I”m a firm believer in having the right clothes for the job and this extends into the work I do in the garden and on the farm. While it might seem like working in the garden would call for puttng on my dirtiest and oldest clothes, I”ve found that I much prefer having specific clothes that I wear in the garden and field that are high quality, comfortable and useful. I’ve also found that I appreciate having something with those same qualities but that looks nice if I”m attending a workshop, working an event or even picking my children up from school!
Many years ago, I came into possesion of a garden smock from England. Traditionally, these smocks were made for fisherman out of sailcloth and were unisex in size and fit. They eventually made their way from boats to gardens due to their hardy and useful nature. What made the smock so very useful to me were the three pockets that lined the front of the garment. I very much enjoyed having a dedicated work shirt and the pockets guareenteed that I could tote along tissues, seed packets, string, gloves and a million things in between. The problem? The smock was unattractive on me as it wasn’t cut for someone with any curves (read: butt) and wasn’t great for our weather here in the states as the sailcloth was just too heavy for our warmer weather. I began thinking of how I would change the smock and thus the idea for our WorkShirt was born.
I finally sketched out my idea for the shirt and sent it off to a pattern maker (that I found on the internet!) who sent me back a very professional looking pattern that I had no idea what to do with! A friend who sews came over and together we made a mock up of the smock which we both loved because it felt chic with it’s boat neckline and 3/4 length sleeves.
After asking a lot of questions and talking to many people about making a small batch of clothing, I came upon Rightfully Sewn in Kansas City. Rightfully Sewn has a mission to empower and teach women a trade so that they can be elevated from systemic situations. I loved the idea of helping women while also having my shirt made! We made a trip to their workroom in Kansas City and were so impressed by the entire operation. Jennifer and her team were so easy to work with and helped tweak our pattern to be the best we could make it.
Our next obstacle was finding the perfect fabric. I knew from the beginning that I really wanted a natural fabric that was strong, breathable, machine washable and that felt good on the skin. Linen was a natural choice! Linen is an incredibly strong fabric (far more durable than cotton) that only gets stronger when washed, is naturally anti-fungal, wicks moisture away from the body keeping you cooler in warmer weather, and allows for lots of movement due to the weave. It’s the perfect fabric for our WorkShirt. We started with a beautiful blue Belgian linen but I hope to one day offer a rainbow of beautiful hues.
The neckline of our WorkShirt is lined with a beautiful Liberty of London fabric as a small – but special – nod to the origins of the smock!
I’m so excited to finally be able to offer our Essential WorkShirt for sale! It’s something that I’m immensely proud of and hope can add some beauty and usefulness to others’ lives as it has done for mine!