Slow Fashion: Hand+Homemade

This week’s Slow Fashion October prompt is Handmade. For me, the desire to do things myself is a persistent one. I find myself returning to this desire on the day-to-day whether it’s working with plants that I foraged or grew, self-care through herbal remedies I’ve prepared, or making a piece of clothing.  And so, I think in much of the same way that many people in this movement did, I found my way to sewing naturally. I remember having a Peter Rabbit kids sewing machine and often “tailoring” the fit of my 90’s stretch leggings. I did so with the instruction and help of my mom, who taught me to sew.

Since 2013, I’ve been wearing the same five Everlane t-shirts. They have held up perfectly; the fabric has softened and worn over time, and no holes have developed. While I will continue to wear these until they’re rags, I did want to add a couple shirts to my wardrobe before then. I’ve had my eye on the Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studio and finally had a free weekend to run to the fabric store. After consulting Instagram and all the beautifully made Hemlock Tees, I decided on a linen/cotton blend in oatmeal/tan.

++ INSPIRATION ++

  • Elizabeth Suzann’s linen Georgia Tee
  • @anita.foldvari ‘s variations (1, 2)
  • @notestoafurtherexcuse’s variation (1)

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++ MODIFICATIONS ++

Short Sleeves

  1. I used the first section of the sleeve with the armhole curve, but modified the taper to a rectangle so I’d be able to cuff it.
  2. Sewed sleeve to armhole
  3. With the shirt inside out, I folded the remaining fabric up to cover the armhole seam, folding 1/4″ under to create a closed seam.
  4. Followed pattern for sewing underarm & sides together. It was difficult to get the armhole pivot to lay flat (lots of ironing).

 

Neck Hem

  1. Since linen has not stretch, I subbed the neck hem from the Wiksten Tank. If you don’t have this pattern, I recommend following The Craft Session’s Hemlock Tee tips.

 

Length of Shirt / High Low Hem

After finishing the shirt, the length felt a bit long. I don’t usually tuck my shirts in and it kinda made it look like I was wearing a pillow case (ie. linen has a very different drape than tissue knits). So I decided on re-doing the hem to be high in front & lower in the back.

  1. While wearing the shirt, I pinned up the hem. Overall, I shortened the front by 3-4″ and then followed a gradual decrease leaving the center back at about the full length.
  2. Once pinned, I folded the shirt in half to make sure the decrease matched on both sides (left & right).
  3. Iron fold. Then tuck & pin in 1/4″ to create a closed seam. Ready to sew!

 

French Seams

I didn’t use french seams on the sides or armholes. I definitely will if I make another Hemlock out of linen/cotton, as it tends to fray a ton. Plus, it creates a more polished final product. Will have to add an extra 1″ to the seam allowance.

If you have any questions about modifications or the process in general, please leave a comment! I’d also love to see your Hemlock Shirt, as I plan to make a couple more.

 

Slow Fashion October: Week 1

Excited to be casting on mittens from my fall to-do list at a time that coincides with Slow Fashion October. I’ve had a crush on the 34th & 8th mittens since 2012.

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For most of 2013-15, I had put making aside and was fed up with the amount of stuff I had accumulated in order to make things. Every project required at least one element that I didn’t have, even though I had boxes of materials & supplies. My approach has changed, as I’ve found my way back to making this year. I no longer buy without a distinct & immediate use in mind. A lot of my previous making efforts started with browsing the secondhand/vintage craft store and being inspired by the things I found. I’d pick up anything that peaked my interest. With the benefit of next to nothing prices and the self-imposed stress to buy it before it was gone, I ended up with more than I knew what to do with.

Nowadays, I only head to the store with a distinct goal – “buy 2 skeins of yarn to knit this pattern.” I’ve been working with new materials, which cost more, and put an immediate cap on purchasing more than I need. I’m also happy to support more women run companies who make the fibers I work with and own the shops I frequent. I haven’t eliminated my need to purchase materials, but I have brought intention to my choices around making. Additionally, I’ve found that I am happier with the final products, resulting in soon-to-be well-worn & loved pieces that I look forward to wearing each season.

One of which I finished last month – the Agnes sweater. I’m a sporadic and slow knitter, so I started mid-summer in hopes of finishing by winter – success! I was inspired by the #havefancyhouse knit along and Drea Renee Knits’ color selection. The pattern was easy to follow and this piece does knit up quick with the bulky yarn. I wish I had made the arm holes a 1/2″ larger, as it’s a struggle to layer anything with sleeves under. But, as it’s my first sweater, I’m pretty happy. The fit is fairly form-fitting, which is surprising for a heavy weight sweater. Can’t wait to wear it all winter.

I’m also working on paring down my fall closet for “Slotober.” I’m a fan of Project 333 and steadily working my way towards a smaller, better functioning closet. I’m looking forward to following along with Slow Fashion October on Instagram and can’t wait to see what folks are making/repairing/wearing!

 

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Wiksten Tank Dress No.2

Best way to beat 100F weather? Spend the day making a dress in the basement! A few years ago, I had made a Wiksten tank dress with some fabric I picked up at Fancy Tiger Crafts (visiting family). I’m super inspired by both these women run businesses and this dress was the first article of clothing I had made with a pattern. I love the step-by-step instructions the Wiksten pattern provides and how quickly it comes together.

For my second dress, I knew I wanted to make a couple of adjustments. I raised the neckline by 1.5″, lowered the armholes by 1.5″, and increased the length of the front & back pieces (3″ & 5″ respectively). Lowering the armholes was a little tricky because I wasn’t sure how the front & back should line up. I followed the advice here of just lowering and redrawing the curve. It worked out pretty well, as the dress isn’t tight, giving me more wiggle room to adjust the armholes incorrectly.

I’m looking forward to working a couple more up, maybe one in black linen a la Jai_Jai_Ma’s instagram, and another in an army green for the fall/winter. There are so many other patterns I want to try out too. I’m definitely taking recommendations. What’s been your favorite pattern or piece you’ve made recently?

Sewing Queue / Dreaming:

 

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Finished | Lori Shawl

Yipee! About four months later, I have finished this one. It’s my first shawl and the impetus to knit it was a failed hat I crocheted. I end up pulling the hat apart after finishing and then set about finding a new use for the yarn. Luckily, the Lori Shawl was the same weight and also dual colored.

I took this with me on vacation to Japan. It was relaxing to knit on the train while window gazing. The only challenge was knitting loose enough on the k2tog that shapes the descending edge. I tend to knit at a tight gauge, so the edge curls a bit.

Now that I have a copy of the Madder Anthology 2, I’ll have to knit up the Lila Top Down or Lucinda sweater.  But for now, next up is the Agnes sweater. Looking forward to working with a thicker yarn = quicker progress.

My Ravelry Project: Ravelry.com/projects/richkait/lori-shawl

++ Inspiration ++

Lori’s Instagram

Have Company