Sunday, April 26, 2009

Aprons... Tie One On!

How many of us still wear aprons? How many of us remember our mothers or grandmothers wearing them? I don't think most kids today know what an apron is.

I never knew my grandmothers... but my mom has pictures of them - wearing aprons. My Great Aunt Nellie, even tho' I met her only a few times, seemed to always have on an apron. My Aunt Kathryn wore an apron. I don't recall my mom ever wearing one... and I don't remember having one as a little girl to wear while "playing house" which is surprising because mom would buy LOTS of a particular fabric, make herself a dress, make me a dress & if there was any left - a doll dress or two would be sewn. My daughter Lani doesn't have an apron but little Hayli & Kristen, who love to help in the kitchen, found pink & purple chef's aprons in their Easter baskets.

Aprons are making a comeback! Stores everywhere are selling them... they show up in magazines... new & improved patterns can be found in fabric stores. Aprons are HOT!! Is this apron trend part of the "all things old are new again" thing... like bell-bottom jeans & peasant tops? Or is it a comfort thing, reminding us of a time when life was less complicated? When sitting down for dinner with the family every nite was commonplace? June Cleaver days.

I do have aprons now. A purple floral one that ties around the waist - in honor of Aunt Kathryn who loved purple. It would fit me perfectly if I were six feet tall... so on the rare occasion that I do put it on, I tie it under my armpits... comic relief in the kitchen! I bought four aprons - gingham check with "chicken scratch" embroidery on them - at an antique store a few years ago. Not sure why...feeling nostalgic I guess. Most recently I bought a Husker red "chef's" apron that says "GO BIG RED" on it (for Jerry to wear while he grills)... and a floral "chef's" apron - at garage sales.

I really need to get copies of the photos of my grandmothers to hang in my kitchen!


The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,because she only had a few,it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

What memories do you have of aprons?


  1. I love my aprons and have always worn them..I have quite a collection. My own mom would NEVER have worn one, but my grandma always did and I have always loved the old 1940's style with lots of bias tape and cute fabrics. My kids always think of me with an apron on I bet. Only time I don't wear one at home is when I have on bib overalls.

  2. my mom still wears them around the Holidays, and I think they are adorable!!