Posts Tagged ‘wardrobe’
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?
At the end of 2013 I was setting up my goals for this year and they were a little overwhelming. While much of my plan for 2014 seemed unobtainable, the idea of sewing more seemed pretty simple and tangible. So while I was resting my achey hands, I decided there was no better time to start with that resolution than the present. On New Year’s Eve, I started putting together the Scout Tee and when it was time for champagne toasts, I had most of a garment.
I’ve talked about sewing here before. It’s not something I really excel at. I just hate ironing and I still don’t have a proper space to lay out fabric. But I’ve basically stopped buying clothes (aside from pieces from my favorite reputable source, Everlane, and a bridesmaid dress) since I wrote this post so I think it’s time I get my shit together and make a few pieces for myself. (Side note, I’m really proud that I’ve cut back on shopping here. I thought it would be a really difficult challenge for me but I really feel good about it!) Besides all of this, I’ve met some really amazing ladies that I know I can turn to when I hit a dead end. Seriously, I’ve had so many offers for lessons, I know some really lovely sewists!
But I am a bad student. I want to teach myself everything. I’m learning quickly that I need some advice.
So here is my finished tee! I used a fabric that I picked up at Purl Soho (that I can’t find information for anymore). Seems like I’m on kind of an orange kick. Something must be going on in my second chakra. I can’t wear dresses to work so my summer uniform is jeans with a cute top. Scout is the shape for something casual and simple without looking sloppy. I’ll definitely be making another!
It’s not perfect. I feel like I ought to strive a little harder for perfection at the very least so my garments will hold up well but for now I think I just need to get things made so I’m not so discouraged.
When I see a simple garment like this one, it seems like instant gratification. The problem is, even though it’s not too difficult, there are a lot of steps (read: IRONING!) to make each piece look finished. I mean, of course there is the hem and the seams but then there are things like binding around the neckline. Those little steps that I forget about when I dive into a project. I’m obviously still a novice when it comes to planning.
Setting in the sleeve was quite a challenge. Way harder than setting in a knit sleeve. But I decided to stick with how it came out on my first go-round. There’s definitely some gathering since I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I could probably use a better tutorial. That being said, it’s not terrible all things considered and everything fits where it ought to. Good job, me!
This top was the perfect beginner piece for me. It had just the right amount of difficulty, nothing too complicated but enough that I felt myself learning. And, of course, in the end, I’m left with a beautiful garment that fits and that I’m definitely going to wear the crap out of!
I’m already working on my next sewing project while I wait for yarn to arrive in the mail. What should I make next? Have you sewn a Scout tee?
Last night I was putting all of my laundry away and I started wondering about storing my hand knits. I may not have mentioned it here but you may have guessed that I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment (location, location, location, right?) which means that storage space is hard to come by. Now, I won’t pretend that the closets in this place are tiny. I have to admit that they are larger than the regulation New York City closet size so all is not lost. (We also have overhead storage which is where my stash lives.Which is great because there’s plenty of room for it to grow but not so great because I’d rather go to my LYS than climb a ladder to sort through yarns I might have.)
Somehow Jon has more clothes hanging in the closet than I do. Maybe because he has a more extensive work wardrobe and I wear comfy sweatshirts seven days a week (though I like to pretend I only wear them at work). As I was shoving my gigantic fisherman sweater onto my half of the shelf, I wondered to myself, What the crap am I going to do when I make more clothing?!
Knitted clothing is bulky. My Maxfield cardigan is at least two if not three times thicker than the cabled Polo sweater I bought in a pinch at TJ Maxx. So what do I do with all of it? I just fold them up as neatly as I can, maybe roll them into a ball, and I scrunch them into the little pile on the shelf, usually wedging them between the ones that I don’t really wear but can’t bear to part with and the ceiling of the closet. Or I hang them off of the chair that’s in front of the sewing machine. It’s not really a good system because it’s not a system.
I’ve also got all of these things that I made when I was a novice that I don’t want to get rid of. There is a bright turquoise Ysolda Teague Snow White sweater that I knit with 100% wool Lamb’s Pride worsted in a sad pile at the bottom of the closet. It’s a big itchy, ribbed mess but I can’t frog it. (PS I can’t believe those awful photos of that are still on my Ravelry. I’m so embarrassed!) It was my first sweater!
So that leads me to this post. How do you store your knits? Do you keep them in the closet or in a special drawer? How many hand knit sweaters are in your wardorbe? Do you have any pieces that you just can’t get rid of? Any tips for the spatially deprived?