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!

Gif Girl



Image Source: www

RUDE Girl finally got around to making a gif file.  It was a bit of a creative thrill for me to do it [I am far from a techo geek] and to have moving photos [literally] of me, felt like I have been remade in another format [nothing like a good makeover, right?]  Forget airbrushing, just get a bunch of photos, flip through them fast and all those wrinkles are hard to spot!

Seriously, today there is no time to waste, so I have had to gif up….whoops I mean giddy up.  My slow living life has fastened up just like a gif file.

Tomorrow we are off to two events in one day.  Yikes!! 

My alma mater Pascoe Vale Girls’ High School, is celebrating 60 years of educating young women.  I am not sure what formal secondary education taught me to be frank, but I am grateful for any teachings given at school or in life, that I have made opportunities of.  I am in touch, via Facebook, with my best friend Wendy from high school.  We share some fond memories of our school days.

Which reminds me, I must revisit the school song today.  It just might be up for a rap rendition by me.  Watch this space.

I was also thinking that my alma mater should also be celebrating 60 years of not succumbing to housing development, like my brother’s alma mater Oak Park High School!  Well done Paco Girls!!


Pascoe Vale Secondary College, Melbourne, Australia.


In the afternoon we are off to a wedding.  In true RUDE Girl scavenger style, my outfit had to be created, by me, from secondhand garments.  Over on Facebook at Rude Record I have posted glimpses of what glad rags I will be wearing.  Scavenger style is RUDE’S political and economic statement, and we do walk its talk, even into wedding events!  Every expense is spared, and the more formal occasion the greater the creative challenge too.

Stay posted, with more photos, videos and gifs to come, from tomorrow’s celebrations!

Below is a giffy of RUDE Girl in a vintage Esprit chocolate brown pure woollen cardigan, that has had a simple revamp.  The blue fulled woollen fabric came from another Esprit polo neck jumper, and the pink fulled wool fabric from a Seed brand children’s cardigan.

Next week, I hope to post a video, to my You Tube playlist, at Rude Record ~ Sewing of this cardie jacket being created. 

In the meanwhile, it’s time to go back to school, to a wedding and to go Beat the Man!



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

Yestermorrow Yearnings


The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How to Remodel Secondhand Clothes by Diana Funaro 1976


When you can’t remember what day something happened, because you’ve been awake for too many consecutive days.

Person 1: Remember that party yesterday… wait, or was that this morning?

Person 2: I don’t even remember anymore, it was yestermorrow.
Source:  On-line Urban Dictionary

RUDE Girl stumbled upon The Yestermorrow Clothes Book a couple of years ago in a library search for garment re-fashioning texts.

I made a request for my local library to track down the book but unfortunately the book was not available in Australia.  RUDE Boy searched on-line, and found plenty of copies in the USA.  But postage and handling charges, to have it shipped to Australia were, in our opinion,  too expensive.

This year sometime, I recommended the book to my refashioning colleague Bunny in Oregon, USA.  You may remember her from the guest post on Rude Record here

Bunny immediately, and with enthusiasm [and cheaply!] bought the book on-line.  And she promised to share some of its pages with me.

Well true to her word she sent me her chatty style blog post featuring the book, making mention of how RUDE Girl is now part of her yestermorrow book and blog story.

Check out Bunny’s cool book review on The Yestermorrow Clothes Book on this link to her blog which is titled after her feline friend Curious Orange Cat.


The Yestermorrow Clothes Book may be bit dated as stated here but it has all the basics required to refashion garments.  I did try to find out about its author Diana Funaro but no luck.  

Beat the Man and share knowledge on-line across the miles!
images book

Weave Waste

A Navajo blanket weaver. 1905. Photo by Edward S. Curits. Source – National Anthropological Archives.

“You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out”  Martha Graham ~ Dancer / Choreographer

This photo above, was RUDE Girl’s inspiration to give weaving a go.  I could make my own wooden loom but that takes time away from other things that I enjoy more.  I therefore decided to start my over and under weaving journey , by making a RUDE cardboard loom.  It measures 54 cm W x 115 cm L, which is the length of my studio table – photo below.


Recycled cardboard box upcycled into a weaving loom by RUDE Girl

Whilst it may look very rude, it gave me great satisfaction crafting it to my specifications from a cardboard box.  It did not take too long to make the loom.  It cost zilch.  And best of all, it reflects back at me what I am seeing in this blog post’s top photo.  Something makeshift, something so simple, yet effective,  and something that defies rampant consumerism and instant gratification.


An end of the cardboard loom showing the warp threads passing through the 2cm spaced slits. The slits we cut to a depth of 3cms.

I am not an avid knitter and have a large bag of wool to reuse.  I am going to use some of it in creating my fabric.  For what intended use?  I am not sure yet.  Actually, it’s just therapeutic being in the flow and not thinking too hard about what I am creating the fabric for.  It’s simply wonderful to be engaging in this craft for the very first time.


The recycled woollen yarn that has been collected over the years.

RUDE Boy was a bit amazed when he realised what I had been talking about doing for the past few weeks.  And that I had made my own loom from cardboard!  Gosh, it’s nothing new to many, I know, but to him it was.  He had never seen the likes of it.  At the end of the day, just before we went to sleep, he praised my first-time weaving efforts, and resourceful loom making skills.

Weaving Woollen Waste

“Each person has his own safe place – running, painting, swimming, fishing, weaving, gardening.  The activity itself is less important than the act of drawing on your own resources”  Barbara Gordon ~ Author

Beat The Man and weave your own path through life!

Some Kind of Beautiful


RUDE Girl was a bit sidetracked last week with her activism related to textiles.  I am passionate about keeping textiles and garments out of landfill.

Many of you followed my making of a bath mat from tee-shirt yarn over on our Facebook page.  You have to be very keen to rummage through dirty and smelly clothes at landfill, to find  tee shirts to make yarn.  And before you make the yarn you have to soak, wash and dry the tee-shirts!


Knitted bath mat by RUDE Girl made with recycled tee-shirts sourced from landfill.

To make this tee-shirt bath mat took about 22 tee-shirts and was very labour intensive.  It would have been cheaper and quicker to simply go and buy a bath mat from a department store.

I therefore continue to lobby my municipality for rags and poor quality clothes, to be free of charge, as opposed to them not selling, and then being dumped into landfill.


Soiled, worn and unsorted textiles, mostly poor quality synthetics at City of Melton’s TIP SHOP, Melbourne, Australia.

Anyway we have been having an issue with our local municipality, namely the Rags’ Ruckus.  The issue looks like it will all be resolved by the end of the week.  We want to thank Councillor Lara Carli for stepping up on our behalf, and really listening to our story.  If she did not know much about the municipality’s Tip Shop, and the health, safety and pricing issues, she does now.

And Bowerbirds Journal member Jacqui for your very empathetic post, particularly your words as follows:

“You have my sympathy, but I know you’ll fight back with logic, evidence and good humour.”

Last week, as support,  I was sent this little highlight from a blog follower.  It’s from the movie Some Kind of Beautiful with Pierce Brosnan.  She urged me to listen to my own advice about The Man.  You will get where she was coming from, when you see the video clip. Here is the link https://youtu.be/_wBl2Tatu34