My Mom Is a Crafty Lady

My mother is quite the crafty lady.  She is the one who taught me to sew after years of having to make my Halloween, dance, and mountain woman (don't ask) costumes for me.  She has made wreaths, baskets, decopage everything, table runners, quilts and pretty much anything else you could name.  My mother is also the keeper of an amazing array of facts about esoteric things.  I chalk that up to the NY Times Crossword Puzzles and a large community of other women with an equally amazing array of esoteric hobbies.

Her current expertise is on aprons.  She was asked by her local AAUW* Michiana Welcome Club chapter to give a presentation about the history of aprons.  She then went on in November to talk on WVPE radio about aprons as well.  Click HERE and go listen to it so that the rest of this post makes sense.

In the piece she talks about the old fashion apron patterns that were all the rage until about the 1960s when women starting burning them along with their fabled singed bras.  Women had around-the-house aprons and fancy aprons (hurriedly switched out as they rushed to the door to let the guests in)

Here are the patterns:
See how cute the old-timey patterns are?  The one on the left was made to look like men's ties.  Go figure...
As she mentions in the radio piece, women went to great effort to make the fancy aprons extremely elaborate, adding miles of rick-rack and hours worth of applique that you had to transfer onto the apron and then could embroider and embellish even more.  An opportunity for artistic expression.
Aren't these appliques just tooooo cute?  Dancing spoons?!?!
When my mom talked to the AAUW  Welcome Club group, she had each of the women bring their own aprons with the stories that go along with them.  And boy are there stories!  My mom modeled some of them:
This was a work-a-day apron found at the South Bend farmers' market* a shop in the Bronx, NYC.  Probably from the 40s, I think.

A woman gave this one to my mom.  She said that this was her mother's fancy apron and that she could remember her leaning on the counter smoking a cigarette while wearing this hot lacy number.
My mom looks pretty hot in it, too!

This is what my mom referred to as a card-party apron as it was made to match a table cloth and napkins for a passel of women that might come over to play cards during the day when the kids were in school.

 Mom made me a cupcake apron last year and she gave her friend one of the complicated 50s patterns I showed above, but hasn't made one for herself yet.  Get on that, mom!  They are adorable.

You can also hear Ms. JoLynn Brown on radio talking about her Christmas Birthday:

*Had to go back and fix a couple of things.  Sorry, mom.  The downside of oral history....