Monday, February 18, 2013


Soon after announcing my resignation from coaching at BMC, a friend approached me about a way to earn some extra money and support a pro-life cause.  The idea was for me to make aprons at home, sell them to AFA, and the profit would go to Save-A-Life.  Because I love aprons, it seemed like a good idea, and it would help a good cause, I decided to do it.

The initial order was for 50, and it was estimated that I would be making 1-2 per week.

50 aprons at one time!!! During cross country and football season!!! And I am responsible for educating our four children!!!  This was a major task, and I thought it was going to sink me.  We made it through that first fifty... We rearranged the downstairs into my "sweat shop," several friends brought food, others came to sew... And when we had XC practice from our house, a group of moms cleaned, cooked, and did laundry while I was out coaching!!

(above:  Julie Johnson ironing for me- the Johnsons came and spent two full days working!)

While I was making the initial 50, AFA was getting their website ready.  Here is what it looked like:

Introducing the Evika accessory line.
Style and life are two ideas that have always gone together.  Now you can support life in your own day to day style.  Evika products feature a variety of patterns, styles and colors.  A portion of the profits for all Evika products goes toward pro-life causes.

1) Canning ApronThe Canning Apron weds a smock style, full coverage apron with fresh fabrics and a ruffled bottom.  It is great for messy cooks or for cleaning house in style!  This knee-length apron has two roomy pockets which are great for keeping recipe cards or a cell phone.  100% cotton and machine washable.
Fringe pattern varies by apron

2) Flounce Apron
The Flounce Apron is a sassy, modern pattern great for everyday cooking or entertaining.  This style ties around the neck and has extra long ties, giving the option of tying in the back or front.  One size fits most, 100% cotton and machine washable.
Fringe pattern varies by apron

3) Vintage ApronThe Vintage Apron is a retro pattern created with modern fabrics.  It has a gathered waistline and two roomy pockets.  The vintage Apron ties around the neck and waist.  One size fits most, 100% cotton and machine washable. 
Fringe pattern varies by apron

Each Evika apron is handmade by Heather Duley.  Mrs. Duley lives on a small family farm in Mississippi with her husband and four children.  In addition to homeschooling and farm chores, she spends time sewing, running, coaching a local cross country team, knitting, and reading.

Their website designer is a master, because that 1-2 aprons per week never happened.  Oh no.  From the end of September until December 17, I made a total of 238 aprons.  Believe me, the coffee was flowing.

238.  That is a big number.  A very very big number.  It about killed me... And our whole family!  And several sewing machines!  Two ended up in the shop, and one afternoon I sewed with my grandmother's Singer Featherweight!

Most of the aprons involved handmade contrasting bias tape.  In my opinion, it gives a wonderful finishing touch to a handmade item.  Hannah was my go-to person for bias tape.  She made hundreds of yards of homemade bias tape for those aprons, along with whatever I happened to need at the time.  Whether it was making dinner, keeping up with laundry, pinning ruffles... She was willing to help me in any way she could!

Sarah and Hannah modeling aprons! 

Sarah was the tie-turner. With each apron having two neck ties and two waist ties, that girl turned and pressed well over 500 ties!  She was also great about entertaining the children of whomever was at our home helping.  Will and Josh did school together, and everyone worked together to make it happen.

I can't list the names of all the people who came to my rescue during that next 188 aprons.  Over those few months, although I was constantly battling feeling overwhelmed, the help I received from my friends meant so much to me, and I will never be able to thank them enough.

There is one particular family that I MUST mention.  Dorothy Denton coaches the NAHS cross country team, and we have run in the NA running group together for years.  One day after XC season, she saw a Facebook post of mine and offered to come help during Thanksgiving break.  When she arrived, she immediately set to work.  I began calling her my super clone, because she was a better and faster seamstress than I!  She came back a few times and told me stories of helping her mother, who owned a seamstress shop.  One day Dorothy showed up with her mom in tow!  Dorothy and her mother worked and worked and worked and worked and worked to help me get the order complete... all the while knowing that I would never be able to repay them.   I would probably STILL be working on aprons if it weren't for Dorothy and her mom!

Below are Dorothy and I working in my "sweatshop," and I will explain the chair on top of the table in the next post... and about the day that aprons literally almost killed me...

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