Why a handmade wardrobe?

My Uva shawl

As part of the Love your Blog Challenge by A Playful Day I shared with you recently that I have created a new little section around the theme of a handmade wardrobe (you can find a link on the main menu). The idea is that every time I post something relating to this theme you will be able to find it in the new section.

But what is this theme all about? It is quite simple really, I have become very interested in creating beautiful items for my wardrobe that are made with my own two hands, so I decided to use the blog as a tool to stay inspired and keep track of what I am doing to achieve this.

Why a handmade wardrobe? This is of course not a new concept and many of us who crochet, knit or sew are actually working towards this without a proper label for it. I first heard someone mention it as such while listening to an episode of Woolful featuring Karen from Fringe Association. At the time I was just starting to dive in to the challenge of crochet garments so this idea really spoke to me and started to circle in my head with no plans to leave any time soon.

It made me think about what finished projects I actually wear which led to the stunning realisation that I was wearing hardly any. Even my designs were in a drawer somewhere gathering dust. While doing a sample for a design a few months ago for a pair of fingerless mitts I suddenly stopped. Why am I doing another pair of these when I don’t even like fingerless mitts! It has never made sense to me to leave the fingers uncovered, along with sleeveless jackets they are a mystery to me. But here I was making another pair to go on the drawer with the first pair and the wrist warmers I don’t wear either. What is the point of investing all these time and effort on something that I will never wear? Over the years I have made hats that are too loose or too tight, scarfs and wraps I don’t like the colour of, sweaters that don’t fit and the list goes on and on.

The point of a handmade wardrobe for me is to create pieces that you will not only love to make but also love to wear. And for that you need to use the right yarn, the right colour and make the right size. Karen talks in the podcast about “making with intention” and that is the key to achieve this: you really need to think about what you need in your wardrobe in the context of everything else in it, what colour it has to be, what outfits you can create with it, and of course make sure that the fit is just right.

Currently I have two shawls and two cowls which were made with a bit of more thought into colours and wearability and I am happy to say that I do wear them and most importantly, I love to wear them. My WIPs consist at the moment of one shawl, one cardigan and one cowl, and I also think they will all be a happy addition to my wardrobe once finished. The colours go well with what I usually wear, they are practical, stylish and I have put a lot of effort to make sure everything fits just right.

Another reason to embark in this new journey relates to the environmental impact of the clothing industry and my wish to buy less industrially manufactured clothes. This is quite a big thing for me since I have always been a bit of a shopaholic and even though since moving to the UK I have been a lot better I still buy clothes many times just because I am in the mood of buying clothes and not because I really need them. There is a lot of info out there so I´ll probably dedicate another post to this and how we can be a bit more sustainable when buying clothes and making our own.

My Alyssium cardigan in progress

Regarding what content I’ll create for the section I am not completely sure yet to be honest, I do know that I want to feature crochet patterns that catch my eye, also more exploring about why this is a good choice for me and of course, how is it working in practice. I am almost finished with my first crochet cardigan so expect to see that soon 🙂

This space will continue to be all about my crochet journey, this is just a new light to that same journey that will help support it, shape it and give it purpose.

Thanks for reading!




6 thoughts on “Why a handmade wardrobe?

  1. I love this post. I’m also think that there is no point in making something unless you’re going to use or wear it. There is of course always a joy in making something itself, but good yarn is quite expensive and it’s such a waste for the item to then sit in a drawer. I’ve recently tried to be more careful in how I finish things too and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas, so I look forward to seeing what you post in this section.
    I have to say I also agree with you on the fingerless gloves and wrist warmers – what?!

    1. I am glad to hear I am not alone! I also have been investing in nice yarn and you are right, it is not the same than not wearing a garment you made with acrylic! Finishing is a good point, and I actually just purchased a finishing video from Interweave, I will post about it once I see it, hope it is a good one!

      hahaha fingerless gloves, sleeveless jackets, wrist warmers, it is all nonsense! Also, a jacket with no sleeves is simply not a jacket…!

  2. A very timely blog post. I have been toying with the idea of taking on the new challenge of making my own clothes (material). Accessorising with knitted and crocheted items seems to round this off perfectly. This is a challenge that is just what I need to rejuvenate my blog too. It goes without saying therefore that I will have to make things that I need and love as you so perfectly put.

    1. I am so happy this post has encouraged you! It is such a great concept and it has been great to hear how other people are trying to do this as well.

  3. Hey there! what a great post. I have recently dived back into crochet after 20 years!! ( i’m only 41) – I started seeing it everywhere and remembered how much i loved it. I completely agree with only making things you need, in colours and styles you like! my skills aren’t quite up to the level i need for my wishlist yet, but i am working on it! I have the added issue of a knitting ( yarn )hoarder for a mum- she keeps giving me divine yarn I don’t know what to do with…. thats how i found you- whilst I was looking for a project for fabulous 3 ply cotton in lemon yellow- and a lot! I can’t wear yellow – but I love it! sooo…. I was thinking bags. Thanks for a fabulous blog.

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