All lovely photos via links.
Seems like every time I dip into the sewing community, there are new independent pattern makers to be found! So exciting! Thought I'd share a few that have caught my eye lately.
I doubt I'm the only one who is thrilled to see that Natalie Ebaugh has shared these gorgeous jacket patterns!
How fun to see that the amazingly talented Daisy Braid has written a book! I have so many cheers for all of these talented makers living their dreams + sharing so much goodness with all of us! Lots more independent sewing pattern makers here.
All lovely photos via links.
I'm not sure anyone else does this, but I find myself starting with the pants when thinking through my wardrobe. A few good pants just seem to allow the rest of a simple wardrobe to come together easily. I've been thinking about autumn, and I keep coming back to soft, faded jeans, white canvas pants + black jeans.
The right cut, weight + fit of each of these pairs nicely with my preferred tees, oversized pullovers, button-ups + sweatshirts. I like monochromatic pairings + mixed pairings too. That allows for quite a few different outfits to emerge across the seasons with a few pieces.
In thinking of the season ahead, I've made everything an option. When I think of these tried + true combinations, however, it feels like a calming exhale. That's it. These pieces feel like me...still.
All lovely photos via links.
This week I noticed the hem on a pair of my shorts had come loose + frayed. As I bent down to pick up my shoes on the way out the door, my partner noticed my underwear peeking through a gash in the back of my jeans. The same day, as he put his shorts, he noticed that the crotch was torn out.
Two weeks ago, I thought maybe I had gum on the bottom of my shoe + found that the tread had cracked + peeled away under the ball of my foot. This morning my partner noticed that the coffee press plunger was broken (again).
This seemed like an odd pile up of things needing repair and attention all at once. I started thinking about faulty materials and design decisions...and while there may be some of that at play...in almost all of these cases, wear and tear is the main culprit. The jeans + shoes have been worn every day for a year and a half. His shorts were worn daily for most of the warmer days of the past year.
We didn't experience as much wear + tear in our wardrobes when we had more clothing. Things didn't get worn as often when we had more choice. When things did need repair, it was easier to let them go because we were probably tired of them + we had other things to wear instead.
Today I mended my shorts + put them on to wear for the day. The jeans + his shorts are mended well enough to wear after work...and duct tape has held my shoes together well enough to wear for the past two weeks.
I see all of this as part of my experiments with what is enough. I do like seeing my things through this part of their life span. It's a chance to push through some conventional thinking + see reality...to reimagine + experiment in different ways...to live into connection with people + planet...to shift + grow.
June has been hot, and the outfit I've been reaching for most is this one. It's made up of a pair of linen shorts + fitted tee. I knew I loved these shorts from Black Crane the moment I saw them. They somehow feel very modern + minimal to me..and at the same time they remind me of summers in the (not so modern + minimal) late 80's. Shorts weren't so short, and clothing was oversized. Summer, for me, was full of sun-kissed shoulders + sand between my toes.
Today, I wear these shorts with a little tee that reminds me of 90's, tiny tees worn over + under slip dresses. Tiny-tee summers were, for me, full of a different coastline's sand + salty breezes. This summer, these two pieces feel just right together. There is no sand where I live these days, but we have a trip planned. This outfit will come along to the beach, no doubt.
-Black Crane shorts :: made in the USA from natural materials - linen :: they get wrinkly + it just doesn't matter to me
-It is Well LA tee :: made in California from natural materials - cotton + modal :: this tee has held up well to weekly wear over more than a year
-Birkenstocks :: made in Germany from leather, cork + synthetic material :: I wear these year round with socks or without
My small wardrobe offers plenty of variety...but also...I have no problem wearing my favorite things (also know as "the same things") over + over again! :)
Once upon a time I had a pair of vintage army pants that felt like my unicorn pants (trousers to some). :) Over the past year, my weight changed + our relationship wasn't quite the same any more. I found a new to me vintage pair that fit pretty well. Every time I put them on, however, I didn't like the fact that I could grab a handful of fabric at each hip...so I would take them off again.
I found another pair of olive pants that were made in a fair-trade certified factory that fit like a glove. I bought them, because I just wasn't wearing that vintage pair. For some reason, I would take these off again each time I put them on too. I just wasn't sure about them.
This week, I finally found the courage to take the vintage pair in hand + start seam ripping. There is just so much about these vintage pants to love. There is really nothing like the worn-in color, texture, softness + durability of the vintage fabric of these pants. The exaggeratedly high waistline is my favorite. They are exceedingly comfortable and have been around for a long time.
I'm not sure I altered them the way a tailor would, but they fit just like I'd like them to now. I picked the outside seams from hem to the middle of the pocket and then moved the seam over onto the back of the pants...overlapping more than it had done before. The seams were pinned in place, so that I could try them on for fit. I readjusted them, tried them on again + sewed the seam in place.
I can return the other pants + get on with wearing these now...often + for a long time. All it took was courage + time. I'm glad I found both.
The story of these secondhand pants for me...starts with a shopping trip to not-secondhand stores. I was missing the feeling of shopping new season collections in-store rather than online...taking in the new colors...trying things on...possibly choosing something to take home.
We walked through a few stores + were met with racks of things that held no appeal. I finally found a few pieces at Eileen Fisher that I liked. The women who work there were a delight + the whole experience just felt like relief.
Back home, I took a look around the website + was reminded of their resale site Eileen Fisher Renew. Because I had tried pieces on in the shop, I was able to navigate these preowned pieces with a little more confidence regarding sizing + style preferences. This site has the added perk of accepting returns...quite a luxury in the online secondhand realm.
In the end I was able to try on three pairs of "like-new", Eileen Fisher pants (which altogether cost less than the price of one new pair). I haven't quite decided which ones to keep yet, but I feel like I will wear these pants differently than I would wear a pair I'd bought for three times the cost...which is not to say that I will value them less. I will simply wear them like the tool they are...rather than feeling they are too precious to risk ruining. I will wear these pants to my physical job...to get cuddles from the young pup in our lives...to relax at home...and to look + feel put together out + about too. Clothes are meant to be lived in after all...and if they can be lived in by more than one person...well, that's pretty cool.
I like to do this exercise where I try to figure out the smallest number of clothing pieces that would offer something to wear in all the foreseeable situations + weather in which I might find myself.
My current list :
This covers situations + weather as follows:
work (colder) :: tee + jeans + trainers + sweatshirt
work (warmer) :: tee + jeans + trainers
home (colder) :: tee + leggings + pullover or sweatshirt
home (warmer) :: tee + soft pants
out (colder) :: pullover + jeans + boots
out (warmer) :: tee + soft pants + sandals
athletic wear :: tee + leggings + trainers + sweatshirt
pajamas :: tee + soft pants
formal-ish (colder) :: pullover + soft pants + boots
formal-ish (warmer) :: woven tee + soft pants + sandals
This exercise feels liberating. It feels like possibility. It lets me feel like a vacation with just a backpack is possible. It feels like security. It lets me feel like starting over (if we had to) might not be completely impossible. It feels like adventure. It lets me feel like living in a tiny house or van could work.
Less is the best way, in my opinion, to set ourselves up to be able to value farmers, garment workers + the planet by using less resources, using up our clothing, and making less waste. I like to do this exercise at different points in time with my current preferences in mind. It's not an excuse to change everything in my wardrobe, but it is fun to apply some of my current favorites to the list. If I'm getting by without something on this list, I can probably wait to buy an item until the predicted situation arises. (I haven't gone anywhere that requires more formal attire in the past couple of years, for example.)
With this list in front of me, I can easily see that the pieces I already have are indeed enough. What a gift!
All lovely photos via links.
Sometimes I feel like I wake up...again...to the fact that we can make things out of things that already were other things...and it just seems so incredible. This usually happens when I see a particularly beautiful example of this concept...or notice an item that inspires a thought in that direction. These are those for me today. :)
Keep it out of the landfill. No need to harvest or extract new resources. Good stuff can definitely come from the discards!
All inspiring photos via links that are entirely click worthy!
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time