The Apron Story

The Retro 1950’s Apron

by Virginia Robertson

I found the old blue apron in a flea market. It was starched crisp and bleached clean. The fabric is probably from a flower sack. The edges were encased with a hot pink bias binding that adds accent and sparkle to the apron.

I have always been fascinated with old aprons. Lots of the ladies from my childhood wore aprons. As a minister’s daughter in rural Oklahoma and Kansas the church ladies made fancy aprons to serve dinners in the fellowship hall. There was almost a competition with homemade, creative aprons.

I remember see-through organdy aprons with ruffles and fancy embroidery that the CWF ladies wore when serving meals at funerals and weddings. There were always lots of creative Christmas theme aprons during the holidays. Apron patterns were shared like recipes and plant cuttings.

The apron has become an iconic symbol to many women. The apron is useful, but it also expresses the purpose of a community of women working together and bonding as they serve. Putting on an apron is a statement of creative intent. You might say that the apron is the “cook’s bumper sticker”.

Over the years my Mom and I have talked about the symbolic meaning of the aprons in church and our society. In the Christian community the apron has a “Martha” symbol of service. The women use their aprons as a uniform of service and fellowship. Pretty aprons express the creative owning of a job lovingly given.

Mom always has an apron hanging in her kitchen that has special meaning in her life. One of her favorites is one that I made called “Mom’s Homemade Bread” The bib applique has an appliqued loaf of bread and a sheaf of wheat. Mom still bakes homemade bread every week and has a special bread route of lucky consumers.

The Retro 50's Apron My variation is to cut out two aprons and make it reversible. I added a hot pad that is the same tulip design as the apron.  If you would like to order the pattern click here.

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