Aprons - the secret handshake

15 November 2010
I don't know what it is about aprons but when I put mine on every morning, it turns me into someone else. I feel more of a homemaker when I'm wearing an apron and just like an actor getting into a costume and into character, when my apron is on, I'm ready for my show to start. Often I put my digital camera in my pocket and if I see something that would make a good photo during the day, I just have to reach into my handy apron pocket to grab the camera.

But the apron has many more uses than that. I wear an apron for the plain and simple reason of practicality - it protects my clothes, I wipe wet hands on it and use it as a sling to collect eggs and vegetables. When I was growing up most women wore aprons when they did their housework. Now few do. I don't know anyone, apart from my friend Susan, who wears an apron on a daily basis. I'm probably preaching to the choir here but hands up who doesn't have an apron. I'm really intrigued, why don't you?

I believe the apron is our symbol and it might be out of fashion now, but that is just the time to start wearing one. Fashion pffft. There is a lot to be said for not blindly following the crowd. We are individuals and leaders, not followers. A few years ago we had an apron swap here - it was so much fun and 70 ladies joined up to make an apron from scratch and then swap it. You can see photos of some of the aprons here and here. If you have a photo of you wearing an apron on your blog add a link in the comments so we can all see. I love seeing people wearing aprons. It's like driving around in a car and seeing someone else in the same one - same make, model and colour, and you look and silently nod in quiet appreciation and recognition of a fellow traveller. The secret handshake.

I usually have breakfast and then put on a clean apron, ready for whatever the day holds . Even when I sit at the computer writing my book, I'm wearing an apron. You don't have one? Well, correct that error of judgment and make one, then two, then enough for every day of the week. There are some apron tutorials down below. You don't need fancy fabric, you can use recycled fabric from an old dress, or flour sacks, or a tea towel, the important thing is to make one and wear it with pride. It will turn you into another person.

TUTORIALS
Ruffle apron
Plain apron with pouch pocket
Child's apron
Dish towel apron

PHOTOS
Vintage aprons

PATTERNS
Vintage aprons

All paintings of aprons are by the wonderful Swedish painter Carl Larrson. You can see his official home page here.