Saturday, February 7

I want an apron

I've never owned one.

I'm not an exceptionally messy cook, but I usually get some foodstuffs on my person. But that's only one tiny reason to have an apron.

It's, I don't know, a symbol of sorts.

There was a time not so long ago when women probably scorned aprons. You know, like the bra. A symbol of oppression. But now, we have moved passed that. We appreciate that women can truly be whatever they want to be, including stay at home mothers. Cooking, baking, making jam, are activities which have been returned to their rightful place of importance. And if wearing corsets and stockings is now an acceptable way to express one aspect of our femininity, why shouldn't we express all aspects?

It represents house-keeping rather than chores. It's a symbol of hearth and home in the most cosiest way. And as we build our most permanent house, I am coming to appreciate that special roof over our heads that we all call Home. To me, the apron makes me think of simpler times.

It's a symbol of nurturing. The cooking and baking yes, but also it's place in a child's life. It is the Wiper Away of Tears, the Cleaner of Wounds, the Safety Net to Hide Behind from Strangers.

So it's symbolic but also absolutely practical. Quickly grab hot pans, wipe up a spill, carry in some eggs or a few apples for baking a pie, wipe sweat beads from our brow, do a quick dust, wipe and gather crumbs, an impromptu baby bib, wipe your hands after picking herbs from the garden, hold some wood for the stove, and leave you looking immaculate as you take it off seconds before company arrives. And then if you have pockets, why, you can hold all sorts of stuff, such as tissues for all occassions, a few nibbles for the chickens, or sweets/candy for when children visit.

DIY Dad's mother uses an apron. And whenever I see it on, I know something good is cooking.

But I've yet to come across an apron that suits me. They are all too prim, too 'grandma', too girly, too silly, too modern.

If I could sew, I would sew up all that symbolism and practicality and make me an apron.

15 comments:

  1. I love my apron - I only use it for 'special' cooking so putting it on helps me get in the right frame of mind for some serious kitchen exploits! Hey, if you can't find a perfect apron, you could always knit one! :)

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  2. I love aprons, particularly vintage ones. Keep looking, you'll find a pattern you like. Have you looked at Sew Liberated's blog? Google her, as it's a great blog, but her aprons may still be to prim for you. I like her Emmeline pattern, though, and made it for my SIL for Xmas.

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  3. I love aprons. I started wearing them two years ago when I met a woman who is now a very good real life friend. She had a wonderful little store and made and sold aprons from her own pattern. She's since closed her store and stopped making aprons, but the two that I wear every day are the ones I got from her. I love them. They keep my clothes clean, but they also have handy pockets to keep tissues, phone and MP3 player in and the skirt can be useful for so many things from drying your hands to collecting and carrying herbs or fruit or veggies.

    I now pick up vintage aprons at thrift stores whenever I see ones I like!

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  4. I wear my "pinny"every day!! For all the reasons already mentioned.I don't know anyone else who wears one in real life so it is nice to connect with fellow pinny wearers;-))xx

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  5. Oooh, I love aprons too and wear mine with pride every day. Glad to see there are so many others who enjoy them as much as I do. Apron wearers unite!

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  6. Sewing an apron is so simple, I'm sure you could do it. If *I* can, anyone can! :-)

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  7. ooh, they all come out of the closet (erm, literally?).

    Sarah - I can baely sew a button on! I just don't sew. Would drive me nuts.

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  8. Rebecca "Hey, if you can't find a perfect apron, you could always knit one! :)"

    oh very funny, yes indeedy. :D

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  9. Oh they are great. I was lucky enough to inherit my nan's gems that she had made herself. They are gorgeous purples and reds. I feel so 1940's in the kitchen baking for the ones i love...xx

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  10. I haven't been wearing my aprons since we moved. I need to put up some hooks in the kitchen and get them out again. Mine are super simple ones from IKEA: dark orange, and multi-striped. No frills to be found, but one has nice, deep pockets. They would be very easy to sew.

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  11. Love that apron thing. I've embraced the apron - it is a wonderful symbol as you say. Wearing one while I bake and stir gives me a feeling of warmth and security. My grandma always wore one, and I remember there being much making of jam and wiping of tears!

    For a long time I would never have dreamed of wearing an apron, because despite the nurturing associations I had with them, I too just thought they were a bit of an oppressive, (and regressive) symbol. Hey - just blame my undergraduate brand of simplistic feminism for that, lol.

    However, I'm still fussy about what style of apron I wear. There are heaps of patterns over at the SewMamaSew website. I like the Amy Butler 'Domestic Goddess' apron, (no sign of Nigella). I have been thinking of whipping it up, and just wearing it as part of my daily outfit. Just because I actually am a bit of a grub.

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  12. I too am an apron lover. I enjoy the feeling of being in the kitchen and taking care of my home, and those inside of it. I feel empowered by it really. Seems to bring me closer to my mom and grandma... I always saw them as strong women. They ran the house, made it a home. Wise women they were (and are), tending to it all. Ah... I do love aprons. :)

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  13. Nominated you for an award my funny green mamma. Check it out over at my blogette. I'd love to make myself an apron but i am, alas, a bit craft challenged.

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  14. Love your blog! This is my first time visiting but I will be back often. Thanks for your wonderfully frank insight!

    Wendy

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  15. I love aprons, and my husband, who's a great cook, and I, wear aprons all the time in the kitchen. I love to see men wearing aprons, they look so sexy!!

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