Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More about aprons

This is a Laura Wheeler pattern--she's like Betty Crocker--just a name on a household product, I think. The pattern appeared in the Rockford Morning Star and was mailed in a brown manila envelope from New York, and the postage was one cent. The label was in my mother's handwriting on a piece of notebook paper glued to the envelope. There are no markings on the tissue for piece names or seam allowances. I think this was one step from making up your own design. However, the pot holder and the pockets were iron on transfers. Only the pot holder was cut out, and I have no recollection of Mom wearing an apron with fruit shaped pockets, so she probably skipped that.

Nor do I remember why I have this pattern, but I think I know how. Whenever I'd visit my parents Mom and I would sit at the dining room table and talk and talk. Sometimes about family things, like her mother's china or old books. Eventually to stretch my legs I'd wander down the hall and open the sewing closet and stand there like I was in front of the refrigerator. "Hey, Mom, mind if I borrow this?" My ambition was bigger than my ability.

This apron looks a little more typical--a floral/fruit print with possibly a scalloped front. Young ladies, please notice the scarf around my mother's head. In the 1950s, we did not have hair dryers, so you had to plan ahead. You washed your hair early in the day, or at night, in a sink using a glass or cup to pour the water over your head while bending over. Then after toweling, you used bobby pins to make the curls. One big improvement in the 50s was the manufacturer adding plastic tips to the end so you didn't scratch your scalp. If you were really expert, you could hold the curl with just one pin. Some women used small metal rollers with little clips, but they were sort of old fashioned and made your hair fuzzy. Then you tied a scarf around your head while it dried. Saved on electric bills. We were environmentally sound and didn't even know it!

No comments: