Linden Sweatshirt & Some Thoughts On Slow Fashion

Linden Sweatshirt

Pattern: Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio

Fabric: Some pretty sparkly grey sweatshirt fabric that I picked up at Club Tissue… that’s all I got. Fabric should come with ball bands like yarn!

So this was a fun and super satisfying project. Every single sewer that I follow on Instagram has posted at least one version of this pattern. It’s not something that I had been planning on making mostly because a) I don’t sew that much and b) I have so many knit sweaters, do I need a sweatshirt? Well, this is the thing: I have exactly one sweatshirt that I love. It’s authentic 80’s vintage and I’ve been wearing it since I was probably 12. It was too big for me then but now it fits me perfectly. It’s old and worn and has a ripped seem that needs to be mended and I love it. I was out shopping for fabric for another top when I spotted this sparkly sweatshirt material and I was suddenly struck! I could make a new version of my favourite old sweatshirt! The thing that I love the most about that old St-FX sweatshirt is that it’s small and thin. Most sweatshirts are big and bulky - and if you’re looking for something extra cozy and plush that’s great, but I like a smaller layering piece. This fabric paired with this pattern hit the mark perfectly! I have a new made-by-me favourite sweatshirt. I don’t plan on retiring the old classic in favour of this one exclusively, but it’s nice to have options and I hope that will help to prolong the life of my original sweatshirt too since I now have two grey sweatshirts to jump between when I’m in the mood to be casual cool.

So, what does this have to do with Slow Fashion? Well, that part comes into play when considering the rest of my outfit, namely, that cool black holographic backpack and those faux-leather leggings. Both are recent purchases (and by recent I mean acquired in the last 6 month) and both were impulse buys that I regret yet they have taught me a major lesson about the way that I should, and shouldn’t shop, going forward.

The backpack is cool. I actually really love it. I saw it in a boutique, loved it, didn’t buy it, then was in the same boutique again a few weeks later, saw it again, still loved it and felt that the double moments of love meant that I was justified in buying it. I thought that it would be a super practical diaper bag. The thing is, it’s not. I find it much more annoying to have to pull a backpack off of my back and open it and then dig around inside to find what I’m looking for with a baby in my arms then to just reach into the messenger bag/diaper bag that I am currently using. Sidebar - the messenger bag that I have used as a diaper bag for all three of my kids is one that I bought in high school and have used on and off for the past 20 years. THAT was a good slow fashion purchase! So, back to the backpack, not only has it proven impractical for me as a diaper bag but it’s also made completely with synthetic materials. There is probably not a single biodegradable thing on this bag. Which is a bummer. So, yeah, I regret this purchase. I don’t loose sleep over it and I will get use out of it from time to time, but the next time I will pass on something like this.

Next up: those “pants”. I use the term pants loosely because these are leggings and I have always been dubious of the “leggings as legitimate pants” trend. Here’s the thing about these pants, I thought I wanted to add a bit more edge to my wardrobe and I have always loved the rock n’ roll vibe of these biker style faux-leather leggings. But… I don’t wear leggings! Like ever. I am a devoted jeans girl to the end of my days. I’ve owned them for about a month now and I wore them the day I bought them and then the day I took these photos and that’s it. They just aren’t something that I reach for and I think that a huge part of slow fashion and making smart purchases is knowing yourself. I will wear these from time to time but mostly out of obligation. As I’m writing this I’m thinking that maybe these pants aren’t exactly the worst thing ever, because though I do love my denim it is nice to have something other than denim to wear from time to time, but the truth for me is that my lifestyle just doesn’t feature that many non-denim appropriate days and given the choice, I feel better in my jeans. The lesson here is Know Thyself! If you don’t wear leggings, don’t buy leggings.

Lessons learnt. I am not perfect, but I do try to think about what I’m spending my money on. Not only to be thrifty, because who wants to spend money on items they don’t value? but also to be conscious of the fact that every item I buy has an impact and I should use my spending power wisely.

I love that last shot because it really looks like I’m either bird watching or maybe taking a scenic hike in the most inappropriate outfit ever. Hikers would make fun of me if they saw me out on the trails in these pants and that backpack!

And the photo below is the only shot I have that captures the metallic thread in the sweatshirt fabric. It’s not super in your face sparkly, but it adds a little somethin’ somethin’.