I’m back from vacation!  One city my travels took me to was Austin, Texas and I had the opportunity to visit my friend, Cheryl Hardy, the potter of Sibbotery.  This time I was treated to a tour of her rented studio inside ClayWays Studio and Gallery.  Clayways is owned and operated by Kit Adams who is delightful and both respected and appreciated by the artists under her roof. During my stay I was invited to attend a social gathering of the associates of ClayWays and I made a few new friends, who sent me off with handmade gifts.  Dave the Cowboy presented me with the “world’s largest trivet” – his description.  Dave has a fun sense of humor.  Susan gave me a primitive-styled bird and shared with me some of her vintage crochet patterns. Deborah offered her hospitality and the use of her sewing machine and presented me with a mug and tray.




Pud Plate 001

During Cheryl’s tour, she showed me how she works at the wheel; it was all very interesting.  In a conversation with Cheryl, she mentioned a minor problem she had with her iPod.  I found myself put to work, voluntarily, in short order in an attempt to help Cheryl solve a problem. However, instead of me telling the story, I’ve invited Cheryl to tell the story: 

Cheryl Hardy:  When I work at the potter’s wheel, I find inspiration and focus if I have music playing.  Due to the fact that it is a collaborative/learning studio, the space is always filled with artists who are working at the wheel or at tables, glazing and creating and chatting all the while. To be considerate of others, I play my music in my ears while working in my studio – which makes my iPod a pretty important part of my ensemble. 

I practice wheel thrown pottery making. That means I spend hours sitting behind a potter’s wheel, leaned over my work. The apron I wear is a pretty basic pattern that Goose Mother can tell you more about. It’s a very simple pattern with two front pockets. I like everything about it, the length is short enough that my legs are free to open and close as I lean in and out over my work and the fit of the apron is still flattering and not frumpy on my  “Rubenesque” frame. 

I do have one thing I do not like about it; there’s no safe place to keep my iPod and no way to manage the cord that dangles! Normally, I slip my iPod in a front pocket, put my ear buds in and get to work. During the course of my day, as I lean in and out, the cord comes dangerously close to my work, and the spinning wheel head. In fact, I’ve had a few times when the cord touched the wet clay, stuck and wound quickly around my work – ruining my work, snatching my ear buds out of my ears and pulling my iPod into the clay muck at the bottom of my wheel.

As I talked jokingly about my iPod problem, I saw Goose Mother’s eyes light up with an idea. We talked about why the front pockets didn’t work; the pockets are below the waist and sit too low. As I work, the cord slips out, getting longer and longer and longer until it catches on wet clay. What I needed was a high pocket out of the way of the wheel entirely. The pocket needed to be somewhere I could keep the iPod close to my body and the cord out of the way.

Goose Mother devised a clever pocket that was sized for my device; enough room to hold the device and the extra cord from my ear buds, to keep it from dangling. She mentioned an inside pocket and putting a flap over the pocket, with buttons to seal the flap down, preventing the device or the cord from spilling out as I lean out and over my pottery wheel. I was sold! 

We picked out some great fabrics. She gave me some great tips on spotting a good deal. She showed me also how to “create” a pattern when you have to work from a finished piece. I’m not a seamstress, so I watched – but I let Goose Mother do the work. She even put an inside pocket on the original apron for me! 

 So now I have not just one simple apron that I love, but several. Take a look. 















Goose Mother:  As you can see, Cheryl’s problem was easily solved.  When I was offered the use of Deborah’s sewing machine, I decided I would make a “test” apron.  I built a pocket then attached it to the wrong side, upper portion of the apron. Placement of the pocket was a concern also. On subsequent aprons, I played around with the pocket, eventually eliminating the flap and sewing on snaps to secure the iPod.

On a return visit to ClayWays, I was surprised when Kit complimented me on the aprons and offered me a box of material she found stashed away somewhere.  I secretly think Kit was much relieved as she would no longer harbor the fear of finding one of her artists strangled by an iPod cord. 

I made two aprons for Deborah as a thank you for the loan of her sewing machine and an apron for Susan who shared her vintage crochet patterns with me.  While Cheryl and I shopped for fabric, I found a remnant that had a Peter Max  style about it.  However, there was barely enough for an apron, so I found another remnant which I used as trim and for the ties.  That apron had a somewhat vintage look to it and I gave that one to Susan.  I became known at ClayWays as “the apron lady.”


Susan Apron



As you can see, these were very simple aprons.  I merely took the apron Cheryl liked best, traced it (for size), did a few measurements (pocket and ties) and made the pattern.  However, when I cut the traced apron body in half, Cheryl looked rather concerned.  I explained that I would be cutting the apron and pocket on the fabric fold which would result in a full size. When you don’t sew, it seems far more complicated than it actually is.

So, now that I’m back from vacation, I’m busy playing catch up, which makes me wonder why we take vacations to begin with cuz all of the stuff that piles up so that you’re obliged to go into double time to handle the back log, and thus the glow of the vacation quickly fades.  Hmmmm.

Time for a cuppa and a visit to Sibbotery

Honk, Honk




  • Deborah D says:

    We are so happy you chose to visit Austin! Thank you so much for the aprons and the sewing lessons. Now you need to come back so you can help me sew the patterns I bought from your awesome site. I’d really like to get back into sewing now that I am a grandmother! Ever considered moving to Austin, lol.

    • Goose Mother says:

      Hi Deborah! I enjoyed my stay and meeting everyone. Thank you so much for the serving tray. The use of your sewing machine was so helpful as you have seen. Teamwork!! Enjoy your patterns. Get to sewing — sewing is like riding a bicycle — you don’t forget how to do it. Goose Mother

  • sibbotery says:


    So glad you shared this story with your audience. I have to tell you, now that I’ve modeled three of the aprons throughout the studio – I’ve become the envy of a few of my studio mates. It’s been hilarious. They *know* I’m wearing my iPod, but they are very surprised at where it’s hiding now since they see no cord. It’s been a joy to work unencumbered and the brown apron with the little flowers? I now wish I had a skirt to match it – it is SO cute.

    Thanks again for the invaluable fix. I learned a lot of how empowering sewing can be – makes me realize how wonderful it is to know you can “make” what you cannot “find.”

    Great post, Goose Mother!

    • The Goose Mother says:

      Hey Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by. I’m happy that you are happy with your aprons. I do recall your favorite one. I know you remember where we got the material, so you may want to run over there and purchase 4-5 more yards. I’m certain we can find a skirt pattern for you. I think I have one somewhere around here! LOL. Thank you for such a pleasant visit! – Goose Mother

  • Jamie says:

    What a clever little pocket! I will have to keep that in mind the next time I make an apron!