Last summer, in the midst of revisiting my vintage obsessions, I bought a pretty vintage apron online. It wasn’t quite large enough for me (some vintage things are, most are not), but it seemed like a pretty easy task to pattern and resize it for myself. Some months later, after working on other patterns and projects, I finally finished this one.
It seemed like the perfect time, now that I am home and wearing an apron much more often than I used to. For one thing, there’s more time to do housework and more need since we are always here; and, for another, I am definitely cooking more now that three of us are eating every meal at home (and one of us is a college boy, so the milk disappears at an alarming rate). I haven’t worn an apron this often since I was in college and Exene Cervenka was my style icon.
I’m pretty pleased with my vintage-not-historic project and have enjoyed wearing it. The fabric (just a hair over a yard) came from Hart’s Fabric, and while I would have preferred black bias tape, I had to use what I had on hand. Another decorative option would be a folded hem edge backed with rick-rack.
I thought about my Aunt Fran a lot making up the apron and drafting the pattern. While she ran a gift shop and tea room with my Uncle Ned in western New York State, they lived on a farm with a decrepit barn and enormous garden and, when I first knew them, a refrigerator some twenty or thirty years behind the times.
The kitchen seemed cavernous, and I enjoyed helping make salad for the big dinners we had on August evenings, when all the cousins assembled from Colorado, North Dakota, and Illinois. I remember picking vegetables in my uncle’s extensive garden and my grandmother’s aluminum salad bowl more clearly than I remember Aunt Fran’s aprons, but making do, planning ahead, and being prepared were traits she (and the rest of my family) embodied, but with style.
That’s how I think of this apron: practical, but stylish, for when you have to work but also want to have some fun (I am all about finding ways to enjoy work.)
In that spirit, I made up the apron and made a pattern now available for download on Etsy. (I’m still shipping, but the paper version won’t be available for a day or so.) Maybe you’ll enjoy making a quick project that’s practical and pretty.