Workwear for a suburban guerilla gardener

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Some months ago I had an idea.  I thought I would embroider my gardening shirt, or one of them. Once I had the idea, I couldn’t let it go.

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I had my beloved’s gift of Japanese indigo dyed thread and it felt so perfect for the job…

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But when I spoke with a friend about it she gently suggested that investing so much time and effort in something on the verge of falling apart might not be wise use.  She is a wise woman and gentleness is her way.

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I began thinking of the fabrics I already had, offcuts of linen, canvas and stout cottons.  It occurred to me that I had a Merchant and Mills pattern (The Top #64) that struck me as pieced, and that called for quite stout fabrics.  I thought over a kind comment here on the blog about using more than one type of fabric as a potential feature rather than a problem (thankyou!).  I started dyeing more fabric.

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And so two sets of offcuts from different generous friends found their way into various dyepots.

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I found that I didn’t have pieces big enough for the pattern pieces anyway–even with front and back each being made up of 4 different pieces of fabric, some parts of this garment were still pieced together from smaller segments.

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And now, here it is.  Embroidered with dye plants of the neighbourhood and the names of plants I have been propagating and planting.

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And a few other phrases of note.  There may be more yet to come!  And now you know how I came by so many scraps that I needed to Make patchwork as I went…

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Filed under Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Neighbourhood pleasures, Sewing

20 responses to “Workwear for a suburban guerilla gardener

  1. Margaret Ford

    What a brilliant idea and so well executed!


  2. Simply lovely. I love Merchant and Mills patterns, though I have yet to make up the one I own.


  3. Just Love it … and I must check out Merchant and Mills


  4. A real triumph! I am sure you will enjoy wearing this 🙂


  5. Wow. That is absolutely exquisite. What a joy it will be to wear it. I have a Merchant and Mills pattern I am dying to make up. What inspiration you are and such original ideas that puts a little twist on it.


  6. That’s a wonderful shirt!Wear it in good health!:)


  7. Susan

    You are a crack up……..ANY excuse to dye more fabric!! Love that pattern.
    Good job, as always.


  8. gorgeous. reminds me that i want to spend more time making
    S L O W L Y
    for myself rather than stitching frantically for sale…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a brilliant use of scrap fabric! The top is amazing…… perfect for gorilla gardening. I have been looking at their patterns……. the trapeze dress is calling my name (both in my size and the little girl size!).


  10. I think this is amazing – and I love the constituents parts: the embroidery, the dyeing, the satisfying re-use of offcuts, the patchwork, the stories of your persistence with guerrilla gardening. It’s a real treasure – perhaps too good to wear when out gardening?! 🙂


    • Thanks so much! I am really not sure about it being too good for gardening, but several friends have said the same thing. Part of me wants to say gardening is the best! And part of me agrees that this is a special garment. Who knows how it will all come out in the wash of everyday life?


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