Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Aprons

When people learn that I sell vintage treasures, they often ask what I collect.  The answer, truly, is "not much."  The longer I work with vintage items, it seems the less I actually collect myself.  However, there are a few things that will always catch my eye, little vintage treasures that I have to bring home.

Aprons are one of my vintage favorites.  I love them.  They remind me of spending time with my Granny in her kitchen, seeing my Mom wear pretty hostess aprons while entertaining, and making aprons in home economics class.  My mother gave me this little piece about aprons;  it brings back a lot of memories for me.


Grandma's Apron

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-folk 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.

* * * * *
Vintage aprons make me happy.  I especially like aprons that are red and white (for my red and white cherry kitchen), Christmas aprons, and aprons with dog motifs.   Here are a few from my house:

Hand appliqued cherries:

Christmas - I love this Mid-Century print:



An embroidered chef carries food in on a tray (is that a plum pudding?):




Cocker Spaniels sit in baskets in this cheerful red print:



One of my personal favorites - cute little pink gingham dogs and rick rack trim:



A red and white Valentine theme apron - how could I possibly resist?



Do you remember aprons from your childhood?  Do you ever still wear an apron?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below:

10 comments:

Alli Smith said...

I loved walking down the memory lane of aprons. I well remember my grandmother and my mom wearing aprons. I don't ever wear one and I have the stains to prove it. :)

I love all of your vintage aprons. It's hard to pick a favorite because they are all beautiful!

AJ @ NutriFitMama said...

I love aprons! I want one of the cute, modern ones from Flirty Apronsor some place similar :)

Scott said...

I too enjoy vintage items, especially men's ties. Have a collection of nearly 500 of them!

Artney W said...

I have one apron! I absolutely love vintage so having a vintage apron would be nice to have around. I love the quality and detail of yours...they are beautiful!

blestbutstrest said...

Aprons are awesome, and I loved reading the nostalgic piece--it reminds me of my great aunt who lived on a homestead and heated and cooked with a wood stove.

doreeweller said...

No one in my family ever wore aprons, but after many ruined shirts from grease and spills, I discovered the joy. I just have a plain, serviceable apron, but I love wearing it when I'm cooking or baking. It's like putting on my superhero costume. As an added bonus, I no longer ruin clothes when cooking or baking!

Jeanae said...

I have fond childhood memories of being allowed to wear my grandmother's apron as I "helped" her bake. I remember her whenever I see aprons that are similar to hers.

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for the visits and comments! I appreciate them.

AJ, I like modern aprons too -- there are some fun ones online. (I like some of the retro inspired aprons I've seen on Etsy.)

Scott, your collection of vintage ties sounds great!

Treasures By Brenda said...

My great grandmother taught us how to make an apron from a dress when we were little girls -- she was upcycling out of necessity in the great depression long before it was trendy on Pinterest, LOL. I wish I remembered how though if I was crafty I expect I could figure it out. I wonder if she knew she was creating a memory that would live with us forever.

My favourite of your picks is the Valentine's apron.

Birdhouse Books said...

Brenda, that is so neat that you learned to make an apron from a dress. I love that idea!