Slow Fashion October, Week 1: You (me, all of us)

Slow Fashion October, Week 1: YOU (me, all of us)

Happy first day of Slow Fashion October! If you haven’t seen the introduction (with the weekly themes/prompts), take a minute to read that over. The theme for this partial first week is YOU. As in you, me, all of us who are participating in any form. This is your chance to introduce yourself. Who are you — are you a knitter/sewer/mender/thrifter/weaver/small-batch-fashion designer? How did you come to be interested in the slow fashion movement, and what are you hoping to get out of this month? And do you have a special project in mind? This is also a time to think about how you want to participate — whether it’s daily, weekly or one contribution for the month; in the form of a comment here on the blog or in posts to your own blog and/or social media feeds. Whatever you’re comfortable with, that’s what you should do! If you do publish something on your blog, leave a link here for people to see, and be sure to use hashtag #slowfashionoctober on social media so everyone can follow along.

Each week, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite contributions here on the blog, and will also feature people in various ways on the @slowfashionoctober feed on Instagram.

For my part — for anyone who might be new here — I’m Karen Templer and this is my blog. Last year I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Nashville, where I live with my husband and run Fringe Supply Co. I’ve known how to sew pretty much my whole life but have done it very sporadically. Learning to knit four years ago reminded me how incredible it is to wear something you made with your own two hands, bringing me back to sewing. And tapping into the incredible community of makers online really raised my level of awareness of some of the more political issues around disposable fashion and the human and environmental costs thereof. I’ve written an essay for the current issue of Amirisu about much of my motivation for building a handmade and/or known-origins wardrobe, and talked quite a bit about it in my Woolful podcast interview last winter. I also did an interview for Curious Handmade recently, wherein she asked a lot of really great questions around these subjects. So if you want to know more about me and where all of this is coming from, I’d recommend reading that interview! I also did a blog post last year about my Handmade wardrobe role models, and hope you’ll take a look at that if you missed it.

I’ll be posting here on the blog and on my @karentempler Instagram feed throughout the month, following the weekly themes. And my special project for the month will be to sew a garment from fabric my friend Allison Volek-Shelton of Shutters and Shuttles is weaving for me. So expect periodic check-ins on that project, as well. (And wish me luck! So scary.) To learn more about Allison, listen to her on last week’s episode of Woolful.

p.s. SPEAKING OF AMIRISU, a little bit of shop news: Yesterday we got another short stack of the fall issue of Amirisu (the one with my Slotober essay), and also have some amazing new additions to the vintage fiber mill spindles for you. Check it out!


PREVIOUSLY in Slow Fashion October: Get ready!

119 thoughts on “Slow Fashion October, Week 1: You (me, all of us)

  1. Hooray! October is here! Planning my first contribution to #slowfashionoctober – nothing celebrates slow, intentional creation like a bout of diligent swatching for a sweater. Looking forward to all this, and all the folks who will post thanks to your inspiration. Here we go, onward slowly!

  2. Would love to be involved in #slow fashion October. Do I just post on your blog? Any way, was raised in a sewing, knitting home and have continued this on and off through my life. I find it injoyable and rewarding. Know all do not feel this way but think we all need to be aware of where our clothes come from and what we a putting on our backs, whether we make or sew them, as well as in our bodies.
    Projects I will do in October are: develop a pattern for a jumper for my Grandaughter, make the jumper, knit a hat to match a sweater knited in sept., the big deal is to make a top for myself ? I almost never sew for myself. Sewing for myself is No. 1 this month.

  3. Yay for the arrival of October! To be honest I’m a bit of a sewing blog voyeur and don’t really participate too much, but #slowfashionoctober resonates with me so much that I have to jump in!
    Both my mum and my nanna are big crafters so I was brought up the same way – being taught to sew from a young age that it just seems like a natural thing to do. For quite a few years though, crafting just fell by the wayside, until I moved to London from Australia two years ago and I decided that I wanted to knit myself a proper wooly scarf in anticipation of my first British winter. From there my interest in sewing became re-ignited thanks mostly to a magnificent range of crafting blogs and now my goal is to make a hand-made dent into my store-bought (and seriously in need of an update) wardrobe.
    Even though I have been following knitting/sewing blogs for some time now, I’ve never been comfortable myself in sharing garments that I’ve made online. I often tell myself that it’s because I can never get photos that I’m proud of, but it’s also a reluctance to put myself out there through my makes. Therefore one of my goals for #slowfashionoctober is to show off my hand-made garments more on social media. Another is to make my first dress since uni (when I had a load of free time!). I also want to continue to be more thoughtful about where my clothes are coming from and what impact they have on the environment.
    So here’s to October!

  4. I love your blog Karen because it is one of the few that really has substance, in my opinion. Which brought me to following your Slow Fashion October with great interest. I think I’m about your age, and back then crafting was just something little girls did for fun and learned from relatives and library books. My mom used to sew and my gran and aunt knit. I got crochet kits and those i-cord things for Christmas. But over the years, production lines moved to parts of the world with cheaper labor and clothes became ridiculously cheap. The motivation to sew and do other crafts was wiped out. All my relatives stopped their crafts too. After my studies I started work at a corporation and was too busy climbing the ladder and socializing to do anything with fiber. Finally one day I woke up, left the corporate world and rediscovered the joy of making. I am less well off than before but much happier. There is so much beauty, peace and serenity to be found in the fiber arts. I don’t hope to get anything specific out of this month besides pursuing what project I happen to be working on at the moment, as there is always something, and observing and learning from everyone else. Thank you for hosting this!

  5. Having just watched The True Cost, slow fashion has been on my mind a lot recently. I’ve been trying to build a similar wardrobe all year and I’m totally inspired to participate this month! I love seeing how others tackle this issue because it’s tough to go it alone and it really is a slow process when you’re making your own clothes! Can’t wait to see what you’ve written and dive into these articles!

  6. Hi! I’ve been lurking here for years – thanks for the nudge to pipe up! Myself: My female relatives knitted and sewed; my father was a big DIYer. So I learned some crafting skills and the mindset that I could make just about anything by acquiring the skills and tools. However, as soon as I left I home I developed an exuberant consumerist lifestyle, which eventually met a crashing demise when my marriage ended. I learned to shop at thrift stores and to enjoy a simpler life. Then lived for six years at a farm, where my husband made his own shoes, we mended and remade, I met felters, spinners, tanners, leatherworkers, and so on, and I knitted many useful pieces for my husband and myself. Left there about 18 months ago and am now constructing a new wardrobe that fits my values and current practical needs (along with building a straw bale house, writing a novel, etc. etc.).

    Last year I “did my colors” and am loving the process of creating a wardrobe that is not only practical but also right and attractive for me. For SFO, I’m rethinking my winter wear. I appreciate the prompts to engage this process mindfully and with an encompassing set of values and considerations. And this month I’m knitting socks – I have three pairs on needles! Plus planning and purchasing yarn for what I hope will become a beloved cardigan (considering Acer, Little Wave, Fairfield, Woodstove Season). I’ll be rereading all of your posts about Acer and Amanda.

    I don’t spend a lot of time online, but, Karen, this place serves as my hub for the knitting/wardrobing/fashion side of my life – thank you!

  7. Well, I just opened an Instagram account. So now I have to find time to figure it all out, and take some pics to post, but I think it will be fun! I am a 61 year old professional musician. I teach “part time” at the university here (I’m very, very busy this year since we are down one full time position in the voice area, where I teach) so my making time has become somewhat limited. But I am a self-taught sewer and knitter. I started sewing in jr high and have always loved the creativity of making my own things. Plus, being tall, I can have things that fit. I taught myself to knit years ago, but only in the last year have attempted sweaters. The first I made ended up GIGANTIC, but I just finished two which turned out quite well, although I made them out of alpaca which is a little too soft for the required structure. But live and learn! I have a cotton sweater almost finished, and a St. Brigid (well, of course!) by Alice Starmore that will probably take 5 years to complete! I don’t have a specific goal for the month, but I love the idea of sharing with all of you and I have many projects in my knitting and sewing queues, so we’ll see what happens.

    • I am reading a book called Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini. A humorous account of her year-long quest to make Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses sweater. Lots of historical facts also thrown in.

      • I will definitely have to read this book! I recently discovered that the library at the college where I work (amazingly) had a copy of Tudor Roses, which I promptly checked out. I’d been interested in owning a copy and took the opportunity to have a look at it before purchase–it did not disappoint! I thought the projects would lend themselves well to just such a quest as Adrienne Martini has apparently undertaken. Plus, I so enjoyed the historical content of Tudor Roses that I borrowed a copy of Blood Sisters (about the Tudor women) from my local library; I’m looking forward to reading more in Sweater Quest!

  8. I am 59 and am a graphic production artist have been an avid sewer since a teen and come-and-go knitter. I decided in January to tackle more that just 20 foot scarves. I since learned circular needles, some fair isle and dpns. I live near Portland, OR and try to visit the many yarn shops. I’ve made two sweaters and am already adjusting patterns to make them longer, narrower,etc. I hope to indulge in the more expensive yarns to make holiday gifts. I still like bulky yarn and size 11+ needles but have done some fingerless mitts with size 6 dpns. Felt like I was all thumbs! Have liked yarn finds on loveknitting and deramores.

    I appreciate your designer eye Karen and look forward to all the posts.

    • It’s funny how different everything feels when you go from one gauge to another — matter which direction. 6s always feel like toothpicks to me after knitting something bulky, but those same 6s seem gigantic to the sock knitters of the world.

  9. Since discovering Me-Made May this year, I’ve been thinking about making and personalizing and wearing clothes. It’s been important to me since I was a little kid, since my grandmother made much of my clothing and I started knitting in high school. I’m grateful for Slow Fashion October, since it’s the much-needed push towards solidifying some of those thoughts and making more concrete goals surrounding what I have, what I buy, and how I think about what I put on my body. Lots to ponder, lots to learn. Thank you! I’m already thinking deeply about each week’s topics, and I’m excited to put it all into action!

    • “It’s not always cheaper, less impactful on the environment, or more sustainable to make your own clothes. Then again, sometimes it is. Buying or wearing ready-to-wear garments is not always wasteful and detrimental to the environment, to your wallet, or to the people involved in their creation, but then again, sometimes it is.”

      Well said!

  10. I’ve been thinking a lot about Slow Fashion October and what I want to accomplish ever since your post a few weeks ago, Karen. I need to be realistic about what I can do because my calendar for Ocrober suddenly got very jammed packed. All of your posts about purposeful wardrobes have resonated with me and have inspired me to get back to some of the crafting and making I used to do.

    My mother is a very creative maker and taught me how to knit and sew when I was about 10 years old, I think. I really loved sewing the most! I have her old Singer sewing machine that she bought in 1948 – a real workhorse of a machine that still runs – it goes forward, backward, and has a buttonhole attachment. That’s about it, but it’s made hundreds and hundreds of items over time!

    In my lifetime (I’m 62 now), the crafts of sewing and knitting have had definite highs and lows. When I was a kid, my mother and I would go to the most wonderful fabric shops, mostly to look and fantasize about garments we could make. Every department store had a large fabric department at that time. It was wonderful and I can still remember the rush I would get stepping into those fabric wonderlands! Knitting was the opposite – at that time there wasn’t a large variety of yarn or patterns. The yarn was pretty scratchy and most patterns were fairly similar – lots of cables, as I remember them!

    Then, at some point, those trends changed – good garment fabric was hard to come by and the yarn world (more recently) exploded! With a lack of good fabric for garments, I switched over to home sewing, making draperies and tablecloths and such. I’m so happy to see good quality garment fabric becoming available once again! And I’m practically giddy about all that’s available in knitting.- so much creativity and thoughtfulness! It’s a great time to be a knitter, for sure!

    What I’m thinking about for October is to organize my sewing. I’d like to take out all of my fabric and consider what I’d like to make with each piece. I’d also like to organize my sewing notions and tools in a more thoughtful way. More importantly, though, I’d like to take apart several tops I have and love, but are now stained beyond cleaning, and create paper patterns from them. These tops fit me perfectly and I’d like to be able to recreate them using my own fabric.

    I also plan to spend time evaluating and cleaning out my current wardrobe. This’ll help me figure out what I want to make – either by knitting or sewing – for myself.

    And, finally, I’d like to challenge myself to make a lined outdoor jacket. I bought a fabulous pattern recently and would love to get started on it. I don’t have the fabric yet, but have found a couple of Internet sites that carry good wool.

    And, as always, I have my ongoing knitting projects. Right now I’m making myself a sweater (Persimmon by BT) that I know will fit perfectly into my slimmed down and more purposeful wardrobe!

    Happy knitting, sewing, and making, everyone!

    • These are some really great goals, Karen. I especially love the idea of taking the month to assess and purge and evaluate and plan. I’m hoping to have time for some of the same kind of thinking.

  11. Sorry! Meant to add that I love your Cowichan sweater paired with the plaid fabric! Fabulous!

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  13. I live to make. Honestly, it’s as simple as that. It has always been that way from the time I can remember. Luckily, I had an awesome teacher in my maternal grandmother. She came from a long line of Southern craftswomen, for whom making and living off the land, was a way of life. She eventually acquired a college degree in home-making which was fairly unusual, considering her era and her circumstances. And her skills were amazing! From sewing full-on couture garments, to hat-making (she always wore a hat to church), to knitting, crocheting and quilt-making … she taught me so much that I feel as if I channel her on a daily basis. Her high school graduation gift to me was a Singer sewing machine, which still bails me out of trouble when my Bernina gets persnickety.

    I can’t think of many venues within the fiber arts that I have not tried. I even went through a beading phase in which I made belts on a loom. For extra money in my college years, I made tops and frocks out of vintage fabrics, and crocheted string bikinis. It was the 70s, after all. ;-)

    For the last couple of decades, I have made a career out of painting. But at 61, I find myself spending less time at the studio, and more time sewing and knitting. Some of the change has to do with the fact that I am caregiving for my elderly mom, and the fiber arts are just more conducive to the kind of creative focus I am able to conjure. But I love it so much I am considering how to parlay it into a new career direction. We will see….

    Right now I have a lot of projects in progress. Some beautiful sand washed silk meant for a top, some wool that I partially felted and will probably be a jacket, and some silk chiffon that I am planning to dye, either for a wrap, or for a top. And, of course, I have a couple of things on the needles. I hope to share some of it with you here, and I am really excited to see what everyone else comes up with. I find you, Karen … and this blog, to be a constant source of inspiration. Thank you so much for that.

    • P.S. I am not on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram…so far. I am very active on Ravelry though (as “Napagal”) , so maybe I can post projects there and link here? Not sure what will work best…

    • Lots of respect and empathy for taking care of your mother; I’m sure it’s not always easy. Hope you can make time for yourself too.

      • Thanks so much, Catherine. Are you the Catherine from Iowa? My husband is from Iowa, born and raised in Cedar Rapids. ;-)

        Gosh this post has exploded, Karen! So fun to read all these stories and links, I keep coming back for more.

  14. Yay! I have been excited about this for the past few weeks since you posted the weekly prompts! I will definitely be participating as a knitter, spinner, novice sewer and blogging weekly about the ideas behind slow fashion. Here’s my first blog post with some more info on my background and interest, as well as some goals about what I’ll be making (and thinking about and planning for) this month.

  15. I only recently discovered your blog, Karen, but it has quickly become one of my favorites! Many thanks for your thoughtful and fun approach to wearables.

    I became interested in slow fashion some years back after reading a post on Kate Davies’s blog: (she has also written about mending:, which dovetailed with my own concerns about the environment. Though I do not sew, I have my mom’s sewing machine as well as some patterns that I fell in love with–perhaps it’s time to learn. I do enjoy knitting, although I’ve yet to knit an adult-sized sweater, the thought of which totally intimidates me–maybe it’s time to get over that. I am a thrifter, however, and recently found a 100% wool fisherman-style sweater that may turn into a felted pillow cover, serve as a medium for a newfound interest in dyeing, or simply be worn as is. On my needles right now is a cowl of handspun wool purchased at a local farmers market from a woman who raises her own sheep.

    As for the rest of my non-thrifted/made wardrobe, I hope to cull through it to donate what I can longer use or don’t truly love and identify items that need attention, i.e. mending/repair, or that I’d like to have remade. If there are any figurative “holes,” I’ll think carefully about how to fill them–preferably with handmade items! Thanks again for all the inspiration!

  16. I am a knitter, mother, and accountant who dreams of having 5 acres in the woods. The concept of Slow Fashion has really resonated with me as of late. I have been rethinking how & why I purchase clothes. I looked in my closet one day and was overwhelmed with the number of things I didn’t wear or bought with no real plan for fitting the piece into my wardrobe. I don’t want to have a “throwaway” wardrobe any longer and am shifting towards purchasing quality, american-made pieces as I can afford it and making pieces that I have the skills for. I really love knitting sweaters! My plan for October is to knit the Barn Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge. If I’m able to find fabric, I’m also going to make the Dottie Angel Frock! I’m on instagram as @adrienneleanne

  17. Hi Karen,
    First of all, wonderful idea, this Slow Fashion October. As an average consumer of fashion who recently watched The True Cost, I’m horrified by the unconscious contributions I’ve made to fast fashion. I’ve done an exhausting amount of research trying to find ethical solutions and slow fashion brands. I suddenly realized that those of us who are not so much makers, but want to cherish the clothes we’re wearing, need a resource that connects us to trustworthy brands (a Refinery29-esque site for slow fashion, if you will). And your Slow Fashion October campaign is the perfect catalyst for such a venture. So my project for the month is establishing Sifted: a slow fashion resource from concept to closet. Please check it out at

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  19. I’m so excited about Slow Fashion October! I learned to knit in December 2014, and it planted a seed in me; I wanted to keep on making! I had already planned to get sewing lessons from my talented mom-in-law this month to tackle my first homemade garment, so the timing is perfect. Here is a link to my blog post, that includes my three goals for this month: I’ll be following along with your blog, folks who post their blog links here, and on Instagram too!

    • Personalizing is a great goal and great way to make your mark on your wardrobe while you build up your skills. Good luck with the Dottie Angel frock — that seems to be on several people’s lists.

  20. Thank you so much for this initiative Karen! I too have just published a blog post as a contribution to this discussion. I am quite happy about my wardrobe and how i came to have it, but I think this month I’ll take time to reflect and be able to solve some issues surrounding my children’s clothes and a low budget, hopefully I can do this!

  21. I’m so looking forward to following the Slow Fashion October movement this month. And also, thank you Karen for nurturing and contributing so mindfully to the online maker community. As a rural knitter I really appreciate feeling like I belong to a larger group of folks even though I’m geographically isolated.
    Here’s a link to my blog:

    • omg I had no idea either and now I’m super embarrassed :$ that was 100% unintentional!

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  24. I am by profession a museum educator. I formerly worked as an historic interpreter at a living history site that represents rural life in Canada in the late 19th century; it is here that I received my textile education, learning needlepoint, spinning, and natural dyeing, which would later motivate me to take up knitting and sewing. Processing the raw wool of the sheep that lived on site was my first true experience of slow fashion. As much as I would like to always engage in first principles in all the making that I do, allowing for complete transparency in the origins of materials and processes that go into the things that I consume on a daily basis, I have accepted the fact that compromises do have to be made along the way, and thus I welcome the opportunity for thoughtfulness and selectiveness that Slow October presents.

    One of my goals is to focus on the one true working from first principles project that I currently have on the go. Last winter I purchased an 8 lb Romney fleece from my local farmer’s market. I have managed to sort all the fibre, but still have a long way to finish washing, dyeing, carding, spinning and plying all that fleece. My ultimate goal is to knit a sweater with the resulting yarn, but for the month of October my goal is to dedicate at least a small portion of every day to getting closer to having enough yarn for that project.

    I would also like to be more deliberate in finishing the many WIPs I currently have on the go. Even by my own standards 8 knitting projects on the needles is too many! It has also been at least 9 months since my sewing machine saw any action; there are at least 5 garment projects in various stages of completion in the sewing pile.

    While participating in Slow October is as much about seeking inspiration from others as it is to work on my own projects, another goal of mine for the month is to actually spend less time on-line; rather than admiring what other people are making, I want to focus on my own making. There is no next great project, there is no more beautiful project than the one I am working on right now, there is no better approach to living a crafty life; daydreaming will be replaced by doing as much as possible this month. Now I’m off to finish the Laurus hat with the naturally dyed yarn that’s been sitting in my stash for years.

  25. Thanks for the link to the sweater pattern, Danielle! I’ve also been doing research for my first sweater project, but this hasn’t shown up on my radar. It might be the one for me too!

    • cool! good luck! I wanted to find something seamless with an interesting texture. I’m sure you’ve read karen’s improvise a top down sweater. I swear, I’ve read it like once a day for the past week

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  28. Hi Karen, So happy for October and that you are organizing this slow fashion month. I have knit off and on for almost ten years, and recently picked up a bit of simple sewing – the first I have done since Home Ec in high school. I am not super productive, but I enjoy the process and love wearing things that I have made. I also love using materials that have been sustainably produced, and buying garments that have been made ethically and with love. I will be moving from Kentucky to the West coast later this year, so I plan to spend this month trimming down my wardrobe as a pack, and making lists of items that I think I will want in my new climate.

  29. I’m already enjoying Slow Fashion October – thanks for getting the ball rolling! I’m obsessed with making (spinning, knitting, and weaving), and have been fascinated with fiber origins, especially since I learned that the fabric and yarn industries are industries just like any other.

    This month I’m focusing on wearing garments I’ve already made (mostly knit sweaters, scarves, and socks) as well as making new garments to fill holes in my wardrobe. My ramblings on the topic are on my blog,

    It’s so inspiring to see what everyone has done!

  30. Slow October is a perfect fit with some reorienting of many aspects of my life. I’m a knitter and lapsed sewer with several generations of quilters in my family. I’ve been pursuing a series of skill building sewing projects since Me Made May and have been creating a series of fiber arts activities that fit the developmental stages of my granddaughters. I have been working on transitioning my wardrobe from a full-time, traveling, professional to a sandwich generation traveling daughter and grandmother. I have also stopped coloring my once dark brown hair and loving my current silver waves. So, there are a number of adjustments to match clothing and household goods to my current circumstances. Having cleaned out several homes of older generations in the past few years, I’m diligent about having just what I need and traveling light. I want to leave a legacy of skills and activities more than belongings. I want to spend my days with the things closest to my skin and that I use most frequently being a good match for my values of well designed, good for the planet, good for people. I want special objects that tell a story to have the space to stand out and be noticed, not hidden in the back of the closet or obscured by clutter. October is also a month full of travel so it will just be the kick off to refocusing for the rest of my life. I am giving handmade gifts, giving lessons in sewing and knitting, sharing surplus fiber arts supplies with younger generations and special causes, and making sure that each project builds my skills, shares my knowledge, or communicates something about my priorities. Thanks for the prompts to be more deliberate about this and sharing so many inspiring stories.

    • Thank YOU, Laurel, for your inspiring story! These lines in particular struck a chord with me: “I want to leave a legacy of skills and activities more than belongings. I want to spend my days with the things closest to my skin and that I use most frequently being a good match for my values of well designed, good for the planet, good for people. I want special objects that tell a story to have the space to stand out and be noticed, not hidden in the back of the closet or obscured by clutter.” Being a chip-off-the-old-block from a long line of “savers,” this is something I struggle with on a constant basis. I appreciate having this thoughtful perspective to use as a model for a new approach to ALL of my things, including my wardrobe.

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  32. Over the past year, I’ve knit several individual socks of all different colors and gauges. Now it’s getting cold and all these socks need mates so I can wear them! My slow fashion October goal is to finish those pairs and keep my feet toasty warm this winter.

    Also, I just learned to sew a few weeks ago and now am the proud wearer of 5 pairs of cozy, well fitted flannel pajama pants just in time for some chilly nights. A corduroy skirt will be next!

  33. I hadn’t heard of slow fashion until today when someone commented on my blog. Timing!

    My food is homegrown, hunted and foraged and well-prepared in my kitchen. My home is heated by local firewood. I realized today that my wardrobe doesn’t match my lifestyle as well as it could. I can barely knit (but I’ve mastered pulling what I do manage to knit right back out) but I’m going to do this. I have beautiful yard a friend handspun and dyed. I’m going to start a headband. Surely I can manage that in a month.

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  35. Hi everyone, thank you so much, Karen, for hosting this ingenious challenge! I’ve been silently reading this blog for a long time and I always admired your thoughts and schemes. But the idea of a month devoted to thinking about slow fashion and taking some action is so intriguing that I have to come out of my mouse hole and join in. I am a long time knitter and in the last couple of years have moved more and more towards using natural fibres, local products, and producing garments I really need and use. Since I only sew in my imagination, MeMadeMay always seemed great, but just not perfect. Slow Fashion October is perfect! My plan is to stick more or less to the weekly topics, structure my thoughts around them and start one concrete project – be that finally setting up my sewing machine and sew myself a garment, mending an old cardigan, or anything else that comes up. I’ll be also posting about this on my blog – actually, this is going to be my first real blog post! (

  36. I am joining in, with a blog post here: I’m trying to be more mindful in many areas, not just fashion or clothing. Taking time to enjoy the process and not just the product: slow cooking versus restaurants, knitting versus purchasing, stash versus more yarn (although I do support my LYS), library versus bookstore… making more of what I have instead of wanting more.

  37. I just watched an episode of one of my favorite programs, Craft In America, that I think speaks directly to what you are doing here with Slow Fashion October. The episode featured the textile artist, Terese Agnew, and told the story of one of her amazing quilts called Portrait of a Textile Worker about the workers overseas who toil away many hours a day at unfair wages to produce garments. The artist took labels from those types of garments and slowly and deliberately quilted them together into a portrait of a young woman bent over her sewing machine. The image and medium are so powerful. The artist also speaks about taking her time to make things and hiw special that is in todays fast paced world I highly recommend checking out the episode. You can find info here:

    I can’t wait to read more about slow fashion this month and be more conscientious of where my clothing comes from.

  38. I am going to follow this series. I think it’s going to be interesting. I’m like a lot of people who follow you, a knitter and sometime sewer. I’m not particularly good in either but I can make basic things like hats and sheet dresses. Years ago I read an article on Natalie Chanin when she started Project Alabama and I was consumed by it. I bought the book and made a couple of shirts and skirts. To this day I still wear one of the beaded skirts I made. Every year or so I pick it up and add some more beads. It has traveled to two continents with me. Every now and again I would try and make another but I have to say a great many of my experiments were a total fail and they end up in the garbage because they’re not even wearable to donate. It takes skill and time to really make things that are wearable. So sometimes I feel that maybe some things are best left to the experts. Yet I’m still drawn to this subject. So for Slow Fashion October, I want to really discover motivations for myself for making. I know for sure that one of my motivations is an emotional one, a nostalgia for a time long past. I grew up in the Philippines and back then ready to wear was not as mainstream as it is now. For school uniforms or sunday dresses, we bought fabric by the yard and we would all trek to the seasmstress’ house to be measured and a dress would be made. I remember she had a notebook that had our names on it in various stages in our lives. If my shorts or jeans were ripped, I head over to the next house where my Aunt lives and she would investigate the damage and mend it on an old non-electric Singer sewing machine, the kind that had thick cotton cords that are attached to steel wheels coordinating the movement of the needle with the foot paddle. When not used, we pretended these machines were cars. Perhaps it is best to start with humble goals first like mending. I’m going to start a pile this weekend of just that. Thanks for such a great idea, Karen. Best to you.

  39. Hello Karen and Friends,

    October seemed to get here so quickly, but I think that I am ready for it!
    I am a knitter, and a (novice) mender, and hanger-oner-to-old-clothing-er. Over the past few years, knitting has become part of my daily life, and the items that I have made or mended have become staples of my wardrobe. I am looking forward to reading and seeing special items that other people have to share, to finding new inspiration, and to participating in each week’s theme. My goal for the month is to finish repairing a very special wool sweater. I’ll be sharing at and @WalkingInWool.

  40. Hello all! I’m a little late with this post, but I managed to share my goals for this month over on my blog this morning. I’m so excited to learn more about slow fashion this month and to really grow my own skills and push myself to really think about my slow fashion wardrobe. I’m a knitter, and I’m hoping this month to finish my first cardigan. I’m also hoping to learn more about traceable origins and suitable replacements for some very old items still in rotation in my wardrobe. Finally, as I’ve dabbled a little in embroidery and sewing by hand, I’m hoping to mend a few beloved items so I can keep wearing them!
    I’ll be sharing throughout the month both on my blog: and on Instagram where you can find me @rwerwai

    Thanks Karen for organizing this and giving us all a platform to learn and discuss about this topic! I’m excited to see what the month has in store!

  41. Pingback: Slow Fashion October, Week 2: SMALL — and some of my hardest working garments | Fringe Association

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  43. Another late first post! I’m Amy van de Laar, a knitting pattern designer living in Melbourne. This month I hope to make progress on filling a few gaps in my wardrobe (particularly breezy summer clothes), and finishing a cardigan I’ve been chipping away at for months. I also plan to learn more about sustainable plant-based dyes for fabric and yarn, and do a few dyeing experiments.
    My Week 1 blog post is here:

  44. I hope i still fall into the fashionably late category here, because I finally posted for week 1 one. I love the themed month you came up with! Since even as a handmade maker I sometimes find myself trying to keep up with fast fashion, rushing to make more and turning up the pressure. When the real joy in making is when I slow down and focus on the proces. Anyway here is my post for week one:

    PS: I hope I didn’t send a ton of comments, but i had some problems signing in and had my comment dissappear.

  45. Hi Karen

    I am a late entrant to the Slow Fashion October gathering! I have been looking forward to this for so many reasons. Primarily because I am interested in what people have to share about knowing the origins of their clothes and being conscious of who is making it and how this impacts on their wardrobes (buying and making). I am hoping to learn about some great clothes/ shops/ fabrics where we know the makers are paid fairly and have not been harmed in anyway.
    I am passionate about fighting human trafficking and slavery and the more I have researched into the subject the more I began to realise that just about everything we buy could potentially have harmed someone in its production, so I am making small intentional changes in my own life so I can hopefully know my buying isn’t at a cost to someone else.
    One of the changes I am making for myself and my two little ones is to either make or buy second-hand clothes and I am also looking for independent brands where I can know the origins of the clothes.
    I always love your posts on supporting local/ conscious/ sustainable, I learn so much from them but I live in the UK so sometimes these are not really accessible to me. Obviously, we have amazing homegrown British yarns which I am trying; I love the thought of knowing exactly which sheep my yarn came from :) it has a story even before you begin to knit with it. But for sewing, knowing the origins of your fabric is a lot more difficult.

    What I am challenging my self to do in SFO is read ALL the articles, peoples blog posts, follow along on instagram and just learn from it.
    I still haven’t gotten round to watching True Cost but as its Anti-Slavery Day on the 18th of this month I am definitely going to find the time to watch it.
    I am a very SLOW knitter (another reason I love SFO) I have a 2.5yr old and an 8mth old so my knitting time is very limited right now but I intend to make time to work on my WIPs, which are a romper for my littlest, a hat for my hubby and a sweater for me. I will hopefully get some pictures up on instagram and maybe I will take the time to update my ravelry projects :)

    I have been meaning to share this video with you for a while if you haven’t already seen it, the subject fits in with SFO I think. It is about women and girls who are trafficked into cotton mills in India, the video is called Sumangali. I think your readers might find it interesting.

    Thank you so much for coming up with SFO! Keep up the great work, your blog content is amazing!

    Amy :)

  46. Finally wrote a quick blog intro for last week… I am so thrilled that you’ve organized Slow Fashion October, I think it’s perfect timing when so many knitters and sewists are asking really important questions about the supply chains behind their materials (myself included!). I feel really strongly about these issues so one of my goals this month is to spend more time writing/reflecting and contributing to the conversation — it’s amazing to see so many people embracing an open dialogue! I also plan to focus on working through projects in my stash. The backlog of projects eats away at me and certainly doesn’t feel sustainable, but I love and cherish the materials so I’m excited to dig in!
    Thanks again,

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  48. I wanted to chime in here and say a big thanks to you, Karen, for instigating Slow Fashion October and giving everyone a structure within to explore these important ideas. It’s been amazing to see where it’s taken everyone. It propelled me to publish my first posts on my new blog: My Casa Azul. Hop over there to read my thoughts on the first two weeks.

  49. Pingback: Slow Fashion October — get ready! | Fringe Association

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