Vintage Apron

the vintage apron on the vintage model

Some of us were discussing aprons back and forth – not an unusual  topic among my jet-set friends – and I thought of this apron. It came to me as an item stuffed into a rag bag in a box of old fabric and patterns. The bias trim was loose in a spot, and the apron had been washed so many times that it is as soft as cotton can get. My husband refers to it as “my grandmother’s pinny.”

the print

You can see that the print is green roses with some sort of little gridded square between – the sort of nonsensical pattern much loved in the earlier decades of the twentieth century. It is edged with a light green bias, very nicely sewn, on an old straight stitch machine. I can’t imagine sewing bias on by hand; tedious and eye straining!

the upper edge of the bib

I am having trouble dating this particular apron – I’m thinking somewhere in the mid to late 1950s. The pattern from which it is made is much older, I think, although it has a rather sweet scallop to the bottom edge, unlike the very utlilitarian patterns of earlier days, and it is not all that long. The maker may have combined two patterns, as the back of the apron is similar to aprons common to the early twentieth century, and very smilar to styles still worn by Amish women.

button closing, tie waist

I intend to draft a pattern from this soon, probably onto an old sheet or muslin, since I think I would use it a lot. I will eliminate the scallops, make the skirt longer and a bit wider, and make the ties a bit wider, as well.


4 thoughts on “Vintage Apron

  1. Oh, I really like this apron…especially the button on the back. The straps are wide and won’t slip when you move to do a chore. Enjoy your ‘new’ apron 🙂


    • I will try to do a diagram of the pieces when I draft it, so anyone can make it. We’ll see how that goes! I need to get my scanner on line.

  2. This is the type of aprons that “grandmas” and “aunties” wore when I was a girl in the late 50s and 60s. They wiped tears from a child’s face from skinned knees just as well as they brought in enough vegetables from the garden for dinner.

    As to putting the bias tape on by hand, the bias tape and my whole cap are stitched by my own two hands. I did a lot of hand sewing when I did middle ages re-creation clothing from the skin out since most of the seams were not sewing machine friendly. Now I find sewing bias tape in particular relaxing. LOL

  3. Love the aprons! I’ve been making my clothes without patterns for a few years now. I started to sew and wear aprons in order to keep clothes clean. I’m looking for a very simple dress pattern just now. I’ll be sewing lots more aprons soon I know. Keep spreading the simple life. I know I look very strange to many in my church!

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