I was fiddling about with some blue gingham material, cotton, attempting to make an apron for William, my grandson. The joins where the halter and waist ties join the body of the garment were messy and I couldn’t seem to resolve this. Also I had appliqued a W in red and this had not worked well. Then I had a bright idea. I would make it double and reversible.

I ditched the blue gingham and chose a plain black cotton and a grey cotton with sailing boats on it in black and gold.

I measured the width of the body of the apron at the top of it, the waist and the hem. I drew on a piece of paper half of the apron, drawing a curbed line from the waist to the top. I had folded the material so I placed this half pattern on the fold and cut it out. Then I cut 3 pieces 4” wide and about 15” long. I cut the black out first; then I cut the other body out of the printed boat material. I did not need to cut out the ties and neck piece in this material, but I cut out a pocket with a boat on it to go on the black apron. I also cut the black side 2” longer than the printed so that there was a black border on the hem of the grey material. It didn’t take a lot of material. I reckon half a yard of each would probably have been sufficient but it depends on the size of the wearer.

Then I sewed down the side of the tie pieces, and sewed one edge; the neck piece could have both ends left unsewn. I sewed a hem on the top edge of the pocket and ironed down the edges. Then pinned it carefully in position and sewed it down. I then placed the two apron sides, right sides together, and put the unfinished edges of the ties  between the sides of the apron and pinned them in place. I then sewed right around the entire body of the apron, leaving a space on one side of about 3 “ through which one can pull the apron and ties so that it is the correct way round. You then sew up that small section by hand.

This makes an attractive apron, thicker than normal to withstand spillages etc.

There should be some link in colour, pattern etc between the two fabrics. It was fun to do.


When my youngest grandson, James Kenneth Sullivan was first put in my arms a day or so after his birth, he never opened his eyes. So long as he was comfortable, safely held, warmly wrapped and with his stomach reasonably full, he seemed content. It did not matter whose arms held hm.

The next time I saw him was when he was maybe 3 weeks old. This time he did open his eyes and took a long, appraising view of me. It was the first glimpse I had got of his eyes which are an indeterminate blue-type colour and we cannot tell yet whether he will be a cool misty grey like his mother and maternal grandfather, or a true and brilliant blue like his paternal grandmother, or brown like his father, brother and other relatives. I would bet on the grey. I saw him stiffen slightly as he thought, this is Not-My-Mother; but I spoke to him warmly and he responds well to the pitch of my voice.

We visited Elisabeth again last week, so James is about 8 weeks old now. He is so tall that he outgrows the measuring device and the nurse shouts at Elisabeth that she cannot be holding him in the right position. She is however and the nurse makes a note on the file and asks Elisabeth to keep visiting the clinic.

Elisabeth is putting James (whom William for some mysterious reason refers to as Bates) for a rest but William starts wailing for something to eat. Elisabeth hands me the baby while she fixes something. To my great surprise, after he has looked at ‘Not-My-Mother’ with interest, he smiles at me – his first smile that I have seen. He makes a few squeaks, blows bubbles, listens to me, smiles again. So expending great energy, he begins to shake and to move his arms so that it almost looks like the dancer’s solo. He smiles at me. I praise his efforts and he coos with delight. I am overwhelmed with joy and pleasure,

He lies before us, like a new country. There is mist among the sunshine and we cannot see clearly but certain features are already outstanding, like mountains in an unknown landscape. I sing to him, the Scottish lullaby, Coulter’s Candy, and then for good measure, You cannie throw your granny aff a bus. He listens and tries a few squeaks of his own.

James Kenneth Sullivan. You have arrived. May you live and prosper.