Slow Fashion October

It’s October! We’ve already gotten some slightly cooler breezy weather here!  So many great things are going on this month! My son turns 7 tomorrow, I’m planning all our costume sewing for Halloween (my very favorite holiday!) and it’s the start of Slow Fashion October!  I’m a huge proponent of Slow Fashion so I was psyched to find Karen’s of Fringe Association’s plans and prompts for this month.  Week 1’s Theme was You and Week 2 is Small.  I’m a bit late to the start so I’m combining them to share with you today. :)

“Week” 1,  October 1-4:     YOU

A little bit about me:  I’m Rebecca if we haven’t met yet! Of course almost everyone in my fam-except my husband-calls me Becky.  Becky Burnett- my married name- sounds a bit ridiculous to me with all that alliteration so I’m glad to go by Rebecca now. This coming year marks a lot of milestones for me.  I’m turning 40 this winter-and looking forward to it! I’m also married to my best friend/love Vic and we’ll be celebrating our 10 year anniversary in the Spring!

A big part of my life right now is being a stay at home mom.  For the last 7 years I’ve been focused on raising my two kids Nigel and Amelie. Nigel (7 this week!!!) is in first grade and Ami (4) stays home with me.  She’ll start kindergarten next year and we’ve been doing a bit of preschool at home this year since all the local VPK programs were filled.  Once both my kiddos are in school I’m looking forward to starting my own slow fashion business focused on my hand sewn and dyed women’s garments.

I’m a self taught seamstress.  I went to Art School- my BFA is in Printmaking-and I worked as a visual merchandiser (mostly interior design)pre-kids .  As a new mom I needed a new kid-safe hobby to express myself.  Home decor crafting and historical costuming soon morphed into sewing for my children and then into sewing my own clothing.  I’m amazed how far I’ve come in just a few years. I started blogging just under 2 years ago to share my journey as I learned to sew my own wardrobe and experiment with natural dyes. I’m a crunchy AP momma and that extends over into my sewing quite a bit as well.   Being a SAHM can sometimes be quite lonely so having a community where I can share my artistry has been so important for me.

Special Project:

This is perfect timing as I just started on my own slow sewing project:  a naturally dyed cropped knit sweater.  I’m using Chuck by Andi Satterlund and some lovely organic cotton yarn. If you’ve been following my fall wardrobe planning this sweater is part of my 3rd Look.   It’s been so long since I knitted anything but luckily it all came right back to me-must be muscle memory!  I dyed my yarn in Madder and Himalayan Rhubarb to get a lovely variegated rose and have the back, shoulders done and just started on the front.  It’s so nice to have a project to work on that I can do while spending time with my family.  Looking forward to sharing the finished sweater, hopefully by the end of the month!

Chuck Sweater by Andi Satterland, Organic Cottons Plus Organic Cotton Yarn dyed in Madder and Himalayan Rhubarb from Botanical Colors, Sew Pomona. #slowfashionoctober

Week 2, October 5-11: SMALL

I’m in the process right now of working to create a small and well crafted hand-sewn wardrobe.  My closet is almost entirely handmade with a few older memory pieces. I have some lovely pieces and everything works really well together.  One of the things I’m working on is creating more of a daily uniform. My wardrobe is pretty much two seasons here in Florida- summer (think HOT) and slightly cooler winter with maybe a handful of cold days.  One of the reasons I started sewing for myself was that my wardrobe did a complete 180° when I moved from living up north (first in New Jersey, later CT for college, NYC for a spell and then WI) before relocating to SWFL.  I went from wearing all black to mainly white, City versus beachlife.  None of my clothes, especially after pregnancy, worked any longer.  Being a mother also changed my priorities in what I looked for in clothing.  I wanted eco-friendly/fair trade and chemical free and couldn’t really afford it.

You can read more about my Wardrobe Planning here.  I don’t sew quite as much for my kids since they get TONS of hand me downs from their older cousins.  I now try to limit my kid’s sewing to specialty and holiday pieces that can grow with them.

I’m big on reusing/repurposing and I try to use eco-friendly and sustainable notions in my sewing and keep everything as low impact and chemical free as possible. Organic color-grown cotton, linen/flax, tencel, hemp, and peace silk are some of my favorite fabrics to work with!  My sewing philosophy: I’d rather have fewer well sewn quality garments that fit me to a T.

I’ll be back next week with more in this series and am hoping to soon share a few self drafted blouses I’ve made out of my fabric remnants!  My other big project for the month is our Halloween costumes.  Ami is going as Cinderella- and she’s going in style in organic velvet and peace silk in a French Blue-it’s gonna be gorgeous!    I may or may not go as the Fairy Godmother.  Time and $$$ are definitely going to be a factor as that gown would require a ton of yardage.  I’m going to hit the thrift shops and see if I can find some dresses to refashion.  More on that soon! Happy Slow Sewing!  #slowfashionoctober

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