As I become more climate crisis literate, my research of regenerative agriculture eventually leads to permaculture principles and practices. And in seemingly a blink of an eye, I found myself working around the yards to improve soil health, planting California native plants, and growing vegetables and fruits to develop food resilience. Home gardening becomes part of my essential everyday activity.
To emphasize the happiness I feel whenever I work around the yard, I create a personalized outfit to make any gardening activities feel more special. Similar to the way the yards evolve with change of seasons, pieces of the gardening outfit are coming together slowly but surely.
The gardening coat comes first – the base material is a cotton canvas coat from a local estate sale and repurpose textile samples from a local design showroom. A pair of gardening gloves – most useful to wear when pruning roses and other prickly shrubs, comes next. The durable apron follows soon after. Last but not least, the pair of pants with built-in knee pads arrive.
Although it’s rare for all four pieces of this gardening outfit to be worn together, wearing any one of them feels special. And when they do get worn together, that means something magical is really happening around the yards.
The plain canvas coat is already a vintage treasure to begin with, so I decided not to tinker with its design. Instead, I choose to dye it and embellish the back by hand stitching discarded Easter flower petals. The gardening coat will continue to undergo transformations as time allows.
I use Rit Dye liquid in Chocolate Brown, bleach, rusty objects (for rust dyeing), and discarded fabric flowers (intended for Easter holiday). Home dyeing tools and hand sewing notions complete the tool list.
After getting pricked relentlessly by juniper, pine, and rose bushes in the garden while pruning them, I decided to make a pair of gardening gloves to protect my hands and forearms. Entirely made from knit and woven remnants and polyurethane / vinyl leather samples.
The main materials for this Reimagine project are several layers of knit remnants for the hand base, PU leather samples for finger guards, ribbed cuff remnants for the cuffs, and woven remnants for conical forearm guards. Industrial sewing machine sewing and hand stitching tools complete the tool list.
Tired of making new holes in my pants every time I carry multiple gardening tools in the yard, I decided to make a gardening apron. I alter the cooking apron base pattern, and add big pockets around the waist for gathering fruits and vegetables.
It’s intentionally made to be sturdy with leather samples, inspired by woodworking aprons. Mainly designed to carry pruning tools and seeds, the apron is sturdy yet lightweight in appearance.
The main materials for this Reimagine project are upholstery woven samples and leather samples. Industrial sewing machine sewing and hand stitching tools complete the tool list.
The latest addition to the gardening outfit is this pair of pre-owned denim pants. I added a couple of built-in knee pads, made with stuffed fabric and foam scraps. The knee pad “pockets” are made with upholstery sample remnants, leftover from the patchwork pillowcase set project.
The main materials for this Refashion project are upholstery woven sample leftovers, foam and fabric scraps. Industrial sewing machine sewing and hand stitching tools complete the tool list.