Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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The Apron Recipe

I'm sure you can all remember moments of inspiration that you've had.
My moment of inspiration for the apron came when I was pondering what our cookbook might look like.
I don't think it was an intentional idea to give the book a retro feel and yet since many of our memories of the heritage foods date back to the 50's and 60's. . . I naturally was drawn to the vintage linens and kitchen items that belonged to my mom and now to me.

We knew that we would have professional group photos done for the book and rather than us all agree on a color scheme or even making a decision whether to dress up or down. . .it seemed easier to  come up with a "uniform" that would be part gift .. .
part practical . .
and partly a signature look that would be ours.
We did not know when the aprons were started that we would be wearing them for our cooking classes.  It is so fun to have a reason besides the book photos to need an apron.


In early June of last year I began to search out fabrics that would work well together.
I wanted them to be bright and cheery and remind us each of the aprons our mothers sewed up for themselves and wore daily over their clothes to keep their ironing down to a daily apron instead of ironing a new blouse or dress each day.

Once I selected the fabrics. .I found coordinating trim and dipped into my mom's vintage trim collection that I inherited when she passed away.  The girls with the green rick rack have trim that is at least fifty years old.
I found some blue and red seam binding in her collection as well as a bit of white seam binding when I realized I was running out of the meters I purchased.  Being a very sentimental person. .
this just gave me such joy in knowing that a part of my mom and her true first love of sewing was finding its way into the cookbook ...
one way or another. 

We had no idea that so many of you would ask us for an apron. The publisher has received countless emails and judging by your kind comments and emails as well . was tempting for a very short while to see about producing them and selling them to make additional money for charity.  We quickly realized it would just not be cost effective.  We would have to come up with our own pattern, since we would not be allowed to produce aprons to sell from the commercial pattern.  The cost of the fabric and then the labour involved would not make it very affordable for you to buy.

So ..we are offering you the pattern number and we hope that those of you that can sew. . .will team together with those that can't.  Perhaps the non sewers can offer to buy fabric for the sewers and you can work out a win win situation. 

We are of course so delighted you are enjoying the photo's in the book. Your response has been delightfully overwhelming.  We are so grateful to each of you that has left comments about our book.  We are posting many of them on the book page.  If you haven't already purchased your book and haven't been able to find it in a bookstore near you. . . please be patient.
You might want to visit our book page for additional information and book reviews.  I will keep the apron number posted there as well. 

In the meantime ...we are still getting the word out there about the book. Every week requests are coming in for radio and article interviews and if you ask your local bookstores to bring the book in. . .we hope that  eventually it will be widely available. 
We are very pleased to have the book available through the publisher and most other popular online sources.
Thank you so much for making the book an instant success.  

The link to the apron pattern is here .
There is a little more about how they flapped in the breeze for the photo on my What Matters Most Blog.

Happy Sewing !


  1. Lovely! I wear my husband's grandma's apron all the time... It is fraying, has a few holes, but it is cheerful, and gives me a connection to the past. She was a Mennonite farm wife in the Midwest of the U.S., and I know that many loving meals were made for family members, church gatherings, farm hands, and even wandering homeless gentlemen during the Depression while this apron was worn. I'm sure that your aprons will be passed down as heirlooms to your daughters and granddaughters, too... Jill

  2. I will be visiting my fabricland store to pick up this pattern!!! I LOVE it :)
    I also loved the stack of fabric on page 14...can I ask where I could buy some?

    thanks and blessings

  3. Ok, I'm headed toward the fabric store... will have to pick up this apron pattern. it's just too darn cute!!!!! Then i need to find me some feedsack repro fabric for this. Squee!

    I'm drooling over the mixing bowls in the photo. My mom had a set, but it got sold when dad got married and moved out of the house. Hubby laughs and calls it my "holy grail" of mixing bowls...LOL!

    I'm so excited about your cookbook!

  4. I was wondering about those aprons. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us, you've done a fantastic job on all 10 of them. Beautiful!

  5. The first thing I noticed about your book was the aprons!! How wise of you to realize that diving into the apron making business was not for you. I make aprons, some from patterns I crafted using my grandmother's aprons as patterns. I make and sew aprons (and other items) which I sell through my Etsy shop. A portion of all my sales is donated to Trickle Up, a group that provides small business loans to women in third world countries, so that they may start their own business and better their lives.

    I think all of us need to be mindful of our abundance and strive to give to others. If we pull together as a group, as you have mentioned, we can make an impact.

  6. I'm so glad to know I'm not one of the last apron wearers!!

    1. I feel the same way. I just found this website and I love it!. I can't cook or wash dishes if I don't have my apron on. My husband jokes that when I put on my apron, I mean business. It's crazy, but I feel like a real wife and mom when I wear my apron. Tam Smith

  7. When we lived in Germany I purchased a few of what my neighbours called 'house dresses' - which were really super-aprons, worn over the clothes for the day. There was nothing frilly or pretty about them, but they did the trick of keeping everything spot-free. In our small village the women would even wear them down to the bakery in the morning.
    Your aprons are pretty and practical!

  8. Niki ..they might have some left if you go get your pattern at Fabricland :)

  9. Just ordered the pattern from ebay - but was astonished at the cost of the new pattern from Simplicity - $10.95!! I remember when patterns were 1.50 or 2.50.. 40 years ago when my daughter was born I only paid in the $2-$3 range for baby clothes patterns...

  10. I'm an apron lover... My mom wore apron all her life... Great!

  11. The aprons are beautiful....just like the cookbook inside and out!

  12. My mom had those same bowls, probably many women had them in the 50s. Your aprons are cute and practical. I like to wear an apron, especially when I bake bread, so I'm not covered with flour from head to toe!

  13. I think I better go get myself one of those famous patterns as well...while I still can! I like the children's versions as well.

  14. Thanks for the apron recipe. I also like the felt "cookies" that come with the pattern and know my granddauther will as well

  15. I knew there was a story behind the aprons! A lovely story it is! I know for me, that when I saw the picture; my thoughts immediately went to my Grandmother, the women that shape us are our Grandmothers and mothers, it's lovely to honour them!

    I'll be buying this pattern, I almost bought it a while back, it's nice that it includes child sizes too! Thank you for sharing.

  16. My grandmother always wore a full apron and I have such fond memories of them. They were very similar to the ones you made. She always gathered eggs or vegetables by pulling up the corners of her apron skirt and laying the objects in the if they were in a cradle.

    I will pass the pattern number onto a friend who sews, as she was also the recipient of the cookbook and also immediately fell in love with the apron when she saw it!

    Thanks so much!

  17. Oh I loved the rest of this story! Your mom would so approve and I think I hear her applause all the way from glory. And the connections I see in this Simplicity pattern to my own world. I just kidding just found apron made by my mother in the style of the half apron. I have it tied to a rack in my sewing room. I'm taking a picture and emailing it to you pronto.

  18. Being a farmgirl that loves to cook, I have been a big "fan" of your blog for a while and any cookbook that I can get my hands on!

    I would love to do a review of your cookbook on my blog. Would you please consider providing me with a copy that I can review and an additional copy to giveaway on my blog?

    You can visit my blog @

    Please let me know and contact me through email: femininefarmgirl(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thank you,

  19. Oh, I was wondering about those aprons too... love them. And the bowls- yes, there are still some of that set left in my mother's cupboard. She and my grandmothers always wore aprons, and for Christmas us girls even got crocheted ones from one Grandma to be worn on Sundays! I still have mine though've never worn aprons. Just love the retro look of yours though, and want one even if only to hang in my kitchen. My daughter sews... :) I think I have a project for her.

    I haven't commented on your book... only just picked it up in the mail as we got home from vacation on Mon.- it is beautiful, so well done. Congratulations and blessings to you all! What a great God-inspired venture.. isn't He full of surprises!

    -Marg N

  20. Love the aprons. And I love the book cover, too, with the photo of the aprons. A good choice. (I would buy the book from just seeing the cover!)

  21. Thrilled to find today that the UK Amazon store has several sellers who are stocking your book so I am ordering one! Can't wait till it gets here. Very glad that you have a gluten-free section on the blog. Thanks for all the inspiration you continue to give us.

  22. Lovella - thanks for your comment on my blog. Just to clarify: there are Amazon marketplace sellers who are stocking your book and I am ordering from one here in the UK called aphrohead books.

    Love your blogs - I read some of the individual ones as well as the big combined one - they are truly great!

  23. I have been following your blog for quite sometime and I enjoy it very much! So glad to hear that your cookbook is done. I would like to buy one for myself but I really can't afford it now because of being on a very limited income because my husband is unemployed due to heath reasons for the last 8 years. Maybe someday I can buy one. We are part of an organization that features Gospel Music nights every other week during the winter and into May. Then they have a big summer gospel Music Festival in June. Maybe you have heard of Thousand Oaks ministries? They also sell Gospel tapes, Cd's and some books. I had this idea maybe they could sell your cookbooks there as well. Do you have a bulk rate if they would buy a box of books? We'd need to order them real soon because June is not that far away. Email me back as to your response. Our email address is You could even go to the Thousand Oaks web page to find out more about that. - Helena

  24. WOW that takes me home, those bowls, my sisters and I all have memories of what was alway served in those bowls, wow I didn`t now anybody else had those, how very cool:):):)

  25. These turned out so perfectly, Lovella! How special that you were able to incorporate some of your mom's trimmings and so fitting too! Of course we love the retro feel...we recently sold some identical Pyrex bowls to a customer in Australia :)

  26. We love "real" food over here at the farm, and with a family of ten, we love to cook, too!
    If you are still interested in reviews, I would be delighted to review and post about your cookbook regularly on my blog
    and if possible, offer a copy as a giveaway. We also have gluten sensitivities in our home, so I'm eager to try new recipes.Love the look!

  27. i love the aprons so thank you for sharing the pattern

  28. I LOVE the aprons! Great tip to buy the pattern on e-bay, PatsyAnne! I did just that after your suggestion. I'm going to surpirze my cousin with an apron for Christmas.

    About 30 years ago, I asked for $5.00 to buy an apron from the school for my home ec. class. The next day, my mom proudly presented me with an apron she sewed for me using a pillow case from the 60s. It was a bold yellow, orange and green floral fabric and she even used the solid yellow trim from the pillowcase to add some pockets and detail. Of course, as a teenager, I scoffed at her home made apron and inisted on having $5.00 for one of the plain white ones like all the other kids would have. To this day, I smile every time she wears that apron as she buzzes about the kitchen! It's my very favourite apron of hers. What a great memory!!

  29. I have those same bowls! My mother in law gave them to me after my husband and I got married, 28 years ago. She had three sets, but those were the ones she used every day. I still use them. But unfortunately, mine look a little worse for wear because I use the dishwasher! As I mentioned, she got three sets when she was married, back in 1958.

  30. I grew up with those mixing bowls--well at least TWO of them. The green was the cookie bowl for mixing dough, the red/pink? was the dog's dish by the time I remember them!

  31. Bought the pattern and some fabric for an apron... For the body, a bright blue with small white daisies, a coordinating yellow for the shoulders and pockets... I'm planning to make it over the weekend. My cookbook order came!!!! I started reading from the beginning... Are you going to have any signings in WA?

  32. My Mom used to wear aprons like that. I haven't ever been a regular apron wearer, but these aprons would make me look like I could cook as good as my mother!

  33. Ihave jus tordered two books,one for my sister and myself. She is especialy the apron loves, I sewed them for her,and now I love them as much! I wear one every day.And I already had that pattern!! My question is..where did you get that beautiful fabric? Is there a name or store I need to look for? As a quilter,I have looked everyplace,found similar,but not just right, Could ou kindly share that information with us please? The Darlene Zimmerman prints are just too much whote in them. My dream is to surprise her with that beautiful book with an apron similar to one on the cover. You ldies really do cook really well! Thank you so much.beautiful book.

  34. it took me pages and pages of mouthwatering find your post about your aprons.

    its the most stunning and perfectly descriptive photo for what your blog is about..

    L-O-V-E your aprons!!!

  35. Absolutely love the Cookbook. I was so thrilled to be able to get the book and meet some of you wonderful ladies and have you sign my book. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with us all.

  36. I have only just found you but your recipes are amazing. I too wear an apron, i love my aprons they are so useful in so many ways, they wipe my grand children's tears away, a quick duster when guests arrive unannounced, a towel to quickly dry my hands.
    I all ways start with two aprons one to wear at the beginning of the day and one at hand in case i need to change it before answering the door my apron's hide a multitude of sin's.:-) so i for one will be getting the pattern.

  37. I just LoVe reading your post. You are so down to earth. I LoVe the bowls. I have the large yellow one & now also have my late Mothers large red bowl. I use them all the time, my girls did and now my grandchildren do too. Wonderful memories have been made using them for sure. We always wear an apron baking at Nana 's house too.
    Have a great weekend. .Marg


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