You either wear them or you don't. You either love them or you don't. Or perhaps I should say you do love the look of them, but wearing them isn't your thing? Regardless of personal preferences, I shall raise my hand high to affirm my delight in making and wearing the humble apron.
Yesterday I dashed out for a quick trip to Spotlight for some embroidery threads, and whilst there decided to choose fabric for a new summer apron. As we're only three weeks away from yet another hot Australian summer (although it began a couple of months ago here in the tropics) I thought it would be nice to sew up a couple of new ones as my regular daily aprons are very well used indeed. I don't think a homemaker can have too many aprons (or tea towels) in her possession, for they have many practical uses alongside the obvious one of saving your clothes from spatter and stain. My most-used aprons have pockets for gathering up the small items left around the house each day, and I used to gather hen's eggs in those pockets when we had the chooks.
I wipe my wet or floury hands on an apron, use the billowing hem to wipe away grandchildren's tears when they fall or hurt themselves, fold up the ends as a make-do basket for collecting salad greens and herbs from the garden...and so many other little things which seem inconsequential and yet become easier when wearing an apron.
This is the pretty rose adorned fabric I chose yesterday. Fortunately it was marked at 40% off, so I purchased an extra metre for another apron, which I'll tell you about later.
The pattern I shall use is the Magic Slip-Over Apron, my favourite one, and also the most difficult to figure out the first time you make it as the only instructions are how many inches to cut from where and this line drawing showing where you need to start, finish, and draw freehand curves.
If you've been reading my blog for a long time, you will remember my first attempt at making this style of apron early in 2015. It was in January, right at the start of my first "Year of Gentle Domesticity" theme. The pattern was inside Amy Barickman's 2010 book "Vintage Notions" (which is very pricey these days, but still available).
It was my favourite apron that year, but I passed it along to Blossom mid-2016 when she was very pregnant with Cully May and needed some tummy cover in the kitchen.
*** It's not actually a pattern in the sense that you trace it and sew it, but as a diagram with written notes suitable for a 1929 geometry freak...I'm a clear thinker first thing in the morning, so ask me why I decided at 8pm last night to make the magic apron? No idea. I probably had too much coffee yesterday because after dinner my beans were still jumping and my mind declared it could master the instructions...
Mr E graciously excused himself from the area and during the following two hours his replies to my repeated self-monologue (honest, I had to read and re-read the instructions out loud over and over...how can I forget 'g meets k at 8 inches on a right angle parallel to h' between the desk and the cutting table???) were answered with, "Not talking to you, darling. Talking to this pattern!" Did I mention you need to freehand draw all those curves??***
I can laugh now, but at the time it was a crash refresher course in basic geometry. My darling husband took a photo of me modelling the new apron (pic above) next morning, when I was in a deliriously relieved and accomplished state of mind. Ha ha!! Since then I've made a few more, but never as nice as the original. Hopefully this new rosey-fabric apron will be just as loved.
This morning, whilst enjoying a cup of hot tea accompanied by a delicious lemon tart, I went through some of my homemaking and craft books for more apron ideas, because I'd like to sew three or four new aprons this month.
Back in 2019 I led us through a year long book study of Jane Brocket's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" (you can read all the study posts HERE) so that was the first book I opened for apron inspiration. Jane wore many different aprons throughout the book, but I especially loved the photos of her daughters in aprons.
Here's a few others I came across in my browsing of the book shelf...
The photo above is from Tif Fussell's book "Granny Chic" which I bought back in the day because I loved the quirky style she displayed in her old blog, Dottie Angel. She really veered away from that after a while and started a new blog which I did not like at all. But her old blog is still HERE if you want to browse for re-cycled apron design inspiration.
If I knew back then what I know now, I would have gathered together her beloved aprons after the funeral and treasured them for always...but I was a 23yo mother of three at the time and hadn't fully developed the homemaker heart which would bloom in season at age 33.