Keri Russell

The cool kindliness of sheets, that soon smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss of blankets.
Rupert Brooke

I try to apply the organic concept to my clothes and bedding as well. There’s nothing like swimming in organic cotton sheets.
Woody Harrelson

RUDE continues the de-cluttering at home.  Today RUDE Boy delivered a station wagon load of more stuff to a charity shop.  This charity shop’s takings from donated goods, help to fund an aged care facility.

The blanket boxes and linen press in RUDE’S house are being cleaned out today.  It’s amazing what is uncovered that you forgot you had.  It is showing us that we have manchester [bed linen] we do not use and/or had forgotten about.

RUDE Girl recently made a fitted and flat sheet from some old bed linen [refer to video on Rude Record on Facebook].  I have been inspired to make some more fitted and flat sheets.  I really like the feel of cotton sheets made from old cotton doona [duvet] covers.  The cotton used in my rescued from landfill doona [duvet] covers, appears to be of higher quality than sheeting cotton.  I only pick out the very best from the textiles bin at TIP [dump] shops.



Assorted bed linen for upcycling

Check out the video to the above photo on this link below



Recycled white flannelette QS bed flat sheet, cut to remake a QS bed fitted sheet.


Use a QS flat sheet or fabric with total measurement 85″ x 109″.  Then cut out x4 14″ x 14″ squares from the corners.  Sew up the corners by bringing the edges together.  And then add the elastic by either threading it through a casing or sewing to the perimeter of the sheet.

NB  A very stretchy elastic came out of the fitted sheet to the above flat sheet.  It’s total measurement is 136″ [including overlap]

For those working in metric my apologies, I could not find my metric tape measure.  And I still feel comfortable interchanging with imperial measurement.  And should you require clarification on how to make a fitted sheet, please feel free to message me.  It’s very rewarding, however like with curtains there is a lot of fabric to handle.

Purchasing new bed linen can be expensive, especially if you want quality cotton and linen fabric.  Reuse good quality bed linen by revamping it again for your bed.

The white sheet in the photo above has slightly yellowed in places and smells a bit dusty after storage.  Before I sew it up, I have over locked around the raw edge.  I will use Napisan and soak the fabric overnight in the washing machine.

Beat The ‘manchester’ Man!!

Pick a Pocket

If you want the government off your back, get your hands out of its pockets.

Gary Hart


RUDE has four flash drives between us.  And I am always misplacing mine around the house.  Pesky little things they can be.  Gosh, I think one of RUDE Girl’s secondhand flash drives, was found by RUDE Boy in a baby’s cot, at the local tip shop!  Goes to show they can and do end up in all kinds of places.

Yesterday was cold in Melbourne and the perfect opportunity to play with my hand-cranked Singer 179N sewing machine.  I decided to sew up a storage bag for our flash drives.


Singer 179N hand-cranked Made in Taiwan circa 1960s

Instead of making a bag, I decided to use a ready made pocket.  The day before I had cleaned out my wardrobe.  A pocket on a pair of discarded Rusty brand cargo pants was ideal for this afternoon project.


Rusty brand cargo pants with pocket cut out


The pocket

The pocket is ideal as storage because it has a zip.  And the detail makes it unique.

And here is the You Tube video of the finished storage pouch.


Beat The Man by not misplacing your stuff and caring for your things!