Out of all the fascinating literature and school work that my seventh grade teacher taught, the one thing I remember her saying is, “One day, when you are in your late thirties you will stop worrying about what other people think about you.” This was in response to our incessant trying to keep up on fashion and with the other students. The nervous, pre-teens giggled, scoffed and wiggled in their seats and shook their heads sure that wouldn’t happen. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait for that.” I was quite doubtful, however.
Well, sure enough, late thirties, and I couldn’t care less what people think about the way I dress. It is liberating, fantastic! And, I am indeed trying to bring aprons back mainstream. Seldom will you find me without one. I have ones for around the house, ones for parties, ones for karaoke, ones for the store, and ones that match everything. They are a charming accessory to any outfit. I love the vintage feel, the glamorous housewife, the perfect hostess, the beauty of a fashion culture ended with the Flower Children.
But not only that, aprons are practical. I have a place for my knife to open straw bales and letters. A place for a tissue and a couple of bucks. The funny thing is, no matter what I am wearing or where we are at, I always seem to pull a clothes pin out of my pocket! A testament to my lifestyle, I guess.
The other thing that appeals to me so is the histories behind these lovely articles of clothing. They tell stories of the women that made them or the places I got them. For instance the one above is not old, it was in a tea house that my Grandma and I used to frequent. When my Grandma felt better we had Tuesday outings. We’d leave the kids with Grandpa for some Taco Bell and Grandpa time and Grandma and I would skirt off to IHOP or a tea house and a little shopping. I bought this apron on a whim. It will serve to remind me of Tuesday outings.
The red apron was made by my friend, Kat’s, grandmother. Kat enjoys giving me wonderful vintage items from her family for holidays because I think she knows how much I love them and treasure them and their stories. Kat is in her young, early sixties, so I can speculate how long ago her grandma would have made this, and the others that Kat has bestowed upon me. I can see her grandmother at the sewing machine with a piece of lovely fabric making these practical and pretty aprons. The pocket on this one is a doily. How clever!
When the children were little I made furry puppets that wrapped around one’s neck and waist and fastened. They looked a bit like sloths. I got the pattern from my grandma who had made them for myself and my siblings when I was younger. The ones I made my children were loved dearly as well. We took them to craft shows and at one particular show met a charming, grandmother-like woman. With dark eyes, and dark skin, and a heavy bosom for hugging children, no doubt, she emanated sweetness and Southern charm. She told Doug and I that if we could run by her house, she had a few items that she had sewed that she wanted to give me. I don’t know if she even knew our names. We went to her humble apartment, and though she wasn’t home, she had left a bag on the door. Inside was filled with home sewn napkins of beautiful fabrics and hand towels and two aprons, this being my favorite one of the two. This is my around the house apron because it covers the most and can stand up to wet laundry and white flour. Her kindness will forever stay with me bound in the stitches of this homey apron.
This is my newest apron from Kat that I received this Christmas. The bottom fringe is hand crocheted and taken from an old pillow case while the top is a thin, spring-like pink floral. It is so pretty, I feel like a princess wearing it.
I have over twenty aprons in my collection, some given, some bought, some that I made. Aprons were my first clothing project, and even though I haven’t evolved much past that, it did help me figure out how to make skirts. Aprons are wonderful gifts. Everyone should have an apron or two, or twenty, in their artillery as a farm girl!