The ongoing Stash Less Challenge on the Craft Sessions blog has inspired me to rethink my approach to crafting. The challenge invites us, as makers, to be mindful of how and why we accumulate the materials – fabric, yarn, fibre, books and supplies – that feed our crafting.
#3: Create a making list
I have a vision of a beautifully curated wardrobe, with clothes I can trust were produced under decent working conditions without devastating the natural environment. Clothes made to last, that fit me well and suit my everyday life style. Just exactly enough items and no more.
In reality, this is where I am: Most of my clothes are not made to last, many do not really fit me well and I generally don’t have a clue where or how they were made. I don’t have much money to spend, but I do have an assortment of fabrics and yarns in varying qualities and amounts.
Right. Where to start?
Balancing needs and wants, utility and joy
There are things I need which I could make, like tops and shirts. I have materials I’d love to make use of, like the fabrics from my Grandma. How can I use as much as possible of what I’ve already got to make things I need and will love using?
Making is also about enjoying the process. I love learning new crafty skills, though when my brain is tired and my thinking slow I’d rather wind down with some mindless knitting than be scratching my head over pattern construction.
So, I’m looking for a balance: skill-stretching, creative meditation and utility.
My making list
- Patch jeans (need + creative learning)
- Jacket pocket (need + just get it done)
- Skirt lining (need + just get it done)
- Darn tights (need + just get it done)
- Darn socks (need + creative meditation)
- Cuffs on wool mittens (need + creative learning)
- Summer tops (need + creative learning). Pattern: need to buy, Grainline’s Scout tee or Colette’s free Sorbetto top or draft myself? Fabric from my stash.
- Long-sleeved jersey tops (need + creative learning). Pattern: need to buy, Grainline’s Lark tee or Sewaholic’s Renfrew top. Fabric: ?
- Button-up shirts (need + creative learning). Pattern: Grainline’s Archer button-up shirt. Fabric: from my Grandma.
- Woolly socks (need + creative meditation). Pattern: Sandnes garn’s free sock pattern (in Norwegian). Wool from my yarn basket.
- Wool cardigan, Norwegian “kofte” (want + creative meditation). Pattern and wool: need to buy.
- Alter my Grandma’s handmade cream coloured blazer and green jacket to fit me (want + creative learning). Pattern or not?
- Summer dresses for the Little One (need + creative learning). Pattern: Straightgrain’s Tinny dress. Fabric: from Grandma.
- Wool cardigan for the Little One (need + creative meditation). Pattern: do it myself. Assortment of wool from my yarn basket.
- Woolly socks for the Little One (need + creative meditation). Pattern: as above, Sandnes garn’s free sock pattern. Wool from my yarn basket.
- Cover for the ironing board (need + just get it done). Don't need a pattern. Fabric: from my stash.
- Curtains (need + just get it done). Don't need a pattern. Fabric: ?
Back to reality
Can I make all the things on my list in one year?
Ha ha! I doubt it.
The interesting question is whether I can make and mend enough to fill some of the gaps in my wardrobe and avoid those last minute thoughtless purchases from some cheap chain store. Thoughtful purchases are okay (if I can afford them), it's the thoughtless ones I want to avoid on this slow journey towards a sustainable wardrobe.
Previous posts in the Stash Less Challenge series: