New Apron time...

In my lifetime, I haven't needed many aprons. I wasn't raised to see men wear aprons, except the occassional man who had one for grilling. That's what my paternal Grandfather had; an apron made of ticking to use on the huge old bar-b-que grill in the back yard. My Grandmother made it for him and when I was young; maybe middle school or high school, I must have asked for one. I can't think why she would have given me one without my special request. That's it on the right side in the picture. Stained. Old. Used up. But, I wore it for perhaps 20 years. It was well made and has stood the test of time. The tie is one long, continuous piece that goes from one side, up a sleeve on the side of the apron, around the neck, down a sleeve on the other side and out again. At one time, the tie was long enough that I could wrap it around and tie it in front, but over the years I wore it, I changed and had to start tying it in the back. (I was still a growing boy when she gave it to me...see how important rationalizations are?)

About 10 years ago, I was a follower of Martha Stewart and doing all that cooking, I needed an apron...or at least I thought I did. I made one much like the chef's aprons that Martha wore, but it was made of a heavy muslin. My best friend's son loved it when he came on Thanksgiving and helped me cook and got to wear it, so I gave it to him.

But, that meant I needed an apron, so I made the linen one that is second to right. I used my Grandmother's pattern, except I added about 3 inches all the way around so it would cover more of me. And, instead of running a continous tie all around, I put ties on the sides and a separate one around the neck with a button to make it easy to get on and off. And, I made the ties about 8 inches longer. Each. So it would tie in the front again.

Then, I decided I needed a Christmas apron for the holiday cooking, so I'd look pretty while I put the finishing touches on lunch after the guests had arrived. That one is third from the right. Okay, I know, that's Hannukah fabric with rainbow flag trim. But, ain't it festive? And, I get the most fun comments.

Alas, I wear my aprons and that means they get stained so my good clothes don't have to and that linen apron that I wear almost every day is in pretty bad shape. There are purple stains and brown stains and red stains and it has lost all its shape. Not much to do but make another.

I pulled the piece of off-white shirting with its simple black pin stripes and blue diamonds to cut up for the mystery quilt I'm working on, but I never actually cut into it. Not sure why. It's a fabric that I inherited at least 12 years ago, from a friend that also sewed, but he made clothes, and it was old when he gave it to me. There were two just alike, one with blue diamonds and one with red. Not sure what happened to the red. I guess it made it into a quilt sometime. But, that shirting looked up at me for a couple of weeks and when I decided I needed an apron, it was at the front of my mind. When I unfolded it, there wasn't enough to make the apron like I had before, with deep folded hems all the way around. It was exactly as wide as it needed to be and getting ties out of what was left was going to be difficult. Last night, when I couldn't sleep because of the allergies we're all suffering from, I came up with the idea of cutting an edging tape out of a blue fabric and using that around the top half of the apron and as the ties.

I thought I'd finish this morning, and I might have, but it took more of the blue edge tape than I anticipated and I have to cut another strip. That's the result of adding another 8 inches to the ties. Hey, just because they'd tie in the front didn't mean it was comfortable.

So, I'll have a new apron for the holidays. I'm thinking of washing it and ironing it and wrapping it and putting it under the tree; to me, from me. I like to do a little something for myself every year. Am I the only one that does that?

Okay, so that's my Way Back Wednesday post, going back to my first apron, a gift from a very special Grandmother that reminds me of she and my Papaw, both. An apron that is still being used as the basic pattern for all the aprons I make myself, even though I think I've made a few improvements since the original. Like longer ties.

Hope you're having a great day. Lane


lw said...

My Uncle Harold owned a small cafe and did the short order cooking-- he had aprons; white heavy cotton that had ties that wrapped around to tie in the front.

You might be able to get the old stains out (as much as they will come out) using fels naptha soap and washing as usual. Anything left can be soaked in oxyclean. It worked to get about 95% of the stains out of my mother's tablecloths.

Becky said...

The aprons tell a story in themselves, don't they!
Happy cooking!

Elizabeth said...

I like aprons. But then you probably knew that.

About the gift-giving to yourself; if I didn't buy my own Christmas presents, there wouldn't be anything for me under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

xo -El

viridian said...

Dear Lane: you posted on my blog about liking a certain yellow fabric. Seriously, if you need some I can send some to you. I need to check though how much I have left - it may not be much.

Anonymous said...

I like your apron post. I found a vintage one (apron) a couple of years ago when my daughter and I were shopping at a thrift store. I'd never worn an apron before, least I can't remember wearing one but I remember my mom and grandma wearing them all the time when cooking and even cleaning. I wear mine all the time now, too. It's just so practical and I wish I'd thought of it before and I wouldn't have ruined good clothes that took the brunt of my kitchen foibles. BTW, I hope Santa leaves something else for you under the tree.

Gail :)