I’m sure there are a lot of you dying to point out to me that I have yet to sew anything out of the fabric that Allison custom-wove for me last year. Trust me: I KNOW! (By the way, have you seen what Allison is up to these days?) I’m secretly hoping to do something about that this month, but it’s not my official plan and I’m trying to be realistic. My official plan is to focus on making things wearable again. Part of why I keep urging everyone to read NO ONE WANTS YOUR OLD CLOTHES is that I’m increasingly troubled by every post and plan on the interwebs about how to streamline your wardrobe — be it in the context of a capsule wardrobe or a slow-fashion wardrobe (which are not the same thing) — starting with, “first, clean out your closet.” I’m guilty of promoting this — and a major closet clean-out in 2014 happens to have played into my enlightenment about what I really wanted in my closet — but as that article so adeptly covers in one single read, it’s not good.
Trash is one of my lifelong fascinations — I read about and think about waste management more than the average human — but for a long time I was among those who believed that giving clothes to Goodwill, etc., meant it would find a new home, not a spot in the dump or on a cargo ship or any number of other troublesome fates. I’ve come to the realization that a truly conscientious wardrobe starts with owning what you own — taking responsibility for it. So I’m upping my commitment on that front.
There are ways to re-home or repurpose things, and we’ll talk more about this during Long-Worn week next week, but for my Slotober project this year, my goal is to get four unworn garments back to wearability:
1) Bob’s rollneck. Bob loves this sweater and would love to wear it, but the neck is just too big, and the stockinette roll might not have been the best approach with this particular yarn. So my first job will be to pull out the neck and redo it, picking up fewer stitches this time to cinch up the hole a bit, and either try again with the stockinette but less of it, or go straight to replacing it with a regular ribbed foldover crewneck. I’ll leave that up to Bob.
2) Linen chambray top. I bought this popover at Madewell about three years ago and loved the fabric and the fit except, as usual, it was too small for me in the shoulders. So I cut off the sleeves and wore it — a ton — under things. The linen got paper-thin pretty quickly, and there are significant holes at the corners of the pockets. I was planning to harvest the buttons and put it in Bob’s rag bin, but I put it on the other day and I still really love and could use it! So I’m mending those holes and keeping it alive as long as it’s willing. I only wish I still had the sleeves to take fabric from.
3) Amanda. I know, I’m as pained to see this here as you are, but I’ve confessed before that I’ve always been unhappy about how large I left the neck, and I just don’t wear it. If there’s anything I learned from you all during the #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 (and last year’s SFO, and everyone’s general willingness to rip and fix), it’s that it really is pointless to have a sweater in your closet you don’t wear, so it’s time for me to do something about this. I may have to face the fact that I chose the wrong yarn and this will never hang on me the way I want it to, even with a modified neck. But I’m not conceding without first attempting to fix the neck. Like Bob’s, my first try will be simply to pull it out, pick up fewer stitches and see what effect that has. Then I’ll made any further decisions based on those results — possibly major neck surgery or major ripping. <hiding eyes emoji>
4) My favorite jeans. These are another regrettable fast-fashion purchase I’m trying to do right by. They are, in fact, my favorite jeans to wear — the most easygoing — and I only own three pair of blue jeans to begin with. There’s these, my other already holey/mended jeans (much older than these and still in better shape) and a newer pair of J.Crew jeans from their Made in L.A. line, Point Sur, which are my dress-up jeans, since the other two both have holes now. (Plus my new natural-denim I+W’s.) These are only a few years old but have gotten so threadbare all over that they shred somewhere every time I move — they tear like a Kleenex — so they’re not currently being worn at all. Because I love the fit and don’t want to buy more jeans — and because I love the idea of it — I’m thinking of doing an allover saskiko treatment, so they’ll practically be hand-quilted. It’s a longer-term project, if it even works, but I’m going to get it started and see!
I’d like to say I’ll tackle one of these per week, but this is a nutty month for me, so I’ll tackle them as I’m able!
If you have set out a Slotober project for yourself, I’d love to hear about it! And I hope you’ve read the comments on the master plan and the kickoff post, as well as on the #slowfashionoctober — such good stuff already. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to respond to every comment, but I am reading them all, appreciate them so much, and am also attempting to read every post to the hashtag! You guys are endlessly amazing.
PREVIOUSLY in Slow Fashion October 2016: Week 1, Introductions