Thursday, August 9, 2012

The History of Aprons

Sometimes I find myself down in the garden without a bowl to bring my harvest back to the house.  This happened the other day while picking tomatoes, so I just cupped them in my apron to take up to the kitchen.  While doing so I couldn't help but recall this little story that my Mom shared with me a few years ago. She said it reminded me so much of our Granny Ada.

The History of Aprons

Author Unknown
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

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.

The apron has evolved over the years from a scrap of material with strings to a fun and flirty wardrobe piece.  It no longer makes an outfit look drab, but can actually dress it up a bit.  This past winter I sewed my own work of art from this fun material that has yet to show the abuse of an entire summer of canning, freezing and trips to the garden. 

This is from the See & Sew, Pattern: B5125.  Even "Easy" patterns can be a challenge for me, but I do know how to figure out how much material I need, yet with this apron I didn't have enough fabric to make the ties.  I recall my Mother In-Law telling me that she had seen bolts of fabric lately that are less than the standard 45", so perhaps that's why I didn't have enough.  So, I decided to get creative and use black satin ribbon instead.

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