Apron Strings

I’ll bet if I had opened my grandmother’s closet, I would have seen maybe three or four dresses on hangers, a couple of pairs of shoes – one for church and one for every day, a pair of bedroom slippers, a nightgown, and a housecoat.

Moving to her dresser, in the top drawer I would find handerchiefs with crocheted edging that were stiffly starched and ironed covering up her stash of Swiss chocolate candy bars. The next drawer down might have held her underwear and her thick nylon stockings. And maybe more Swiss chocolate. The other drawers undoubtedly belonged to my grandfather.

I’m telling you this much:  the woman didn’t own a pair of slacks. Her wardrobe didn’t include a blouse or a skirt or a shirt of any kind. She wore simple house dresses every single day of her adult life.

Unless she was dressed up. And she always wore the same thing when she was dressed up – a navy blue shirtwaist with white polka dots. If she was going to church or to one of our piano recitals, she added a hat. Boom. Navy dress; polka dots; hat: Grammie was ready for church.

But the best way to tell if Grammie was dressed up was if she had on her apron. If she did not, she was heading out to church or to visit a friend. Because if she was at home, she was wearing an apron.  And her aprons were all the same — a bib apron that went over her head and tied or buttoned in the back and made out of cotton material with a floral print. Mom had a seamstress friend who made them for her to give to Grammie for Christmas or her birthday or Mother’s Day. They looked something like this, only with a floral print…..


I have been thinking about Grammie and her aprons a lot lately as I’ve spent more time baking or with my grandkids. Or both.  I am always dirty. I have noticed that as I go through my day, I am constantly wiping my hands on my pants without giving it a second thought. That is until I get undressed at night to get ready for bed and see that my pants are covered with mud or floury handprints or play doh because, see above. I’ve been wiping my hands on my pants. My shirts are wet with watermelon dribble or Oreo crumbs or maybe spaghetti sauce from my dinner. Cole is in a constant state of drool as he apparently is always working on teeth. Drool = Messy Shirt.

I need an apron. I know now why Grammie always had on an apron.

Grammie in apron (2)

So I have begun looking for aprons to buy or make. And when I say make, I mean pay someone to make it. I can’t sew a stitch. It actually is easier said than done. I can find numerous half aprons or the bib aprons that tie in the back and have straps that go around your neck. But I want an apron like my grandmother wore – almost like a shirt you wore backwards. It had sleeves through which you put your arms and it either tied or buttoned in the back. I have been wholly unsuccessful searching for a pattern for such an apron. It’s true. I am becoming my grandmother. But that’s okay because now I know why the apron was always a part of her attire.

So if anyone has any thoughts on acquiring such a pattern, let me know. Even Pinterest has let me down.

In the meantime, I will continue wiping my hands on my pants.

This post linked to the GRAND Social


22 thoughts on “Apron Strings

  1. That picture of Grammie had tears running down my face. Oh, how I loved our Grammie.
    I had forgot that her aprons didn’t tie in the back. 😗

  2. Chris, your writing makes my heart ache sometimes when they include memories of Grammie. Thoughts of affection and her comforting presence throughout her life make me realize how rich my life was because of her, her funny stories, her voice . Oh my I’m choked up already! And because you write of her and keep her memory alive this way I will give you/ send you one of her very aprons. I think I have two actually . I will give you a well worn one because I think you’d appreciate the thought it must’ve been a favorite. Also, there is an apron maker in this valley who sells her wares around Christmas time. She makes very similar aprons , the closest to Grammie’s I can find . I will send you a picture of them and the makers website ( if she has one) address when I see them again in upcoming months. I know what you mean … they have to be not a bib , but a full front that you put your arms through ! If you will email me your physical address I’ll send the apron to you with affection and happiness that you will get much pleasure out of it .

    • Bobbie, you are so very kind. I am so reluctant to accept such a gift as I know how much those aprons mean to you. But I would so LOVE one of her aprons. I will gladly accept, but please consider carefully and if you change your mind, let me know because I would understand completely. I don’t think I have your email address.

  3. Grammie was the kindest person I’ve ever known. I never heard her make a negative comment about anyone, and I can’t remember anyone who knew her not liking her. And her knitting…the other day I saw a woman knitting an afghan. She seemed pretty skilled, but her needles weren’t flying as Grammie’s did!

    • Grammie could knit faster than I’ve ever seen anyone knit. I don’t know how to knit, but I have watched many people knit, and no one is faster than she.

  4. Grammie Gloor wasn’t actually my grammie, but I loved her, too, for all the qualities you mention. Our lives are made richer by our “extra” grammies. Make yourself a pattern without cutting the apron you get from Bobbie. Lots of us could use one!

  5. Love the picture of Grammie. Brings back many memories. You’re right about the aprons, I don’t know if I ever saw her without one. Always came down into the bakery and called us “her little chickens”. Sweet lady!

  6. I think it says a lot about our Grammie that this post generated so many comments. She was a simple, loving woman; I’ll bet she would be surprised by how many lives she touched.

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