I WOKE UP TO SNOW TODAY (cry). I really do love where we live, but spring is hard. It goes back and forth from warm to cold, rain to snow. Occasionally you can spot icebergs on Lake Superior in June. Right now we've had rain for what feels like a week straight, and now snow. All the while I keep seeing photos of gardens further south already sprouting plants and people enjoying that magical thing called sunshine. I'm so beyond excited for baby goats and growing veggies, that this light dusting of snow this morning made me want to run out the front door and scream into the open cold air "nooooo" and stomp around like a mad toddler. Considering how deep in the woods we are, I could probably get away with that without worrying the neighbors. Instead, I did some deep calming breathing.
Long gone are the days of planning my seed order and designing new beds. I want to put seeds in the GROUND! Must redirect this energy.
I decided to address my clothing. Years of having to dress nicely in an office setting and then working in the barn meant my closet was a mix of dress clothes, and stained, torn, scrappy stuff I wouldn't (shouldn't) wear in public. I didn't really have a middle ground. Anything casual would quickly make its way to the barn-only category. Then recently I came across a gardening apron online and I thought how nice that would be to keep the garden dirt off my clothes. Down the rabbit hole, I went. I thought about how nice it would be to not think about what to wear at all. No, I'm not starting a nudist colony. I want a uniform! Steve Jobs used to wear the same thing every day. I believe his "uniform" was jeans and a black turtleneck. I hate turtlenecks, so that was out. I don't mind them once they're on, but putting them on or taking them off is what I imagine it's like to be eaten by a boa constrictor. I have the same feelings about sports bras...
I needed a better uniform. It had to be able to transition from morning barn chores to sitting at a desk, going for a run down the road, making soap, gathering eggs, working in the garden, and back to the barn again for evening chores, etc... you get the point. If you don't mind changing clothes, no biggie. But I HATE changing clothes. I'm not into fashion, never cared about brands, I don't like pop (that was random). I can do repetitive chores every day, all year long, but ask me to change clothes more than once a day, and (again) I feel like a whining toddler. So the idea of wearing a uniform is super enticing! BUT that means I had to be able to run in it. I can't run in overalls, which was my first idea. So comfortable, so many pockets! I'll run in snow pants, but I guess I draw the line at overalls. That's an odd running outfit. I haven't reached the age yet where you no longer care what people think of you... I look forward to it. Still, though, overalls would chaff, right?
This uniform had to be super comfortable and stretchy and even something I could wear into town. A tall order, but I think I've cracked it. The solution, a mix of running pants/skirt, our farm shirt (heck ya!) + the use of two important items: coveralls, and a homemade garden apron! I know this look is not for everyone, and again I'm no fashionista (obvs), but this is super functional for me. All I do now is dress like I'm going for a run in the morning, throw on coveralls to do barn chores (that doesn't count as changing!), and then to keep the running clothes mostly dirt-free, I put on a garden apron when I'm out digging, potting, shoveling... Bonus, if I have to see people, I remove the apron, change shoes, and maybe smell myself - good to go!!!
(Confession, I was so tired the other night I even fell asleep in my new uniform - maybe it's too comfortable?)
The key was picking up a couple of extra leggings with pockets and then creating this apron. I've been going through our bin of scrap cloth to pull together a handful of these gardening aprons. They'll get dirty and will need to be washed, so might as well make a few of them. This (pictured) was my first one. They will all be vastly different as we've got quite an array of materials. A lot of this first apron I made from a bunch of quilting scraps, thanks to my stepmother. Now I have an apron to match my favorite quilt! I'm only in the first week of this uniform idea, so I will have to report back on how it ends up going. Considering I already slept in it, it's probably aces!
Read on if you're interested in adopting this uniform for yourself.
My inspiration for the apron is this one on Amazon (paid link). If you're not into making one for yourself, I think this would work really well. It has a lot more pockets. However, I cannot voucher for it as I never bought it. Purchase at your own risk.
If you want to know what pattern I used, I didn't. (that might be obvious) I also don't like measuring or following instructions, lol. Umm, I might be a toddler. A high-functioning toddler?
I like a short sleeve coverall (paid link) and highly recommend this one. I bought a large so it would be baggy and easy to pull over other clothes. I've been using this specific one for about three years. No complaints. If it were socially acceptable I would wear it everywhere.
For the leggings piece, you really need to find the right combination for you. Fit, comfort, and quality for longevity. You don't need the skirt, but I like to cover my bum. You also don't need to be a runner. My leggings feel like buttery sweatpants. Who doesn't want that in their daily wear?
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