In Honestly/ Knitting/ Sewing

Slow Fashion October: Weeks 3 & 4

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Man, I am really adding a whole new literal element to the term “slow” fashion so far this month. I’ve been knitting but I haven’t really sewn a thing! There’s this irony I’ve been wrestling with so far with Slow Fashion October, and it has to do with the fact that I’m supposed to be reflecting on what I already have, what I can be using from my stash, “less is more”, etc etc, but I’m completely uninspired by the fabrics and patterns I own. All I want to do is buy new stuff, and I definitely don’t have the extra money to do that right now, so learning to make do with what I have is important.

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Even still, that gentle driving force behind Slow Fashion October isn’t really helping me find the motivation to actually sew anything for my wardrobe, which I desperately need. Now that I’ve packed away all of my summer sewing projects, I’ve discovered I have practically nothing sensible for a snowy New York winter, which is already creeping in! We had our first snow this past weekend – AHHH!

I’ve been dealing with some weird health issues for the entire month of October (which is why I’ve been recycling old blog photos instead of taking news ones, and not blogging much in general), but the upside of that is I’ve been doing a lot of couch-bound knitting, and also taking a good hard look at what clothes I reach for when I want to look like I’m feeling better, but still need to be comfortable because I’m not actually feeling better. The clothing I need to be sewing the most, the items I always talk about sewing and never seem to actually sew, involve the kinds of fabrics and patterns I’m usually least inspired to sew with. I suppose that’s why these items are called “Basics”.

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Yeah. BASICS. I’m in dire need of handmade basics, especially since I won’t be buying any new leggings or comfy, over-sized cardigans any time soon (for reasons involving a general lack of funds, plus the growing “snobbery” towards store-bought clothing that we sewers all seem to acquire eventually). First world problems, I know. …but #thestruggleisreal, as they say.

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But, before I continue this long-winded ramble, I should probably check in with the official guidelines for weeks three and four…

Week 3, October 12-18: LOVED
proudest accomplishment / most loved item / most frequently worn item / thing you saved up for / investment pieces / thing you worked a long time on / oldest thing that’s still in rotation

Week 4, October 19-25: WORN
second-hand / mending / caring for things / laundering for longevity / design for longevity (bucking trends, quality materials …) / heirlooms

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It’s probably the drop in temps and the change in seasons, but right now a lot of my focus has switched to knitting. I’m sure that’s true for most of us who wield many types of needles, but I can honestly say that the majority of my most worn/loved items are things I’ve knit (I wear this hat and scarf constantly)!

A lot of my proudest accomplishments also revolve around knitting since that’s a craft in which I am completely self taught, unlike sewing. I tend to make bigger investments in yarn as far as price per project, and I take MUCH more care when washing items I’ve knit. Obviously I have a great many sewing projects I’m super proud of, but finishing a knitting project always feels like a serious triumph. I work so much longer on knitting than I do sewing, and I still wear some of my earliest knitting projects (I definitely don’t do that with most of my early sewing projects!).

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So I suppose what I’ve been reflecting on the most so far this month is knits! I’ve been thinking a lot about knit fabrics and hand-knit items. Knits are are the things that get the most wear and love in my wardrobe so far, so they are the things that I want to focus on as the Fall/Winter season continues. I’ve also been eager to sew another project like my self-drafted-hand-dyed-block-printed dress that I made back in March. I’d like to start adding that level of handmade in more of what I make. It feels so awesome look down at what you’re wearing and count all of the ways in which your own hands had a part in its creation! I like that.

xo
Rochelle

  • Tamara Sauer

    I have that same simplicity tunic pattern. If you choose to make the tee with contrasting lace knit sleeves… Choose that material carefully. My first two choices just didn’t lay as I wanted. Too stiff in sewn form, great drape in general, but stiff when stitched. The good news is that my teenage daughter loved it and stole it from me even with sleeves I wouldn’t like. 🙂

  • I’ve also knitted more the last few months. I kind of like it when I don’t feel like sewing for a while, the next period is always one in which I am super inspired and motivated.
    I hope you feel better soon!

  • For me, slow sewing, which is about the best speed I get most days, is about enjoying the process. I no longer rush to the finish line. I take the time to enjoy the sewing of the project, putting in the special touches I wouldn’t get in my RTW. After a summer break from sewing, I’m back at it and looking forward to the little moments I have with my machine.

  • jannapyj

    I’m always a little surprised at how pleased/proud I am of any mending project, such as patching holes in much loved garments. I figured out that it is a feeling of “I saved it!” This Slow Fashion October lets those simple projects get a little of the attention they deserve. :o)

    JJ
    http://www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

  • That is a beautiful sentiment to wrap up this lovely post on. I often feel the same way regarding looking down and taking pleasure in how many of the pieces I’m wearing are either vintage or thrifted.

    ♥ Jessica

  • Perhaps the break from sewing is just what you need? You’ll know when you’re ready to get back to the machine. I’m sure you’ll wake up one day super inspired to make something awesome 🙂 In the meantime I’m sure your knitting will flourish!

  • Stephanie Thorpe

    Hope you feel better soon! I’ve always had issues with winter clothes because they always seem to be made in dark, sad colors while i love bright fun colors! Knowing your love of prints and pretty fabrics, I bet you run into the same issue. At least yarn comes in lots of pretty colors!