Thursday, October 1, 2015

Slow Fashion October, Week 1: You

It's the first day of Slow Fashion October, you guys! I'm so excited about this. :) There's going to be a lot of talk around here about handmade wardrobes and knitting and sewing and such over the next few weeks. I know I don't usually write about clothes and fashion, but I hope you'll bear with me. It's time for the first theme!

“Week” 1,  October 1-4: YOU First, let’s introduce ourselves: Where are you at with all this / What first got you interested in Slow Fashion / What are your skills / What do you hope to get out of Slow Fashion October / What are your personal goals for the month / Do you have a special project you plan to tackle this month?

{A pile of unblogged Renfrew shirts that I've made this year.}

I started sewing when I was about 17. I've been making at least some of my clothes since then, but it was really just a fun hobby rather than something I felt strongly about. A couple of years ago, after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, I started feeling uncomfortable with buying cheap clothes. I've never been one of those people who bought a lot of clothes, so it was pretty easy for me to cut back purchases. (In the last three years, I've bought five t-shirts, two pairs of jeans, and a winter coat. Only one of those, a t-shirt, was made in the US, from organic cotton. I know that isn't a lot of clothing, but it's still more than I'd like.) I read Elizabeth Cline's book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, earlier this year and it really cemented my desire for a handmade wardrobe made from materials that are sourced and created ethically.

I can sew and knit, and I think I should be able to make the majority of my clothes with those two skills if I'm determined enough. (Except things like shoes. But I'm hoping to start investing in quality shoes made in America.) The only problem is that I've lost a lot of my motivation to sew. I used to sew for fun, but now knitting, spinning, and other fibery things are what I really get excited about. Sewing has become something that I do out of necessity. My old t-shirts are starting to look ratty? Okay...I sew up a couple of Renfrew tops. I love how quickly and easily I can sew that pattern now, but honestly I need more than just t-shirts in my wardrobe. I've become lazy with my sewing and I need to get back into it.

I'm really excited about Slow Fashion October. While I do wear handmade clothes often, I'm hoping that this month will inspire me to wear them even more. I want to find new ways to wear the items that don't get a lot of use. I also want to look through my clothes and notice what's missing. I want to fix closet orphans, like the skirt that I sewed earlier this year but have never worn because I don't have a top that matches with it. (Dumb decision, but the fabric was really cute.) So basically I'm hoping that Slow Fashion October will inspire and motivate me personally, but I hope it'll do the same for everyone else, too!

My main personal goal for October is to wear (at least) one handmade item each day, whether it's a shirt, dress, pajamas, handknitted socks or a shawl, etc. I'm planning on documenting this with pictures, though not in the traditional outfit style. I also want to use this time to evaluate my wardrobe and my stash (yarn and fabric), and to plan some new projects going from there. This month is going to be busy, so I'm not planning any special projects, but I'm hoping to possibly get a few things made...we'll see. I also want to write a couple of posts each week about this topic in general.

You can follow along with Slow Fashion October on the Fringe Association blog here, on the official Instagram here, or browse through the inspiring tagged photos on Instagram here. (I don't do the smartphone thing, so I don't have Instagram, though I do keep up with a few favorite accounts.)

{I was originally going to include each week's photos of my handmade items in the weekly posts. But that would mean waiting until the last day of the week to do a post, so I'll probably just do separate ones. I don't know...I'll have to figure out things as we go!}


  1. love your post and that deer print. I can't wait to see your outfit photos and photos of your handmade items!

    1. I love that deer fabric, too! I just sewed that shirt last week and it's probably my favorite. :) Don't expect too much from my "outfit" photos, ha! I'm not very good at fashion and even worse at posing for pictures...

  2. I am a big fan of slow clothes, I am using second hand pieces, pieces from our local charity store and also things given me from friends (they know I am able to upcycle almost anything)...I upcycle them for my family and myself. I love sewing. I also sew from new fabrics which I buy in a factory in our country. it is very good quality of stretch cotton and I know it is fair trade, some ecological standards...Europe Union.
    you are right, if you do more spinning and knitting, there is not so much time for sewing. I spend the most of my time sewing, less spinning and knitting. now I am sewing pillows of the local factory waste, corduroy and velvet.
    and I must say you are very modest in clothes shopping, I admire it.
    I do like deer print too :)
    wish you happy slow clothes October :)
    p.s. I am so slow I still haven´t put photos of my natural dyeing on my blog :(. I prefer creating then documenting...

    1. It's great to use secondhand clothes! It's always a good thing when clothing is getting more use (when it's usually in perfectly good shape) rather than just being thrown away. I guess we all gravitate towards certain hobbies. :) Thank you!

      I look forward to seeing the photos of your natural dyeing when you do post them. :)

  3. I really enjoyed your thoughtful post about why you are drawn to the slowclothing movement. Im looking forward to seeing your photos soon!


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