I knew exactly what I wanted to make for Christmas this year. My dad passed away in May 2016 after bravely fighting pancreatic cancer for a year and a half. He was my everything and the most incredible person and my heart was broken (and still is). As I was cleaning out his house I took around 20 of his dress shirts just knowing I would someday make something out of them. I remember him wearing them so often and they still smell of him.
Christmas is a hard time not having him in my life. To not be able to call him in Pennsylvania from my home in Colorado and hear his voice is so so hard. I knew I wanted to make my mom something out of her favorite dress shirt of his. My mom is amazing. My parents got divorced when I was 14. But in the last 20 years they have become great friends again and my mom took care of my dad up until the end. For the 1 ½ years that he was sick and living alone, she did his grocery shopping, picked up his medicine, drove him to chemo and kept him company, and went to every dr. apt with him and kept so many notebooks on his weight, BP, everything the dr. said in case my dad forgot. He was diabetic in the last few years and she cooked meals for him and watched movies with him and just showered him with love because she loved him and knew how much her kids loved him. I am forever grateful. So making her this apron was just a little present for her to keep his memory in her life.
I chose My Childhood Treasure’s Apron pattern (L101) and it was great. My dad was 6’6” so his shirts are nice and big! I chose the GORGEOUS Michael Miller llama fabric for the other side since my mom and I have visited the cutest alpaca farm in CO and now we have an obsession. (BTW Hobby Lobby is now selling this fabric and with the 40% coupon it was only $6/yd!!) I also made myself an apron which I love.
This pattern has two options- an apron with ruffle hem or a reversible one. I made the reversible one and left off the cute pocket since I was using the dress shirt. But there is a cute pocket in the pattern. I love the elastic neck and I added 2” to mine since I’m tall and it’s perfect. The pattern comes in sizes US2-20 and I made size 8’s for us and fit is spot on. I love upcycling and the fact that I now have an apron with my dad’s shirts on them (I used a few shirts to make the stripes on mine) is so special. I cut the ties from the shirt sleeves.
My mom flew out for Thanksgiving so I gave her the apron then and she loved it. She said “I miss him so much” and we both cried a bit. So when you’re thinking of making a gift for someone, personalizing it is a unique way to show them you love them.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! -Ellen