Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vintage Aprons

At our Bits 'n Pieces Guild meeting last week, we had a program on "Vintage Aprons, Voices of the Past." in conjunction with our annual salad supper.  The speaker shared her knowledge of aprons and their place in history and how the particular times infuenced the style and wearing of aprons. We saw examples from the 1900s through the 1970s into the 1980's.

The fabrics used for aprons ranged from plain muslin to silks, elegant laces, linen and there were even those that were crocheted and you pinned them to your dress.   I didn't get good pictures of some of the oldest ones and a few that were downright ugly, but here are a few of the aprons we saw.

This was one of the older ones -  fine linen with beautiful hand embroidery over it.  It slipped over your head and covered the back as well.  There was a picot edge on the zig zagged bottom edge and around the neckline.   You sure wouldn't want to drip anything on this exquistely made apron. This probably would have been used for serving the meal, not for the preparation of it.

This half apron was sewn in 3 separate sections with only the rickrack between and holding each piece to the other one. It had a lovely embroidered design on the middle section that was very beautifully done by an accomplished seamtress.

This cute number had rickrack trim and an additional ruffle added to the bottom and it covered your clothing all the way to the hem.
Another darling half apron with gingham trim.  Check out the cute pocket shaped like a tea kettle.

A gingham yoke and trim with beautiful embroidered flowers, kept this lady's dress totally covered & clean--the skirt wrapped around to the back.
The lady who made this apron must have been a garmet maker.  It had as much detail as a dress or jumpter -- a big square collar (front and back) with added ruffle, scalopped hemline, cute cutouts on pockets and at the neckline, and completely it covered your dress tying in the back with a big bow.

This was a half apron made with ladies hankies and lace trim.

This maker had a good sense of humor.  She was prim and proper on the outside, but if she wanted, she could spice things up a bit.

 Here's one was made from a pair of recycled jeans with an added checked petticoat looking ruffle added to the bottom. 

Our fashion show was set to music too -- changing with the time period.  When we got to the Roaring 20's, I half expected to see the model break into dancing the Charleston.! lol

It was a very entertaining evening with lots of interesting facts and information about how aprons came to be and were used and how they changed with the thinking of the times.  The models were provided with appropriate accessories to show off their aprons.  The last two aprons were for men  and the ladies came out with mustaches and funny sayings on their aprons.  I would love to show their pictures, but I haven't cleared it with them yet, so I'll resist showing them.  You'll just have to use your imagination.


  1. Love these! Thanks for sharing. I have always loved aprons. I have several and I enjoy making them.

  2. What a great parade of aprons! We had Apron Day to celebrate Mother's Day at our guild a few years back. Everyone wore an apron - the older the better, especially if it had belonged to someone in our family. I was among the group of girls who only had our aprons that we wore at home, none from my mom or grandmother. But it was a lovely day and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing some of the exquisite aprons!

  3. That first one almost looks like a maternity apron. Do you think there was such a thing?

  4. You got some great pics! It was a fun show and the members' apron were fun, too.

  5. Oh what fun! I love the apron on an apron. I love aprons, and I use them.

  6. Very interesting. My grandma wore one all the time, and I thought of her when I saw these. I hardly used aprons before the last 10 years, but I seem to be needing them more and more. My favorite says, "I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food."

  7. what fun! I love all those aprons. So cute and unique. I have a couple vintage aprons.

  8. That sounds like so much fun! I would love to see an apron fashion show like that (and could probably supply a lot of the models, lol). I found a fun apron on vacation at one of the thrift or antique stores. I've got to take a pic of it on Dolly the mannequin soon.