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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Joys and Tears in the Apron Strings

Yvonne Cory traveled all the way from Easton, MN to join in on the fun at my recent 5th Annual Creative Get-Away Retreat at the Threads n’ Beds Retreat Center in Danville, Illinois.  It was a delight to have her share with us on Friday at lunch about her mission – Aprons!

She says ‘Every apron has a history’ – and that became SO true as she shared just a few of her precious antique aprons with us.  She does travel to share her programs – you can reach her at:

Yvonne shows us her antique aprons.

Yvonne shows us her antique aprons- this one a ‘Jellow Apron’ as worn in the 20’s and featured in Jello ads as Jello became popular.

Yvonne now has almost 1000 aprons in her collection – starting from some aprons in the family and appreciating them for their textile and family history.  Some of her aprons date back to the 1800’s with very open weave gauze fabric and deep Venetian lace.

Pinner Apron

Pinner Apron

I learned what a ‘Pinner’ was – an apron without a neck strap to be pinned to the wearer so that it could fit anyone for protection – which is why aprons began – for protection, most likely for men as blacksmiths, etc.  Pinning an apron with a ‘dress pin’ (ala safety pin) kept it from falling forward which would be a danger when working over an open fire.

Hooverette Aprons were popular in the 1930's during the Depression.

Hooverette Aprons were popular in the 1930’s during the Depression.

Above, you see a ‘Hooverette’ Apron which I also recently was reading about in another book that I’ll be Blogging about in the future. These were a wrap style so that you could flip them the other way in the front once they became soiled – thereby not ‘presenting oneself’ in a less than properly dressed manner!  Read more interesting facts at this blog post:

I most remember embroidering an apron  like this with my Grandma… Yvonne calls it ‘Chicken Scratch Embroidery’.  I am sad that I cannot seem to locate it right now – I sure hope it hasn’t been ‘donated’ in my clean-out mode preparing to downsize in the near future!

Chicken Scratch Embroidery on this gingham apron.

Chicken Scratch Embroidery on this gingham apron.

Chef Style aprons became popular in the 1950’s when the men came home from the war.  I was amazed at finally actually seeing an apron made from a feed sack – and the fabric was so much finer, and nicer than I had imagined it to be!

Yvonne has also created many gorgeous aprons on her own, up-cycling and re-cycling antique heirlooms.

This presentation was an absolute delight and it sure encouraged me to look for and value both the history and textiles in aprons much more than I have!  Yvonne shared that when she does programs for elderly people that it stirs so many fond memories for them even to the point of eliciting response in a previously very silent resident at a nursing home…what a privilege to help that dear sweet woman dig into the recesses of her precious mind!  Yvonne is a treasure herself, for sure and yet just one more beautiful woman brought my way through my ‘business’.  Yes, I am blessed.  

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