Family Heirloom Apron Story

Grandma "Cora"

I have been blessed with knowing not only my Grandmother Cora but also my Great Grandmother Maggie.  We called them Grandma and Great Grandma.  Great Grandma Maggie was born in 1880s and lived to be 92.  She was such a delightful and funny woman.  She didn't mean to be, in fact she was kind of crotchety, but for some reason that made her even more endearing.  She would have her purse in her lap at all times (like the Golden Girl Sophia) while she was resting.  This of course would be on Sundays because the rest of the weekdays were meant for working.   She never wore pants that just wasn't heard of.  She did wear her apron to keep her clothes clean. 

In those days people were particular with their clothing and didn't wash them every time they wore them.  Washday was just that one day a week and that was exactly what it meant washday.  It took all day to wash because they used the old wringer type machines and wash tubs filled with water.  Washday was hard. I can remember an old black wash pot that Great Grandma used too.  The water had to be pumped with a hand pump and carried to the washtubs, pot and wringer machine.

Grandma Cora lived as she had been taught and she also wore her apron. Grandma Cora wore house dresses around the house too.   An apron that was lovingly made from a pattern she made from her mother's apron.  I would watch while she placed things such as bowls, pans really anything handy to hold the older apron down as she would cut out and sew the new apron. You see they had at least two aprons.  One for everyday and one for Sunday.  they wouldn't be caught dead in an everyday worn out apron on Sunday.

My mother "Mama Dot" didn't wear aprons.  She just cooked and cleaned without one.  There were five of us children so in my young life I remember her washing clothes especially diapers a lot.  So I guess it skipped a generation but she made sure we visited the other Grandmas often.  That is where my love of the simple lifestyle and aprons began. 

I'll have to dig up pictures of Great Grandma Maggie.  I have some older aprons that belonged to she and Grandma Cora.  I'll get pictures of those to share later.  Those have some age on them for sure one of them is over 50 years old.

Today I'm sharing an apron that I just made for my sister's birthday.  

See the simple pattern.  It is simple yet flows and is one of the most comfortable sturdy aprons you will ever use. 

   That's my sister "Gwen"  her real name of course is Gwendolyn.  Isn't that a beautiful name?

She is Nana to not only her little grandchildren but also any that meet her call her that.

Closeup of fabric

My trademark signature in blue. 
You don't have to make your signature stand out like a sore thumb but please sign your work.  

I was told this years ago by a very nice lady.  She at that time was the head of New York's Folk Art. 
She said, "Dolly sign all of your work, always.  You will not be here forever and someone will find this piece and wonder who made it.  Sign, Sign, Sign!"  "If you are not proud of your work then how can you expect others to be?"

Create and Enjoy,

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop


  1. Dolly! This apron is gorgeous and the words of wisdom about signing your work are so very true. I may not sign my actual name, but I always add a little something that assures people that it came from me!

    1. Thank you so much Erin! I think that is great that you add the extra and that they know it comes from you!

  2. What a lovely story. I wish I had one of my grandmothers aprons, but I never thought to keep one back then. I remember my mom always wearing a house dress when she was home when I was a kid. She still does a lot of the time now too.

  3. Gwen is going to LOVE that apron Dolly. My Grandma wore aprons over long dresses everyday for as long as I knew her. I miss her and those pretty aprons. She made most of her clothes and that of my Mom and her 6 siblings growing up. I can still remember being a toddler and sitting under her sewing machine as she sewed. Those were the best of times.

    1. Hey Heidi,
      She did love it. She loved her name and the main thing that it was one of grandma's patterns. I love your Grandma never met her but know she had to be so special because look at you. Aren't these the best memories. Good times I can just see that precious Heidi sitting there enjoying every minute. That is what gives us our love of country, sewing, things isn't it?

  4. Beautiful apron! I received my bag you sent me on Saturday. I love it! Thank you for this beautiful gift! :) Have a wondefful week my friend!!

    1. Thank you Judy! I hope your week is full of fun things!


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