The “hostess with the mostest” may show her holiday flair with a festive homemade Christmas apron.
For centuries, homemakers and chefs have utilized a fabric covering to protect their clothing from food stains and maids have used aprons to keep their uniforms dust-free. As clothing styles have changed, so has the apron. Full skirts on dresses meant a full skirt on the apron, with perhaps ruffles or lace trim as decoration.
During the 1920’s, when dress styles were shorter and more close-fitting, apron styles changed to reflect a new look, with small embroidery details and printed fabrics, with bias or ric rac trim.
While aprons have long been an easy Christmas gift, styles designed just for the holiday season first appeared following World War II as manufacturers returned to producing everyday goods instead of items for the war effort.
Dainty hostess aprons were meant for serving and entertaining instead of cooking and cleaning, and thus did not need to be as sturdy. Additionally, aprons made with tulle or net would still allow the wearer’s party dress to be seen and not covered up.
Net hostess aprons are easy to make and decorate, and make an ideal gift with a mid-century modern vibe. To make one apron, you need a piece of net or tulle measuring 36 by 25 inches, which allows for a six inch hem. The apron tie is a 1.5 inch wide ribbon measuring 2.5 yards long; matching ribbons 1/4 inch wide (one yard) and 1/2 inch wide (12 inches) are used for the hem and decorative bows.
Felt decorations can either be cut free hand or you can use Christmas cookie cutters to outline the desired shapes. Use beads, sequins, and other felt cutouts for decoration. Hand baste the decorations just above the hemline, then turn up the net and secure the top edge with the 1/4 inch ribbon. Make 2 bows with the 1/2 inch ribbon and attach at the edge of the hem ribbon. Gather the net to 18 inches and sew on the ribbon tie, and your holiday apron is ready to wear!