Vintage Aprons

I've been told that I'm a bit of a "pack rat". What can I say, I'm an avid hobbyist. Although my collection of stuff does not include clutter and nik naks, and it's all very organized, the label sticks. Being a photographer by profession, I collect anything that could be a really great prop to use on set. I also sew, and I like interesting fabrics. I like to renovate my home or refinish old furniture which requires a collection of power and hand tools. I like to decorate my home with really great pieces that I find at antique markets, garage sales, and even with a few fantastic pieces found in the trash. I'm fascinated by the little unique details in things. I think it all started with my parents. When they came to Canada all those years ago empty handed, they begun to keep whatever they would need 'just-in-case'. My dad was the 'handyman' around the house, so he collected lots of tools, while my mom sewed, cooked and was the best homemaker ever. I've kept some of her old fabrics, vintage now since the colours and patterns are not like anything you can buy today. I've also held onto her old rickety sewing Judy. I haven't used it much, but I don't have the heart to throw it away.

While I'm trying to shed the "pack rat" title, I still understand the value of a great find. My father invited me over one day to sort through some things he was going to throw away. Looking through an old trunk in his basement, I found an exciting pile of textiles. Vintage bedsheets (still in their package), towels, napkins and table cloths and a huge collection of aprons were discovered. Although I tried to be strong and pass on most things, I couldn't resist the stack of aprons. I remember my mother using aprons while she cooked, but these ones were unused. I guess I know where my fascination with textiles came from!

Out of the whole bunch,
I'm not sure which apron is my favourite as they're all so different. The orange apron in the middle is a pretty close 1st. I love the detail, the beautiful stitching and embroidery, but my favourite part are the pockets. They are very unassuming from the outside, but when you put your hands in, the pockets take over the whole inside of the apron. Lots of room to put a whisk, a recipe card? or a umm, a baby kangaroo? Whatever it may be, the pockets are pretty cool.
Another thing I like is the word 'Portugal' stitched onto the top band. My parents never travelled much, just within their home country of Greece and a few North American cities, so I'm not quite sure whether this apron was a gift or a really neat find that my mother couldn't resist either.

The first blue apron on the left of this bunch (above) is a top favourite of mine as well. It's so clean and simple yet so feminine. The band around the neck simply slips over your head leaving only a string around the waist to tie, and the excess fabric around the bottom giving the skirt an extra flare adds to the feminine touch.

Although the first apron on this bunch (below) has some pretty feminine detail, I can't help but think of wearing it making candy canes in Santa's village. The fuchsia & white stripe with the scalloped edge & white eyelet fabric under the scallops make for a very "girly" apron. Don't get me wrong, I do really like it, it just reminds me of something you'd wear in a candyshop!

What can I say about the white apron in the middl
e (below) other than it might somehow be a part of my Halloween costume next year ;) Really, what else do you think of when seeing a tiny structured crisp white apron like this, aside from "Maid's Uniform"? And reading the label from this one, it is actually part of a uniform! I think that's really the only time I would wear this one seeing how small the apron front is and how much of a messy cook I can be at times! The one next to it (yellow, green blue and red striped) is a knit apron. Not sure who thought up this one as I don't know how practical it could be, but it's definitely something I haven't seen before.

This collection of aprons certainly are all very unique and one of a kind and not something I would want to part with or maybe not even wear . I'm not sure what I'll do with them as it's a shame to have them hiding in a box. I'm hoping to transform the 'packrat' term to suggest "If I'm going to collect things, they have to either be a/ on display or b/ I have to actually use them." With the aprons, I think I might still prefer to wear my everyday clothes while I cook as I do while I paint, and clean with too! Maybe this is why I have paint, bleach and oil stains on my clothes! lol! So I'm not quite sure where they'll end up yet.

What's your favourite apron? Do you have a unique one of your own that you love? Do you have any collections that you secretly admire from the box they're kept in or do you display your collections in a unique way? I have a few more collections tucked away which I'm debating on their fate. Maybe you'll see them on here some other day!


  1. Joanne, those are some wicked aprons! The butterfly one, the Portuguese one and the red/white striped one with eyelet trim, are just a few of my faves. I'm not much of an apron wearer but I do have a frilly pink gingham one that a good friend of mine made for me. I wore it once while taking the garbage outside and got lots of stares from the neighbours! LOL! Its just too nice to wear while cooking.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words Joanne :)
    I checked out the organic metal gallery website and it looks very cool! I do enjoy working with silver metal a lot but don't have access to such facilities at home so I rely on beading mostly. I'd love to take up silversmithing again and learn some new techniques. Thanks for the info :)