Thursday, February 24, 2022

Aprons...All Tied Up, Part 2


Sheet music circa 1880, 
"That Old Checkered Apron."

There are some aprons that I have great admiration for:  The egg gathering apron that I learned about when one of my friends had or made one.  Multiple pockets are featured on the apron and each pocket is for an individual egg. There are lots of examples on Etsy.

The harvest apron as it is called now, was good for eggs but really good for picking produce.  I wish I had one every time I am picking tomatoes in our garden.

I think the clothespin apron is much more functional than clothespin bags:

Sewing aprons protected ladies' dresses from lint and thread and often had a large open pocket at the end of the apron to catch thread and scraps.  The aprons were usually full and covered more of the clothing.  One article said they should always have pockets for the seamstress.  Of course that didn't prevent some manufacturers to market a decorative "sewing" apron:

But what about the other kinds of apron?  One of my favorite is the "Hoover Apron" which became popular during World War 1.  Named after Herbert Hoover, "the food czar", who headed up the Food Administration.  The apron was part of the Food Conservation Program and women could buy or make aprons and--if they signed a pledge to uphold the conservation program--they could sew a special badge onto their aprons.  Here's a fine front page headline from the Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington) in 1917:

Women really liked this apron.  They continued to wear variations of the apron after the war.  And then there was this headline from 1919:


While searching for the Hoover apron, I found the Bungalow Apron...

And another style is here, fourth apron pictured:

Rubber and oil cloth aprons added the ultimate protection:

Here is another aspect I'm curious about.  There were aprons that were pinned onto a woman's dress.  That style goes back to the 19th century and remained popular throughout the first half of the 20th century:

These confuse me.   Did the woman show the safety pins?  Or were special pins outside the apron?  Did you have to take your dress off or loosen it to get the apron pinned on properly?

This concludes my thoughts on early 20th century aprons.  I hope you don't mind these posts.  I've been trying to concentrate on something other than the news...prayers for the people of Ukraine this morning.  Enough said.

Tomorrow is Friendship Friday.  If you have anything to share, please email me at

Have a safe and happy day!



  1. Thank you for the tour through apron styles, Barbara. So interesting. My mom always wore a half apron but I think her mom, my grandmother, wore one that covered her bodice, too.
    As for the pinners, reenactors in Colonial Williamsburg used straight pins to fasten the tops to their clothes and I think that system continued for a century or two, both before the CW era and after. Surely they must have tucked the points of those pins in somewhere, somehow so they couldn't get pricked while wearing them!

  2. The ones that had the uppermost part pinned to the bodice were called "pinafores", thus the name. Though often in drawings for children's books instead they depicted more of a full covering rather than pinned.

  3. I think some Amish and Mennonite women still pin the top of their aprons. I'll have to look more closely the next time I see them at the farmer's market. I made a sewing apron last year which keeps all of those threads off my clothes. I definitely need a harvest apron and will put it on my list for this year. Maybe it will be good use of some of my vegetable fabric.
    I'm a big apron fan and always use one when I'm in the kitchen. Thanks for some great information.