I am a lover of all things slow. I cycle, take transit, shop local, avoid big box stores and I do-it-myself whenever possible. When it comes to clothing, I am particularly small. Now, I don't "sew" in the traditional sense and that's not for lack of trying. Twice I've tried to learn - in high school and then again in theatre school - but sewing machines and I do not get along. They instantly malfunction when they see me coming to avoid my clumsy fingers and foul language. So, no cute McCall's dresses for me. Yes, I knit and happily so. My knitwear is the sum total of items made completely by me.
But October 19-25 of the project is mine!
WORN is the theme and it is described as: second-hand / mending / caring for things / laundering for longevity / design for longevity and bucking trends.
I learned long ago what looks good on me and shop accordingly. I also shop primarily second hand for major items and outerwear (underwear is excepted). At first this was out of economic necessity. Then I began to appreciate the plus side of browsing a store that has only one of everything (So much choice! No cookie cutter fits!) along with the joy of finding that perfect thing that only you can love properly. I also feel pretty good about not contributing directly to sweat shop abuses nor being part of the never ending demand for new.
When I find that perfect thing, a rare occasion indeed, I care for it fastidiously. I hand wash and hand mend. If a dress is beautiful now, it will always be beautiful if you care for it. "To hell with trends!", I say. Recently someone glowingly complimented me on a dress that I've owned for over 20 years!
Now when I say I don't sew, I mean I don't sew properly. For a long time I thought this meant I was faking it but now I am comfortable knowing that alterations I make by instinct work and they are no less valid than those made by expert tailors. I turn up hems on 80"s dresses using iron-on tape, cut off ugly fabric belts and wear beautiful leather ones instead, change buttons and fold up sleeves. Once I put darts in the waist band of a pair of pants then sewed on big decorative buttons over the badly sewn darts. It looked great.
A few people have told me that I have a unique sense of style and I'm always proud to hear it. I'm not rich but I manage, without damaging the environment, to feel good about the way I look when I leave the house.
|My birthday outfit. The dress cost $10 second hand. |
The sleeves were too tight so I notched them at the armpits and then I wore a great belt to give it shape. The shoes I bought at my neighbour's yard sale for 50 cents.