WWII USS Kingfisher Silk Handmade Apron w/Two Patches-Great Story

INFO: USS Kingfisher (AM-25) Name: USS Kingfisher Builder: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Puget Sound, Washington Launched: 30 March 1918 Commissioned: 27 May 1918, as Minesweeper No.25 Decommissioned: 6 February 1946

This WWII black silk apron is so unique; it was handmade by a sailor for his sister.

I purchased this from someone who was selling it for an elderly neighbor who was related to the sailor; the story behind it: a sailor made this apron for his sister, who was a cook. He used the USS Kingfisher gold metallic 1 ½" wide band from his hat, two patches from his uniform to form the pockets (one stands for Ship Fitter, the other is for Machinists' mate), stitched the word "Sister" along a 1 ½" wide grosgrain ribbon waist band (which was extended to form the ties) and hand stitched the blue border on the sides and bottom. Please note the metallic lettering on the USS Kingfisher band has faded (I've lightened one of the photos). The apron doesn't have any ties at the neck; I was told the sister was busty so apparently the apron top stayed in place. I don't see any marks at the ends, where she may have pinned it to her clothing.

The navy blue wool patches are large and quite beautiful; they have been sewn onto the black silk to form pockets (this sailor was very creative). Each patch measures approx. 5 ½" top to bottom X 3 7/8", measuring from the longest/widest points.

The overall condition is quite good, with the following to note about the black silk: when you hold the apron up to the light, you'll see areas below the top band where there are old stitch marks from the sewing machine (he must have altered the size or design). There are a couple pinpricks & a few "scuffs" & one small area where there's a bit of thinning. This is below the top band, where the old stitch marks & gathers are. Also when you hold it to the light, you will see an imperfection in the silk along the lower portion; this was done in the silk making process. There are old stitch marks from the sewing machine on the left tie, along with a few loose stitches on each side where the tie is sewn to the silk. The only thing you can visibly see are the "scuff" marks to the silk & the loose stitches to the ties; the other things mentioned can only be seen when held to the light.

The measurements are: the top band is 12" across; waist band is approx. 18" with an additional 19 ½" for the tie on the left side & 28 ½" for the tie on the right side. I have no idea why one side is longer than the other. From the top to the bottom waist seam (below the word "Sister") it is approx. 12". From the bottom waist seam to the bottom of the "V", it is approx. 32".

This is a wonderful piece of American history, with a great story behind it; it will certainly enhance any WWII collection.


Item ID: 1250

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