Months ago my dad-in-law forwarded an email to me about grandma's apron. It was a poem about how grandma's apron was used. I remember it mentioning her gathering eggs in it, shooing flies away, using it as a potholder, and wiping away tears with it. It was a lovely little poem and I should have kept it. It reminded me of my Ma.
Today's aprons are hip and happening. They are not just for protecting clothes any longer - they are the clothes. It's all the rage to wear an apron in place of carrying a purse. A bib apron with pockets instead of a purse, interesting. Better than a fanny pack. Anything's better than a fanny pack. Smock type aprons with criss-cross backs over T-shirts, interesting. You can't keep a good thing down. I like the idea. I have a meeting Tuesday night and I might give this fad a try.
My daughter, Shelby, never cooks without an apron on. Unlike me, who never wears one. But, since they are now hip and happening, maybe I should change that. Because, you know, I'm all about hip and happening. Just ask my girls. Well, maybe not, they think I live in another century.
Below are some photos of some of my favorite aprons.
This one deserves to be first, it was my Ma's. One of my safely tucked away treasures. My mama guesses it to be at least 51 years old. The top strap was ripped selvage from a piece of fabric - she was frugal. Check out the safety pin, there was always a safety pin. When Ma died I put this in a little plastic zippy and for years I could smell her when I opened it. Sad, I know. Let's move on.
This one was a gift to Shelby from her Aunt R. Lovely and hip, just like its owner - and her aunt.
This was the first item Isabela ever sewed. She made it at Children's Camp when she was 8. Check out the stitching.
My dear mother goes through things in spurts. She may make quilts for months - and then, never again. Florals for months, making wreaths, candles, spray painting the furniture. Then she never does that particular hobby again. Lately, she's been making aprons. Below are some of hers. I'm not good at secrets - Merry Christmas early, my sweet sisters. Don't worry, my mama can't keep Christmas secrets, either, so I'm really not spilling any beans. Under each one I will share a little interesting apron tid-bit.
You can track aprons back to the 12th century. The word originates from the French word naperon, which means napkin or small tablecloth.
Men wore them first for hygienic protective wear (that's a mouthful, why don't we just say to keep clean).
In the 16th and 17th century the color you wore determined your trade. Barbers wore checked, butchers and porters wore green, and masons wore white.
This is the one I might wear, if I can bear to leave my purse behind. With jeans and a cute little shirt. I'll let you know how it goes.
Below are a few aprons my sister, P., has made, along with a few more tid-bits. P. always wears an apron and has passed that love down to her daughter.
Your beau is thinking of you if your apron becomes untied. Isn't that sweet? Tie those aprons loosely, ladies.
The "tied to his mama's apron strings" phrase rings true. Children really were tied to their mama's aprons so they could play closely and safely.
The 1940's saw the beginning of the frilly, little half apron.
My beautiful neice, S., in an apron she made herself.
While cruising the aisles of Hobby Lobby recently I discovered a great little book.
A is for Apron, by Nathalie Mornu. This book has templates and patterns in the back -but they must be enlarged. If you love aprons or sew aprons, you need this book. Fun and interesting with aprons way too good-lookin' to hide away in the kitchen.
Aprons, they cover us and protect us. They make life easier. Check back later for part two on aprons, from a secret guest blogger.
To my sister P., Happy late Birthday. This book is yours, it's making its way to you in a little bubble envelope as you read this. I love you, adore you, and miss you - make me the one on page 81, 'k?