Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Where do I keep my aprons?

Janice has asked where I keep my aprons, and do I ever wear them? I used to have them all hanging on skirt hangers in the same wardrobe as my tablecloths, but I recently took all the aprons out to photograph them and they are still in a pile on a chair. In that short time, I have sorted out my tablecloths, which means that I hung up a few recent additions to the collection. That in turn meant there was less space in the cupboard to hang other things, so I'm thinking about not replacing the aprons in the same wardrobe as the cloths, otherwise they all get crushed. I am considering packing them in those large clear plastic boxes, which will then go at the bottom of the wardrobe.

Do I wear them? I do wear aprons when I am cooking or cleaning up in the kitchen, but not my lovely embroidered ones! I have a dozen aprons in the linen cupboard along with the day to day linens like teatowels etc. and these aprons are simple printed fabric, or gingham with cross stitch. I guess I should get around to photographing them too, as I have noticed that American women in particular, like the printed aprons.

The only time I do wear an apron from my collection is if we have guests to lunch or dinner, and I will pop one on just for fun, while I dish up the meal. The other time the aprons get 'an outing' is when I take them to show a group of people such as in an aged care facility, or womens group where I'm the guest speaker. While I'm talking about my collection, I have one on myself.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Aprons with a floral design.

One of my dear home care clients gave me this before she moved into a nursing home. I don't think she actually made it, as she had always told me she never did much embroidery when she was younger, but I still remember her whenever I look at it.
This is definitely worth a closer inspection.

This simple creation is the only one I've embroidered myself. I bought it either on eBay or at an opshop (so long ago I can't remember), barely started, and I was able to finish it off fairly quickly.
Closeup view of the floral heart.

The tiny exquisite stitching deserves a closer inspection:

Aprons with an Aussie theme.

These are only a few of the many apron designs produced in Australia in the first half of the 20th century to commemorate Aussie people, animals, events, etc. This one was made to commemorate the centenary of South Australia.
Miss Western Australia. No year known for this...Have you heard of any other country in the world who have made aprons to celebrate their Miss World contestants?? I hardly think today's beauty contestants would be flattered!!
Miss Australia, but the year isn't given. My elderly homecare clients are guessing in the 1930's.
This is another of those incredible examples of stitching where the design has been completely filled in with stem stitch. Koalas of course!

Captain James Cook is credited with having discovered Australia and the cottage where he was born in England was transported over here many years ago, and still remains a popular tourist attraction in Melbourne. I love this apron - it must have a story behind it but I can only imagine the truth. It has obviously been stitched by two people - one experienced and one learner. Some of the stitching is perfect, and the rest is rather awful! I think Mother might have been teaching her small daughter to embroider, and this is the result. It's never been quite finished, and I am leaving it as it is.

A lady from the 1940's era, calling 'Coo-ee'

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Fellow Apron lovers!

In addition to the links I have provided on the sidebar here, to other Apron websites and blogs, there is another item of interest which is very worthwhile reading. Last year, I was searching for apron information on the Net, and I discovered an article on a website called The article (on apron collecting) was by Carolyn Ellertson, and I got in touch with her to tell her about my own collection. We have been exchanging emails occasionally since then, and I have made a small apron to send to her as a friendship exchange. Carolyn tells me she is often invited to exhibit her collection at various conventions and fairs around the U.S.A. It is exactly the sort of event I would like to do here, if I had the contacts to do it, and after reading about Carolyn's activities I am strongly motivated to start finding out where I start!
In the meantime, do read Carolyn's article, and while you are there, have a look at's website - it is chockfull of fascinating information about all kinds of textiles.
"Up Close And Personal With Vintage Aprons"

Sunday, 10 June 2007


I found this little beauty in an antique shop. How long would this have taken to stitch?? Nearly all in tiny, perfect chain stitch!
Closeup of the chain stitch used to create the apron above
Fabulous parrot in brilliant colours.

Half aprons

A very pretty, beautifully stitched little treasure. If you would like to see a closeup of one of the pockets, leave a comment here and I'll get one done.
Another pretty one. Just right for serving your friends tea and cakes one afternoon!
Crochet trim on gingham was a popular theme, especially these dancing ladies. I have several supper cloths with the same embellishment.
I was in half a mind not to include this piece on here, as it was extremely difficult to photograph, being on such a sheer material. We tried it on dark backgrounds, light backgrounds, and eventually settled for draping it across my back on my white windcheater! The embroidery is exquisite; it must have been hard to work on such thin fabric.
Cross stitch on gingham has always been popular, probably because the materials are inexpensive, and you don't have to learn a lot of different stitches. I have several gingham and XS aprons, but decided to use this one here, as there is quite a lot of work on it.
A simple gingham and cotton piece with cross stitch decoration, and a matching oven mitt as well. I found this in an op shop I think, and discovered the oven mitt tucked inside the apron pocket when I got it home. This one could be used as a peg bag as well as an apron.
This one is from Belgium. The eBay seller told me it was made by a child as a sampler,in an embroidery class at school
This piece has applique trim instead of traditional embroidery, but I couldn't resist adding it to my collection.

Ladies from other places

Puppies and other pets.

I suspect this may have been made by a school student. I remember doing one myself when I was at secondary school. It was on calico, and we had to put our name or initials on it, and wear it during our cookery class. I don't recall stitching anything so pretty as this on mine though!

Definitely a European influence in this design!

These two aprons are the same design, but the stitchers have chosen different colours. I bought them at different times, not realising with the second purchase that I was buying a replica of one already in my collection! But I don't mind, because I find it fascinating how people can change the same design by using different colours and/or stitches.

The dog on this is embroidered in very pale cotton, so I have taken a closer photo to show the dog in more detail (below)

Some Crinoline ladies.

This apron was on eBay, described as 'machine embroidered'. I knew by the design that it was no such thing, and won it for $12. Probably my best ever eBay bargain!

Here is a closeup of the stitching.

The umbrella forms a pocket on this apron.
I love the way the sash has been embroidered in satin stitch using several tones of the same shaded thread to give it that subtle colour change.

Not strictly Crinoline ladies I guess; more like Maypole dancers.
This is a close up of the work on the apron below.

This is a half apron. One of the best examples of fill-in stitching I've ever seen. I am sure this was done for an event like the Melbourne Show. Far too much work to just be used to stop drips on one's clothes!