While you’re making something, do you ever just know that it’s going to work? That it will be your new uniform - worn again and again and again. I had that feeling making this linen Simplicity 8230. Yes, ok, it’s an apron. But a really cute apron, right?
I’ve been keeping an eye out for things to make that I can wear gardening. See, I have an allotment, and I try to go down there most days for short bursts rather than big long sessions at the weekend (it’s just easier with the small people). This means two things: 1. The garden not being at my home, I have to have all my kit with me, and will be encountering other humans along the way. 2. If I don’t want to change my clothes for a half an hour of weeding (and I don’t), I need gardening clothes I can wear all day, or layer. In other words, cute but practical gardening clothes. Gardening clothes that don’t make me feel like a slug. 
Linen is always a good choice in my opinion, and a good quality linen blend maybe more so. I’ve used this Robert Kaufman Fabric, a linen and rayon blend in ocean, which is a delight. If it weren’t for my penchant for a good print, I could make almost everything I want to make in this fabric. It’s a good medium weight, lovely to work with, great to press, and I don’t find it wrinkles excessively. Easily one of my favourite fabrics, and I know I will use it again and again. Thinking of purchasing some more for autumn makes. This colour is nice and dark, but still vibrant, which will hopefully keep me from staining it immediately.
I cut a size small based on my bust measurement, but the fit is obviously very forgiving. I had a little trouble with the top pocket pleats (I suspect my markings were off), so I simplified those to one pleat. As you can see, it can be tied either in front or behind (rather handy if one side gets dirty, no?). On the pattern envelope, I preferred the front tie, but on me I prefer it in back. That also gives better access to those great slouchy pockets. They're big enough for twine and gloves and rogue Playmobil pirates that end up all over the house. I feel like the lines of the pattern are more elegant than I expected, less twee. I’ve sewn up a few of these Dottie Angel for Simplicity patterns now (including the child’s dress), and I’ve liked them all very much. I didn’t know the blog before I stumbled on the patterns, and I really don’t feel like you have to buy wholesale into the “granny-chic” aesthetic for them to work, which is one of the reasons I didn’t use something like a contrast floral for the pockets. Yes, I’m out gardening, and, yes, maybe I do wish I had some chickens to feed when I wear this, but I’m more comfortable with a solid colour here. It still has that touch of vintage that I love, and these patterns all have thoughtful finishing suggestions, which is always nice. The armholes come down quite low - you couldn’t wear this without something underneath -  but I think it’s a good thing because this time next month I will be wearing it over a sweater rather than a crop top. 
September is always a month of transition, so I’m happy that my September make will take me from summer to autumn, from the ‘lottie to the school run. It’s a solid lifestyle make for me, in a new favourite fabric. It can’t always be a party dress, right?
Thank you for reading!
Jo xx