Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's a Vintage Cover-Up

It's a wonder that because my mom was an accomplished and prolific seamstress the first sewing project I completed was in 8th-grade Home Ec class. I suppose it may have been a good thing that Mom waited to let someone else teach me to sew. It may have saved some frustration and hurt feelings for both of us. That mother/daughter thing, you know.

My first project was a simple apron. Nothing fancy. Just basic straight stitching. It even had a self hem--no hand hemming.

Oh, did I love the fabric I chose! I've always been a butterfly lover. These winged beauties are straight out of the '60s. Pink, orange, avocado glory.

When I completed that first sewing project, I felt as if I'd been crowned Queen for a Day. I don't think I realized it then, but I know now that sewing gave me a special bond to my mom. I never became the exceptional seamstress she was, but I definitely know my way around a bolt of fabric and a sewing machine. I've done all right and Mom always was the biggest fan of my creations.

My first sewing project has served me well--for 45 years. It's experienced a bit of the kitchen, but cooking isn't my strong suit. Instead, my apron grew old and thin in the craft room and serving at money pouch and catch-all at my many garage sales over the years. The pockets are amazing. I can pack a week's worth of goodies in those roomy pouches.

Over the years, that first sewing project has taken a beating. I've had to restitch the pockets numerous times, as the stitching wore thin. It had a run-in with a Sharpie pen a while back. And, yet, it remains my Old Reliable.

On my more recent thrift adventures, I've lucked into some lovely vintage cover-ups. And, while I personally don't need any more aprons, I'm drawn to them like a fly to honey. For me, vintage aprons conjure smells of fresh baked bread, oven fried chicken and applesauce cake. Not to mention remembrances of summer days on the farm, church picnics and picking fresh vegetables for dinner.

Each carefully crafted gem reminds me of my mom and my grandma, neither of whom ever worked in the kitchen without a nice, handmade cover-up.  They made their aprons from flour or feed sacks and trimmed nearly every one with coordinating rick rack like this lovely one I found at an estate sale last summer.

Grandma, a farm wife, favored the full cover-up, similar to these. Every Monday, she churned butter in her apron. Tuesdays, she baked enough bread to last for the week. Wednesdays, she baked the week's pies and cakes. Other days, she canned meat or fruit and vegetables. That kind of messy kitchen work called for full coverage.

My daughter inherited her love of aprons from the older women in her life. A barista at a small, local coffee shop, she cultivates her unique image behind the bar with a variety of wonderful vintage aprons she's personally collected or received as gifts. A couple of weeks ago, I found a fun candy stripe full apron at a sale and gave it to her for her birthday this past weekend. Red is her favorite color.

I love the soda shoppe feel of the fabric and color. Grandma would have loved it, too. It's trimmed in matching rick rack.

Grandma taught me to crochet when I was nine. My mother also crocheted. But, I don't recall Mom or Grandma crocheting one of these beautiful aprons. I haven't made one, either. Yet.

This was a recent Goodwill find.

Some of these sweet throwbacks I've found will end up in my shop. They simply must, as I could so easily become a vintage apron hoarder.

So many cute styles, heartwarming fabrics and creative twists on the old standard. Of course, you know a few will make their way into my personal collection anyway.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:


  1. Beautiful aprons!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  2. I love aprons and framed two made by my great-great grandma. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures.

  3. I have a soft spot for aprons. All that you have shown use are stunning especially the one you made.

  4. Qué bonitos!!
    Llevo unos días buscando una tela por casa
    para hacer un delantal y el azul con el zig zag rojo
    te lo voy a copiar, me encanta

  5. What a fantastic eye candy display of Aprons. I have several of my own. Some that look like smocks, some meant for parties and just waist style ones.

    Sarah & the Weens

  6. Hello,
    I'm visiting from I Gotta Create Hop. I love all your aprons. I have a real apron addiction. I have dozens and am always buying and making more. All these are beautiful. I'm also your newest follower. Hope you will visit my blog and hopefully want to return the follow.
    Angel @ sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com

  7. Hi, found you on Katherines Thursday Blog Hop. I love, love your aprons and dearly wish I could sew. I do remember sewing in Home Ec 8th grade. I made a yellow Shift dress with a square neck line trimmed with Daisy appliques. I loved my dress at the time. The school had us do a little fashion show. Thanks for the memories.

  8. Hey there, stopping by from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I am now following you via GFC! I hope you'll get the chance to visit me :o) You can find me here:

    Blog url


  9. Rick rack!?! Oh, how I love vintage aprons with rick rack. Your post reminds me I have a stack of aprons to wash and iron and tag and take to the shop and...well, maybe I will just sit a spell and wonder who wore them and what they cooked or baked in them. All aprons - especially handmade ones - tell a story. Ah, rick rack and ruffles!

  10. Oh, sigh, what lovely memories of grandma and mom and aunties your aprons brought back. Thank you for such a great sharing today.

  11. What a great collection of aprons! They always bring up good memories of my grandmother =)

    Thanks so much for linking up at the party,
    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!

  12. The aprons are wonderful, Ann...I especially love the one you made, such great pockets! I have a bib apron that my mother used when I was little...my daughter always claims it when we bake now!

  13. Love your aprons. I would have a hard time parting with them!

  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE them all!!!! Thanks for sharing : ) hugs...

  15. What sweet, sweet aprons and cover ups!! I just adore that one hanging with the red ric rac! :) Happy weekend, visiting from Junkin' Joes :) xx Holly


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