Growing up in the 1950s, it was commonplace for me to see women, especially on the farm, wearing aprons. Even on T.V. shows like "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver", crisp freshly-ironed aprons were a mainstay. My mother was no exception so I sewed an apron from the A is for Apron book by Nathalie Mornu in honor of her. I will be wearing it whenever I am in the kitchen baking. There are so many cute patterns to choose from in this wonderful book. For my first one, I chose a vintage-style bib apron. It was so much fun to make that I already decided which one I will sew next.
Dick's Aunt Tommy... I consider her my special aunt, too... thoughtfully shared the following "History of Aprons".
The History of Aprons
In the past, the principal use of an apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because most housewives only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material. 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. 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, she walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men 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.