Apron Memories


An apron for each day
one for company too
create your own memories
this apron’s just for you.
© Sue Pitchfork 2005~

The Old French root for apron is naperon, “small table cloth.”

I sewed my first apron in high school sewing class and then wore it during home economics class.  It was blue with big white flowers, very 70s.  My name was chain stitched across the front.  The apron is but a memory however the skills learned have served me well.  When I moved out of home in my teens I knew how to cook and sew on a button.

My mother always wore an apron around the house up until last year.  When she went to live in assisted living accomodation, she declared she would no longer be wearing her apron.  I guess for her, it was time to let others do the work.

The one thing I regret is discarding my mother’s self drafted apron pattern.  When she was cleaning out her home I requested one or two of her aprons.  Alas, it was not a priority in the bigger scheme of things, and I never did get an apron.

My mother’s aprons were very practically designed.  And there was no tie loop around the neck, which I discovered over the years, to be a nuisance when suffering from neck aches.

Last weekend I went on my first Op Shop [thrift store] Tour.  It was a free event, organised by a neighbouring Council for National Sustainability Week’s festivities.  1paint
The first Op Shop visited is where I found a modern apron that crossed over my back [image below].  It was originally priced at $4 but due to the 50per cent off sale, I scored it for half price.  Where the safety pin is, I have since sewn the two ties together.


When I tried it on a home it did not fit well.  I could have worn it ‘as is’ but I knew it would annoy me.  Therefore the last couple of afternoons have been spent in my studio, making alterations to it.

I have darted the front to fix the gaping neck, lengthened the back straps and added two new button holes, replaced small button with larger ones, shortened the hem, added a pocket that was made from a doiley and added cotton ‘lace looking’ braid to the neckline.

As for my mother’s apron style, I am currently making a similar type apron to what she wore, from an old dress picked up a couple if years back at a clothes swap run during National Sustainability Week in the City of Brimbank

Images x3 below:  My finished Barbara Apron [named after my Mum].  I will add a pocket when I come across something I can use.


Front of the Barbara apron.


Left side of the Barbara apron


Back of the Barbara apron

Beat The Man!!


5 thoughts on “Apron Memories

  1. I really found this interesting Karen. I’m quite an apron fan myself. I do have several, but I’ve got no time for those little things that you just tie around your waist. I love the idea of converting a dress into a really …cover all… apron. The Barbara one certainly does this. I have aprons in the workshop (garage) for when I’m painting or messing about. I really like to be able to cover up and just take it off when I’m finished with the messy stuff and not have to get changed. In the kitchen they are a god sent for when you are having a big cook out.
    I’m definitely going to investigate the “dress” apron idea. I’ll go through the stuff I have but I suspect there is nothing there. I don’t usually buy dresses.
    I’m looking for an apron that will be fine to go shopping in actually, something that just looks like a wrap type dress. I do have a pattern but I prefer to use an old dress as you have done. Making an apron from scratch is not my idea of how to spend my time.
    By the way, I forgot to mention ….I love the one you altered from the charity shop. It really looks nice. After all you need something you can chuck in the washing machine without any trouble. Cos after all there are supposed to be there to catch the dirt. Your opshop one is utilitarian but stylish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jacqui for your comments and insights. I love those wrap around dull torso aprons too. I am going to keep my eye out for one in an op shop. I am wearing my Barbara apron today and the other day I wore it to the local botanic garden with my straw hat. I shared the photos on our Facebook page @ruderepair.


    • Thanks for you comment and insights as always Jacqui. I hope you share a photo of your wrap apron when you get it/make it. I have been wearing my Barabara apron out to do the grocery shopping!!


  2. I love this article. First, the spelling for french word of apron is napperon (with 2 p), the word for tablecloth being nappe, so, napperon is a small nappe. Then, it is easy to a french quebecer like me to ear in the word apron the original napperon, if you can go back to saying out loud an apron, anapron, a napperon, right? It is fascinating to go back into the origins of words. Thank you for such a nice article.

    Liked by 2 people

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