“It’s so weird how it started. I got bored from making soap one day and started making these aprons,” says Sarah Armstrong, the artist behind Bad Mouth Soap and now half of Maker Mode Aprons. Her short-lived stint of boredom—and inspiration from a couple of trips to Japan—drove her to start noodling with a sewing machine and some linen. The lace, layers and earth tones of the mori (or forest girl) subculture informed the design but Armstrong says, laughing, “they were mediocre.” That’s when she called on friend and textile artist Leigh-Ann Dean for back-up.
Together, they’ve recently launched three designs of Maker Mode—The Hobbyist for cleaning, crafting and brainstorming, The Casual, a knee-length apron for housework, cleaning, cooking or painting and The Hardcore (pictured)—a heavier, water-resistant apron for gardeners, bakers and mechanics. These badass, cross-back aprons will be are available at makermodeaprons.com and will be at the upcoming Dartmouth Makers Spring Market (May 7 at Christ Church, 61 Dundas Street). “When you put on your apron you’re in your maker mode,” says Armstrong. “Even if you’re house cleaning or washing the car, you’re still making something happen.”