On Wearing an Apron

Jul 29, 2015 | A Well Kept Home, The Home Economist | 20 comments

On Wearing an Apron: Homemade Starch Fais de Beauz Rêves

I love aprons. I love the mess of them hanging on my laundry room door.

On Wearing an Apron: Homemade Starch Fais de Beauz Rêves

(Hello! – I love the stencil on my laundry room door.)

I love buying them, old, stiff and starched to the nines, I love making my own starch and pressing mine, patiently with a fire-hot iron, I love the motherly feeling they give me when I wear them.

And I love when my little ones ask to wear one too.

I don’t know when I fell in love with aprons. Probably right about the time I started to bake bread and realized wiping my flour-covered hands on dark denim jeans was a no-go.

The obsession really started for me one afternoon at my friend’s resale shop when I scored a whole pile of them. Since then I have been known to rummage thru stacks of linens in the forgotten corners of antique stores or the cardboard boxes that line a driveway during a garage sale… searching for the perfect apron to add to my collection.

Vintage Aprons

Vintage Aprons / Homemade Starch

My mom says that my Great Gramma always had an apron on, with seeds in the pocket. I can see how that would happen. Don’t let mine fall to the floor for seeds spill out just about every time.

There is simply something about them. Something that says to me, “Momma is here. She is here to serve, here to take care of you.” or “Momma means business, she’s got her apron on.” They are so feminine and so homey. I’m pretty short-waisted so they are not that flattering but dang, they sure are cute.

Vintage Aprons / Homemade Starch

If you come over and I am in the kitchen, chances are you’ll find me with an apron on. If I invite you over to cook or bake with me, I’ll most likely offer you one.

vintage aprons

And then, there is the ceremony of removing the apron to sit down and finally dine.

I love that.

Vintage Aprons / Homemade Starch


Do you wear aprons? Do you have memories of your Momma or Grandma wearing aprons?

Were they starched? (Can you tell I am obsessed with starch???)

Here is my starch recipe.

I make it up in a ball jar and shake it up and pour it into a spray bottle before use.

1 quart distilled water

Three HEAPING tablespoons of cornstarch (I like a heavy starch!)

The essential oil of your choice… as many drops as you like. For a lovely nights sleep may I suggest line drying your sheets and then pressing them with homemade starch made with Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Sandalwood or a grounding or calming blend.

(You’ll notice I can’t show you which brand of Essential Oils I endorse. It’s an FDA thing. But feel free to contact me and they can change your life like they’ve changed mine:)  Any of those scents would be lovely on your aprons or tea towels too.

Vintage Aprons / Homemade Starch

Shake it well before transferring it to your spray bottle. If you have leftovers after ironing pour it back into the ball jar and clean your spray nozzle to prevent it from being clogged with the cornstarch.  This happens to me when I use lots of cornstarch.

It’s wonderful for aprons, old and new…and you haven’t lived til you’ve ironed and starched your sheets with it. Oh my gosh… like go wash your sheets NOW and break out that ironing board!  Make your great gramma proud!

Thanks for reading. Amitiés!!! Angela Parisienne Farmgirl





  1. Stephanie

    This is probably one of my favorite posts you have ever written. Beautiful!

  2. mandy

    I wear vintage aprons all the time. I can’t even tell you how many times I have run out of the house and gotten into my car with an apron still on! ha! and wait…what the? you aren’t allowed to say the brand name of the oil company anymore? seriously?!

  3. Rose

    Angela…simply beautiful! I love vintage aprons (but not ironing…). Sounds just lovely…maybe I’ll take up ironing in my “spare time”

  4. Joannah

    I somehow acquired an old pastry chef type apron from a former roommate – it’s my favorite. I’ve never made a pastry, though. 😉

  5. Donna

    I’m an apron lover! My mother, grandmother wore them also, it’s a connection that I feel when I wear them. I have all of my mother’s and some of my grandmother’s. And I am so going to use this recipe for starch…I have a very close relationship with my ironing board and iron. 🙂

  6. Janice@Curtains In My Tree

    Oh Yes hun

    I wear aprons just like you said I am always wiping my hands on my clothing/hips.
    So I wear an apron around the house when I am cleaning and playing in my studio. Those pockets really can hold my little found treasures when dusting.
    A must when baking, I wear bib aprons now that i’m grown LOL

  7. Christine

    When I served in the military-and everyone’s uniforms were starched, I used SO much starch that my nickname was ‘Starchy’. 🙂 I have since ditched the uniform and have begun an apron collection. Thank you for sharing this post and your recipe. I so enjoy your blog. Blessings…..

  8. Pam Moore

    I don’t remember my mom or hers wearing aprons, though I’m sure my granny probably did in her earlier years. My paternal grandmother wore one all the time. So do I. I consider it my uniform. I’m too messy to work in the kitchen and around the house without one. Plus, they’re so handy. Stray bits of string, tissues, et. always go in the pockets until I’m near the trash can.

    I love that you posted the starch recipe. I was going to ask. I kind of hate to iron, but if I’m gonna do it I want the laundry to smell nice. I always use lavender water, but will try out this starch recipe next time. I can say with confidence that I will never iron a set of sheets, though. LOL

    I always love when you post. Hope you and yours are well.

  9. Tina

    I love aprons also & have many. My Grammy lived in Maine & I in Georgia so we were close but didn’t get to see each other much. The last time I was able to see her, she was wearing an apron she made. I asked her if I could have it. She gave me the one she had on but wanted me to have a new one also. So she gave me a brand new starched apron & she signed it in permanent maker for me. They are my favorites. She was a Godly woman & journaled daily so she also gave me one of her journals. They are among my most prized possessions!

  10. Sue Neitzel

    I love and make aprons too, that photo of your daughter with a loaf of bread is lovely!

  11. Cindy Young

    Apron love going on here for many, many years. My own mom did not wear one that I can recall, but my memere most certainly did. She had a small garden, a flock of chickens, and worked her magic in the kitchen with the little she had…and always, always, always had an apron on.
    I NEED an apron on when I am home. Bits and bobs found around the house go in the pockets to be dispersed to their rightful spots as the day goes on. Washing hands here and there, with the apron to give them a quick pat dry. Frying up some bacon for breakfast demands an apron…a full apron!
    And yes, removing said apron when sitting down for a meal…a ceremony in and of itself, for sure.
    A lovely post…and one of my favorites now.

  12. Kc

    Do you use the same cornstarch that you would cook with? Thanks.

  13. Becca

    Just found your blog today while planning the beginnings of our potager. Beautiful, just beautiful! I’ve enjoyed the afternoon reading your blog and look forward to news of your cookbook.
    From one homeschooling Mama to another…Chapeau!

  14. Shelley

    I love aprons, too. I have a love hate relationship with my iron and board. Using essential oils is something that would make that time so much more enjoyable. I am going to try this!
    Thank you

  15. Elaine

    I absolutely love my apron! Neither my mother nor her mother used one, and my mom has mentioned a couple times how she thinks it makes me look like I am from the 1940’s. It began for me when I was reading a cookbook, I was about 25 yrs old, and the author gave an entire page to speak about the virtues of an apron. So I bought one, and I fell in love. I no longer worried about my clothes before going off the shop or leaving for church, I knew I was still just as clean when I started cleaning or cooking because of my apron. It is the advice I give all new brides… Use an apron, they are a life saver!
    Love the blog:)

  16. Sarah

    My granddad sewed me an apron when I was young. It’s a pretty little thing that just ties around the waist, and now my kids wear it, so when they do it brings back happy memories of him. Isn’t it the littlest things in life that brings us so much joy?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Posts

Blog Categories

Archives by Date