That’s my new crafty fascination. Yes, aprons. What wonderful memories I have of home-sewn aprons–my mother had a drawer full of them. She would shop for cheery fabric and whip up new ones for approaching holidays or special occasions–Halloween apron? You bet. Also Valentine’s Day and, of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was fun to see what new creation came from that whirring sewing machine (Singer, and I can still smell the oil used to lubricate the mechanism) and it certainly added to the festive feeling.
When I learned to iron (in the late fifties and early sixties this was considered a crucial skill for all females), aprons were among the first tasks I was allowed to tackle, along with dishtowels and cotton handkerchiefs–big bandanna ones for my dad, dainty emboidered ones for Mom. Mom’s hankies had a lot of uses–handy if you cried in church, or one of us kids needed a face-wiping. I must have had a few hankies of my own, because I used to carry a quarter all wrapped up in one for the collection plate at Sunday school. (My brother often spent his quarter and cut Sunday School entirely, but you didn’t hear this from me.)
Alas, with the mid-sixties came the Rebellion. Burn your bra, down with aprons and hankies and anything else that needed ironing. (I miss the steamy, starchy smell of cotton smoothed under a hot iron, not to mention the pure satisfaction of banishing wrinkles.) Of course, wrinkles have a whole new meaning now. Too bad they can’t be ironed away.
Graduating from high school in 1967 and marrying in 1968, I didn’t go quite so far as to burn my bras, but I did decide that aprons and ironing weren’t especially cool.
Too bad. In so many ways, we threw the baby out with the bathwater in those heady days of I-am-woman, hear-me-roar.
All these years later, I’m back, and so are a lot of other people. Knitting and quilting, for example, have never been bigger. Folks love handcrafted things–Etsy and ebay, to name just two, are crammed with them.
Me? I LOVE aprons. I plan to get back into sewing by making some.
When it comes to ironing, though, the jury is still out.
No sense getting too carried away.