This weekend, my friend Amanda helped me fix my sewing machine. (Thank you!) I have a bad habit of buying old aprons when I can find them at yard sales and flea markets. Some of these old cloth ladies were coming apart at the seams, so with my machine finally clicking along smoothly, I took them out and mended them. Now, I have six aprons ready for the six days of the week I want to be gardening.
An apron is a practical item; lots of people wear them. Traditionally, they’ve been worn by women to protect their garments while doing housework. Aprons waned in popularity when women started working outside of the home. According to this 2005 article, they had a burst of popularity before the economic troubles of 2008. They were called a “retro-chic fashion accessory” but I propose aprons were in a “bubble.” I digress; this is not an economics blog.
I’m trying not to care much about retro-chic fashion accessories and economics. I just want to grow food and I like aprons. I like old ones that some other hard-working woman might have worn. Upon examination, the aprons I’ve bought at yard sales and estate sales have taught me a few things about sewing and mending. They also tell me “life isn’t always simple and easy” and “you might need to get your hands dirty, but you don’t need to get your clothes dirty too.”
I like to wear them in the garden. I like the pockets which are perfect for seed packets and my MP3 player. I can wipe my hands on them instead of on my pants. Then, when I get done, I can go to the library without looking like the Peanuts character “Pig Pen.”
Last summer, a very close family member who does not want to be mentioned on this blog (yet) gave me an apron which belonged to my Nana. (I miss you, Nana.) I decided to wear it to my home garden (the one I share with Uncle Bob) and my very close family member who does not want to be mentioned on this blog (yet) said “You’re not going to wear that to the garden, are you?”
“Why, yes I certainly am!” I piped. “Nana always wore an apron and I know she went into the garden sometimes, so it is perfectly logical to think she may have worn an apron in the garden.”
“And besides,” I added, “people wear aprons to lots of places now. If they’re not in garden style, they will be once everyone sees me wearing this one.”
(An ego check was called for here.)
The very close family member who does not want to be mentioned on this blog (yet) shook her head, which meant “the discussion is over.” Interestingly, she was wearing an apron. I wore my apron to the garden and Uncle Bob didn’t say one thing about it.
All of a sudden, it seems like there are so many things to take care of before I get outside in the garden. I’m glad I just crossed “mending aprons” off my list.
Would you wear an apron in your garden?