slow fashion october, week 1

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spring ’15 wardrobe planning


i can think of no better way to kick off this blog than jump on the slotober bandwagon crafted and curated by the always inspiring karen templer of fringe supply co.  i love the opportunity to raise awareness and share passion, ideas, and creativity within our community.

this week, we are to introduce ourselves, which seems fitting for a first blog entry!  for those of you who do not know me, i am ashley, and i love to make things with my hands.  like so many of us, i have had some sort of needle between my fingers since i was a toddler, guided with love by my grandma (whose name now lends itself to my business).

april rhodes staple dress in organic bamboo jersey

throughout my childhood and adolescence, i had spurts of craftsmanship, but with the birth of my daughter, knitting took hold deep within me and never let go.  sewing soon followed, and while i began both knitting and sewing for my children, i soon began to make my own garments as well.  i quickly opted for modifying and eventually designing my own patterns for both sewing and knitting.  i have a real rogue streak that cannot seem to be tamed in most facets of my life–it certainly keeps things interesting in and outside the studio.

modified wiksten tank dress in rayon

having spent my early adulthood in ann arbor studying nutrition and dietetics, my ideas about nourishment, industry, farming and commerce are deeply rooted in the slow food movement.  the moral and ethical issues surrounding food and fashion in this country have eerie similarities; becoming more conscious of my consumption of clothing seemed a logical extension of my approach to food.  an emphasis on quality over quantity, a willingness to devote more resources (time, money) to thoughtful purchases, to give careful consideration to every investment.  whether making or buying, considering where the materials originated, how it was processed and/or constructed, what are the working/living conditions of the people employed by these factories or the animals who lived on this farm?  how much do we really need, how much can we live without, what is the carefully and thoughtfully curated minimum we can get by on to prevent such incredible waste and wildly irrational consumerism (which has tremendous environmental and ethical consequences)?

modified staple shirt in rayon, self drafted maxi skirt in organic bamboo jersey, piper’s journey shawl in quince & co chickadee

we receive overwhelming and conflicting messages about food and nutrition just as we do about fashion–to act in a conscientious and careful way takes a bit of swimming upstream. but for many of us, it can be done, and if we have the means, i feel it is our obligation and our responsibility.  i also happen to love it, so that sweetens the deal quite a bit for me!  i am very lucky to have a closet full of handmade garments i wear on a daily basis, created from ethically sourced materials.

modified (and very wrinkled) staple shirt in rayon jersey

i was fortunate to spend much of the past year working on a collection of knitting patterns for children.  i loved so many things, everything actually, about this project.  but perhaps most of all, i love the idea that through these patterns, i am encouraging others to slow down and create an heirloom full of thought and care.  the act of knitting especially inherently forces us to slow down, savor, and appreciate the process and the end product so much more than anything we could ever purchase.

3/4 of my bellows in brooklyn tweed shelter, shirt is modified grainline studio hemlock in rayon

as for my goals this month, after a too-long hiatus from making, i am excited to get back into the studio to work on my fall wardrobe, including my first knit sweater for myself (bellows) that has been sorely neglected during the warmer months, but sweater weather is again nearly upon us.  i have been so enjoying reading about other people’s goals and projects and will see you back here for week two!


  1. Always impressive and inspiring in your thoughts and all you do! I know you will continue to contribute so much light to all who take the time to read your blog–keep it coming.


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