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Inspiring Vintage Aprons

A treasure trove of vintage half aprons offers inspiration for sewing your own.

I recently came across a collection of seldom-used and new full or half aprons in a linen closet at my parents’ home. Many of the aprons in that pile are handmade and were given to my mother by friends and family who knew that this practical woman has worn an apron nearly every day of her adult life. The aprons’ interesting construction and pocket details may serve as inspiration for sewing your own full or half aprons, or even an entire garment.

Check out our post on how you can sew a copy of one of the full aprons found in this collection here.
Half aprons collection

This exquisite full apron with straps that cross in the back is made of a fine cotton and trimmed with cotton lace. Its pretty scalloped hem and beautiful construction make it one of my favorites from the collection.

Full white apron
A reversible two-layer blue-and-white apron with curved and bound edges features a semisheer fine white cotton on one side . . .

Reversible blue apron

. . . and a striking blue print on the other side. The print shows through in muted color to the white side. Each side of the apron has a wide, curved pocket with bound edges.

Reversible blue apron print side
Another reversible apron in a slightly heavier weight cotton has contrasting pockets on one side . . .

Reversible red apron

. . . as well as a wide waistband and fuller skirt. It seems perfect for wearing during the holidays in the kitchen.

Reversible red apron print side
A heavyweight cotton version features four deep pockets across the front that are made from one strip of complementary fabric. The pockets could easily hold cooking utensils, oven mitts, or pot holders.

Gray-and-white striped apron
A delicate sheer apron has a unique pocket made from a scalloped-edge handkerchief sewn to the apron on an angle. The handkerchief’s top corner is gathered slightly into a plastic curtain ring.

Handkerchief pocket apron
In the family for many years, these simple fine cotton aprons are trimmed with cotton eyelet. The little pockets are made of the same white eyelet.

White eyelet aprons
The 2 1/8-inch-deep ruffle edge complements this fine cotton apron’s muted floral print. The rounded corners were in keeping with the soft look, and likely made it easier to sew the ruffle all the way around.

Ruffle edge apron
The black waistband, pocket, and fabric band provide contrast without overwhelming the apron . . .

Rickrack apron
. . . and the rickrack is stitched in place with contrasting thread for a striking look.

Rickrack apron closeup

There were even some children’s aprons made by my grandmother in the collection.

Child's blue apron
These twin aprons were part of a trio worn by my sisters and me. Though simple in design, they were helpful in keeping our clothes stain-free as we assisted in the kitchen.

Childeren's twin aprons



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  1. Sefadoci | | #1

    nice post !

  2. Zkibi | | #2

    bardzo ładne

  3. bartek31211 | | #3

    dobrze zrobione

  4. bartek31211 | | #4

    dobrze zrobione

  5. Pyafu | | #5

    fajny post

  6. p829692 | | #6

    good post

  7. User avater
    AnnaEverson | | #7

    I never thought that my grandmother's old things would look so beautiful

  8. User avater
    missmarie | | #8

    I have been unable to access the page that gives you the patterns and how to sew. Particularly interested in the full apron with straps that cross at the back. Thank you for your help.

  9. carolfresia | | #9

    Hi, MissMarie,
    Thanks for letting us know that the link to the apron instructions was broken. I've fixed it.
    Carol Fresia
    Threads Senior Technical Editor

  10. User avater
    orgergo | | #10

    I'm with MissMarie - the link is not corrected. The only apron pattern I can find is the one with the next strap.

  11. DaisyW | | #11

    I've been making aprons recently using a free pattern available on Purl Soho's website. They're full aprons with crossed straps at the back. Search Purl Soho Cross Back Apron. I've made two in cotton drill for gardening and one in linen for the kitchen. Cant wait to make more.

  12. machelleh | | #12

    This is a LOVELY article! It is wonderful to see such beautiful and functional pieces in such a wide variety. Thank you for sharing!

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