Happy Spring!


You might remember April from a few years back?  She sometimes had links in her journal to related projects and one was a verbnitsa (Вербница) doll to celebrate spring.  I loved the one I had made, and it stood on the window sill above the kitchen sink ever since it was made.  Strangely enough, last night it was suddenly gone!  On the eve of the spring equinox!  My best guess is that it tumbled down into the compost bucket that sits on the counter next to the sink and accidentally got emptied outside.  Well, I was not about to tramp through snow to dig around in the compost pile to verify that when it’s fairly easy to make a new one, but I did have to go hunting around for the directions again.  In case you’d like a new little dolly to help you celebrate spring, here they are:


What else is new in the Wren’s Nest? 

I’m trying to switch back to the once/twice-a-month thing posting schedule I was doing in the early days of the blog but do have an update on a previous post about uniforms from here: https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/uniform.pdf

Thoughts on the uniform “thing” written two months in:

It’s got a lot of pluses and a few minuses.  Some of the pluses first – it’s really easy to get dressed in the morning.  I rotate between tan/green pants and jeans, so it’s a given that the same style/color will get worn twice in a week, but I have multiples of each pair, so there’s always a clean one waiting.  The pants pretty much all match with the tops, and then I reduced my shoe rotation to one black and one brown, which makes that part easy too.  No one seems to have noticed (or at least said anything about) the severe reduction in my wardrobe at work, and seriously, I didn’t expect anyone to.  Because if anyone really has enough free time on their hands to be keeping track of my clothes, I’ve got some paperwork they can help with! 🙂 

Having a uniform also made me realize that sometimes in the past, “I have nothing to wear” was code for “I’m really nervous about whatever I’m getting dressed for”.  I went panicked to DH a while back saying “I don’t know what to wear today” and he grabbed some pants and responded, “You have a uniform, so what goes with these?”  As it turned out, there were three clean shirt choices and they all matched, so I grabbed one and that was that.  I realized what I had actually been agonizing about was a meeting I anticipated would be stressful and part of that involved thinking about how I’d be seen/judged during it.  Not worrying about what I was wearing let me focus more on what I needed to share and everything actually ended up fine.

On the downside, I haven’t gotten any compliments on my clothes this year either, but that’s just vanity talking, and it’s a small price to pay for giving up the morning clothing saga I used to suffer through.  One other thing I didn’t take into consideration was how COLD it is my work space in the winter.  As the weather started getting colder, I came in one morning and the thermostat said 63.  Yeah, Fahrenheit!  A few hours with the space heater got it up to a balmy 67 and I was able to take off my coat.  So a small number of sweaters got added to the rotation to layer as needed.

Thoughts on the uniform “thing” – seven months in:

Now that the weather is supposed to be getting warmer, all kinds of beautiful clothes are back in stores and people are starting to wear floaty, frilly, flowery things.  I wish I could say I didn’t care in the least and was happy to keep wearing the same uniform of solid blue/gray/green top and tan/green/denim pants I’ve been rotating through for all of fall and winter, but I have to admit it would feel nice to put on a new dress in a flowery print to help feel like spring is here.  The flip side of that is:

a) It’s WAY too cold in my work space for a gauzy dress 

b) I’d go back to a crammed closet full of stuff worn only a few times 

c) I’d be back on the hamster wheel of a wardrobe crisis, or at least a lot of decisions every morning

Thoughts on it today:

As I read this over I realized how long it’s been since I had a difficult-wardrobe morning and had even forgotten what it often used to be like. That’s a huge improvement in my life! There are also no days where I feel like I look terrible, because although every outfit is pretty much the same, it’s a look that was originally chosen because I liked it. So, final verdict is that the “uniform” will stay in place, at least for now, because the pluses far outweigh the minuses. 

12 responses »

  1. I’m at the point where I’m ready to switch over to my spring/summer clothes. I take the heavy, winter clothes (flannel shirts, heavy sweaters, black leggings), clean them, fold them and stash them in a cupboard I don’t use very often because it’s in an awkward spot. I leave out the lighter tops, light cardis and bring out the folded capris that were stored in that awkward cupboard. I’ve been wearing the same 5-6 prs of capris and I’m ready for something different, but only after I’ve lost 20 lbs. (down 5 so far, so I need to work at it!)
    Anyways, why don’t you take the blue/green etc. tops, stash them and get a lighter spring selection? If you’re pants are made of heavy fabric, replace them with some lighter ones. Stash the heavy ones. You’ll still have your easy to dress wardrobe!

  2. Hi JenWrenne– I clicked on your link and tried to print out your little verbnitsa doll patttern, but it is too large to print and just shows it will be only one page with only about 1/2 of the left side of the first page visible in the preview!  What happened? I have been able to print out your other patterns without issues, but am not techy enough to know what is going wrong or how to fix it.  Thanks for all the great patterns–very kind of you. I am working with kids and this would be a cute project for them to make for their dolls.

  3. I, too, wore a uniform when I worked: black pants, a colored t-shirt, and a jacket that went with the shirt. Black shoes. I’d wait until major end-of-season sales and buy one or two jackets–dressy, blazer, casual, whatever appealed. When I retired, the hardest thing was getting rid of those jackets: I loved them all. I still have too many pairs of black pants.

  4. Your thoughts are interesting. My kids wear a uniform for school. It makes the choices very easy in the morning. My son never gets out of his uniform, even once he is back home. My daughter started changing back to comfy (and random) clothes a few months ago (she is 14, it’s understandable).

    I do have a lot of clothes, but many are old and I still like them, so I keep them. Every season, when switching from winter clothes to summer clothes, I take away what I haven’t worn at all (sometimes I keep some pieces of clothing stored away for a year, just to see if I feel the need to get back to them). It works for me. I do end up wearing pretty much the same stuff week after week, as I have my 4 favorite pairs of pants and 2 favorite dresses…

  5. I like your uniform idea. I’m in Florida, so my issue is the opposite of yours – most of the time it’s just too hot for me to wear long pants. Now my wardrobe consists of two pairs of beige shorts, and a slew of plain tee shirts bought at Joan’s when they’re 5 for $10. Lots of different colors, so I just grab the first one on the rack and go.

    Once again, thank you for all your ideas and patterns.



  6. I agree with everything you wrote but one. A nice dress or two are necessary for a date, an outing or a dinner with the special person of your life. Don’t you think so?

    • Yes, I had a moment of panic in December when we had to go to a party, but then was able to find 2 dresses I hadn’t discarded and chose between them 🙂

  7. I love your theory of uniform: I would not have formulated it like that, but it’s very fair. Well, I’m a real Parisian who loved fashion, but as time went by, I got tired of this race
    and I drastically reduced my wardrobe. And it decreases again from year to year (hard to get rid of everything right now, I had such nice things …. but I do not put more.)

    But as I have trouble giving up, I found a great method: I dress … my dolls. They have a wardrobe worthy of mine once

    In short, am I really healed
    ;-D. (I hope to be understandable, Google translation)

    • I could not dress like this if I lived in Paris…too many beautiful outfits would be around me for inspiration 🙂 Dolls are a good outlet for wardrobe creativity though!

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