Posts Tagged ‘diy’
Slow fashion has been on my mind a lot recently and I’m very glad that Karen Templer is at the helm with Slow Fashion October. If you know me, you’re probably aware of the fact that this concept is really important to my wardrobe. I’ve been dedicating my knitting and sewing to making pieces that are really functional and will last me a very long time and I’m really trying to kick that into overdrive.
For me, slow fashion is all about rejecting the fast fashion industry that exists today. I am not a very good sewist but I feel a strong connection with the women (and it is over 80% female) who make clothing every day for meager wages in unsafe living conditions. For me, it is a privilege to make clothing. For some, it is their only option. When I made my Alder dress, I ripped out so many seams and the collar is just a mess. After the sweat and back bending that went into that piece, I have never had more respect for the women that make t-shirts that are sold for $5.
Slow fashion is a reminder to me that EVERY piece of clothing from the couture runway to the wonky homemade to the Walmart bargain bin is handmade.
I want to use this month to plan the pieces that I really need, to dedicate myself to learning the skills that I’ll use to make them, and for gathering tips from other makers. Creating a handmade wardrobe is hard work. I feel very limited in terms of my time and a bit in materials and skill level (certainly when it comes to sewing) but seeing how others do it and which garments they choose to make is a huge inspiration to me. I’m also so interested in seeing what Slow Fashion means to others. It’s clearly political for me but for others it’s about living with intention or making clothing for body types that the industry ignores or it’s purely the challenge of creating everything.
Are you participating in Slow Fashion October? What are your biggest tips for growing a handmade wardrobe?
When I was getting ready to go to Rhinebeck, I realized that I had nothing to wear. I’d designed a bunch of sweaters in 2013 and 2014 but I didn’t have any of them! Some knitters may not know that when you design for a publication you don’t always get your samples back and, when you do, you often don’t see them for a long time. (It’s kind of a funny surprise to get a sweater you made a year ago in the mail.)
I found out that I might be able to get Ilsa back in time to wear for the big event so I was pretty excited to show her off. But I got an email that basically said, “Vickie Howell would like to wear your cardigan for an episode of Knitting Daily TV that’s shooting just before Rhinebeck. Sorry that we can’t give it back!” And I was like, “If Vickie Howell would like to wear my design on TV, I will find a hat to wear to Rhinebeck.” This is not something that happens to a girl every day!
And she really did! The Ilsa Cardigan is featured in Episode 1402 “Thick of It” and Vickie looks great in it! It was styled so well. I love the way the bunched sleeves make it look over-sized and casual. It’s a really fun piece and I’m honored to be part of her show! Check out the trailer:
I haven’t seen the episode yet. Vickie Howell’s show for Interweave airs on your local PBS station! If you don’t get that channel or you’re too cool or cable, you can get a DVD of the complete season here. I’m going to get one for my mom so she can be proud of me forever.
Have you seen this episode of Knitting Daily TV? Were you like, “I wonder where I can find the pattern for that gorgeous cardigan”?
I recently wrote about upcoming print-only Knit Wit Magazine and how I’m dying to get my hands on the first issue. The Kickstarter is quickly coming to a close but I was recently able catch up with Zinzi Edmundson, Knit Wit’s Editor. Zinzi (and art director Gigi Jack) come from a magazine background. She was nice enough to do a little interview with me and I’m very excited to share!
What drew you to the magazine world?
It’s unclear. I wanted to work in magazines from such an early age that it’s a little hard to pin point (around middle school, I wrote a letter to Anna Wintour. Unreturned, naturally). As a kid pre-blog, I would take all my favorite parts of other magazine (mostly photos + some headlines) and create my own Zinzi-themed magazines in sketchbooks. I’d even write stories around the images.
You come from a magazine background so what is it about textiles that you find interesting?
I’ve been a knitter since I was 8, but I have to admit that the current mega-surge in textile interest is really what hooked my attention. I love the limitless ability for expression and the cultural specificity that gets woven, stitched, knit, printed or dyes into fabrics. It’s really romantic and it’s so, so interesting. But, because we’re still in discovery mode (and this is our personalities anyway), the magazine will never be written from the point of view of an authority or some austere perspective from on high. It’s an honest curiosity and readers can come along for the ride (and chime in via social, too!).
Most (if not all) knitting magazines provide patterns but Knit Wit has none. What made you turn away from that format?
I think including patterns makes it a different kind of magazine and I wanted to introduce Knit Wit as an alternative to what’s already out there. That’s not to say that we’ll never include projects, but it’s just not exactly the idea. I have these grand visions of people who aren’t crafters or who never picked up knitting needles to be swept away by the stories and the incredible people so much so that they decide to dig deeper and start making stuff themselves. And that hardcore knitters or weavers or what have you (if they aren’t totally pissed that there aren’t patterns!) will discover something new or hear a story about something they already knew about, but from a different perspective. So for our purposes, it’s always been more about the people, places and objects than it is about DIY aspect. Call it a jumping off point or something.
What do you make of the contemporary knitting/textile scene?
This is a tough one. It’s so enormous—there are so many different people, all of whom relate to it in a completely different way. I was thinking recently about how fiber and textiles is considered a niche, which it definitely is, but it’s so weird given that there are millions of people participating in these activities, whether they’re just fucking around or upholding a grand tradition. So yeah, I guess I have to say that I think its vast and dynamic and just so chock full of stories. I think what’s interesting about Knit Wit is that it can be technically about something so specific, but it’s secretly very, very broad. We’ll never run out of material.
What do you see for the next issue and the future of Knit Wit?
OMG, good question. Now that we’re funded and most people signed up for a subscription, we’ve got to make good on that! Ha! In the future, I hope to continue to put as much care and love into future issues as there is in this one. And on a more literal note, Gigi and I are looking to expand into hosted workshops with fun lunches and awesome guest instructors. Coming soon…
I’m so pumped that Knit Wit was fully funded long before their deadline but tomorrow is the last day to back Knit Wit Magazine on Kickstarter! I hope you are all looking forward to the first issue as much as I am. Thanks for sharing with us, Zinzi!
Have you backed Knit Wit yet?
There are a few things I won’t do. I won’t dye and I won’t spin. I don’t quilt. And, as of right now, I don’t crochet. It’s not that I’m against other crafts, I love even the ones I can’t understand. I just can’t allow myself to have other hobbies. My yarn stash is out of control and, since I started sewing at the beginning of the year, I’m having trouble finding places to store the new yardage I’ve been collecting. One day, when I am a grown up, I will have a house with a craft room and there will be a closet full of yarn and a cabinet of fabric and a sewing machine, serger, floor loom, spinning wheel, and maybe even a knitting machine. But right now, in my one-bedroom, I am bursting at the seams (craft pun) with bobbins, tapestry needles, cross stitch canvasses, etc.
But if I could have a new hobby, if I did allow myself to learn something new, to take time away from that mile-long queue of sweaters and hats and socks, if it were possible to store a little frame under my bed between the sewing patterns and bags of yarn, that hobby would be weaving.
To be honest, I know how to weave. I have a small table top loom that I received as a gift years ago and I made lots of little patterned ribbons with linen thread. When I saw these woven wall hangings coming back into style (they’re really 70’s, huh?) I tried to ignore it. But now it’s too late. The pastel, textured beauties have caught me and I want one of my own.
I’ve considered taking a class (maybe one at the Textile Arts Center or this one at Makeshift Society Brooklyn) but I am the most stubborn kind of DIY-er. I like to think that I can figure out how to do anything on my own. Pickling? Sewing buttonholes? Weaving? I’m sure I can make it work. Besides, I have the internet to help me. Some resources I’ve found for DIY weaving frame, the anatomy of a loom, and a tapestry tutorial. So I might go for it. I mean, it would be a good way to use up my stash, right?
Do you limit your hobbies? Have you caught the weaving craze? How are you learning?
Starting off with something fun, there’s the teaser for Shaun the Sheep, the next film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit. Shaun was the star of my favorite Wallace and Gromit film, A Close Shave, so I’m very excited to see what he’s up to in this movie. Guess I’ll have to wait until next year! Some extra links for your holiday weekend are coming up!
>> Two big brands have recently announced projects for handmade/fair trade products. West Elm has committed to giving $35 million to 20 artisan groups that make goods by hand. You can shop for anything from couches to gorgeous drawer pulls that are all handcrafted here. Similarly, Kate Spade, Jack Spade, and Saturday have started a project called On Purpose. They are teaching women in Rwanda to make accessories for their brands in order to help them earn a living wage. While there are similar programs out there (I’m thinking about Ricefield Collective), I think it’s really important to give companies like these a hand for taking on these ventures. Sure, there’s more work to be done, but we should encourage these bigger brands to keep adding fair trade and handmade items to their inventory.
>> I’m really dying to make some of these little fabric bracelets. They look super simple and very cute. I like to make and wear friendship bracelets as soon as the weather turns but I always want to mix it up. Looks like I’m going to the craft store this weekend.
>> Have you ordered your digital edition of Knitscene Accessories? (No pressure.) Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at the photo shoot for the issue. I’m always in awe of their hair stylists! And, gosh, do they have fun on these shoots or what?
>> I saw this recipe for tahini cookies in Martha Stewart Living and I immediately started to drool. I love the idea of using sesame paste instead of peanut butter in a cookie. Why didn’t I think of that? Maybe I need to make a batch of these this weekend, too. (Am I being over-ambitious?)
>> Knitty shared this amazing story earlier this week of knitter Eileen Scrivani. She loves to knit beautiful cable work and doesn’t let the fact that she’s visually impaired get in the way. What an amazing woman! Eileen is a New Yorker I’d definitely love to meet!
>> I am freaking obsessed with this handmade Clara Oswald dress! While Amy Pond is my favorite companion (ginger, duh), I’ve always coveted Clara’s style. This dress was absolutely my favorite thing she wore so it was very exciting to see that another fan had made her own.
Will that hold us over until next week? I’m hoping to spend the long weekend working on some upcoming posts. And knitting, of course. I’m still having some pretty bad startitis and general crankiness with everything I’m working on. There’s been a lot of bouncing from my sewing machine to knitting needles to cross stitch. I just don’t know what I want to do and I feel it kind of spilling over into the rest of life, like I don’t know what kind of music I want to hear on the train, or what I want to write about, etc. Am I in a creative funk? Or am I just overwhelmed by how much of everything I want to accomplish simultaneously?
Are you making time during the long weekend for crafts?
Tags: accessory, Amy Pond, bow, bracelet, burger, clara oswald, cookies, diy, doctor who, eileen scrivani, hamburger, handmade, jack spade, kate spade, knitscene, knitscene accessories, knitty, kollabora, martha stewart, peneloping, saturday, shaun the sheep, tahini, wallace and gromit
It’s Me Made May which means everybody is busting out their handmade outfits. I’ve always wanted to participate in MMM but I don’t feel like I have enough to wear. I know, right? I can’t believe it either. It’s tough to wear hand knits when the weather is turning warm and I’m dying to bust out my summer wardrobe.
While I’m here making excuses and dreaming of sewing some lovely summer tops, there are plenty of other makers offering daily doses of their handmade outfits on Instagram. Here are just a few!
Mainly, Me Made May makes me want to get on my sewing machine. I am in awe of all of these talented ladies! And there are so many more of them. All of the #mmmay14 outfits are inspiring me. Aren’t they great?
Who’s Me Made May outfits are you coveting? Are you participating? Post a link in the comments! I’d love to see your outfits!
Lots of links today! But first something a bit more serious.
Yesterday was Fashion Revolution Day marking one year since the disaster at Rana Plaza. I pledged to buy less and make more. It’s been challenging. Before I buy anything wearable, I put a lot of time and thought into it and I have a great appreciation for the few pieces that I’ve purchased. I’ve been working to educate myself, to research and shop with reliable brands, and to spend more on products that will last longer or with companies that will be transparent. I wish I had time to make even more but my focus has turned to building a wearable wardrobe that I really love as well as learning new techniques that will help me create a variety of pieces. Everlane is collecting donations for The Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund and will match the first $10k. While not everyone can afford to donate money and not all of us have the time to make every piece of clothing that we wear, I encourage every maker to speak out on this issue.
>> I was already planning on watching FX’s television adaptation of Fargo since it stars Martin Freeman. But throw in a yarn-bombed bus by Olek and I am 110% there.
>> Everyone is talking about Nicki Minja’s “make-under” but I’m looking at this knit dress! I love the color of the form-fitting gown she wore to The Other Woman premiere. And you KNOW that I love formal knitwear. Does anybody know which designer this dress is from?
>> Karen at Fringe Association shared a great tip for knitting in the round with interchangeable needles. It is definitely something I’ll be trying out since I have one set of interchangeable needles and more simultaneous projects going on than I’d care to admit. You have no idea how difficult life was when I’d misplaced my size 7s!
>> Did you know that there is a Wikipedia page for the “Sweater Curse”? Now you do.
Don’t forget to enter to win a pattern from the Holla Knits Spring/Summer 14 collection! Contest ends on Wednesday!
photo via @Fashion_rev
Tags: diy, fashion industry, fashion revolution, formal knitwear, fringe association, Holla Knits, interchangable needles, knit dress, make do and mend, nicki minaj, Olek, rana plaza, sweater curse, yarn bomb
So, first off, Vogue Knitting Live was a success! I had a great time catching up with a bunch of people and learning a ton and, oh, right, shopping. I haven’t had the energy to put together all of my thoughts and photos yet but I promise it’ll come soon! Wonderful seeing all of you there and to those I missed, I hope you had a fab time, too!
I guess 2014 is going to be a big year because I’ve seemed to start off with an adventurous spirit. A couple weeks ago I was hanging out around the neighborhood with Ashley and Kelly after a movie date and some beer. And they just kind of convinced me to spontaneously get my ears pierced. I’ve been talking about it for years now but I’m a scaredy cat. (I had them pierced once before and it was terrible and painful.) So I just went ahead and did it.
Now that that’s happened, I’ve been shopping for every earring under the sun because I can! So I put together a few that caught my eye that you might like, too. I do it all for you, not for selfish reasons at all!
I’ll be buying all of these now, thank you. Is it redundant to wear sweater earrings with your sweaters? (Yo, dawg, I heard you liked sweaters so we put sweaters on your sweaters!) I THINK NOT.
Can you tell I’m still loopy from a weekend of excitement at VKL? What’s your favorite knitted jewelry?
Last week I shared one of my favorite gifts to make, the hot chocolate mug. I take gift giving very seriously but I have a limited budget so DIY food gifts are my go-to. When it comes to giving food, you can’t lose and if you’re willing to put in a little bit of time, you’ll save a few dollars.
I’m sure there are still a few of us scrambling for last-minute gifts (as we decide those sweaters will be given Christmas 2014) so here are a few options for DIY food gifts.
A good rule of thumb is that anything in a mason jar makes a good gift.
What mason jar gifts do you give?
Check it out! This week Holla Knits is promoting my sweater pattern, The Crash. That means that you can pick up a copy for $3! That’s 50% off! As we are showing The Crash a little love, keep your eye on the Holla Knits blog for inspiration, styling suggestions, and more! Allyson will be sharing her outfits with The Crash later this week.
Monday, I kicked off the sale with this post about dressing The Crash up and down. This piece is a little intimidating but, deep down, it’s really fun to play around with. Since it’s very fashion forward, it can make everyday jeans and boots look pretty fierce. Here’s a peek at my favorite outfit.
How will you dress your FO of The Crash?