Clothespin Pocket Apron Tutorial

Or more realistically, A What Not To Do Tutorial, otherwise known as a Comedy of Errors.

I use tutorials quite a bit in my career and am immensely grateful for them. I decided, since I have been planning to make this apron anyway, why not make a tutorial at the same time? Sure! Great idea!

First, have your husband take a couple of the kids to the vet and to buy a two row sweet corn planter. Then get the baby down for her nap. Have the biggest sister read to the little brother.

Gather your materials. You’ll need

An iced coffee.

Depending on if you contrast fabrics or make it out of the same one, you’ll need about a 1/2 of a yard of fabric. I used leftovers from other projects. A couple of fat quarters would be perfect for the apron, but you’ll need a standard 45″ width for the apron ties.
You’ll also need several inches of double fold bias tape. I happened to have some that came in my sewing machine table drawer from when I bought it at an auction several years ago, so that was handy. I have never used store bought bias tape before this project. This should be fun! 

what you really want is your fabric to be about 12 inches long in the end. You need a few inches for seam allowance and sticking the apron up into the waistband. I did 17 because I wasn’t sure how much room I’d need for the clothespins. (mistake #1).

I ended up folding up a few inches because after I used it the first time, it was too long for my hands to easily reach the clothespins. I made it 16 inches wide, because that was all I had left of the bird fabric and I really wanted to use it. (mistake #2) And of course, I didn’t want sideways birds while I’m here hanging up clothes, on the farm, with no one to look at me but the cats and kiddles, because that would just have driven me nuts every single time I used it. But if I were you I’d make it at least 20 inches wide. Fat quarters are 22″ and that would be just perfect!

To reiterate, ideal cutting measurements are 22″ wide by 14″ long. To make the pockets, nip off a corner of the top fabric while it’s folded. I went down about seven inches and curved in almost a right angle. This plan worked out!

Pin your bias tape to the top fabric pockets. Sew.

If you miss some of your bias tape (mistake #3), make sure you go back over it. This is easier to do before your apron’s all assembled (mistake #4).

Now you’re going to sew your apron pieces together and flip it right side out.

Normally, when you do this procedure you put right sides together. Thusly. 
DO NOT DO THIS! (mistake #5)
You want the right side of the  bottom piece to be facing the inside of the top piece when you flip them right side out. You should layer them with the right side of your top piece facing the wrong side of your bottom piece.
If you don’t listen to my advice, you’re going to have to sew another panel onto your bottom piece, like so. 
Sew the wrong sides together, flip that right side out and carry on as if nothing happened.
Also, double check you didn’t miss any edges and have a hole in your new apron already. (mistake #6). If you do, sew it up!
photo by three year old assistant
Now you’re (finally) ready for your waistband. What you really should do is measure across your middle and that is how wide you should make your waistband. Or, you could just really want to use this fabric in your apron, because it’s all you have left from when you made a dear friend her apron for her birthday, so you make it as wide as you can with the fabric you have. In my case that was 14 inches. I made the little bump just to be fancy. 
You know aprons are fancy.
Then you’ll sew wrong sides together (mistake #7) along the top only. 
Know what’s a good idea? Making sure you flip BOTH pieces to wrong sides, not just the one you see. I could blame a husband or miscellaneous children, because I know I started to get interrupted about now, but as this was not my first error…probably I won’t.
Know what else is a good idea? Not using a really tiny stitch when you sew them wrong. (mistake #8) I decided to just leave it. Even though it will annoy me, I just zigzagged the raw edges. I couldn’t flip them so I didn’t have raw edges, you see, because I had frugally used the selvage edge of my fabric, planning for it to be on the back of the band where no one would see it.(mistake #9) I decided the raw edge was the lesser of the two annoyances. 

When you’re done with correcting all your mistakes—no scratch that, YOU won’t make any mistakes, because I’ve already done them for you—, you’ll insert your apron into the waistband. You’ll need to turn up the edges of your fabric so you don’t have any raw edges showing. I usually fold down about a 1/2 “, iron, fold my raw edge into that crease, and iron again. If you know of a faster way, please tell me.

Insert your apron into the bottom of your waistband, taking care to not catch and cut your thumb on the needle for the first time ever (mistake #10).
If you misplace (somehow) both of your pairs of sewing scissors, even though you just had them, do not think that your son’s school scissors will actually cut thread, even though they will cut into the upholstery of the dining room chairs given enough tenaciousness. 

Moving on to the apron ties. I like wide ties. So I cut two 45″ lengths of six inch wide fabric. The only one I had enough of was the blue. So I picked that. 
Fold it in half and sew along the long end. If you want to get fancy (again) cut a 45 degree triangle off the end of it. Turn it right side out. It doesn’t take long if you like wide ties like me.
If you need to turn narrower strips, I highly recommend a tube turner. (Those are the ones I have, but I didn’t get them there; I don’t usually shop at Walmart). Once you figure out the directions, you will thank me. (There are also youtube videos, if the directions still don’t make sense.)

Gather the end of your apron tie a bit, fold your raw edges in on the sides of your waistband and insert. I made sure I inserted it at least 3/4″, because I have been known to be a bit skosh (pronounced with a long O) and had to re-do the entire thing. (I’m sure this comes as a big surprise to you.)

 Sew it well.

VoilĂ ! You’re done! And all before the baby woke up from her nap, despite all the mistakes, which proves if you do it right the first time, this is a very quick project.

Now go hang some clothes!

My photographer is short, and was trying very hard to
get the apron in the photos. I promise, I really do have a head.
The first time my bum was ever on my blog.
(at least to my knowledge)

as it looks hanging in the laundry room


Farm Funnies

Aviana, age 9, bursts into the bathroom where I’m, ahem, doing bathroom things.
“MAMA!” she bellows, “Mama!”
“What?!”alarmed,  I am forced to answer, wondering why I can’t seem to remember to ALWAYS lock the door.
“Stamps are now 49 cents!”


Cadrian, age 5, to our chiropractor.

Did you buy that table put togevvewr awweady or did it come in a box and you put it togevvewr?
I bought it put together already.
*pause, thinking this over*
When you die, can I have it?


Cadrian, as we’re driving to the park:
Can we go swimming?
No, not today.
Can we go to a friend’s house?
No, not today.
Can we go to that park?
No, that’s a school, we can’t go there until the schoolchildren go home.
Can we go to that park? (indicating the one we’re heading to)
Yes! Yes we can!
UGH! NO! I don’t want to!


Denton, 3, riding his tractor around and around the lawn chair where I’m sitting outside.
“Know what I hate?”
“What?” I respond, internally exasperated to hear another thing this kid hates.
“When you’re sitting down wifout me.”


Funny farm

My friend, to Brielle: I like your dress
Brielle: Thanks, but you’ll like my other one better.

I am walking down the stairs. Cadrian, looks up delighted: Mama! You’re so cwever!
 Me: I am?
Him: Yes! I was just wooking for you, and den here you are!

Aviana’s New Year’s Resolutions include:
“Learn to throw voise”
“imitate bird calls”
“not make bargains with Brielle”
Dada “thoughtfully” brought home “treats” of store bought Rice Krispies Treats. “Homemade” Rice Krispies treats would be disgusting enough (although I’ve been known to indulge in a scotcharoo now and again) so I  read aloud the list of unpronounceable NOT FOOD ingredients in  hopes they would make a Wise Food Decision, and reinforce to Kevin why it is we don’t buy that junk, while at the same time not wanting to completely undermine their father. The second I finished the litany of chemicals, Aviana said, “I’ll take the one with rainbow sprinkles!”

After bedtime:
Cadrian, from his bedroom: Mumble mumble mumble
Me, in rocker nursing baby, hopefully to sleep: What? I can’t hear you.
Me: What? Just come out here and tell me if it’s that important.
Cadrian: I have stinky feet.

After bedtime:
Aviana, coming down the stairs: Brielle is sleeping in the robot costume.
Me: I don’t care. Go to sleep.
Aviana, completely aghast: Mama! She’s sleeping in a card. board. box!





I have been a little concerned that I’ve been getting depressed. Like, seriously. But I think what I really needed was to just get out of the house!

The children were doing better healthwise today, even Elivette (who wanted to snurse all night, and if I pulled her off the breast she complained. Loudly. And often.)

I’ve been wanting to drive to a town about an hour away and check out the new Costco. Today, as I was downing my third cup of coffee and being blearily grumpy about having been awake since the wee hours of the morning, Kevin asked me if I wanted to go.

I couldn’t get those children ready fast enough.

We spent quite a bit of time browsing and exclaiming and discussing and corralling and it was so fun to see the chiddlers race down the aisles; Denton with his tiny little legs trailing far behind giggling all the while, Brielle in her ruby red sparkly slippers clattering with every step.

We ended up getting a membership, probably just so I could buy organic cream. And butter.

 I wasn’t ready to go home yet. We made a stop in West Branch, Iowa at the Herbert Hoover Museum. I knew nothing about him and had kind of believed the hyperbole of “Hoovervilles” and “Hoover blankets”. Today I learned differently! What a great man–literally brought himself up from nothing and made millions. He was the first person broadcast on television. Ever. He was one of the first students at Stanford. He saved millions and millions of people from starvation. Poor Bert–in the presidential office 6 months, the stock market crashed. And he was blamed.

It’s my opinion that the Great Depression was not ended by any of FDR’s policies, but by America’s involvement in WWII. Anyway, I digress.

We found a kitschy second hand store and found Cadrian some nice winter boots for next year. And we lost one.

We got a milkshake at an ice cream shop named “The Pink Pony”. (Guess which six year old was over the moon about that.)

We got back home in time to check out the Kuk Sool class we are considering for Brielle. And to visit Once Upon a Child to get some insulated pants and jeans for people with holes in theirs and leopard print baby outfits because babies need leopard print.

It was just a normal day…regular stuff…but it was so awesome to be laughing with my children, and my husband. It was so nice to be out and about.

I had to sit down at Costco to nurse Elivette. Brielle suggested we sit on a couch facing the big TV.

“Or we could sit there.”
“That’s not facing the TV.”
“No, but we could sit and look at the jewelry.”
“You want to sit and look at jewelry?”
“I’m just that kind of a crazy kid.”
You know you are a rockstar mama when you can change a two year old who started out in bundies but ends up  with diarrhea, in a gas station, without losing your cool, and the child still has pants at the end of the deal.

And when the baby poos to her toes–neatly executing her first ever blowout at the museum–and ends up clean and clothed at the end of the deal.

And when the baby pukes all over the museum’s carpeted floor, and you nonchalantly clean that up too.

I really love to laugh. Brielle told me once that she thinks I spend half my life laughing. I’m really glad that is the perspective she has of me.



Gratefulness 3

I am thankful for people who make me laugh. I really like to laugh.

My son made me laugh when he stumbled into my room with his eyes squeezed shut against the lamp light. He snuggles in next to me, sighs contentedly. Breathes deep, low, even. Toots audibly…mumbles “‘Scuse me”, and nuzzles closer. Seriously! How did I manage to get blessed with this child?

My friends made me laugh with this exchange:

  •    Farm Fresh Jessica:  Ohp–it says you’re already a member!

  • Karen: Jessica, I’m pretty bad with texting/Internet abbreviations so I had to google “Ohp”. So were you meaning “Oregon Health Plan” or “Oklahoma Highway Patrol”?;);)

    A different Jessica:Maybe a phonetic “ooooohhh” with a p sound at the end?

    A different Jessica: Or… OHP… Out Hunting Pigeons

    Farm Fresh Jessica: I’m laughing so hard I can’t come up with a good comeback.

    A different Jessica: ooooooohh hush puppies!!!!

    Karen: Oh heaven’s preserve! 

    Farm Fresh Jessica:  we say ohp around here. Like “ohp, there’s no more cookie dough! how did THAT happen?”

    Karen : ^i actually thought if that when I saw your ohp- then I thought I’d better google it!

    Karen : I like the pigeons better though 

    Kevin made me laugh in the wee hours of the morning.

    Cadrian came in our bed twice, the dog hopped up there at least once, Denton got up really stinkin’ early, Aviana turned on the light at 5 and of course, Elivette was more than happy to nurse every ten minutes.

    Kevin said, “Well, since we’re awake anyway, and the children are otherwise occupied…” *eyebrows waggle suggestively* *wink, wink*

    I joked back, “You’d better make it fast before another child comes in here. You probably have 2 minutes.”

    Kevin sighed and said, “How is it possible that people with a lot of kids have a lot of kids? It seems counter intuitive. You’d think the people with no kids would have a lot of kids.”


Why my brain is tired

***please note, questions and comments may or may not overlap and run hlter skelter through the air, independent of any semblance of order. I plop you in the middle of a moment of my day.***

mama, is Kaleb the tallest in in his family?
Is he taller than Dada?
what If I get to be taller than my measuring strip? will I be six feet tall? Will I be th tallest girl ever in the world?
NO, Goliath’s wife was the tallest in the world.
i bet Goliath’s shoes were longer than the car.
Is a cwocodile wongewr den the car?
Is Goliath longer than a volcano?
Are there volcanoes in Colorado?
If we left right now would we be in Colorado by the morning?
Would we see a fire if we woke up in Colorado?
Is Co-woe-wad-oh in ‘Merica?
How faw is it to ‘Merica?
why vocanoes bwoe up?
We be died if we in a volcano?
How hot does a volcano get?
can you touch one after it erupts?
Erupt.E–rupt. EEEEEE-rupt. Eruptttt. Erupt. Erupt. Eeee-rrrrupt.
What makes a volcano erupt?
what if a volcano erupted in our field?
why we no have sunfwoweres in our field?
why are our sunflowers done blooming , and that sunflower field is not?
do we hav esweet corn in our field?
Can we eat sweet corn for Cadrian’s birthday?
I stopped being a big fan of sweet corn when I lost my front teeth.
I wonder when I’ll lose a tooth.

***and then I took a nap***


Farm Funnies

To Brielle, who has been pestering me to make doll clothes with her.
Thinking this would be an easy out,”Maybe we could make diapers for your dolly”
“Really!? She’s 14; do you really think she needs a diaper?!”

We ask things like ” Who wants more oatmeal?” or “Who wants to go outside?” and all the children respond, “I do!” It didn’t take long before Denton started saying, “IdoIdo!” when he wants something.


The girls were performing a silly rendition of “So Long, Farewell” and dancing around the room singing “Adieu, adieu to you and you and you.”

Denton stood up and ran around in a circle yelling, “IDOIDOIDO!”

Brielle came home and immediately noticed the new lamp we’d gotten. “WOW!” She exclaims, “Now we have a fancy living room!”


Aviana has grand plans to put on a family version of “The Wizard of Oz” when the new baby is Denton’s age. The new baby is going to be the lion. I said, “Perhaps the new baby could have a non-speakingrue part. The lion is  kind of a big role for a one year old.”

“Yes,” she responded, “but that’s when he’ll fit into the costume.”



Brielle was snooping browsing around in my studio when I was in there sewing. She found a personalized silver cup my great-aunt had given in honor of my birth.

“Oooh,” says Miss Brielle, “Did someone give this to you on your birthday?”

“No, someone gave that to me when I was born.”

“Oh,” says she, matter of factly, “then it’s about 100 years old.”

At dinner the chiddlers were being even sillier than usual. I announced, “Absolutely no Alice in Wonderland talk tonight.”

“What? What’s that?”

“No NONSENSE!” I grinned.

This, of course, brought gales of giggles.

Dada pondered aloud, “I wonder what the world record is for non-stop laughing.”

Aviana replied, in all seriousness, “Oh, probably about 18 minutes.”


May you enjoy at least 18 minutes of laughing tonight!


oh dear

This morning I’m snuggling with my sweetest three year old. We’re chatting about nothing at all. Suddenly, he exclaims, alarmed, “Mama! What happened to your forehead?”

“I don’t know, what?”

“You have big wines dere, wike waiwoad twacks!”

Yeah, apparently I’m getting old and wrinkly.


Things that made me laugh yesterday

*Denton’s belly laugh when Cadrian walked around outside kicking leaves into the air.

*Aviana came downstairs singing: Beethoven, Bach, don’t forget bronze fleas!

 I was pretty sure that wasn’t how the song went…If you’re not familiar with the Beethoven’s Wig CDs, check them out. They are a delightful way to introduce children to classical music.

 *Brielle told me they needed to wear my make-up for their upcoming dance recital. When I asked why, she told me, “So we don’t look like we’re all pale and diseased on stage.”

* Kevin got tired of playing “Bad Guy” with Cadrian, and told him, “Go shoot your brother.”

*Denton almost fell off my lap laughing when he was feeding me grapes.

*Aviana wanted a ‘new challenge’ for her Super Summer Challenge, I said (jokingly), “You could learn to drive a tractor.” She looked at me, shocked, and replied, “At eight years old! Mama, I don’t think so!”

*I chalked the kids’ hair the other day. The girls washed theirs out before bed, but Cadrian wanted to leave his green. Funny, everyone who  saw him assumed that his sisters had something to do with it.

*Cadrian’s joy and exuberance about everything, especially if there’s a chance it will deteriorate to rough housing. He always asks if Uncle Corydon is going to come visit, because “I wike him! He always wants to pway wuff house!”


Funny family

Last night Aviana asked me to tell her a story from my childhood. So I started telling her about one of my childhood houses and some of the games we would play there and some of the activities I remembered doing there.

After a few minutes, she said, “If that’s the story Mama, it’s more like an essay!”

Too true, too true. Called out on my plotless story by my seven year old!

The children asked for ice cream after dinner. I told them they could have pickle ice cream.
They thought for a few seconds, and readily agreed!
I guess pickle ice cream is better than no ice cream.
Cadrian hid his stuffed animals behind something and told me:
No budee see ’em dere! No buddee can eagle eye ’em!
Brielle calls our sweet friend’s sweet baby “Jewelry-a”.
Her name is Julia, but I’m kind of fond of Jewelry-a and call her that in my head…
“Aviana,” I said, “A dirty old sock is not a very good bookmark.”
“Mama,” she replied, “a dirty old sock is better than NO bookmark.”