Thursday, November 22, 2007

Apronista Giveaway - Farm Chicks!

Apronista is hosting yet another fabulous Aproning giveaway. The wonderful prize or I should say prizes are from Farm Chicks.

They are giving away a gift bag with a couple of treasures in it.

This is the one I just love. That scrap of wallpaper makes my heart sing!

farm chicks

Their site is full of other aproning and farm girl goodness.

Monday, November 12, 2007

November Apron Tutorial - Kappogi - Traditional Japanese Apron

Kappogi 1
Miss Fanny and the Kappogi Aprons.

I have loved the Japanese apron for many years. My mom actually has had a pattern for it (and of course now we can’t find it.)
I love this apron because it covers everything. In honor of Thanksgiving and all the cooking we will be doing here next week (recipes to come of course), I thought I needed an apron that covered most of me so I can cook like a maniac, peel my apron off, and greet my guests in perfect cleanness.
A Sexy little apron is great when you are just heating things up for dinner or for doing the wash but when you are doing the "From Scratch Holiday Baking" that happens at Byrd house, you need a tent. Hee Hee

This apron was so easy to make. I had a ball. I hope the tutorial doesn't just mess everyone up.

The Kappogi is the tradidional Japanese "Country Style" apron. It was designed to keep your Kimono Clean. I was told that the word mean Kitchen and to wear so it is basically Kitchen ware. Funny.
My sister in law, Miyuki, let me borrow her apron to look at. I love hers but it was made for a small Japanese woman. I am not small or Japanese. My arms are just too long for it and I need it to go further around. Hee Hee. Sooooo….. I looked at hers and took many measurements and came up with something that will fit a taller, rounder, long armed Western Woman.
Here is the fairly simple tutorial (you’ve got to love Japanese simplicity.)
I started by taking my measurements and decided that the thing had to go around my widest part with some room to spare. I don’t think you need to know my numbers, (I don’t even want to know them.) I will give you my cutting measurements though.

2 yards fabric for the apron
1 fat quarter in a coordinating color for collar and pocket.
Some elastic for the sleeve.

I decided to make the apron 36” long. That puts it a mid thigh on me and I like that. You want it to be just longer than your finger tips so when you wipe your hands it goes on the apron and not your pants or dress. I decided to make the apron should be 50” round. That gives PLENTY of room. Hee Hee. If you need it narrower or wider you can adjust my measurements later. I also made the sleeves about 19” long.
Kappogi 2

Kappogi 3
This was so simple. Here is what I did. I took the fabric and made sure it was exactly 72” long (36”x2). From that I cut 1 piece of fabric 72” x 26”. This is for the front and back. I then cut that piece in half 2(36” x 26”). One of these is the front. I took the other and cut it in half 2(13”x36”) These make the back. You need to taper the shoulders. I did this by putting my ruler along the top edge of all the shoulders together and coming down 1” from the outer shoulder edge. I cut that off.
kappogi 5

From the remaining fabric I cut the sleeves. My fabric was 46” wide so after the front and back were cut, that left me with a piece about 20” x 72” I evened things up and ended up with a piece that was 19 ½ inches wide. Each sleeve needs to be 19” x 30” . Take the sleeve pieces and fold them in half so they measure 15” x 19”.
Now take your ruler and measure up from the bottom edge to 8.5” down from the other edge. Cut along there. This will make the sleeve taper at the cuff.
Kappogi 4

Now the detail cuts for the neck hole.
The traditional neck hole on the Kappogi is square. That was a little complicated (for a tutorial) so I went for a rounded neck. It is easy to make, tute, and then I wasn’t copying the apron exactly. You can do what ever you like.
Take your apron front and fold it in half lengthwise. From the folded edge, come in 3”, from the top edge, come down 7 inches.
Kappogi 6
I used a pen and marked a curve that fit in those dimentions (the bowl helped with the curve.) Now cut out that piece and SAVE it.
Kappogi 7

Now to make the collar, I took the coordinating scrap I had and place the folded neck cut-out on top of it for a guild.
Kappogi 9
I cut that out and then added 2 ½” all the way around. I did this by laying the ruler next to the edge and making little marks and then connecting the dots and cut it out. Now you have a big U shaped piece.
Kappogi 10

To do the back neck, I took the left over piece from the sleve and cut it so I had a short piece to go at the top for facing. I placed all these pieces together and cut them all at once. I came in 3” from the center. Then I came down 2” from the top and made a curved line. I placed the front on top of the back and made sure that the were even.
Kappogi 12

Now you need to make the pocket. For this I took the left over neck piece U from the apron and from the collar and placed them together. This will be my lined pocket.

Last of all you need to cut out the ties. They need to be 2” wide and as long as you want them about 10“-12” will do. Cut them from your scraps. You need 4 of them.

Now to SEW: Use ¼ inch seams everywhere
First sew the ties.
Fold them in half lengthwise and sew them along the side and one end. Turn and press them.
Now do the collars.
Place the contrasting U on the Front piece WRONG sides together. (yes this is backwards) Sew them together. Clip the curve and flip the collar to the outside. Press in place. Now take the outside edge of the collar and fold it under about ¼” and top stitch it down. This is actually like facing done inside out.
Kappogi 11

For the back, take the lining pieces and fold the bottom edge under ¼”. Now place the lining and the back pieces together, right sides together. Pin them in place. Be sure to add the top ties between the layers. Sew them together along the curve and side, leaving the top open.
Now to sew the front and back together.
Kappogi 13
It is a little tricky but not hard at all.
You are going to sandwich the front top between the back and the back lining. Make sure you get the neck pieces together smoothly . How I did this sandwiching was to pin the front and back pieces together (right sides together), then I folded the lining over the top of that and pinned it in place. I then sewed that top seam together. I turned and pressed the whole thing. Then I stitched the lining to the back along the folded edge. (I know my words are getting in the way here. I hope this all makes sense.)
Kappogi 14
Now sew the sleeve. Sew the sleeve seam. Fold under the edge of the sleeve and make a casing for the elastic. I cut a piece of elastic long enough to go around my wrist and then some extra. I put that inside and sewed it shut.

Now sew the side seams together. I placed the sleeve along the side of it to know where to stop sewing. When the seams are sewn together, place the sleeve inside and stitch it in place.
Now finish the apron up by hemming the edges of the back pieces. Then fold up the bottom edge and hem it. You also need to add the second ties on back about 10-12 inches from the top.
You also need to add the pocket to the front. I just put the apron on and pinned the pocket where I thought it should go.

To sew the pocket, place the two neck pieces together and stitch all the way around, leaving a hole along the top of the pocket for turning. Clip the curve, turn and press the pocket. Then fold down the top edge of the fabric showing the contrasting fabric at the top. Stitch in place on the pocket and you are DONE!
Kappogi 16
Miss Fanny is the only goat we have left right now. She is very clever and knows how to jump flat footed over her fencing. (a new place everyday too.)
She heard me in the chicken pen taking photos today and had to come and check the whole thing out. She was most interested in both the aprons. (No she didn't bite them, she was looking closely at the fabric. HONEST!)
She is a very sweet and friendly goat. Just too nimble.
Kappogi 15

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Winners Are ......

OK I have had a chance now to do the drawing and here are the winners:

For the Ozark Patchwork Stocking ......


Laura J of This is Me

For the Mama Byrd Apron ....


Michelle of Greetingarts

For the Jeans Apron #2


Em of Em and the Gang

Email me at byrdhouse1(at)windstream(dot)net and I will get this shipped off to you ASAP.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by. I had a lot of fun and am happy to send my things out to some of my blogging friends.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Happy Blog Day To Me

I have been blogging for a year now. I can't believe it. Last week was my actual blog day but I was too busy to post then.

Here is where I started.

Happy Halloween 2006

This this post about my Halloween costuming attempts.

I have done so many things. It is amazing to look back over the year and see an actual record of what I have done. Here are some photos of my favorite things.

Big Fish My first quilted post card.

JEB and his Monkey My first "Not So Sock Monkey".

Dino Shoes My Soft Baby Shoes

Hanna's Smock My first apron tutorial.

The trees The ice storm.

Taste it! Cooking with my kids.

Valentine Aprons My first Tie One On Apron.

Monkey Diaper 1 Cloth Diapers.

25 Madd Eye Moody's Eye A Hogwarts Birthday.

AA 14 Mama Byrd Creations.

MA 18 My Ipod winning Mother's Day Apron.

July 8 My first tutorial on Whip-up.

2 The Peg Doll Party.

Prairie Hen The starting of Prairie Hen Day.

Jeans Apron #2 My recycled Jeans Apron tutorial.

Sexy Rebecca in an Apron Sexy Apron Day.

Front Four Seasons Doll Quilt Swap.

Henna Dye 5 Henna Hair

Tom 3 and Train Love.

In Honor of my very First Blog Day I would like to give away some things to my blogging friends.

First off is one of my Ozark Patchwork Christmas Stockings.


Second is on of my Original Mama Byrd Aprons.

And third is one of my Recycled Jeans Aprons.

How Do You Get One of These??
Enter a comment telling me something new you did this year. This will get you one chance one win something. If you blog my give away and post a link to your post in a comment, your name will be entered again. (thanks Domestic Chicky for that idea).
The deadline to get your name in the drawing is Midnight Saturday November 10th. I will put all the names in a hat and draw 3 lucky winners out.

I just wanted to say to all of you that come here that I have really enjoyed blogging with you this year. I was so nervous to start. I didn't think I would have anything to say or share that anyone would want to read. I have learned so much this year and have made some really good friends. I would list them now but the list would be long and I would just die if I left someone off the list. I love you all and thank you for stopping by and brightening my day with your comments.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Littlest Pirate

I am afraid I didn't get many photos take of the Halloween happenings this year. I meant to but kept forgetting the camera and had 101 places I had to be that day. What a bummer. They were such cute little kids.
I did manage to get this shot of the Littlest Pirate.
Sweetest Pirate

November 1st is his birthday. I did happen to get a couple photos of that but not many either. I had a meeting I had to go to so I made is cookie, gave it to him, gave him his gift, watched him unwrap it and squeal with delight, and then ran out the door. :o( He turned the big 2 this year.

Birthday Train
We opted for a Train Cookie rather than a traditional cake. JEB is train obsessed right now. He was so thrilled when he saw it. What wasn't to like; trains and candy, the best! His big sisters decorated it for him.

He kept blowing his candles out before we could get a shot. We did it 3 times and gave up. He and his daddy did have fun though.
Make a Wish

When I did get home from my meeting, JEB greeted me at the door and let me know what he thought of his present.
Tom 3
"Love a train!"

More train madness.
Tom 2
Tom 1

The cookie recipe used is an adaptation of the traditional sugar cookie recipe I use. I tried subbing some more healthful ingredients. We all loved it.

Flaxseed "Sugar" Cookies

Mix and set aside:

2 cups white flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

In a mixing bowl cream:

1 cup butter

1 cup sucanant

1 egg

When this is fluffy, add

:1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

Really mix this well and get it good and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.

*(a note on the addition of nutmeg, If you are going to bake these right away, the nutmeg flavor is a little strong so in that case I leave it out. However, if you can leave the dough in the fridge for a couple of days, the nutmeg mellows out and gives these cookies the most wonderful flavor.)

Roll the dough out on a well floured surface to about 1/4" thick. Cut as desired. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F for 10 - 12 minutes.

Personally I like these cookies a little brownish. I like them crispy. Just my own personal preference.

I did frost these with the thinest bit of buttercream frosting.

Hen Day - Crepes

Ok I am really slipping behind on posting hen day. I forgot to bring my camera to hen day so I can't show you the things we did. We were working on drafting our own wrap pattern. We learned a lot about patterns and drafting. I will be using the info in the forthcoming November Apron.

We had a wrap theme and ate wrapped food. I made tortilla pinwheels that were tasty.
Vea and Jill worked on Chocolate filled crepes. They were to die for.
I made them today for my family. They are too good.


Here are the recipes:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Sift together flour, sugar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together with an electric mixer. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; stir in melted butter.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Chocolate Filling
Mix together and set aside:
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
In another bowl mix together:
1 pkg chocolate pudding mix (instant)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Mix both together.
Whip 1 cup of whipping cream.
Add it to the pudding mixture and fold in.
Refrigerate to set.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup cream
1 cup or so of dark chocolate chips

Bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted.

To serve the crepes, lay a crepe out flat. Add a scoop of the filling. Roll it up, folding in the sides as you go (looks like a burrito).
Put strawberries on top. Top with ganache.

Now try not to give in and eat the whole bowl.
The original recipe has you use a whole can of sweetened condensed milk mixed with 1/4 cup water. I found that was too much sugar for me. Even this way was rather sweet. I think I might leave the condensed milk out next time and just use low fat milk. It was plenty sweet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Wouldn't you just love to own this apron!!

I would!!
You can enter a chance to win it over at Apronista until Tomorrow night Midnight 11-2-07.
The apron is Holiday Hostess over at Heavenly Hostess.
Go check them out. Major Drooling!
I love you flattering her aprons seem to be. I think I must might have to get one of my own!
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