handmade wardrobe: me-made may 2018


slow fashion april has given way to me-made may. it's my favourite time of year to check in with my slow fashion journey and see how my wardrobe has grown and shifted over the course of the past year. when i first started participating four years ago, i think i had two dresses and maybe one top to wear, and then a rotation of handknit shawls. my wardrobe has shifted drastically since then, particularly in the past half year or so since i left my full-time office day job to a part-time work-from-home admin job/creative self-employed biz life all the rest of the time. 

my goal within the next four years is to shift my wardrobe to nearly entirely me-made/handmade with natural dyes represented as much as possible, including shoes and outerwear. in the meantime, i'm shifting more and more of my wardrobe away from items that i don't love/wear frequently anymore to me-made alternatives. i haven't quite figured out what to do with the items i don't love and i'm not going to put them in the garbage like so much of our global textiles (they're still in good condition), so they're slowly amassing in piles to eventually go to clothing swaps or be donated to the local charity shop that funds one of the city's main women's shelters. i'm travelling quite a bit this year (haven't quite figured out how to sustainably address that portion of my personal carbon footprint - send me your suggestions if you have them), and the trips are the primary ways i'm focusing my wardrobe making efforts. as i identify gaps and new scenarios for clothing, i add them to my lists and use the flights as my deadlines.


i'm heading to ontario in a couple of weeks and have a variety of scenarios to cover in a single duffle bag - big city creative conference, natural dyeing workshop in the country, farm visits/from field to skin interviews, dates with friends, and road tripping to different yarn/fibre shops (aka all networking opportunities). i've narrowed my wardrobe down to my arenite pants and a skirt (ideally the gypsum skirt if it's released in time, because then i won't have to worry about coordinating tops to two different bottoms since they'll be made out of similar material), 8 tops in case laundry doesn't pan out, and pjs that are appropriate for hotels/crashing with people (fun fact: i don't wear pjs unless it's winter). i've got half of my tops sorted out already, so here are my sewing plans for the next two weeks:

  • purl soho's city gym shorts using a soft cotton shirting for pj bottoms
  • two ogden camis, one with scraps from my zinnia skirt and the other with the same cochineal-dyed cotton voile yardage i used for my strata top
  • two sleeveless grainline hadleys, one with a beautiful brown essex linen and the other with a raspberry linen

on top of the sewing, i also need to cast off two of the three designs i'll be shooting on location during my farm visits before i leave, and i should be able to squeeze at least one sock for the next penny dreadful collection out too. i'm packing yarn for the first design from the next everyday magic collection (scheduled for a june 23 release), as well as my shawl wip for my twinsy's wedding at the end of june. once i'm home, hopefully they'll be done and i can move on to the next patterns for everyday magic. and then of course there are the quilt tops i need to start for a couple of wedding quilts...


may is a bit chaotic already, and i think for folks who don't run creative businesses, it can seem kind of silly because a lot of it feels like a non-priority. because for a lot of people, making is purely for leisure, and can be pushed to the side if other things get in the way. in my world, making is one of those other things, so it's a constant juggling act. one that i love, and that teaches me so much with every project. we'll see how much i manage to fit in this month and where i learn to make compromises. i'll check in with you in a few weeks, and in the meantime you can track my progress on instagram.

let me know if you're joining in with me-made may this year! what projects do you have planned out?