handmade wardrobe: slow fashion october 2018 intro


it’s time for slow fashion october, aka one of my favourite check-ins of the year! similar to me-made may as far as being an opportunity to review your wardrobe, i actually like slow fashion october better because of the conversations that come from it, and the focus on slow fashion as a whole rather than solely me-made items. here’s an example of some items that i love and wear and would “qualify” within slow fashion october but not me-made may:

  • the pashmina i bought ten years ago in new york city from a street vendor for $5 that has been photographed on me every single year in candid shots, mended after i accidentally sliced it with a paper cutter, and has inspired numerous designs as i attempt to create a knitted shawl that i would reach for as frequently as i reach for it

  • the wool pendleton shirt that i got from samson after he got it from marshall

  • the merino tights i’ve been wearing for years as a base layer during the coldest months, and when they get too thin, i just shift to wearing them under jeans instead of under skirts

  • the undies that are so many years old now and are kinda tired but don’t have holes and still keep their shape and the lace makes them impractical for repurposing as rags so i just keep wearing them (tmi possibly…)

my plan for participation this month is to post weekly blog recaps here, and participate on instagram a bit but not as a major focus. i’ll also chat a bit about slow fashion within the #bekindkal dispatches this month.

i feel like slow fashion is the kindest, gentlest, and most realistic option of environmentally sustainable wardrobes, or at least has the potential to be. it’s easy for people to get up on their high horses and claim that their personal decisions are the best way to do something, but i firmly believe that that mentality is rooted in unchecked privilege, and that it is ultimately better when people are honest with themselves about the particular factors in their life that impact their wardrobe decisions, and make educated decisions that fit these factors. if you know how to sew or knit and have access to climate-beneficial fibres within your own fibreshed, that’s incredible. but if you don’t have access to these things, or types of knowledge, that doesn’t make you a bad person. mending a hole in an item so it lasts another season, or taking care of children’s clothing so that it can be used by another child later, or buying secondhand items from a thrift store, or just wearing clothes for longer because you still like them and you don’t care about what the latest (fast) fashion trend is, are all completely legitimate ways of participating in the slow fashion movement. it’s tiny choices that add up rather than overhauling your entire wardrobe in a single moment. and the cool thing is actually checking in with yourself each year and seeing how your wardrobe evolves over time! my own wardrobe looks drastically different from the first time i participated in slow fashion october a few years ago, even though there are a lot of items that have remained the same.

i feel like my wardrobe has largely settled in the past few months, but with the weather shifting to cooler days and chilly nights, and more opportunities for fancy-ish events happening, there are a few gaps i’ve found that i would like to address. my slow fashion choices and identity are intensely wrapped up in making, so adding to my wardrobe with items that i love and will teach me new skills while i’m at it feels like the right decision. it will hopefully also let me sift through my wardrobe and pass along items that aren’t getting enough wear without leaving a giant gap. here are my making goals for this month/into the fall:

  • undies and bras - i’m feeling a little stuck with these because i don’t have a serger, and the close fit of this items means i have to be a lot more precise with my finishing and not add bulk. but i also haven’t added an item to this area that makes me feel amazing in a while, and i think it’s time. i’ve got oodles of inspiration saved up for making the perfect lingerie set, but i’ll practice first by just updating my undies drawer and replacing the stretched straps on my favourite bra.

  • outerwear - this is another super intimidating make for me, but for slightly different reasons. after making jeans and swimwear this summer, i’m less worried about my basic sewing skills and more concerned about having top-notch finishing techniques with expensive fabric (you can’t really get away with cheap fabric for this, because the goal - or my goal - is to have a couple of really solid pieces that last at least a decade, plus it takes a lot of yardage either way). my plan is to sew a wool opium coat and somehow attach a hood - i’m ok with deep winter layers and lighter layers, but i don’t have a good coat that would fit into urban social settings during the deep fall (hovering around zero degrees without being cold enough to justify a parka, with maybe rain or snow in the air).

  • jeans for the fellas - i’m starting to feel confident enough in my sewing abilities to sew for others, but i’m not looking to do it very frequently or for any work-based thing. jeans for the boys for xmas seems like a good way to test this out! it’ll require me to keep practicing bottoms-sewing skills, plus fitting and tailoring for bodies other than my own. i’ll probably be pulling my hair out at some point… anyway, i’m making them the quadra jeans using green denim from blackbird fabrics. if all goes well, you’ll hopefully at least see bryce in them in future knitting pattern photos!

on that note, i would be remiss to not mention how my explorations with from field to skin connect into my slow fashion journey. i’m actually really excited because this month, i’ll be launching the first fibreshed experience box - a curated yarn box that celebrate a specific fibreshed with yarn, a special pattern, knitting notions or tools, and a couple of other special locally made items. this first box will celebrate the pembina fibreshed, and my friend christel supplied the yarn! you can check out the yarn reveal by watching the video. boxes go online on october 16 at fromfieldtoskin.com!

i’ll have the week one recap of my outfits online next wednesday, as well as my thoughts about this week’s discussion prompts.

are you participating in slow fashion october in some way?