It would appear that retro-style aprons are returning with a June Cleaver and "I Love Lucy" vengeance. Can scorched frying pans and pantyhose in the kitchen be far behind? I don't think so. Here's the proof in the butterscotch pudding: first, there's Apron.ology, a new magazine. This is absolutely amazing, considering periodicals have been dropping faster than flies trapped in a screened-in window. Now, this new publication is not cheap. I repeat, not cheap. I won't even say the price aloud. You could probably see a movie and buy the smallest size of popcorn for the same price. But the patterns! The photos! The sheer hilarity! All this needs to be factored in. Now, of course, I haven't bought it thus far, I'm all talk, and no traction. Still.
What else heralds the return of The Apron? The crockpot. All the blogs with slow-cooker recipes. Don't you need the garment for this kind of cookery? I think so.. thus a 1950s-style is totally appropriate since you will be chopping up Spam and Velveeta for your concoctions. These kinds of ingredients call for period-appropriate apparel, right? Even if you do wear it over your Seven for All for Mankind jeans and slinky mesh jersey tops. Anyhow, here are some aprons that you can stitch while your stew is bubbling for a few hours. Check out McCall M5825 (comes with a mitt too!) and Simplicity 3532.
Naturally, you will be using scraps for your apron, just like you might do in the kitchen. Instead of left-over celery and carrot stubs, you dive into your vintage fabric stash, as I have. The swatch you see above? The only remains for a 1950s top I attempted on my grandmother's Singer. That machine ate my fabric and any ambition I had to finish the project. I ditched the blouse, and somehow salvaged the tissue-paper thin cotton fabric. See how cute it is? Vases? Plates? Askew teapots?
I will use this to make the sample for my retro apron class at Vogue Fabrics, that is if anyone signs up for the class. So far, no one has. I'm figuring sewers are out there thrifting for aprons at the local Goodwills, Salvation Army shops and not even bothering to see what's left from quilting projects past. Sewing an apron is much more fun than discovering one that says "World's Best Dad" on it for $1.50. Really. It will do you no good to wear something like that when you're prepping a home-made pizza and you're a woman. I'm not kidding. Of course, your dog won't give you any grief (unless he or she is very smart and can read) but your kids will. What's more, they will never forget. You'll hear about it until...I don't know when.
On that note, here's a link for my apron-making classes at Vogue Fabrics next month. We'll be using Butterick 4945. For inspiration, I found this Flickr set of vintage apron patterns. For this one, you could use the inexpensive appliques for pockets. Gosh, the possibilities are more endless than snow in Chicago!