featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Mindy Hardwick writes sweet contemporary small-town vintage romance as well as children's books which celebrate art and community in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about Mindy and her books at her website and blog.

Vintage Aprons

The heroine in my sweet contemporary romance, Sweetheart Cottage, is part of a sewing circle of women who sew vintage aprons. As a child, Rylee spent summers in the small town of Cranberry Bay where her grandmother taught her how to sew. But when Rylee returns as an adult to sell her deceased grandmother’s house, she has not touched a sewing machine for years.

Like my heroine, I also learned to sew in middle school with alphabet letter pillows and crooked hemmed skirts. I hadn’t touched a sewing machine in years. Then, technology ushered in new ways to sew and inspire such as: Pinterest, Cratsy Classes and great fabric shops such as Creative Fabrics in Wheeler, Oregon which inspired the sewing shop in Sweetheart Cottage, and suddenly I had a new love and appreciation for sewing.

When I wrote Sweetheart Cottage, I knew my heroine needed to have some friends who could help her get back together with her former high school boyfriend. I love writing about vintage items and what better way than to have the women sew vintage aprons while helping Rylee reconnect with her true love.

Every vintage apron tells a story, from the full-length work aprons of the pioneers to the postwar 1950’s aprons sewn from Simplicity or McCall’s patterns which were stylish and playful with bold fabrics. I had a lot of fun setting up a Pinterest page for Sweetheart Cottage, which showcases some of these playful vintage aprons.

Vintage aprons were used for different purposes. Women might have had an apron for housework, gardening, washday, and special aprons kept at the back of the drawer for company. Brides were often given handmade aprons for every occasion from the regular supper to serving cocktails.  And don’t forget the holiday aprons! Vintage aprons could be for Christmas, St Patrick’s Day and Halloween.

One of the fun pieces to an apron are the pockets. Pockets can be made from contrasting fabric, lining fabric, quilt squares, potholders, or vintage handkerchiefs. A pocket could be a flap pocket, a fold-over pocket, or something such as a flower.

Vintage aprons are a way to connect with the past and the stories of the women who came before us—but don’t be surprised if the vintage aprons in your attic are a little threadbare and worn!

Sweetheart Cottage
Can a bet to save a dying town bring two high school sweethearts together for a second chance at love?

Self-reliant and determined never to fall in love again, Rylee Harper is traveling with her dog, Raisin, to Cranberry Bay, a small Oregon Coast town. Rylee intends to make friends with no one least they discover the family's long-held secret. But when former high school sweetheart, Bryan Shuster, offers her a job staging his vintage river cottages, Rylee finds her guard softening. However, when Bryan's plan threatens to unearth Rylee's shameful family secret, will Rylee run away or will she trust Bryan with her heart and stay?

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Angela Adams said...

Lovely apron, and what an adorable book title!

Mindy Hardwick said...

Thanks Angela!

Mindy Hardwick said...

Thanks for hosting me on the Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers Blog!