Grandma’s aprons and the memories they bring 121



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Mum sitting at the sewing machine, material patterns on the floor – of course, she is wearing an apron. Gran standing over the stove cooking dinner with the flowery apron protecting her dress. A simple apron can evoke so many memories from childhood and yet children today would hardly associate them with anything other than painting.


The history of aprons – I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons required less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
The government would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron but love…

Are they any other simple items that bring back strong memories from your childhood?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I always wear an apron. I make my own from beautiful florals with a big pocket in the front for everything from pegs, tissues, dog treats and chocolate!!!!

  2. I have a apron made for me at a school fête in the early 70s and still wear it when cooking

    1 REPLY
    • I have seen them on display at school fetes. Most littlies have no idea what they are for.

  3. I don’t wear it often, but have an apron hanging in my kitchen made by a friend of my Mums in 1965. has swans cross stitched in the Gingham. when that was popular.

  4. I had one given to me by a disabled boy I use to care for, however I think I’ve only had it on twice.

  5. For some reason I put an apron on yesterday, I’m sure that I got more work done than usual, I felt quite efficient, I might do it again some time. HaHa

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