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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Apron Strings with Yvonne Cory

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

I met Yvonne about 10 years ago when she attended one of my Sewing Retreats - back in my Illinois Days - held at a retreat center in Danville, IL. These days, I hold Sewing Retreats at my wonderful Sunroom Sewing Studio here in Jackson, TN. She shared with all of us at that retreat her passion for Aprons: especially OLD aprons, and all of the history about them. Through the years she has developed into an APRON OFFICIANADO par EXCELLANCE!

Enjoy this blog Post featuring Yvonne - an AMAZING Woman!!!

Let's Get to know Yvonne through her BIO

Fiber Artist – Yvonne Cory

14338 470 th Avenue, Easton, Minnesota

Yvonne Cory grew-up on a farm in southern Minnesota, she had many encounters with textiles and fibers; when she watched her parents sew everything from family clothing, home décor to car upholstery. A hand-crank Singer toy sewing machine ignited her love for fiber art at an early age. She completed a Post Graduate Needle Arts Course at the Minneapolis Vocational Technical Institute and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Home Economics from Mankato State University, Mankato, MN.  Her Family and Consumer Science teaching career over 35 years took place in southern Minnesota.

Upon retiring, a new lifelong learning began as a Faribault County Fair employee, in which the duties included advertising, marketing and grant writing. These golden years sparked a passion for the apron and grew rapidly into an entrepreneurial art business beginning in the year 2010.

Her textile collection includes 1500 vintage aprons which are divided into ten educational and artistic programs given at public events in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin including The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show in Madison. Historical and artistic aprons displays are also part of this business plan. High-fashion apron designs honor memories and feature new and reclaimed textiles which are shared in art galleries. Her apron boutique features one-of-a-kind aprons for various tasks and ages.

Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Minnesota such as Red Rock Center for theArts, Blue Earth Public Library, Art and Heritage Center, Montgomery, Albert Lea Art Center, ArtsCenter of St. Peter, The Waseca Art Center and Textile Center Minneapolis.

Yvonne received grants in 2014, 2020 and 2022 from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council to help move her artistry forward. She presently works from her family farm in rural Faribault County.

Yvonne's Artist Statement


“Why Aprons?” is a continuously asked question over the years. An apron is the oldest wearable garment recorded in biblical history and its function and purpose continues into present day. This multi-disciplinary fiber artistry connects a vintage collection and newly designed aprons into two interesting avenues. The extensive

vintage apron collection is shared by giving informational programs and creating artistic and historical apron displays. The vintage influence also appears in my individual high-fashion apron designs that are both artistic and wearable.

Since my childhood watching my mother sew, these vintage garments have a deep meaning. They remind me how important a human hand was in the creation of the frills and yet served a purpose of collecting spills. An apron not only has interesting history; it displays a variety of fiber art techniques, all very intriguing to me.

Anytime I can turn thread, fabric and vintage linens into aprons I am filled with JOY. For each new design, a basic form, a full bib or half apron is selected. Inspiration from printed materials, nature, travel, my vintage apron and embellishment collections guide me in selecting colors, textures, patterns and art techniques. Cotton fabric, (new or vintage), is my primary choice in fabricating the basic apron form, as it offers a variety of textures and patterns which are washable. The decorative embellishments used to enhance the basic form are bountiful. Examples include hand embroidery, decorative machine stitching, lace, rick rack, bias tape and braid trims, buttons, coached yarns, fabric manipulation, on surface and reverse appliquéing and lacing.Vintage linens of unlimited sources are also used as enhancing embellishments. Vintage sources include crocheted doilies, hankies, linen calendar towels, tablecloths, recycled clothing, panty hose, netting, chenille bedspreads and so many more. Thus each design has its one-of-a-kind persona.

In our “throw-away” society where planned destruction has become a staple of our economy, I am inspired to meet the green challenge to curate, reuse and up cycle in my designing, informative programs and displays. Parents taught me at an early age not to waste what I have, whether resources or talents. Thus remembering, the frequently used quote of the depression, “make over, make new, make do or do without”.

Yvonne just completed her display at their local county fair:

I believe these aprons are positively DELIGHTFUL!

Here is a sampling of just 26 of Yvonne's amazing Apron Collection.

To download a document of all 26 in this collection, download the following. That way, you can zoom in on each photo.

Historical Collection Highlights
Download DOC • 35.99MB

I hope you've found this Blog post interesting. Perhaps at family events, going through 'old stuff', or even at estate sales like my hubby and I enjoy, you will find some 'Apron String Treasures' of your own. If you have any antique aprons at YOUR house, or in a collection, I'd love to see photos. Comment with them here or email to me at

I've begun my own SWAP Wardrobe!!! Sewing with a Plan - for Traveling in style and fewer - yet interchangeable pieces. We have an upcoming bus trip to Washington D.C. This will be our first vacation since Covid interrupted our lives and freedoms. I'm quite excited about it. A sewing student found a luscious full-bodied ponte knit at JoAnn Fabrics, so I made a plan... watch for upcoming Blog Posts on that sewing endeavor. I'm SEW excited about it all!!!

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