Posted on | October 13, 2015 | No Comments
A little late with this post (how is October already half way over?) and I was almost about to skip it all together. After all, Slow Fashion October is all in what you want to make of it. No pressure! No daily wardrobe selfies if that isn’t you thing. There isn’t even a pledge to wear all or part handmade for the month. It all depends what you want to make of it.
For the first partial week of Slow Fashion October, the prompt is to talk a little about yourself, how you came to it, and to set any intentions if you have them. So let’s get started, shall we?
My name is Melissa and I learned how to knit when I was 7 and how to sew when I was 13. While I made the occasional outfit or two in high school, always a rushed wear it the next day kinda deal, making clothing for myself wasn’t something I gravitated towards. I was always making something, but my interests were mostly jewelry or art related.
I studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology and while you would think this would jump start anyone’s interest in making clothing for oneself, that wasn’t quite the case. The last thing I wanted to do after a week of intense classes was sew for myself! However, once I moved into knitwear specialization, it did renew my interest in knitting. I didn’t knit a whole lot, but it set the stage for things to come.
After two years in the industry, I started to design handknit patterns. In the fast paced Junior fashion world, I needed a creative outlet all my own where I could slow down a bit. It was an amazing time for knitters. Debbie Stoller’s book brought a new generation of knitters into the fold, yarn shops were popping up everywhere, and knitting was thriving. I looked forward to my weekly knitting group where we could share ideas, help one another, and give encouragement. The love of making was alive and well with this wonderful group of ladies.
As my time went by in the industry, I began to feel uneasy about the conditions of overseas workers, particularly in India and Bangladesh. While thankfully my company did not use factories in these regions, I became more vigilant as a consumer in regards to what I was purchasing and where it came from. Then in 2014 I embarked on a year of not buying any new clothing. Whatever I wore was either made by me or purchased secondhand.
It’s been almost two years now, and I haven’t purchased anything new. My ban on buying new clothing ended this past January, but I had no interest in going back. I never splurged much on new clothes in the first place, but making my own wardrobe gave me so much control over my style and how everything worked back to each other. For the first time in my life, I never felt like I had nothing to wear.
For Slow Fashion October, my goal is to really dig into my spinning. To me, nothing says slow fashion like processing a fleece and spinning your own yarn. I purchased a fleece at Rhinebeck last year and while I’ve processed a bit of the fleece, there is way more to go. I’ve been attempting to wash up a little batch each night and practice at least 2-3 times a week. Also, while I am in Rhinebeck at the end of this week, I’ll be taking a spinning class as well. Perfect timing! I hope to see some of you at the festival, and if you see me, come say hi!