Producing a useful gardening apron is high on my list of things to do. I want to expand my apron offerings on Stonewell Cottage, to include the Ultimate Garden Apron. Many years back I had someone make a few artist/ craft aprons for me that were patterned on a sort of short, waitress style design. They were cute. When I moved to the country and actually tried using them for gardening, I discovered that they simply don’t function well. For the past couple of days I’ve googled gardening aprons and have found quite a variety, but surprisingly few will actually do the job they need to do. They look great on the real-life models who are standing erect and in a garden environment, tools nicely featured in generous pockets, and the more stylish ones are downright adorable and chic, not dissimilar to the ones I created years ago, but they just won’t do the job that I want my garden apron to do.
Here are my thoughts, based on real-life gardening work, and the criteria I will apply to designing the perfect gardening apron.
- Firstly, the apron must have a slit through the front. Of course you want plenty of pockets for tools, seeds, etc..and these must be included, however, they will be positively useless if you cannot access those pockets in a crouched position. Its akin to keeping your tools in your front pockets…you simple can’t get to them, or worse, they’re jabbing you in the solar-plexis.
- The apron needs to be more like a toolbelt, but not exactly. I have something like that and it presents problems for me. This takes me to the part that I think might be a hard sell because it seems so weird. I garden in a close fitting long-sleeved T shirt and sturdy jeans (baggy clothes catch on things, like rose thorns). In the classic crouched weeding or planting position, the T shirt rides up and the pants down, exposing a crescent of my lower back that gets sunburned. My garden apron idea is to have the apron tied on in the opposite way that it would normally be worn. In other words, a back panel would cover the lower back, preventing sunburn, the tie would be in the front, in my case, enfolded in belly fat, and the utility pockets would hang accessibly from the sides of ones outer hips, where they can be readily accessed.
- The majority of people are right handed and so the narrow pocket for a writing implement might be on the right, but a similar pocket could be on the left, for lefties, or equally serviceable for plant markers. The heavier hand tools; the trowels and cultivators, would best be located as close to the vertical hipline as possible, so they work in harmony with gravity and our most durable and padded anatomical parts. (Sorry supermodels…talk to me about doing a padded couture version just for you!).
So I want your input and experience….pros, cons, all of it. There could be a bibbed version of the Ultimate Garden Apron. I suppose a bibbed version would provide additional storage for small items, but I think the pockets on the bib would have to be placed somewhere mid-chest and they would have to hang freely for easy accessibility, which means they can’t be very deep, otherwise they would block your field of vision. (Sometimes bibs can ride up and choke you a bit).
Oh, I forgot to mention…..my ultimate gardening apron must be durable and good-looking. I’m planning my apron around 100% cotton ticking fabrics, made in the USA.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a contest / giveaway. Totally subjective (but nepotism and familiarity free). You MUST comment. Include details regarding what you want a Garden Apron to do for you. Based upon the seriousness and depth of you comments, I will select a winner, and he or she will receive one of my Ultimate Gardening Aprons within a months time.
Deadline for Comments is: April 1, 2014!!! I look forward to hearing from you!
2 thoughts on “The Ultimate-ish Gardening Apron; Free Giveaway!”
Oooooh, Elin….you’re in the running (but, darnit! I’m using 6 colors of striped pillow ticking for these aprons but not Black and White…your signature color combo.)The striped colors are : Navy, Pomagranite, Potting Soil, Turmeric, Mushroom, and Basil. Anyway, back to your great ideas and preferences. So, you’re thinking that you’d store your phone in the bibbed area? I’ve been working on what I would describe as a quarter apron: 12′ from waist to hip. (I’ll try to upload a photo). It features 4 pockets of varying widths (5″ deep”) and a sewn twill loop, that’s divided in two. The pockets accommodate a cell phone, seed packets, pens, pencils, soil thermometer, small notepad, secateurs, plant tags, etc.. and the double twill loop provides a hanger from which could be suspended tools; a trowel, a cultivator, or even a sort of ‘gardening dish rag’. (Notice the marketing language and how I’m trying to provide you with additional, soft fabric with which to wipe your hands to use your phone!!!!) :). I think a black and white striped hand towel would be very chic with the pomegranite of basil colored apron. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Thanks for your reponse, Elin. I’ll see what I can do regarding sketches or photos! Be well. Tomorrow, up at 5:30 to head to the sugar shack and start boiling 250 gallons of sap. Hello to Dan, from both Andrew and I.
Great ideas for a workhorse gardening apron, Michelle. :-) My perfect apron would have a bib (just my preference, with a flap pocket to keep my phone clean), enough fabric to wipe my hands on when the phone rings, tools, seed packets, plant labels, pen, pencil and paper, scissors.
Trying to picture your design…do you have a drawing or sketch? Good luck!