It’s Called Slow Fashion For Many Reasons

May 19, 2016

If you’re a crafter on the internet no doubt you’ve heard of So Zo’s Me Made May challenge. For those who aren’t familiar, Me Made May is a month-long challenge designed to encourage people who make their own garments to actually wear and love what they’ve made, everyday, for 31 days. Though I have more than enough me-made clothing to do that, the ‘actually wear and love‘ is the part I struggle with. This year I’ve been silently participating in Me Made May, keeping a journal instead of taking daily selfies, as an effort to really reflect on what the words wear and love mean to me.


I used to sew a lot of authentic 1940s stuff until I realized the small number of WWII reenactments I participated in at the time didn’t match the large number of rarely-worn period appropriate garments I was racking up. Then I dabbled in wearing vintage inspired outfits everyday until I decided it wasn’t particularly comfortable or practical for me personally. I’ve always been drawn to novelty print quilting cottons but having a closet full of colorfully eclectic garments that didn’t mix and match with anything left me unsatisfied, too (prime example right here).


I’m not a total minimalist but I do get overwhelmed and anxious when surrounded by a lot of stuff. A closet full of unworn me-made “stuff” and a stash that’s too big and left dormant too long makes me feel …well, not very good. As much as I love sewing and buying new fabrics and patterns, I know I won’t feel fulfilled until I’m wearing and loving what I make on the daily. That thought has been pushing me towards planning a capsule wardrobe since I have been wearing a different version of the same thing for long enough now to know I could benefit from a seasonal capsule …but that’s a post for a different day.

My style has evolved quite a bit over the years and I’d say that’s a pretty normal occurrence for adults. I’m still very drawn to mixed prints, bold colors and my favorite quilting cottons but I suspect I’ll get more wear and love out of them as different kinds of sewing projects than in years past (I never wear any of the items below anymore!).


Style evolution is just a different kind of self-reflection and personal growth and those are both good things. So I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions this month. If I put on something handmade and end up changing out of it I’ve been asking myself why. Do I not like this color or print on me? Too much color or print? Do I not feel comfortable in this shape? Too tight? Too loose? What am I reaching for in my dresser drawer that I’m not finding? What is my laundry hamper full of right now?


So far my answers are: I feel like I look my brightest and my best in warm neutrals and autumn earth tones. I keep reaching for t-shirts of varying silhouettes, sometimes very loose but never too tight. My laundry basket is full of RTW casual tees in solids and stripes, and skinny jeans. I really want to sew my own jeans soon but I need more t-shirts and tops first.

Sewing a plain t-shirt can seem so underwhelming when you’re capable of crafting ridiculous (but awesome!) things like pearl snap button-ups featuring no less than three mixed prints and technicolor horses, but the satisfaction of sewing a basic wardrobe staple that can replace a store-bought equivalent has become a new thrill altogether. I want more of that.


My goal is to one day wear me-made every single day, but I have a lot more pondering and self-reflection to face before I get there and that’s okay. It’s called Slow Fashion for many reasons and I’m enjoying the process of figuring it all out. After all, the trial and error and triumph and success and sharing and repeating that process is why this blog of mine still exists.

What me-made reflections are you figuring out this month?


p.s. Thanks to everyone who suggested I buy a twin needle! I got one and I’m totally in love. I’ll be investing in that knit-stabilizer-hem-tape-wizardry next, but for now I don’t mind the subtle pucker “dimension” caused by sewing without it 😉