More Handmade Wardrobe ~ 10.25.16

Yes, it’s Slow Fashion October. But honestly, I’m in “slow fashion” and slow living nearly all the time. It is a strange thing to be living in such a technologically geared world which at the same time, puts making and homesteading into an almost celebrity status Don’t get that thought wrong…it is very  important to honor human hands working. I’d like to see it recognized though, for what it is, a gift of human creative love and not just a hipster trend or a reaction towards technology and mass production.

All my life I’ve been in awe of what people could do with their hands to make beauty. Or with their minds, words, thoughts, to create mental territories of wonder, a re-enchantment of the world.

The clothes I sew or knit or botanically dye are part of my this territory, as is the gardening, the way I live….it’s all rooted in a firm view towards creating zones …psychical and physical…. of wonder and gratitude; reverence, too, for life on this Earth, that is  far more than we see. Living every day, and doing everyday things, like baking and sewing, being “on” for a public event, all the time there’s another song going on in and through me, around me that has to do with this special terrain. Making my own clothes with care is just a reminder of this “other”.

So this latest bit of making…..just in time for nippy weather: an oversized tunic made from a cashmere/wool blend with a touch of stretch. Fabric I had in my stash, bought as a remnant.

new garment

There’s one pocket on the right hand side, deep and roomy. Little details give this a fine touch, such as the silk charmeuse I dyed with logwood, facing the neckline and sleeves:


And the silk thread topstitching:

silk stitches

This tunic was made w/o a pattern, though I did use a ruler here and there. It’s cozy, chic, in the way of old Bonnie Cashin pieces or some of the best androgynous minimalist designs of the ’80′s , which are in favor once again .

For some years I’ve had a minor obsession with worker’s smocks, aprons, smock-like garments. These garments suit rural living, the life of an artisan, and someone too busy with other things to actually want to think much about how they are dressed or look after the garment is gotten! But for me the the means of getting must be in keeping with part or all of ethical making and sourcing. Handwoven fabric of local fibers would have been the ****  choice. Instead, I used fabric that has  been laying around a long time in the studio loft. Someday  perhaps I will have handwoven fabric of local fiber. For now, I can buy new fabric that’s organic and ethically produced, use up my stash, and keep dreaming towards good and natural, inclusive local economies . I don’t think of saving money , in making my clothes. If I calculated that against the standard calculations from a clothing industry , my own clothing is worth thousands! It’s not merely cost of fabric and/or an hourly rate. It’s the cost of each material, energy source (including transportation) and human labor that go into the fabric, the notions, the growing or raising of fiber crops……

To think holistically is mind-boggling…a learning curve. However if we can train our minds to be so complex and multi-sided, our interests so caring, then we will live ethically. And there will be no question of more or less expensive, but rather of good and beautiful or…



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