Thursday, June 08, 2006

Exellent New Fashions

Much as I might complain about “fashion” I’m detecting a couple of really interesting trends. Maybe they’re limited to the Internet-savvy community but hopefully, like ripples in a pond, they will travel outward to the rest of the population. Or at least some folks. Every little bit helps! One of these is recycled clothing. No I don’t mean just shopping at the Sally Ann or other local second hand shop. I’m talking re-making new clothing out of old. Cutting bits of this and re-seaming that together and making something hip, cool, and functional. Check out the Wardrobe Refashionista’s website (sign-ups are closed now, darn-it). Participants took an oath to not buy any new clothes for up to 6 months. You must make your own, whether that’s knit or crochet or sewn. I love that lots of people are suddenly interested in learning to sew. Some are doing this out of respect for the environment and some because they don’t have much money. My favourite reason to sew is to have things that just aren’t available in the stores. Totally unique and totally personal. That’s why I made my first dress in Grade 8 when I was 13. I am amazed though that people find it hard not to buy new clothes for only 2 mere months? I’ve gone as long as the better part of a year without buying so much as a new pair of skivvies. But then I also rarely throw anything out unless it is completely kaputski with no hope left. One little stain or hole just isn’t enough of a reason. For example, I’m currently wearing a t-shirt that I’ve had for at least 15 years, black pants that are faded to a different grey than the t-shirt, a 10-year-old was-black-now-grey sport bra that I reinserted elastic under the bust after it pooped out, and newish silk undies (the most expensive part of my outfit!). Surprisingly I didn’t make any of them myself.

Check out the video here! This is one community’s idea of refashioning. (Hornby Island is on the map for things other than baby eagles.) And here’s an online community of refashioners. Check out the illustrated tutorials. Some of this stuff is pretty ingenious. Even if I wouldn’t wear it myself.

Another new fashion that I’m liking is that lots of knitters are learning to spin and dye. Yes! Start by dyeing and overdyeing your boring yarns with Kool-Aid and continue on to make your own faux Noro and Fleece Artist yarns. It’s not hard and you don’t even need a spinning wheel to get started. A spindle can be made from a toy wheel, a dowel, and a screw eye for under $3. Cheaper than knitting needles. And I’m so totally envious that there’s all this wonderful prepared fibre out there for spinning. When I started to spin (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) there was only raw greasy fleece available likely from some meat sheep. You had to pick carefully, wash it, card it, and then spin it. And hope it didn’t turn out like sisal string because the wool wasn’t very fine or of the best quality. Picking out hay and burrs wasn’t fun either. Meat sheep breeders don’t care about the wool. They just want sheep that have lots of lambs that grow fast. Throwing the hay on their backs and leaving them out in muddy fields full of weeds is just fine. The fleeces they get after shearing are either packed off to the wool pool for a buck or two each or are just left to compost. Wool sheep are much more pampered. They get hay from feeders that keeps it off their wool. Some even get to wear coats to keep the sun and weather off their backs. A precious few get to live their lives inside a barn with their feed carefully monitored for the finest merino fleeces. (Probably a pretty boring life, hey? Luckily sheep aren’t rocket scientists and don't need a lot of stimulation.) A reasonably good soft clean spinning fleece is worth the care put into it and the nicest ones come from caring shepherds. A renewable resource and hours of fun and entertainment for the spinner.

We won’t discuss the fashion trends that I can’t stand. I was happy when belly buttons mostly got decently hidden, but who’s idea was it anyway for those little baby-doll tops to come around again from my teenager-hood? They make even skinny girls look preggers. Not that there’s anything wrong with having a tummy but you don’t want to keep getting asked when the baby’s due when you aren’t even expecting. It’s quite embarrassing — for both parties. And another thing: TV is so full of “reality” shows that there’s nothing left to watch now that the murder mysteries and doctor shows are finished for the season. I can’t stand cranky, whining, greedy people being mean to each other. If “real” people do that, they can do it somewhere where I can’t hear them. Time to start renting all the movies I missed in the theatres. Did I mention that I prefer to watch them at home on my comfy couch with my feet up and with tea and chocolate at my elbow and the ability to talk when I want? Even if my screen is not much bigger than my computer monitor. I only sit a few feet away so the picture looks bigger anyhow. Of course my husband would prefer that I didn’t talk so much, but he’s used to ignoring me while we’re watching TV. That’s why our marriage has lasted so long. Last night it was “Brokeback Mountain” and he DID tell me to shut up. Hmmm…must have been a good movie.

Blogger is having hiccups again, so this was posted with fingers crossed!

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