A combination of factors led me down an intense weekend rabbit hole of checked linen aprons: Burnley & Trowbridge's video tutorial series on 18th century aprons, a desire for a quick side project, and a need for more aprons as my interest in historic cooking increased.
I found 2 yards of blue checked linen from Burnley & Trowbridge in my stash and set to work. I already had a brown checked linen apron, but blue is my favorite color (if you couldn't tell from the majority of blue items I made last year 😉), and what else was I going to use all that checked linen for?
Imagine my surprise when, as I was searching through the 1840 edition of The Workwoman's Guide, I found a reference to blue checked linen aprons!
Never one to turn down a small hand sewing project, I tuned in to the 1995 Pride & Prejudice and set to work. The whole process took about five hours and was an enjoyable way to practice my hand sewing skills. It's very satisfying to have a hard-wearing, washable apron that is just as appropriate for 1740 as it is for 1840!
Examples of checked linen aprons in the 18th century: