Winter Projects

DSCF8157It’s February and the garden is snow covered, so apart from tending to the animals each day, everything outside is pretty much at a stand still.

It won’t be long before I can start a few seeds indoors under grow lights. First will be the peppers and onions, followed a few weeks later by the tomatoes and brassicas. But in the meantime what’s a gardener supposed to do?

Well this winter I decided to rediscover my sewing machine. For as long as I can remember I have always liked to sew. As a child I made soft toys using remnants from the local fabric store. As a young adult, I enjoyed using the same source of remnants to design my own clothes and as a new home owner I made items for my home. But once I became a mum, my life became hectic and wonderfully busy; the sewing machine made way for books, toy trucks, paints and crayons.

So it’s been a while since my sewing machine has been used and it needed a bit of dusting off, not to mention some sharpening up of my sewing skills; I needed something not too difficult to get me started.

Aprons, I thought. Yes, aprons would be a good place to start. I rummaged through my stash of fabrics and added a few more from elsewhere and got started combining patterns and colours to make some retro style aprons. It wasn’t long before I was enjoying myself and I soon had quite a collection of reversible aprons ready for the Christmas Markets.


Fully Reversible Aprons with adjustable ties to fit most sizes.


Made using a combination of vintage and modern fabrics.

OK, so what next? I had purchased a great little book  The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew by Abigail Glassenberg with patterns for a number of different birds and clear instructions on how to make your own patterns. But none of my fabrics were suitable, they all had large prints which would have been lost on smaller items. In my cupboard, I had a number of white cotton sheets that were never used, so I decided it would be fun to create my own fabrics. Using fabric paints, I brushed, splashed and dropped a variety of colours onto the sheets and ended up with some amazing results. The effects of combining colours is further enhanced by sprinkling salt on the wet fabric.
DSCF8362The salt acts by pulling and distorting the pigments of colour and the finished result is different every time, depending on how wet the fabric is and the humidity of the room.

So using these ‘new’ fabrics I started with Abby’s pattern for a Rooster.IMG_5424 Next  I moved onto the Owl, making a few changes to the original pattern. IMG_5434The books introduction encourages readers to make their own designs, so  inspired by the way my first birds turned out, I followed the book’s instructions and made an attempt at designing my own patterns.

Here are some pictures of what I ended up with:


IMG_5511-EditNow I have a Flock of Birds needing somewhere to nest, so I’ve opened an Etsy store. If you would like to see more pictures of my birds and aprons you’ll find them at


About Jane Fowler

We are working towards a sustainable lifestyle, homeschooling our children, growing all our own food and creating art. Join us in our journey, learning with us along the way.
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6 Responses to Winter Projects

  1. Stephanie B. says:

    Beautiful colors! I especially like the red apron.


  2. nruit says:

    I love the animals and most of all your fabrics! Awesome. Hope you do well with your Etsy store.


  3. Jane says:

    Painting the fabrics is proofing to be addictive as I never know what the results will be. Thank you for your comments.


  4. df says:

    Love that first picture of snow resting on your property!


  5. Jane says:

    It really is beautiful during the winter. That picture is the view from our bedroom window.


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