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Fruit + Sugar = Jam October 14, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, Cherries, fruit, hand made, home made, homemade jam, jam, preserving, strawberries.
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Nothing makes me feel quite so housewifely than making jam whilst wearing a frock and one of Nana’s apron.

It’s a beautiful thing to make something your grandmother used to make, wearing something she most likely wore while she made it.

The jams that I have made thus far:

Strawberry and Vanilla Bean
Cherry (with splashes of Brandy and Marsala)

Frocktober (day 6) October 6, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, business, clothes, cotton, dress, fabric, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, hand made, home made, me, recycle, Saponify, sewing, thrifty, vintage, vintage fabric.
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Today I’m wearing a little stretch cotton dress that I made last year.  Super comfortable, but quite short!  It’s a wear-with-shorts-or-leggings kind of number.

You can see right behind my behind there’s a couple of my handmade soaps.  I’m just setting up to take some product shots so they can go into the shop this afternoon.

Dress:  Handmade by me with fabric found in my Mum’s stash
Apron:  Most probably made by my Nana, given to me by Mum last time I visited home.  It’s awesome fabric, I love it!  It’s fraying on the tie at the back and is badly in need of some repairs, but I that’s part of what I love about it.  The wide waist band makes this apron so comfortable to wear.  It’s great when I’m photographing my products as it stops me getting tiny pieces of soap all over my dress.

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999

Frocktober (day 1) October 1, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, Frocktober, Fundraising, me.

During the month of Frocktober I’ll be frocking up in support of the fundraising initiative aiming to raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.  I’m going to be wearing a frock a day for every day in October, and posting daily pics of what dresses i’m wearing.  If you feel like sponsoring me, to help raise funds for this worthy cause, PLEASE DO!

The latest statistics across Australia are that, “one woman dies every ten hours from ovarian cancer.”

For many women with ovarian cancer, the disease is already well advanced when they are first diagnosed.

Unfortunately, there is currently no screening test for ovarian cancer. Frocktober aims to help improve the outlook for women with the disease by supporting the quest for a suitable early detection test, through fundraising for the OCRF.

Click here to donate.  My registration number is 664999

Today’s dress is one that you’ve seen before.  We’re having a friend stay tonight, so I’m tidying up the house.  Turning it from a soap and sewing factory back into a home.  All the while I’ll be wearing my rad Clean All The Things apron.  Motivation for cleaning has never been higher than when I wear this piece of hilarity.

Hot Cross Bun day April 3, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, baking, bread, butter, dining in, Easter, food, friends, fruit, holiday, home made.

My Hot Cross Bun making efforts yesterday…

I got up early, popped on a festive frock and my Nana’s apron, and made 4 batches of buns.

My own homemade candied peel was studded throughout

I soaked the currants, sultanas and candied peel overnight in a couple of good slugs of Brandy

I even made the butter that accompanied them

They were devoured with gusto by everyone that came by, a most successful day indeed!

8 of the buns are on a flight to Adelaide with my friend Emma, I hope our friends in South Australia like them  :)

More photos on my Flickr page:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahmcmanus/sets/72157623756983546/

An Apron for a budding cook August 8, 2008

Posted by Sarah in apron, fabric, gift, home made, sewing.
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My friend Garry is a man who has every gadget and cool thing known to man. He turned 40 on Monday and I was very unsure what to buy him. I decided to make him a gift, something from the heart. He’s really been getting into cooking recently so I decided on making him an apron so he can look stylish while he’s wowing his girlfriend with his latest creations.  I also gave him a very cool barbequeue lighter to go with it.

I got this great heavy Japanese cotton from here. The straps I made myself from some fabric from my stash.  Here Joh is modelling the finished apron.

Christmas 2007 December 29, 2007

Posted by Sarah in apron, baking, christmas, fabric, food, gift, home made, recipe.
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This year I made a pledge to buy only handmade. Well, I took this pledge one step further and decided to make almost all of the presents that I gave this year.

For my dear Mother I made this apron. I called her the other day and she was already using it!


I made aprons for most of the rest of my family members in New Zealand. Each included an individual hand-written recipe for the recipient. I really want the children in our family to grow up knowing how to cook. I’m not there to cook with them, so i’m hoping this encourages the families to get together and enjoy food.


Our friends in Sydney received hampers full of home made goodies made by me. We packaged up individual parcels to peoples tastes in bamboo steamer baskets and cellophane. Here’s what we made: Hazelnut Panforte, Plum Jam, Chocolate, Fig and Ginger Fruit Mince Pies, Traditional Fruit Mince Pies, Hazelnut Shortbread biscuits, Fruit Tea, Cherries in Vodka, Balsamic Onion Jam, Chocolate Truffles. I didn’t get any photos of our packaged hampers, but they did look great!


Aprons for everyone! November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in apron, christmas, fabric, gift, home made, sewing.
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My brother Mark lives in San Diego with his wife Mari and their adorable son Logan.  My parents are flying over to visit them soon so i’ve been working on their gifts solidly for a week now to get them to New Zealand before Mum and Dad depart on the 19th of November.  Phew!  I’m finally happy with the gifts and will be sending them on Monday, just enough time to get there.

I used a butchers apron of mine as a guideline for Marks, then added some width at the top as per Joh’s suggestion.    Joh and Mark are both very tall so Joh became my model.  I made it slightly longer than I would for Joh because I know Mark likes things really long.  I added some New Zealand fabric to Marks one to add interest and to remind him of home.


I was unsure where to secure the neck tie for Logan’s apron so I sewed on velcro dots so that he can wear it as he grows.  I had a bit of a problem making Logan’s apron.  He’s two and a half, but i’ve never met him.  Also I don’t come into contact with little people that much, and I was making his apron without a pattern.  Luckily Mum came to the rescue!  She called a friend and got her to measure her three year old son for me.  Ah, the lengths I go to so that the presents are a surprise!


Mari’s apron was pictured in a previous post here.

And then there was Sunday… November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in apron, fabric, gift, home made, sewing.
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We started the day with a relaxed breakfast of pikelets.  My mother used to make these regularly for lunch in the weekends when I was growing up, and still does.  Hers are about three times the size of mine, but the recipe I had was for 18 small ones so thats what I made.  I love nostalgia food.  It makes me homesick like you wouldn’t believe, the smell of these babies cooking in the frying pan in a little butter.  The jams pictured are all home made, two by myself and one by Mum.


I recently purchased a new sewing machine and apart from doing a few repair jobs I hadn’t really used it.  I work in a cafe, and really don’t like wearing the boring stock standard black mini aprons we have to use.  So I made my own.  This is made from an old skirt that Mum made for me probably 8 years ago.  I haven’t worn it very much at all since I moved to Sydney, so I thought it would be a good place to start, and I wouldn’t ruin new fabric if I made a mistake.  Please excuse the super cheesy photo. I’m quite proud of what I ended up with considering the last time I touched a sewing machine was intermediate school!  I used the whole front panel, cut off the back and made ties from the remaining fabric.  I bought some ric rac the last time I was at spotlight so I sewed that on the bottom seam to add a bit of interest.


Next up was an apron for my sister-in-laws Christmas present.  This was very easy now that I had a pattern from making myself one.  I made hers a bit shorter and used ribbon for the waist tie.