I’ve been thinking about writing this post for the past 5 months, and every time I write something out, I am overcome with fear. Fear that people won’t like me, fear that people won’t “get” me. It’s a similar fear I had when I first started posting my sewing projects over 13 years ago. And then I was greeted with a rush of encouragement and love on what I made, even if it was a simple dress. And that’s what I love so deeply about the sewing community. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been sewing for a day or most of your life, you will find someone like you- someone who gets you and wants to love what you make. But here I am, back at the fear again, feeling like I will be met with a different result.
For the past few months I’ve been in a pretty dark place. As you can see, I haven’t posted much and I haven’t done much sewing at all. Because I don’t want people to misinterpret my intentions in the upcycling world.
There has been a lot of talk over the past months within the sewing and refashioning community about people buying the wrong size clothes in thrift stores to refashion. I’ve seen a lot of judgement, a lot of hate, and a lot of education.
The first thing we do when we are criticized is we defend ourselves. I do not intentionally buy larger clothes to refashion. I’m 4’9″, and even clothing in and around my size look large (long) on me because I’m short. But this isn’t an excuse for how people see things online. I understand the criticism, and want to strive to be a better role model.
I can’t take back certain pieces I’ve refashioned from the past, but I can continue to do better.
I will be deleting what I can of those posts. Not just for my own well-being, but so no one will be inspired by those makes. I apologize to anyone I’ve upset by those posts, and appreciate those who are kind in their education about the topic.
And now, I will be getting back to creating. Because I need to for my own mental health. And going forward, I am keeping in line with the intentions that I’ve been setting out for myself over the past years. I want to use pieces from my family. I took clothes from my grandma after she passed, and have quite a few from my mom when she cleaned out her own closet. My grandmas clothing is filled with the smell of 50+ years of smoking. Unsuitable for donating, but to me they are still special. I also want to use pieces that have problems (holes, stains, etc) and need love, or those that are on their way to the landfill. There are so many old, worn out clothes that are tossed every day. I will be extremely mindful of size when thrifting pieces to refashion, as well as true vintage pieces that should be put into the right hands for repair.
Thankfully now there are resources like Fab Scrap, and other shops all across the world and online for sustainable sewing. And I’ve been shopping reclaimed textiles much more recently to make projects that require more materials. Refashioning isn’t, and shouldn’t be, going away. I am so happy to be part of a community that wants to say goodbye to textile waste & slow down fast fashion. It’s been my fight for years, and will continue to be.
I cannot tell anyone how to shop, but I can (and will) encourage a better philosophy when refashioning.
One more note that I have to mention. We are a world full of many different opinions. There are so many times in a single day when we can disagree with someone. You may not agree with what I’m saying, or what others have to say on this subject, but please be kind. There is no need for harsh language or eye rolling emojis when disagreeing with people. Sometimes the best results come from people who speak thoughtfully on their position, without shaming and name calling. I want our world to be better, and I strive to make myself a better person every day.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I hope you will join me on my journey to a more sustainable future.
And with that, I want to share some facts!
For more information and resources please check out the following sites:
If you have some more time, you can watch a few documentaries :
Unravel: The Final Resting Place of Your Cast-off Clothes (short documentary)