Because What's More Fun Than Saying "Thanks, I Made it!" ?
Or, moving away from buying clothes, and embracing a wardrobe that is a majority percent made/cobbled by my hands.
Journey to here includes
Because I want to? Yeah, that seems good enough.
There are a couple solid reasons for this.
- Fast fashion is killing the planet and the species (humans included) who live on it
- The opposite side of fast fashion supports a fashion industry that is unsustainable from a social perspective, and is also in general an aesthetic that I find displeasing
- The majority of clothing that is manufactured and sold for every-day wear is made to fit bodies that are not real; that is to say, my hourglass figure, broad shoulders, long arms, and big ass/thin thighs combo do not exist off the rack
- I have no interest in following trends, which are a major driver of off the rack fashion. I am not entirely function > form, but I do like to follow the look and feel and composition of my own ideas of what looks good versus what a corporation has decided looks good *now*
- Bragging rights. Come on. I'm competitive. Being able to say I made something (and often that I designed something!) is a thrill.
I have struggled a bit with feeling like I have to pin down an aesthetic, or that I have to have *a look* that is mine. If I had to guess I would say that part of the struggle goes hand in hand with my gender queer-ness, and not wanting to fully commit to all femme or all masc all the time.
I'm writing this out in October, as we transition from heat and sun and lazy days into chill and layers and cooler nights. I have joked in the past that I am a winter goth with summer witch vibes, but I think that there may be some added gender-ness to this, too. As winter gets closer, I like to lean into more masc fashion - especially because the masc aesthetic that appeals to me the most is *not*, in general, heat-friendly. And the femme aesthetic I like the most *is* perfect for the summer.
That isn't to say that in the summer I can't or won't lean into a more masculine look, or that in the winter it won't be about tights and dresses and cardigans. But I do think there is an interesting layer of gender that falls into the seasonality of my wardrobe design and building.
Materials + Colors
In line with the Aesthetic, let's talk materials and colors.
I have a slight goal to work with as many non-manmade materials as possible, in part to align with point No. 1 above. Plant and animal based fabrics are more sustainable for the planet 1) as well as for the people who live on it.
I used to have a fairly strict view about color theory, and about creating a wardrobe of color that was very interchangeable and mix and match - see below infographic from 2013.
I still like some of the general motivations of that original plan still stand, especially in terms of the pieces I drafted. The cropped pants and blazer look are ripped straight from the wardrobe of one of my favorite linguistics professors - her general look is a mixture of masc and femme, leaning more soft, that I would like to embrace more in my fall and winter outfits.
The mix-and-match concept of “everything in my wardrobe goes together” works well from a Capsule Wardrobe perspective, when you are limiting yourself to a set number of garments - but if you are flinging your wardrobe wide and gathering materials willy nilly, then this color rule goes out the window.
Color choice for the wardrobe: whatever I damn well want.
One of the major differences with my current wardrobe goals as opposed to what the Capsule Wardrobe goals were is that this method is much less procedural and more about making things that I want to make at any given time. It is not at all constrictive in terms of the number of garments I want to make, or in the style I will make them, or in the appropriate seasonality of them, or the color scheme.
I have been slowly working my way through a lot of the patterns that I've collected (hi, hello, sunk cost fallacy). I've also recently (as of August 2021) put a fairly good-going restriction on myself to not buy anymore fabric (new bolt *or* sheets/blankets etc from thrift shops) until I make a better dent in my stash.
I would like to also work on improving my fabric storage. There's some room in the studio left for this; I just have to fully utilize it.
One process I can try would be to print all the pattern technical drawings / pattern covers for what I currently have 2) and then sort through my fabric stash and match fabrics to patterns.
I could choose 1 pattern a week (ish - let's not get lofty here) and work my way through my stash to declutter it.
There are 2 bonuses to doing this. The first is actually working my way through my stash. The second is to boost my technical skills with garment construction. This brings me to the RUBRIC!
Because let's be honest, I'm a little too competitive with myself.
There are a number of things with garment construction that I would like to see myself improve on. I'm going to use the below rubric to list out those things that I'd like to improve on, where I think I currently am, and where I think I am after a year of doing this.
Each ⭐ on a ⭐⭐⭐ scale
|Skill||2021 Rating||2022 Rating|
|Cutting fabric accurately||⭐⭐|
|Using projector for patterns||⭐|
|Ability to read complex pattern instructions||⭐⭐|
|Enlargening a dress or skirt|
|Modifying the fit of pants|
|Attaching hook and eye||⭐|
|Creating bias tape from fat quarters|