I’m a little behind on Slow Fashion October. I just read about it the other day in this great article on Autostraddle. And late as I am to the game it struck a chord with me, so here I am!
I generally respond warmly to anything ‘Slow.’ Slow Food, Slow Travel, I love it all. And so with sewing. I’ve had it drilled in to my head since I was a kid, “if you’re going to do something at all, do it right.” My sewing has gotten a lot better since I managed, a few years into my sewing career and a few years ago, to apply that lesson consistently. I don’t mind if it takes me a few weeks to complete a garment, if I have to spend ages sewing basting stitches and markings that will later be ripped out. It’s worth it for the end result.
Another aspect of Slow Fashion is that we’re encouraged to think in terms of “less is more.” Which it is! It absolutely is. I heard on the radio the other day that the average Swede has 100-200 items of clothing in their wardrobe, which sounded ridiculous. I dashed to my closet and started counting – a reasonable proposition thanks to a Kon-Mari session earlier this summer. I counted about 60-75 pieces in my own wardrobe, not including socks and underwear, and immediately felt that maybe I hadn’t sorted quite thoroughly enough. But here’s the thing – even though I wish (kind of) that I had less in my closet, I still want more!
I’m not even sure that I like clothes that much. What I really like is sewing. I just love sewing clothes so much! My love of the construction has grown and blossomed into a love of clothes themselves. I do want more clothes, because I want to sew more clothes! Do I really want a tweed blazer in my life? Sort of, but most of all I want to sew a tweed blazer! I want to be satisfied with less, but I get so much satisfaction from sewing. So it’s a bit of a conundrum for me, but one I’m happy to sit with.
The theme for this week is “worn” and it’s all about longevity – making things to last, caring for them so they will last. That’s one of the delights of sewing for me. It’s why I make French seams on my pyjamas and why I pay more for the best fabric and why I’m so obsessed with heirloom sewing even though I have absolutely no need for christening gowns and bonnets.
I like to think that I also take good care of my clothes after they’re made, from laundering to mending. I’m not so sure that I really do it as well as I imagine though!
I always hang my clothes to dry (not only do driers waste electricity, they’re terrible for your clothes!) but I have no idea how to prevent white shirts from getting yellow stains, or how to remove them once they’re there. I have a pile of mending in a corner of my sewing room because although I love mending in principle, and I kind of like doing it once I get around to it, it’s like pulling teeth to get myself to just sit down with the darn mending in the first place.
I did do some darning today. A 10-crown card of darning thread and half an hour in front of the tv and it’s like I’ve got a brand-new pair of socks!
One more picture to enliven this text-heavy post:
I made these pyjamas about 3-4 years ago from this adorable kitten & polka dot fabric. I love them. They’re my only pair of winter pyjamas so they see a lot of wear. I had to mend a tear in the shoulder last week and I noticed that the cuffs are starting to wear on the edges, which bums me out but also makes me happy as it’s a sign of lots of loving use!
What about you? Do you practise Slow Fashion? If you’ve been blogging about it in October, please link in the comments! I’d love to read your thoughts.