Aprons are making a comeback in a huge way. I think in addition to wanting to return to a more self-reliant and healthier lifestyle, people are craving some of the kitschy accoutrement of those lifestyles. Garden gloves with cutesy rubber boots for tending your organic raised gardens and backyard chickens and of course, perfectly printed aprons with cute designs and monograms while baking your own breads and serving a fine meal at the table for your family.
In short, everything is so up in the air these days with the environment and the economy and it's nice to pay homage to the glory days.
McCall's alone has 24 patterns fit for the family, and several of them are clear throwbacks to your grandma's apron. But I don't want to just be retro. I want to go straight to the source, and as I was cleaning out my laundry room the other day, I got just the inspiration I needed.
I never got the opportunity to meet my husband's grandmother, but from all accounts she was quite the character. I get the sense that she was a no-nonsense kind of person and she lived a no-nonsense lifestyle. However, it was a proper no-nonsense lifestyle, with dinner parties and before dinner cocktails and baked chicken dishes and in that kitchen with a cocktail and chicken dish was a lady in an apron. And for whatever reason - perhaps because of the his love of entertaining or his one-time shunning of a second piece of her baked chicken, my husband's grandmother decided to gift him several of her aprons.
There is a blue chiffon one that was always a hoot to see him wear, but the more utilitarian of the two I know the whereabouts of is this chartruese and kitchen print half apron.
Definitely needs a wash. And an ironing. But to be how ever many years old it is, it is in remarkable condition! It has great, deep pockets on either side that are part of the apron's design, which to me equals a stronger construction than a patch pocket applied to the front.
I summoned my best Google-Fu to try and find out the history of Fifth Avenue Aprons by Mussalem, but only had luck finding some age-old listings on eBay. So the search continues for information on this brand which I can only assume is somehow related to Saks Fifth Avenue, but I have no proof of that.
In the meantime, I have decided to put to good use some of my fabric scraps by recreating this apron anew for myself. I think it will be an excellent exercise in pattern creation and tutorial writing. Besides, I like to pay homage to the good old days, too.
Plus, I look pretty darn cute in an apron.
Happy Mother's Day!