Slow Fashion October // Making, Remaking, & Mending
Slow Fashion October is in full swing all over the internet & I am LOVING it! Check out the #slowfashionoctober hashtag on Instagram to follow along, & if you missed my first blog post you can check it out here.
I've been mulling over my closet for the past week & thinking about where I'm at & where I want to be, & so much of that has resulted in the general overwhelming feeling that I really need to start sewing. My Mom bought me a sewing machine several years ago when they were on sale at our local shop, & it is a beautiful little thing (pictured below). It's black with a lovely little floral pattern on the side, which I'm realizing is totally cool & super unusual & I love it. There's a great local fabric store called Oak Fabrics that I've found myself drawn to lately & that resulted in me finding Rifle Paper Co. fabric & it was all just love from there. And then my Mom got me a sweet box of tools & notions from Merchant & Mills last week & basically all signs were pointing to "USE THE SEWING MACHINE".
As I mentioned in my first post, I am continuously reaching for my handknits above anything else in my closet - I love wearing them for days at a time, I take better care of them, & they genuinely bring me so much joy. I think a large part of that is because they're made exclusively of natural fibers, which I just adore, & of course because I crafted them myself. They're tailored to my body, they're soft, & I'm so proud of them.
While knitting is the freakin' best & I will advocate for it until the end of my days, there are some things that sewing can do that knitting cannot. And I really want to start building my sewing skill set to expand my handmade wardrobe (& therefore not fill it with cheap fast fashion).
I have a few really great store-bought pieces that get the same kind of love as my handknits, such as my Boden rain jacket pictured above (which I am shocked that they're not currently selling, because it's the freakin' best). My Mom gifted this gem to me 3 years ago for my birthday, & I have used it religiously ever since. It was my constant companion during my study abroad, which of course means it's packed with lovely memories. It's colorful, it's great quality, & it makes every rainy day more fun. I find myself enjoying rainy days instead of dreading them.
It's this kind of garment that I want to have ready for every occasion, not just rainy days. Timeless pieces with meaning of some kind & that make me feel proud & filled with joy. This could be because of their fiber content, because I made them, because I know exactly how they were made & by whom, or maybe because they're just packed with memories. It's a hefty goal, to be sure, but I feel like I'm already pretty far on my way.
Below, I've laid out 4 pieces (+ 1 that I need help with) to add/alter/mend as a part of this dream-becoming-reality slow fashion wardrobe. I'm stoked about all of them, & I'll be documenting their progress here as they come along.
Project 1: Giving the Army Jacket New Life
This jacket is probably at least 10 years old. It was originally my sister's, which I remember her having for ages, & then we traded army green jackets a few years ago so it's been my companion. I honestly kind of despise that it's from Hollister just because that store is made for women with no boobs or butt or hips & I think that's pretty limiting & unhealthy for the young girls that shop there. But I have to admit that it's in pretty dang good shape for lasting so long, & I see no reason to get rid of it other than for the fact that I dislike the logo, which I'll be the first to admit is really petty.
But in the meantime, I've been really enamored with embroidered denim & embroidered jackets, & wanting to get into embroidery myself. So this jacket is about to get a sweet makeover, starting with this bomb queen patch (pictured below, left) my dear friend Emily Kate got me early this year going right over that dang bird logo. And below right, you can see a little bit of my embroidery inspiration. It's also due for new buttons, since I broke one about 2 years ago. And those sleeves need to just be hemmed already, because they've been folded up an obnoxious amount for far too long. Basically, this jacket is about to get some serious sprucing up.
Item 2: Learning to Sew by Making a Sweet Dress
I can kind of sew. Kind of. Mainly it's just blind determination & a desire to make something that often turns out really poorly. But I'm trying to fix that! So with the help of Merchant & Mills' Elementary Sewing Skills book, the wonderfully complete directions from Seamwork Mag patterns, & more patience than I've given myself in the past, I'm doing it. And while yes, the dress above currently looks like a fairly pretty potato sack, it's going to be excellent.
Item 3: The Yellow Wool Coat of my Dreams
A short list of some of my most-loved things in this world: #1 wool #2 the color yellow #3 floral patterns. This coat is going to have all of them. I saw the Camden pattern (pictured above - can we talk about that fabulous model?!) from Seamwork & I immediately knew I wanted to make it, my mediocre sewing skills be damned! I'm determined & I'm going to make a dress first so it'll all work out fine. And then I stumbled upon this mustard yellow wooly goodness (with a bit of poly in there, unfortunately, but nothing is perfect) at Oak Fabrics & a lightbulb of pure joy went off in my heart & ugh I am just so excited. The yellow is the outer coat, the Rifle Paper Co. fabric (WITH THE EXACT SAME YELLOW IN THERE) is the lining, the wooden buttons are all down the front, & it's just everything. I'm so excited.
Item 4: Grossma's Yarn Reincarnated (again)
For last year's Fringe & Friends knit-a-long, I wanted to use a bunch of beautiful cream yarn that was my Great Grandmother's & given to me after her death. We called her Grossma, & she was literally the reason I started knitting, & I knew that this yarn needed to be something special. I dyed it with madder to make a variegated pink-to-red, which was lovely but not quite me, & I made the mistake of ignoring that feeling. Unfortunately, the sweater I ended up making was really not something I wanted or needed in my closet, & it sat unworn for a year until I ripped it out a few weeks ago. I overdyed the yarn to make it a variegated maroon, & I am so much happier with the result.
This yarn deserves a beautiful sweater, & I don't know what it'll be yet, but my goal is to have cast on by the end of the month.
Item 5: The Ghost Cardigan
I despise cardigans, for absolutely no good reason. But I need one, really badly, & I probably need to make it otherwise it won't be worn. I know that I don't want it to have a shawl collar & I don't want it to be too big. Honestly, the first cardigan in a LONG time that I've felt any kind of love for is the Mishke cardigan (by Julie Weisenberger) Kristine Vejar is wearing in the first photo of Fringe Association's Slow Fashion Citizen today. But then I don't like the Ravelry photos? Ugh. It's so hard. But please, please - send me any & all cardigan patterns that you like, because I need help!
Whew! That was a long one. But meaty & good, & full of exciting future plans. What about you guys? Any wardrobe realizations/making aspirations/mending dreams? I want to hear about them! Comment your thoughts below, & don't forget to subscribe so you can follow along & take part in the greatness Slow Fashion October.