Thursday, January 22, 2015

Aprons

Keeping your clothes clean while in the kitchen or just for general housework has become a thing of the past. Women and girls used to wear aprons to save their clothes from frequent washing but that was when you wore a dress many times before washing and only washed your apron when dirty. Today we wash all of our clothes frequently and sometimes change clothes several times a day. Why would you need or want an apron? When company comes for diner and you can appear with your apron on to look like you've actually been cooking in your kitchen? To keep your nice outfit clean even though you are cooking? Because they are just cute? You like that vintage look of your grandmother (probably your great-grandmother)? All of the above are legitimate reasons for wearing an apron. As a child I thought an apron was just part of what my grandma always wore, like a pinafore I had with a few dresses. I remember my own mom wearing a half apron that had a red towel sewn into the pocket or waistband and she loved how handy it was. The jump-start to my apron making came when I found an apron pattern in with a collection of sewing stuff crammed into a sewing bench. It was one you could send away for from Women's Day magazine from September 1963. There are at least eight different styles and full sized patterns but it was all in black and white until I went to Pinterest and found the original article in color:

Pretty fancy for the kitchen, huh?

The rest of the views

With these color visualized, now I was ready to make a few aprons. Kelly and I went shopping for fabric and found all of these lace yokes, I suppose for various tops, only $3 each . We dug through them all and I came up with five I liked that met with her approval. She helped me pick out fabric that would coordinate with those lace pieces and I clearly needed her help. When I matched up prints she would  hold back from rolling her eyes but would say "That's fine if you are selling it to someone your age." Well. Or  a bit more tactful comment was "Who are you going to sell these aprons to?" and since it was her age group I needed her advice. Here's a selection of the fabrics with the yokes:

At the same time I was thinking about those aprons I got a request to make an apron from a sandwich cookie fabric I used to make a toaster cover. I only had half a yard left and no more was available so I came up with this idea:
Bib apron with cookie fabric centered
I finished it up and sent the photo to my requester and she loved it! I have a bit more of the fabric so it's possible I could even make another one; maybe I should since the first one is always a bit of a practice model. The vintage pattern wasn't the easiest to understand so I used my own methods to assemble it and maybe that wasn't the best way! I also found they wanted to make everything quite a bit longer than we would today so I shortened the cookie pattern by five inches. That wasn't what I did for this peachy number and I think it's quite long:
Fancy bib on peach apron with aqua piping
It will need to be sold to someone tall! I have some vintage tablecloths that would make fun aprons, too, so be prepared to find some of these items in my Etsy shop in the months to come. They are fun to design, sew up fairly quickly, use less fabric than a dress, and are currently popular. I need to thank my daughter for her help in design and color and to thank my mom who has always been a model of grace and fashion in the kitchen. Thanks Kelly, thanks Mom!

1 comment: