Slow Fashion October Week 1: you (well me) 

For all the details on Slow Fashion October head over to the Fringe Association blog.

The theme for the first week is “you,” and we are supposed to introduce ourselves, our craft(s), and how we got interested in slow fashion.

So, me…

I live in the Pacific Northwest, but originally come from California. I am a speech language pathologist by day. I have a fabulous husband and daughter, who are often the recipients of my handmade items.

I first learned to knit when I was in college at the University of Oregon. I was a linguistics major, but I was able to take the class through the craft center. My first project was a hat for my boyfriend (who is now my husband).

I knitted on and off, and I mainly made hats and accessories through college, my year off and grad school. During that time,  I often knit things that I wasn’t even sure I’d wear or that would suit me (I once knit a cabled tube top – I’ve never worn tube tops).  I also didn’t pay much attention to what kinds of yarn I was using. Being a lowly student, I had a tendency to shop based on price. I also had a bad habit of buying yarn when I didn’t have a specific yarn in mind. These things led to sometimes dissatisfying knitting experiences. I kept on, and knitted a lot for myself, my daughter, and husband.

I also took a sewing class through the craft center while at UO. It was hard for me to get into it as much because it is such a production, and you can’t take it everywhere with you, like you can with knitting. The other thing about sewing is that seems to much more permanent. Measure twice, cut once…I love that with knitting when I make a mistake, it is almost always fixable (and when it’s not, you can always frog, and then yarn is still usable). In any case, my sewing skills are emerging. I have a sewing machine and a serger. I’ve made a few things for myself (maxi skirts mostly). I have also repurposed some old shirts into new clothes for Little One. I’m great at straight lines (most days), but I’m still working on becoming a better sewist.

Recently, I also learned how to spin, and I purchased a spinning wheel. Making my own yarn is amazing! I love getting closer and closer to the source of my fiber. My hope is that eventually, I will own my own sheep and be able to go from farm to sweater. We got one step closer this year by buying a 5 acre parcel on Whidbey Island, WA.

Me & Slow Fashion

My interests in slow fashion have developed mostly over the past year or so. A lot of it has been due to embracing the community of makers more. Instagram, Ravelry, blogs, and podcasts have had a big influence in my considering my choices more closely. I now choose patterns, yarns, and fabrics for items that I will wear and love. After thinking more about where my clothes, fabric, and yarn come from, I realized what a positive or negative social and environmental impact my choices could have. As tempting as it can be to pick up that $5 shirt from target, I try to remember that there is a high social, economic and environmental cost to buying that shirt.

There’s also a huge amount of pride in making clothes for myself and my family. My daughter is always pleased with the unique items I make for her. I am fairly fortunate that store bought clothes seem to suit me well enough. But, it still feels good to be able to make what I like in the color and style that I like without feeling like I’m a slave to a store.

Me & Slow Fashion Month 

This month, my hope to tackle a few sewing projects. The Lou Box Top is first on my list. I’m participating in a few knit alongs, so I have a cowl and a cardigan that I’ll be working on as well.

I also hope that by participating I can continue to become more active in the community of makers around me.

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