Children, Family, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, Special gifts

Timeless Pattern for Special Someones…


Occasionally, you discover a pattern that is simply timeless.  Even though fashions continually evolve and change, the strong appeal of these designs remains and stands the test of time.  Such is the case for one of my favorite apron patterns from the Retro Aprons pattern booklet  from Cindy Taylor Oates of Taylor Made Designs.

In 2006, a pattern booklet for Retro Aprons was published and quickly became a very popular pattern.  I especially appreciated the way Cindy used the rick rack trim to finish the edges of Apron A, my favorite version of her retro aprons pattern booklet.  Here’s a brief overview of how to create a finished edge with rickrack.

1) Place rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and attach the rickrack by stitching down the center of the trim.
2) Fold under rickrack and edge of fabric and press.
3) Using thread to match fabric, topstitch through all layers, 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.













1) You begin by placing rickrack next to the finished edge on the right side of the fabric and stitch through the center of rickrack with thread that matches the rickrack trim.

2) Fold under the rickrack and edge of fabric and press.

3) Using thread to match apron fabric, topstitch through all layers 1/16″ from folded fabric edge.

4) This creates a hem, where 1/2 of the rickrack will be showing.

This is such a great way to not only add a bit of color and trim to your apron, but it also finishes the edge of your apron.  This method can be used in a variety of ways to finish other sewing projects as well.

As you know, I love rickrack and I’ve made dozens of aprons from this pattern.  They make great gifts for your favorite hostess, a wonderful wedding gift and you can also make mother/daughter matching aprons too!

In 2007, Cindy released the “Little Retro Aprons for Kids” Pattern booklet.  This pattern resized the styles from her first apron book to provide the same styles for children.  It also included an adorable apron pattern for 18″ dolls.


Little Retro Aprons for Kids, 2007

Recently, I asked my granddaughters what they wanted for their birthdays this year.

Alecia putting her Retro Apron to good use

Since they have outgrown their “Disney Frozen” aprons, they both asked if I would make them a new apron and they wanted it to look like “Mommy’s apron”, which I had made several years ago for my oldest daughter.

It just so happened, I made Alecia’s apron from the original Retro Aprons pattern and I was delighted to be able to make similar aprons for my granddaughters.  I also decided to surprise them and make matching aprons for their American Girls dolls.

They each chose the fabric for their apron and it was so fun to see how the fabric they chose really fit their personalities.  I had a stack of fabric for them to choose from and Belen chose the red print fabric I would have chosen for her.  Eloise found a cute, more modern fabric, for her apron and I got to choose the color of the rickrack trim for each of their aprons.

Me and the girls with their Retro aprons on.

On the morning of their birthday celebration (Belen and Eloise had a joint celebration with the family), the girls were delighted with their aprons. Belen chose not to have a pocket on her apron, but Eloise wanted a pocket.  They were THRILLED with the matching aprons I made for their dolls and Eloise was delighted to pose with her doll in its matching apron.  What a fun birthday gift for the girls and their dolls!

Eloise with her matching playmate


Eloise’s apron (with a pocket) next to the doll aprons














What spring projects have you been working on lately?  It is such a great time of year to be sewing!

Happy stitching!




Finished Product

A Special Gift for Morgan

Our Mother, Hazel Margaret Johnson, was a registered nurse.  A profession that she was extremely proud of and one she was a very good at.  As a child, I loved to watch her prepare for work, putting on her white dress, white nylons and starched nurse cap.  It was a site to behold – she looked so professional and I was so proud!

One of the things I inherited from her was a monogrammed pair of her bandage scissors, which I was very pleased to own.

Mom's bandage scissors with her initials
Mom’s bandage scissors with her initials

A couple weeks ago, our niece and Goddaughter, Morgan, finished her nursing school.  There was a traditional pinning ceremony scheduled in Fargo, ND to recognize Morgan and her fellow nursing graduates.  We would have loved to attend, but due to weather and road conditions, we were unable to do so.  Instead, I decided to gift Morgan my mother’s scissors.   It seemed like the appropriate time to pass them on and I’m pretty sure my Mom would be pleased with this decision.  I also felt that Morgan would recognize and appreciate this gift as she has many fond memories of Grandma Johnson.

In order to present the gift appropriately, I felt I needed to make a case for the scissors and also wanted to make an apron, now that she should have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.

Perfect nursing fabric
Perfect nursing fabric


We recently received a beautiful nursing print at the Quilt Crossing and I felt it would be the perfect fabric for her gifts.





Adding the trim to Morgan's apron with lots of "hearts and hugs"
Adding the trim to Morgan’s apron with lots of “hearts and hugs”


I also found a “love and hugs” fabric for the trim of her apron.  The designs are batiked, so a little off grain, but it worked well to trim the nursing fabric and had the right sentiment.





I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric
I also lined the scissors case with the trim fabric
Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop
Stitching out the scissors case in the hoop










I purchased an “in-the-hoop” scissors case embroidery design online. This design was for a 4″ scissors, so I stretched the length of the design 3″ in my embroidery software to make it longer to accommodate the bandage scissors.  I hooped the stabilizer, then floated the front of the scissors case on top of the stabilizer.  Next I carefully positioned the lining fabric in place.

Scissors nestled into the case
The scissors case closed
The scissors case closed

I embroidered Morgan’s name to the flap of the scissors case and found the perfect button for the loop closure in my collection of antique buttons.  The case was finished!


Now it was time to make the apron, using my Anna’s Apron pattern.  I loved how the trim finished the edges of the apron and made it “pop”!  Soon the apron was complete!

Sewing on the trim to the apron
Sewing on the trim to the apron
The apron and scissors case
The apron and scissors case








Last, but not least I wrote Morgan a letter telling her about my mother’s bandage  scissors and congratulating her on her accomplishments.

Morgan's letter
Morgan’s letter

The items were packaged up for shipment at UPS and they were on their way, with a guarantee that they would arrive in time for her pinning ceremony.

A few days later, I received word the package arrived safely.  There was a wonderful celebration for Morgan and I felt like we were a part of it, although remotely.  The next day, Morgan called to thank me for the gifts – she was delighted and touched!  A couple days after that, my brother sent me this picture of beautiful Morgan in her apron.

Morgan in her apron
Morgan in her apron

We’re so very proud of Morgan and so pleased for her… and I think that her Grandma Hazel is also smiling and that too warms my heart.

Hope you had a wonderful New Years and “Happy 2017!”

Happy Stitching,



Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns

Anna’s Apron – My New Pattern…

Last year, I made an apron for a gift exchange for our annual investment club’s Christmas party.  The girls really liked the apron I made and the final recipient said she loves to wear it because it is not only cute, but extremely practical as she no longer has to search for a kitchen towel when she is working in her kitchen.  Both of my daughters suggested that I should  create a pattern for it so I could share it with others, so…  

My first prototype of Anna's Apron with Terry Cloth Kitchen Towel and Route 66 themed fabric

I’m pleased to introduce my new pattern, Anna’s Apron.  The wonderful thing about this apron is that once you have it on, you always have a kitchen towel within your reach because it is the base of your apron.

Terry Cloth Apron with Optional Pocket

The pattern includes 2 different versions for the waistband as well as an optional pocket pattern piece and has detailed instructions and illustrations that walk you through the apron’s construction, step by step.   It is a fun and easy pattern to make.

The apron is a great gift idea and can be personalized for almost any occasion.  It is the perfect solution for those hard-to-shop for people on your gift lists. 

Anna's Apron with Woven Kitchen Towel as Base

You can also make the apron using a woven cotton kitchen towel.  I prefer the terry cloth towel because of the body and absorbency it provides and it is more wrinkle resistant. 

What I enjoy most about this pattern is that you can easily personalize the apron and really make it meaningful to the recipient,.  I have several pieces of fabric that I have collected for future aprons that will be a lot of fun to give because the theme of the fabric is relevant to the recipient.  For example, I have some fabric that has a coffee theme and the resulting apron will be a gift for my favorite coffee connoisseur.     The jumbo rickrack is a fun accent and perfect trim for this pattern.

This Apron has fabric with theme of San Francisco on Terry Cloth
Pat, my Apron Model


If you would like a  pattern, you can purchase a copy on Etsy  or by replying to this blog post.  It is also available locally in Boise at the Quilt Crossing. I think you will find this pattern to be a fun apron for yourself as well as for others.  You’ll be amazed at how handy it is to have your kitchen towel “at hand”.   I would love to see some of your finished projects and hope you will share pictures of them.   I also want to thank my friend, Pat Henderson, for being the lovely model for my apron pattern. 

Pattern Cover

I’m excited to share this new pattern with you and hope you will give it a try.

Happy Stitching!


Finished Product

Welcome to Rick Rack and Polka Dots

This is the first post on my new blog.  I cannot wait to share my pattern and sewing ideas with you!  Here is an apron I made for my daughter for Christmas.  I will share with you how I made it soon!


And I cannot resist showing a similar photo with my granddaughter, Belén, in the picture as well.  Isn’t she adorable?

Belén and Alecia, my granddaughter and daughter
Belén and Alecia, my granddaughter and daughter

I look forward to sharing, brainstorming and interacting with all of my fabric-loving friends!