Time for Summer Book Reviews!
First up is The Apron Book – Making, Wearing and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort, by EllynAnne Geisel I bought this hardcover book from a used book store on a whim.
My personal history with aprons is remembering my grandmother and aunt wearing aprons while cooking and cleaning. Myself, I quickly got into the habit of changing out of my nice work clothes and into junk clothes, which don’t need the protection of an apron, for cooking dinner. But, I still enjoy wearing a fun apron when I host dinners or parties. My favorite apron was a gift, on the front, it says “One Martini, Two Martoonies, Twee Martweenies, Floor!
Back to the book review This book begins with a nostalgic history of aprons, and discussion about how aprons fell out of fashion when the Womens Movement began. Aprons were associated with homemakers and housewives. As women joined the workforce, they stopped wearing aprons at home. Soon, aprons became a quaint symbol of the past, unless worn by a man cooking on the grill.
Next the book analysis the anatomy of an apron. Frankly, there’s not much to an apron, so much of this chapter is devoted to choosing apron fabric, basic sewing, and patterns and instructions for sewing a basic half apron, a bib apron and a smock apron. I do like the no-wasted-fabric cutting layout for the half apron. This chapter includes clever ideas for charming apron pockets, and suggestions for combining fabrics in an apron.
The next chapter is a personal essay about aprons in the kitchen. It includes an apron with potholders sewn into the hem, so they’re always at hand, and a children’s apron.
The following chapter is another personal essay about the functionality of apron pockets, and patterns for a three pocket apron. It’s followed by a chapter about the Man Apron. The next chapter is about the functionality of aprons on the job.
Holiday aprons are addressed in the next chapter. The chapter after that, called “Not Your Grandmothers Apron” covers fun, modern aprons like my favorite.
The final chapter talks about incorporating vintage aprons into gifts or mementoes, and displaying a collection of vintage aprons.
If the “meat” of all these chapters seems a little thin, well, that’s because it is. There really is only so much you can say about aprons!
But, the author manages to fill almost 140 pages, with photos of vintage aprons and vintage apron pattern envelopes. Household tips, like “Chill candles in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using so they will burn evenly without dripping” are sprinkled throughout the book. Recipes, like Chicken Olivia Casserole are included. The whole book is padded with page long essays by other people, sharing their memories of aprons and the people who wore them.
Pattern pieces for all the aprons are included in an envelope glued to the inside back cover. I have not opened my pattern pack, so I can’t comment on the actual pattern pieces.
While a few things here and there felt like they were included as padding, I enjoyed reading this little book.
You would like this book if:
You enjoy aprons
You want to make aprons
You want clever and cute ideas for fun aprons
You enjoy reading nostalgic essays