When I started thinking back on my creative projects throughout 2017: two lists emerged, one of garments and goods completed, one of those unfulfilled. Just about equal in length, and after a moment, in satisfaction.
I completed 9 garments for myself in 2017:
- Hudson pants – white cotton fleece (noted here)
- Tamarack jacket – hand quilted in indigo (details here)
- Kalle shirt – Foxfibre chambray
- Exeter cardigan – local wool (details here)
- Euler bra – kit from Fancy Tiger Crafts
- Ginger jeans – Cone mills denim
- Lark tee – linen jersey
- Self-drafted boxy top – Community Supported Cloth Climate Beneficial Wool
- Self-drafted bridesmaid’s dress – secondhand tencel (not pictured)
I had concrete plans (and for the most part, materials) for 9 more: a cardigan, two woven tops, a knit top, wide-leg pants, two dresses, and overalls.
In all the things imagined, even craved, yet unmade, I kept coming back to the slowness of slow fashion. Delaying, pausing, and re-evaluating plans: a reminder to just sit with it.
I was thrilled with each item I added to my wardrobe, and buoyed by the skills I grew and honed, which made it unflinchingly easy to let go of things that went unrealized. Surprising no one, I got dressed every day, felt the warmth from wooly layers, softness of silk against my skin, the cool of linen on hot days, brightness from a vibrant hue, the ease and strength of wearing thick denim.
Dreaming, planning, sketching, scheming, all came in waves over the year as I peered through my fabric stash or my closet. But I feel a certain liberation in looking back at all the lists and shapes imagined, recalling how much enjoyment it brought me to consider and craft those plans, and realizing that everything is fine as it was.
A few ideas have risen to the top of my list for the months ahead, a few garments have been reimagined, and a few fabrics were released into new hands.
A stack of garments is certainly a satisfying way to (re)view a year’s work. But sometimes the bigger work, the slower fashion, is found in those pieces left on the page.
4 thoughts on “A year in garments, made & imagined”
Nice post! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is enough, and sort of re-framing my sewing goals around making the most of what I have. It’s no surprise that this still leaves plenty of room for creativity, but I was slightly mourning the made-from-scratch creating—not really the act of making or having new garments as much as the planning and thinking about new ideas. I love your thought that the dreaming and scheming can be satisfying all on their own, and not necessarily lead to frustration over never making the thing. I’ll definitely be mulling that over!
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I feel like we are so kindred in our approach! I’m centering this year around making with what I have, too. Planning and making lists or doodles of things I want to make is a really helpful way to keep things “simmering” and slow down in my consumption of garments or even just supplies.
A thoughtful post. Your makes for this year are all truly beautiful – I particularly love your Tamarack jacket. I definitely feel it’s a more worthwhile way of thinking about those items that get left unmade, rather than feeling just frustration. By the way, love day-dreaming about sewing too – it is certainly a great way to while away those boring moments on the way to work.
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Thank you! My Tamarack is getting lots of wear this winter & I’m so grateful for it. Completely agree with you about the value of day-dreaming.