The aprons of the 1950’s came in an almost infinite variety. Gingham checked aprons showed off a woman’s carefully placed cross stitch embroidery. Solid or printed cottons were embellished with rick-rack trim. For special parties, hostesses wore sheer organdy confections with shadow appliqué or satin stitch flowers. You can have fun making your own apron in the 1950’s style.
Supplies for making an apron
An apron is a simple project. Many of us made aprons as a first 4-H sewing project or in home economics class at school. A simple drawstring apron requires one yard of 45-inch wide fabric, two yards of 2-inch wide grosgrain ribbon, sewing thread to match, and a package of rick-rack trim. You will also need chalk or a dressmaker pencil for marking, since this apron requires no pattern-simply measuring and marking.
Cutting and sewing an apron
Lay out pressed, unfolded fabric on cutting table. Cut one rectangle measuring approximately 36 inches by 45 inches. Make narrow hems along the 36-inch edges of apron. Using chalk, mark the rectangle as follows:
1. On one 45-inch edge, mark a line 2 inches in from the edge on wrong side of fabric. Fold right side of fabric to wrong side along chalk line. Fold once more, enclosing raw edge of fabric and making a double-thickness hem. This heavy hem will help the apron skirt hang neatly when the apron is worn. Press hem, then topstitch hem in place.
2. On opposite edge, make waistline casing. Mark a line 1/2 inch from edge. Mark another line 2.25 inches from this line. Fold fabric toward wrong side along 1/2 inch mark, press, and stitch. Fold again on 2.25 inch mark, press, and stitch on right side two inches from top edge of apron.
3. Cut ends of grosgrain ribbon on the diagonal. Seal cut edges with Fray-Check or clear nail polish. Using a bodkin or a large safety pin as a guide, thread ribbon through waistline casing of apron until center of ribbon is aligned with center of apron. Tack apron and ribbon with close, short stitches through all layers so that ribbon does not pull out of apron. Gather apron along ribbon and apron is ready to wear.
Embellishing an apron
For a 1950’s look, place rick-rack trim over the topstitching line at the hem. Use pins or washable glue stick to baste rick rack in place, then topstitch over center of rick rack. Rick-rack flowers are another nice touch; just use these simple instructions.
For the more adventurous, replace the simple hem with a scalloped hem using these detailed scalloped edge instructions. Another option for the more experienced seamstress is to use sheer organdy or organza fabric with these instructions to make a sheer 1950’s hostess apron.