My family composts, we recycle, we use reusables rather than paper or plastic. I make our favorite reusables for other folks at pen&thimble. We try to be thoughtful about what we buy and where. But I always want to push us to do a little more. This year, I’m making time to create a sustainable and long-lasting me-made wardrobe.
During the pandemic, I started getting serious about sewing garments. I’m lucky enough to be in the business of working with fabrics, so I came to garment sewing with a knowledge of fabrics, patterns, and I had most of the tools.
My favorite pieces I’ve made so far are the Gypsum Skirt from Sew Liberated.
And this modified Gemma Top by Rae Hoekstra of Made By Rae
Yes, the skirt and top are the same rose linen. Fabric is expensive and it’s cheaper to buy in bulk. So that means I’ll have a lot of pieces in the same colors. It’s a slow process. It’s not about the brand new hue or cool new print for me right now. But I seriously love this color so it’s a delight to keep working with it!
I also became a knitter during the pandemic. I came to the world of yarn in 2018 as a wool-allergic/sensitive crocheter of mostly cotton and linen yarns. And four years later I am a wool-loving, and now wool-tolerating, knitter of wool!
I do want to note that in the world of knit vs crochet, I stan both! Crochet is beautiful, varied, and often underestimated. And modern crochet, where my preference leans toward, is gorgeous — just look at Moorit Magazine for examples. But sadly, crocheting hurts my shoulder and back in a way knitting doesn’t so until I can figure out what I’m doing wrong with my crochet hook, I’m primarily a knitter these days.
This year I’m getting more intentional with my knitting. I have a goal to finish one pair of socks every month. So far I’m on track! And I want to knit myself some staple garments that will stand the test of time.
Like this fresh-off-the-needles sweater — DRK Everyday Sweater by Andrea Mowry
One of the things I love about knitting is that the materials can be reused. I knit the sweater above holding two strands of yarn together. Both strands were from two different crochet projects that didn’t quite work out. So I repurposed the yarn to make this knit classic piece!
I’m taking my time and trying to construct garments and knits that will pair well together and last for many years. It doesn’t mean I’m never shopping for clothes again. But I am buying less clothing for myself because right now it’s more fun to make and wear my own!
I’m going to use this space for me-made wardrobe updates this year. You can also follow my making journey on Instagram and the new Making App. I’m @gillianstitches on both. (Making app is a cool new app from Making Magazine that is kind of like Instagram but more quiet and for makers. So like old Instagram but 99% of the content is craft/making related — sewing, paper crafts, weaving, knitting, crochet, pottery, woodwork… all the things!)
I am always thinking about how I can apply my pen&thimble tagline — less waste is a bright idea — in my everyday life. When it comes to my me-made wardrobe, it is my goal to reduce clothing waste, purchase less fast-fashion, and just enjoy my handmade wardrobe endeavor. It all feels like a very bright (and fun) idea!
Let me know if you have any questions about my me-made wardrobe! I’d love to answer them in future posts!