Slow Fashion October 2016

Slow Fashion October 2016 - all you need to know | Randomly Happy

So if you hang out with me ‘behind the scenes’ on Instagram (aka real life) you’ll notice that it’s kinda been a slow month for makes.

Sure I’ve made a quick tee and turtleneck (to be blogged soon), but apart from that all’s been pretty quiet on the making front.

Part of that is because I’m trying to learn to slow down and enjoy life as it comes along. Another is that I’ve been using the time to think about how I make things. And here’s the strange thing:

It’s made me want to sew less. And I’m OK with that.

More on that in a sec, but first I wanted to share with you what’s been prompting all this thinking – Slow Fashion October.

Slow Fashion October

I’m sure you’ve come across this before (in fact I wrote about it last year). It’s a month long series of prompts to get you thinking about what you wear and what you make – all started by Karen at Fringe Association.

It’s not just for people who make their own clothes – it’s for anyone interested in developing a more thoughtful, curated wardrobe. Which I think is starting to be more and more of us.

So, why sew less?

Well, you know me, quality over quantity is something I really am trying to get behind.

And when I started to think about it whenever I was desperately trying to quickly sew a make it ended up in snarlled threads and freyed nerves. Not really a feel-good make, eh?

And then I started to question what all the rush was about.

Does anyone really care about how quickly I’ve made something?

Not really.

It’s just sewing for myself. So why the rush? Isn’t it really better to take my time to make things with care that I’ll be wearing for years?

I’m not syaing you can’t make a quick, good-quality make, but just that it’s harder to make good-quality makes when you feel under time pressure.

And so now, I’m slowing down my makes. Giving mysef the option to sew slowly and with care. Funnily enough, since I started this approach I sewed my quickest-best make ever (that turtleneck I mentioned before). Go figure.

How to get involved

So, keen to get a little bit more involved. You could read a few blog posts. You know, get informed:

  • Fringe Association has a good introduction to all the issues here.

Or you could aim to make sure you’re buying or making things you will enjoy – things that will be in heavy rotation:

  • You can read all about capsule wardrobes on Un-Fancy blog (one of my favourite stops on how to create a capsule wardrobe you’ll love)
  • You could read this post I wrote on creating a more meaningful wardrobe
  • Or you could check out one of the classes at Sewn Sustainably – and learn to make classic pieces for your wardrobe

Or you could also start thinking more about where your materials come from:


Now over to you – are you taking part in Slow Fashion October? Or maybe you have some Slow Fashion October resources that you’d like to share?

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  • What a great summary of Slow Fashion resources and your thoughts that have emerged from SLO. I am right with you. I have never been a prolific sewist and I often felt shame for not keeping up with the other bloggers. I started sewing for sustainable reasons and somewhere along the way I lost track of that mission.

    • Thanks Meris. Glad I’m not the only one. It’s hard when there’s so many interesting patterns and fabrics out there. But I guess you have to draw the line some time! 🙂

  • I love this post! I agree with everything you say. Sewing as fast as you can usually makes me more anxious and it’s not fun. I was sewing to be pleasurable, so I am also trying to slow down and allowing the garment I am making, the fabric I am using and what happens in my life to set the phase of my sewing.

    • Anya – I love that concept of letting the pace of your life at the time dictate your sewing experience. I would definitely love to incorporate my life into my sewing in a zen, thoughtful kind of way

  • Hi Elena – what a fab post. I soooo love all the Slow Fashion October blogposts and photos, and really getting to know more about the behind the scenes. The making process is totally part of the joy of sewing for me – not just the wearing. I like to take my time over the whole process: From choosing/drafting a pattern that’s a bit different and will suit my shape, to splashing out on the right fabric that I adore. Love love love.
    (Thank you so much for including Offset Warehouse in your list of ‘slow’ fabrics too!)
    C x

    • Hey Charlie – you’re right the process of making is part of the joy of sewing. I should really start savouring that part of it more rather than trying to race through it.

  • Any chance of using a different colour for the links in future? The greeny-blue is illegible unless I highlight it, and that’s a lot of extra scrolling and clicking on my laptop…!

    The Royal National Institute ofr the Blind has links to all the international standards for web-page design and accessibility here

    Always worth considering – plenty of us are not classed as “visually impaired” but still struggle to read pale turquoise against white! 🙂

    Lovely blog, though and thought-provoking article – thankyou! Don’t want you to think I only come on here to make a point… I recently changed my whole life, “down-sized”, and one of the things that emerged over the last couple of years is that I now take a less slapdash approach to my sewing and kntting. I’m slower, as you say, and the result is that I end up with something that fits better, with fewer mistakes.

    • Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. My mamma is visually impaired so I will definitely be looking into improving the accessibility – thanks so much for providing that link.

  • I loved this post since it really made me think about the whole procees and not just the finished garment itself. I get carried away by all the posts of quick makes that are not so quick in my case, but it is better to have a good and satisfying make in the end than to rush through the process with no fun. I shall implement it asap 🙂