Victory Apron Still a Patriotic Icon

For many reasons, this apron pattern is one I cherish. Firstly, the pattern packet is as delicate as the surviving veterans of World World II. Secondly, I recall my mother reminiscing about her days as a coed and USO greeter. I’ve seen photos of my mother during the war years, and the way she wore her hair and dressed are exactly as illustrated by the woman on the pattern’s cover. The slim fitting dress and apron connote the lean times
The paragraph of text at the bottom of the pattern states:

Tie this apron round your waist
And join the Victory war-on-waste.
Plan your meals for zest and vim
And don’t forget Ye Vitamin!
Remember that the right nutrition
Is Uncle Sam’s best ammunition!

The pattern’s envelope illustrates women wearing patriotic aprons as they are serving their country by participating at a USO. The USO is an organization about which most of us are sadly ignorant. In celebration of America’s independence, let us also celebrate the USO.

In its 67th year, the USO continues its mission to deliver a touch of home to those serving in the military in a faraway place.

Organized in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “Home Away from Home” for U.S. troops, the United Service Organizations (USO) is a non-governmental organization still run by civilian volunteers. Throughout World War II, USO centers in over 3,000 communities provided the military with offerings as diverse as child care for military wives to a quiet place for talking, writing letters or receiving religious counsel to an off-duty place for dancing and socializing. And on hand to greet, comfort and serve a cup of free coffee, sandwiches and doughnuts, were the young women and ladies in their victory aprons.

As the icon of America’s mothers, the apron symbolized the comfort and security of the home, with the red, white and blue Victory Apron a reminder of motherhood and the American home as patriotic symbols worth fighting for.

Printed and copyrighted in 1943 by McCall Corporation, the Victory Apron pattern was One Size and cost twenty-five cents. What would today be described as a beginner sewing project, the Victory Apron and its pocket variations could be easily sewn, either entirely by hand or machine stitched.

For sixty seven years, where America’s men and women in the military have gone, the USO has gone. Today’s USO continues this tradition at more than 120 USO centers worldwide, in order to fulfill its mission to U.S. military personnel and their families “Until Every One Comes Home.” The Victory Apron is a reminder of that mission.

visit www.uso.org for more information on this decades old, volunteer organization.

xxea

7 comments

  1. Oooh! I want a Victory Apron! It would be quite fitting since my husband is in the Air Force, don’t you think? I think I’ll have to make myself an apron that looks like one of those on the pattern. Maybe I can get him to wear his Mess Dress and dance around with me too!

  2. Thank you for reading this particular blog entry and commenting. The USO and the Victory Apron are patriotic symbols deserving of recognition.

    I enjoy pattern covers in the same way I love looking at Dick and Jane primers – each drawing is its own little story. With the Victory Apron pattern’s cover art, what I notice is the flow of her dress sleeves is repeated in the apron. So, while the dress is clingy, the apron provides a flirty modesty or mystique for the figure beneath. Now there’s a notion we’ve forgotten: the feminine mystique as a non-political gesture.

    xxea

  3. oh how i enjoyed your post about the victory apron… as this vintage military history is what this country stands on…

    this kitten is very sentimental about our country & good ol’ american apple pie…so to speek

    the sweetness of a mother in an apron & the strength of women during war time…

    i honor all vintage military apron wearing mothers,for the strength of stepping into their husbands jobs, knowing how to ration, all the while holding down the home…

    and looking so darn tooten cute while doing it~thank you for sharing…cat

  4. The USO continues to provide a wonderful service. Years ago, my husband was deployed while we were living overseas. I flew home for a Christmas visit with our newborn & our older child. Weather was terrible & we got snowed in at one of the airports. The airline put us up over night in a hotel, but the USO was the one who helped a young stranded military Mom traveling with two little ones get a cab, carrying all our bags & make a few quick free phone calls to let family know of our delay. They gave the kids cookies & juice too. Anyway, it was a great service & it is run by volunteers.

    I absolutely love the apron & thank you for sharing.

    For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen

  5. I really enjoy y’alls return visits and commenting! As like-minded vintage apron-wearing lovelies, perhaps we can figure out how to celebrate this particular apron’s message: to honor the women who serve away and at home, and look “so darn tootin’ cute while doing it.” This apron’s voice should never go silent.

    xxea

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