“Red Heads”  we gals show off our aprons and the now growing “red” cabbages from the garden

Awhile back I posted about our urban homestead wardrobe and how aprons ( our “domestic armor”) were vital apparel.  Not only are the feminine but they help with the dirty work that needs to be done here on the urban homestead – protecting our clothes from splatters from canning, dirt from the veggies, exploding ginger soda and more!   Aprons are pretty and practical – saving us loads of laundry!

“There’s something about aprons that really evoke a true pioneer urban homesteading spirit.

Aprons are very “eco conscious” if you think about it.  In the old days they couldn’t just up and throw their dirty clothes in a washing machine — it took hours to do the laundry, so aprons were a practical way to keep clothes clean, saving both time and water.   Saving water is a big deal these days, so who knew Grandma was such an eco chica

Besides the their eco qualities, aprons are so very feminine!  And we gals certainly need a dose of femininity with chicken crap on our feet, flour dust in our hair and hands, well, hands that are on the “rough” side!”   — LHITC

Our local paper did a feature on aprons this week, thought I’d share.

Aprons: Go ahead and tie one on {LA TIMES}

The garment no longer symbolizes women’s relegation to the kitchen but their delight in being there.

Author and apron archaeologist EllynAnne Geisel…  is dedicated to celebrating aprons, kitchen linens and the women who used them, sees the renewed interest in aprons as something that goes deeper, something spiritual. Something that allows us to make peace with the past.

“It’s a connector, it’s one item that ties us to women everywhere, across time,” says Geisel….

“Aprons don’t hold us back — they take us back,” she added. “They honor women of an earlier generation. And those women were doing the best they could.”

Read full article

The History of ‘APRONS’

You do not want to miss it, even those of you who are too young to have experienced it.
I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But 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..
And 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, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks 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.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

So all you urban homestead gals out there – have you “tied one on” lately?  Care to share what aprons have meant for you?


  1. Temica says:

    There is this ok NOW I’m ready when I tie one on. And I dunno what it is, there is also this soft feminine feeling. It is my comfort. I have various ones. Some I made some were gifts. Even have a gardening one…LOL. I love them!

  2. Ruth G says:

    It is interesting that for the past couple of years the two items that have been selling like hotcakes at our chuch fair have been aprons and potholders. It used to be fancy “knick-knacks” but for the past two years we can’t seem to make enough of these pretty yet oh-so-practical items. My favorite apron personally has pictures of all different types of bread on it. Making bread definitely requires protective clothing or I’d be covered in flour. With my bread apron, I am ready for business. 🙂

  3. Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says:

    I love aprons. I used to have some that belonged to my grandmother but they were lost in a move. My daughters each have their own aprons. The youngest 7 and 6 know that when I go to get my apron, they come running to put theirs on and help Momma in the kitchen. Good training!

  4. Suseon says:

    I have one gourmet chef type apron I made in home ec class in eighth grade that I rarely use. But now that I am handwashing our laundry I can see the apron appeal. I’m thinking of making a few practical yet pretty ones to make this urban farm girl feel a bit more feminine. I totally agree with you on the rough hands thing. I watch every day as my hands turn into my mother’s. Rough and strong, but I’m okay with that.

  5. Linda says:

    My favorite apron story involves my husband, who is the primary chef in our house. I made a man-sized apron for him, as they are particular hard to find in the appropriate size and “manly” color/pattern.

    One hot summer evening, he was wearing his apron over shorts, cooking over the stove. Our friend came over for dinner, and as I was hugging her hello, she kind of started in surprise. Brett had come out of the kitchen to say hello, and as I turned and saw her startled expression, I looked at Brett standing there in his apron…and it looked like nothing else on underneath. I burst out laughing, as I knew he had shorts on, and he immediately caught on and started wiggling his eyebrows at our embarassed-yet-laughing friend!

    That has been our FAVORITE apron story ever since!

  6. suzanne says:

    I wear mine all the time…esp when we are prepping for big family parties (Mother’s Day!) Mine is a copy of one I inherited, maybe a pattern from the 40s? Certainly homemade.

    The original is flour sack, but a bit delicate. So I traced it and sewed a copy (bright pink!) which has served me very very well. I hate anything around my neck…this one fits like backwards overalls, with a fully covered front and long straps connected on the back. I have never seen another like it. I rarely even tie it; just pop over my head and GO! I see the apron as power….you know, We Can Do It!

  7. Kj says:

    I love my aprons! I have some from my grandmother and my husband’s grandmother that they used for canning, which is what I still use them for to this day. I have summer ones and heavier ones for fall and winter. Depending on the task, will determine which one I wear. I have 2 for baking, 2 for cooking and a garden/gather in the eggs one. One summer my neighbor lady called and had extra pears and was wondering if I would like some. So I slipped on my flip flops, threw on my pink cowgirl hat and my niece and I wandered on down the road (I am a more rural homesteader). When we got to our neighbors and she answered the door, she began to laugh and told me she loved my outfit – I looked down and realized I still had my apron on! However, it did match my hat as it has delicate tiny pink roses on it. One of my favorite aprons was made in the 40’s. Our niece used to spend weekends with us and it was the apron of choice for her so it now belongs to her as a wedding gift. Every time I look at my aprons looking so pretty hanging in the kitchen, I see my grandmothers, my niece, my mama and all those wonderful memories and everyday events that make a house a home. Hmmm, think I may need another one!

  8. Lauren Mae Spiker says:

    I made two out of some jumpers from the thrift store. I still have to put strings on the one, but I know they will get a lot of use!

    • Anais says:

      @Lauren Mae Spiker: That’s so neat. Any pictures by chance when they are done. Love seeing other folks apron creations.

  9. Robin Oney says:

    I have put up some new aprons in my store…too cute! My standard is made from ‘gently’ loved blue jeans! Check it out and if there is a color or pattern you would like, message me! I make it a standard practice to ‘up-cycle’ as much clothing, fabric & notions as possible for my items.

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