Exactly when did I fall in love….with aprons?
That is hard to say. I think I have always loved aprons, but they became a passion a few years ago when I started thinking about moving back home.
There is nothing like an Ozarkian spring when the woods come alive with dogwood and redbud to make a girl feel nostalgic.
Thinking of home made me think of my Grandma Mitchener. Thinking of my Grandma Mitchener made me think of spiced peaches and fried chicken Sunday dinners. And thinking of fried chicken dinners made me think of aprons, because they were part of the Sunday tradition.
Church let out. Grandma got home, put on her apron and commenced frying chicken for Sunday dinner. Putting on that apron was a sign of good things to come.
And so I started thinking about my emotional attachment to aprons and how they symbolized love and family.
But people weren’t wearing aprons much these days, and it made me wonder why.
I read a lot of articles about it, and there were several possible reasons.
For some women, aprons were no longer practical. We live in a society where everything is disposable, including clothes.
Used to aprons were a practical way of protecting clothing, which was in short supply. Women didn’t have a closet full of clothes. They had a few every day dresses and far fewer “Sunday Best” dresses.
But in these days of cheap clothing from China and other cheap labor locations, clothing has become expendable. People rarely think about protecting their clothing. If it gets stained, it gets trashed.
And there has been a somewhat confusing evolution in women’s roles in society. Some women came to see the apron as a symbol of domestic oppression.
Grandma never saw her apron that way. She chose practical aprons, but also pretty ones. She was prone to florals. She loved the color lavender. To this day, when I see a lavender apron, I think of her.
So I started thinking about how to make aprons relevant to today’s women.
An apron isn’t just an apron, it’s an expression of personality and interests.
So I started making all kinds of aprons, from traditional to whimsical.
And they sold pretty well. So it became a bit of a money-maker as well as an enjoyable hobby for me.
Now I stay so busy with so many other enterprises, that I don’t have much time for sewing aprons. But I still take lots of custom orders, which I love, because it is a challenge to make an apron that matches the person.
I’ve made aprons expressing just about every kind of interest there is. I’ve made school teacher aprons…butterfly aprons…flamingo aprons…school color aprons. I’ve made aprons for men and women.
And it never gets old. Every apron is a revelation.
There is no more personal gift than an apron, and you can bet it will become a treasured family apron.
Because just like my grandma, that apron will become a symbol of love and individuality for everyone that loves that person.
So….Grandma…I may never top you on frying chicken.
But I can make a heck of an apron!