Slow Fashion October, Week 4: WORN

Slow Fashion October, Week 4: WORN

Happy Week 4 of Slow Fashion October, where our theme is WORN — i.e. heirlooms / second-hand / mending / caring for things / laundering for longevity / design for longevity (bucking trends, quality materials …). Longevity is an overarching theme of the slow fashion discussion, but it’s not just about choosing well-made goods over cheap ones, it’s also about how to care for those things or extend the life of those you already own. There have already been so many great stories shared about treasured garments and their long lives, and I’m hoping to hear lots more, along with lots of thoughts on how to make things last.

My hope had been to have that previously-promised sashiko tutorial for you today, but sometimes I bite off a bit more than I can chew and I’ve definitely done that this month. With everything going on, I haven’t been able to photograph and write that yet, but I will get to it as soon as it’s feasible, I swear.

Meanwhile, I want to point you to my essay from last spring, Make, Knit, Mend, if you haven’t already read it. And I also want to direct your attention to some people who are specifically influential to me and/or in the larger community when it comes to this week’s theme. Images clockwise from top left, this group leans very heavily on the mending end of things, which is just one facet of the week’s theme—

Tom van Deijnen (aka @tomofholland) runs the Visible Mending Programme and launched the #visiblemending hashtag on Instagram

Luke Deverell of Darn and Dusted is another huge influence, doing beautiful things to worn-out garments and working to change people’s perceptions of mended clothing — also on IG as @darnanddusted

Katrina Rodabaugh of Make, Thrift, Mend was mentioned in my Make, Knit, Mend post above — I met her at the embroidermending workshop that inspired that post (and where I did my first patch to those jeans everyone asks about). She’s been making especially great contributions to the #slowfashionoctober feed; see her @katrinarodabaugh page for that

Molly de Vries, my good friend at Ambatalia (who makes the indispensable Bento Bags) has “the non-disposable life” as her personal mantra and posts a lot on her Instagram feed about her strategies for everything from avoiding take-out waste to laundering her clothes so they’ll last

I can’t wait to hear from you all this week!


PREVIOUSLY in Slow Fashion October: Slotober Frock step 2: What will it be?

27 thoughts on “Slow Fashion October, Week 4: WORN

  1. I’d love to learn how to creatively mend clothing – I’ve done plenty of mending in my life, but never thought about injecting any creativity into it! Maybe I’ll even look forward to the job of mending? Hmmm, probably not, but it could help!

    One thing I started to do recently is to repurpose my boxy t-shirts into sleeveless tops. I had a pile of t-shirts that I liked, but never wore because of the fit – too boxy, hated the neckline and the sleeves. So, I made a pattern using a top that I liked and did some simple sewing to convert the t-shirts into comfortable and wearable tops. I’m really interested in learning about other repurposing projects, so please share ideas!

  2. Speaking of laundering and care of well loved items-can anyone recommend the best soap/product to handwash handmade wool sweaters? I’ve seen a few at LYS but would like to know I am doing it right and also not getting a lot of residue. Thank you!

    • I’ve had great luck with Eucalan, which is non-rinse and, cuz its eucalyptus-based, hopefully also somewhat moth-proofing. I add that even though its non-rinse, I usually do change the water once or twice, depending on how dirty I feel my sweater is. If you’re getting residue, you might be using more than you need (or care to rinse out). If I’m out of Eucalan, a teeny tiny drop of Dawn, barely enough to raise any suds.

  3. Karen, I’ve been looking up info about sashiko, but I am wondering if it is a technique suitable for denim with some stretch, or only for classic, all-cotton denim. I buy good-quality jeans but prefer ones that stretch for comfort, and I am unsure about if/how to mend them.

    • I don’t have a great answer for that, having never tried it, but I think as long as you’re joining two fabrics with the same amount of stretch it seems like it would work out.

  4. I have a great big, shapeless red wool coat that I am going to take apart (I made it years ago). After I get it apart I’m going to see what I can do with that fabric–maybe an unstructured jacket. I also have a beautiful powder blue cashmere coat that was my mother’s. It has ¾ length sleeves and a detachable silver fox collar. It’s kind of impractical, but it’s very chic and I can’t bear to part with it.

  5. I’m working on a Sashiko project right now. I was given a linen jacket that was just too big for me. I love linen and decided to make it into a vest with a bit of Sashiko experimentation. I’ll eventually blog about it here . My most recent post was a wool skirt refashion. I love to find good quality material to work with at thrift stores. It is much cheaper which makes it not so scary to use.

  6. I love this concept and dream of the day when it goes mainstream. I have a tan wool/cashmere/angora sweater that I remember my Mom wearing in the 1960’s and 70’s. I’ve probably repaired nearly 30 small moth holes, but it’s still so wearable and I get compliments every time I wear it. What’s not to like? I get to think of my Mom and happy memories, and look “fashionable” at the same time.
    Thanks for all your time, energy, and love put in to your postings this month; it has been greatly enjoyed!

  7. I can’t get enough of this whole thing! Inspired😃 dose it really have to only go on a month??

  8. I’ve been doing lots of mending recently, and documenting this on my blog as a series of mending Monday posts.

    Today I posted a piece about ethics and sustainability in children’s clothing. I love the thought and inspiration provided by Slotober, but want us (bloggers, sewers, makers) to apply some of this thinking to children’s fashion and clothing. I’d love to hear what people think…

  9. Most of my clothes are super worn. Once they’re worn in clothes are just way too comfy to give up most of the time. I’d like to become better at mending and repurposing, and my relationship with my sewing machine and serger is developing. In terms of knitting, it was fun to look back and think about the pieces that are and were loved.

    Here’s my full post for the week if anyone is interested:

  10. The sweater that I mentioned mending in my comment on Week 1 is still a work in progress. Knitting a patch or reinforcement stitches for each hole or worn areas takes me a long time, and is very satisfying.

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  13. What a great topic! When I first saw the prompt, I thought I’d have nothing to say, because nothing stands out to me. I think Bristol Ivy said it for me on Instagram the other day – as a very picky shopper, everything that comes into my wardrobe needs to be a home run, and it’s going to stay in my wardrobe until it can’t be worn any more. I’ve also been thinking about what happens to clothes when they are worn beyond repair. The short story: rag rugs.

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