Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Stroke Survival: Donning an Apron One-Handed Style

One of the things that I miss most living post stroke is wearing an apron to protect my clothes while cooking, washing dishes, and cleaning.My shirts bear the stains as a badge of honor for completing all of these chores without one for the past six years.

The major drawback for donning an apron now is the ties. Most have ties at the neck and the back. While I've gotten pretty adept at tying shoes and my shorts, or anything that ties in front of me, I just find it impossible to tie things tight behind my back and neck. Trying to tie them in front and making it fit are two woefully different things. I prefer a full apron because, being well endowed, everything lands on my nature made shelf if anything is above it.

I found a fix for this at a local farmer's market late, last summer. A cobbler's style apron. I could tie it while it was on a flat surface in front of me. I could even double knot the side ties so they wouldn't come loose. I got to talking yo the seamstress who was selling her creations. While the price was a bit steep at $25 a piece, but when you look at the cost of all the shirts I've ruined since my cooking videos started airing on YouTube, it was a bargain.

The apron was nice, but in the north Georgia summers, the temperature can reach 100 degrees. Besides, I needed more than one unless I washed it every day. Anyhow I was talking to this woman about tying an apron with one hand. She only had one cobbler style apron available, but she could make new ones in the coming week. I really wanted an apron like I wore in commercial kitchens. They were heavier fabric and durable. I also wanted some that were cute for the videos. After all, these videos were viewed by hundreds if not thousands of people. I wanted to look fairly presentable. The back piece of material was just too hot for summertime cooking. Plus it raised the cost of the apron more material= more cost, it makes sense or cents depending on your point of view.

The woman asked if there was any fabric and style the was in her aprons that I liked. There came the dilemma. There was too much to choose (50 plus) from and the styles, oh my! I settled on two fabrics. Both were cotton duck cloth or thick broadcloth. One was actually the fabric she used as a table covering. The other resembling pillow ticking. Thick like an old railroad engineers cap.

The style needed to simple and feminine, but not too fru-fru because that's not me at all. Think utilitarian meets Cosmopolitan. It had to present well on camera. I pulled several styles that had things I liked and disliked to illustrate what I meant. In my years of sewing, I knew how to alter patterns to incorporate what I liked and didn't like. I figured she knew how too. She got a good idea of what I wanted and she said give her two weeks to figure it all out. If I style had two working hands to play with scissors, I could have designed and made my own. I figured it would cost more, but it was in fact only $15 a piece for the two I custom ordered from her. I gave her free rein to make them the way she wanted.

What I ended up with was gorgeous! I couldn't have done a better job myself. They were worth every penny.

The first one was made out of her table covering. Attention to the little details such as a large pocket on the left side of the apron for ease of access with my functioning hand. Velcro closure at the neck covered by a pretty button.
Green toile print with mini pleated bib

The blue pin striped one  has a bow that came untied. The neck tie was tied to fit and double knotted. That one tying has lasted through several laundry trips. Again the placement of a large pocket on the left side of the apron.

 To replace the ties, she came up with an ingenious solution. D rings. So it still has one tie but I can adjust it once the apron is on. I'll fasten the tie in the D ring, don the apron, and cinch it tight. Voila! A snug fitting apron. I guess if I didn't have such a stroke addled brain, I would have thought of this fix too. If you had a favorite apron before your stroke, you can now alter it so  you can wear it again. Just be sure the D rings are on your functioning side.

 I can now happily cook and clean to my heart's content. AND, not destroy my shirts doing it.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. Very clever designs - I rarely wore an apron pre-stroke, one of the many things that appalled my mother-in-law while I cooked.

    Now, if I really wanted to use one, I'd use a housedress, like my mother used to wear - on as soon as she walked through the front door. Hers (and mine) have snaps up the front. Too many blouses lost to baby spit and spaghetti sauce.

  2. OMG! A new way to eliminate frustration that is no longer going to happen thousands of times. I love it.


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