While cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room recently I found things I didn't remember. I don't know what that says about the condition of my sewing room or the state of my memory!
Aprons are making a come-back and are becoming popular again, especially vintage and vintage-style aprons. While surfing several blogs I have seen some wonderful old aprons and reproductions. Here is one exciting find in my sewing room. This pattern was free - "Compliments of Penney's". I love the advertisement on the back. I don't remember fabric at the Penney's stores where I shopped, do you? Maybe someday I'll make these aprons; if I do, I'll be sure and share them with you.
While I like these aprons, and this wonderful pattern, there is an apron "pattern" that I treasure far more - my great-grandmother's apron. Nanny always wore aprons at home and most of my memories of her include an apron. After she was gone my grandmother gave me one of Nanny's aprons and I loved it. When I was first married I wore it often until it began to fall apart. Because it was Nanny's apron, and because it was so comfortable and practical, I saved the tattered treasure and carefully took it apart. It became a pattern for more wonderful "Nanny" aprons. I planned to make aprons from this pattern but I never did. I carefully placed the pieces in a little bag and it has moved from town-to-town, house-to-house with us through the years. Now I have fabric similar to the original apron and I hope to make one very soon. When it's finished you will be among the first to see it. The following poem describes Nanny's apron perfectly. It's almost as if it was written for her.
The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.
-by Tina Trivett-
Edited on September 16, 2007 to add: When I originally wrote this post I did not know who wrote the poem I included. I loved the poem the way I posted it - it fit my great grandmother perfectly just the way it was. However, I have since learned that Tina Trivett wrote this poem in honor of her own dear grandmother. It was subsequently altered and changed and published on many websites. Tina recently found my blog and after reading a version of her poem here she left a comment to tell me that she was the original poet and to encourage me to check it out and possibly include the original version. After checking out her story I was moved by the fact that the words of the poem she wrote for a much-loved grandmother had been changed by others and that credit was not being given where it was due. I strongly believe that a poet, an author, an artist, a composer should be honored for the talent and inspiration they give to others. With that in mind I have changed the poem on this post in the spirit of honor and thanks to Tina for putting into words what I wish I could have written in memory of my great grandmother's ever-present apron. Thank you, Tina - and thank you for letting us know of your work. You can find more of Tina's poetry on her poetry blog.