design: apron inspiration


We’ve been harboring a secret over at Tartella. We’ve been looking into another way to create our kitchen goodies. As much as I love handprinting each piece, things have gotten out of hand, literally. I just can’t physically keep up with demand, nor are a lot of retailers willing (or able!) to pay for the additional cost of me sweating it out over each printed piece. From a design perspective, I can’t be as free or colorful with my patterns, because I am very aware of the labor and cost implications of an additional few inches of design or another layer of color could have.

We’ve been a little mum on this decision, in part because we are far from ready to start a manufacturing line. We’ve only just begun on the research part, and have a lot to learn on everything from sourcing fabric to designing for fabric vs. individual pieces. Part of this is creating a book of inspiration- from patterns, styles and finishing details–everything around us is fair game for inspiring a new line, collection or piece.

Last week I pulled out some favorite half aprons from my own stash and spent some time photographing them and noting what draws me to them::


Ruffled Beauty- I found this one in my MIL’s basement. It was the print and colors that first attracted me…


But, it’s the tiered ruffles that I most adore now!


Simple Lace- this one is all about the details. The construction is simple and lightweight, but the white-on-red-lace stands out enough to make this a perfect hostess apron.


Even the pocket is embellished!


Country Chic- my sister brought me this one from a Texas vintage shop. Although it’s construction is also relatively simple, additional fabric and a wide band gives this apron some shape (think circle skirt). The colors make it fun! CORRECTION: My sister MADE me this apron! I was duly chastised for not remembering that…

And, details like vintage buttons elevate an apron beyond the functional.

I certainly have my share of standard bib aprons from events and more, but it’s the aprons that resemble skirts and dresses that I adore most. It’s part of my cooking and baking ritual and I can’t wait to make some for Tartella!

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  1. Inspiring post!
    Especially love the colors and patterns of the apron your sister made you. :)

    Wishing you all the best,
    Mary (from BYW 2.0)

  2. Those are fabulous aprons! I have a small collection myself that my grandmother sent me from all of her aunts and grandmas.

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