With the Fashion Revolution week coming to an end and Me-Made-May just starting, I thought this was the perfect time to share this outfit with you!
If it wouldn’t be for the low temperatures, I could dismiss the high street cardigan and I would have a 100% “Me Made” outfit. The blouse is my most recent make, a trendy oversized bow blouse from Burda Style. Because I chose to make it in white, it is a piece that goes with pretty much everything and from which I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use from. This is an important thought process whenever you buy or make something. Do you love it enough? Will you wear it frequently? Does it match your wardrobe, such that you can create multiple looks out of that piece? Going through these questions can help you to be more conscious of your choices and help to avoid those impulse purchases (of either clothes or fabric).
The oversized bow blouse is a trendy and seasonal piece. A bit like the off-shoulder trend (see here and here), these pieces won’t be fashionable for more than a couple of seasons. This is one of the reasons I sew. Bringing seasonal trends into your wardrobe is much more affordable and sustainable than buying from retailers. Because you don’t need those pieces to last forever, you can pick cheaper fabrics and threads, or other materials. Another trend I crafted myself were these lace-up flats. Lace-up flats were a huge trend some seasons ago, and will still be around for a bit. With this simple DIY project I created my own lace-up flats at a fraction of the retail cost.
Another reason why I sew is to be able to create unique pieces. From the moment I started sewing this oversized bow blouse, I knew I would love to wear it with my kitties skirt. My kitties skirt was one of my first and still favorite makes. Incredibly simple to make and with a flattering shape (I really love box pleats!), the uniqueness from this skirt is in its fabric.
I bought the fabric during a quick trip I did with my friend Sascha to the Nippori Fabric Town, while we were in Japan for a summer school to learn about a new X-ray astronomy satellite. The cats design is what got me to buy it, no surprises there, but now when I wear the skirt it carries all those memories too, and the memories of finishing it under a fever because I was flying with Chris to London the next day (despite the terrible seasonal cold I had) and I really wanted to bring it along and show it to my dad who was in town at the time. All of that now belongs to that piece and it means so much to me!
Pictures by C.E.
Shop the look
Of course, prints and unique fabric designs are for me a big reason to sew my own clothes, but also still a reason to buy from retailers (just look at this and this skirt). I also still buy at retailers pieces that I know I need but that I won’t be able to sew (at least, not yet!). That is the case with this trench coat I just bought after a long hunt for the ‘perfect’ one because again there is no point in buying something that is not exactly what you are looking for.
When buying from retailers you are still able to make conscious choices. Pick quality over quantity, take good care of *all* your clothes (read labels, make special washes, use the adequate detergents – will make them last so much longer), choose with love and be critical, a €5 t-shirt may be a bargain, but it comes at a cost, one that I would rather not carry on my shoulders.
And so to wrap up Fashion Revolution week (you can read about it here, here and here), let us keep asking #whomademyclothes. Today and every day for more sustainable, transparent and conscious fashion. As consumers and as makers we can and we must be the change we want to see in the world!
And entering Me-Made-May 17 (read about it here), I will try to wear all my handmade clothes during the month of May. I’m trusting the unpredictable Dutch weather will help me to go from faux fur coats to off-shoulder tops in a matter of days! And since I don’t own a lot of handmade garments yet, this will help me to find out what I would like to make in the future to fill the holes of my handmade wardrobe. I will try to update my Instagram stories with daily looks when I wear my handmade pieces. Are you taking part too?
As you can see from this post, even a self-taught beginner can make wearable and stylish garments. I proudly say “I made my clothes” and I hope to inspire you to make yours too!