Talking with my Curious Handmade Wardrobe Collaborator, Susan!

Launching the Creative Handmade Wardrobe Challenge has been a huge amount of fun already. The thread on Ravelry is exploding with all kinds of fascinting posts on people’s motivations and dreams for the project. To keep the creative juices flowing here on the blog, in between podcasts I’m going to have some great guest posts on the subject. It makes sense to start with my new collaborator, Susan, who some of you might know as Kizmet on Ravelry. Susan is a very talented fibre artist with a real passion for the handmade movement, and I’m really excited to introduce her to everyone in the Curious Handmade community. Today she’s sharing more about the idea behind the project and her first steps into creating a wonderful handmade wardrobe for herself.

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Susan/KizmetI am Susan, aka Kizmet on Ravelry, and currently I live in Northern California.

I travel through all sorts of fiber passions, and tend to revisit them over time. My third significant trip through knitting began about 2005 and is still going strong. I’ve also quilted, rug hooked, embroidered, needlepointed and crocheted, but I hadn’t sewn since high school.

Lots of the podcasters I listen to have forayed into sewing garments. I think it’s a logical extension for knitters, who perhaps (like me) have stacks of shawls and sweaters and too often are looking for “something to go with them” and look pulled together.

I’ve been around long enough to remember when these were called “mix and match” wearables but now they are often called capsule wardrobes. I’m on a journey to find my way from knitting over through sewing and coming out the other side with a small number of highly versatile clothes and a pulled-together look of my own. A girl can dream right?

Helen’s podcast 77 where she interviewed Beth Kempton of “Do What You Love for Life” inspired me to do that program. During the 5-week process I discovered that I wanted to learn to sew clothes (a big surprise to me) and that I really prefer working collaboratively on creative projects. The program encourages you to identify specific steps, make plans in your calendar to do them, and to take risks. One of my risks was to reach out to others and see if I could get a collaboration going. I do lots of things on my own and enjoy that, but for bigger projects I just prefer a partner. Lucky for me, Helen was interested in having a collaborator on this project. It’s a benefit that she and I are on different time zones: it gives us a bit broader coverage on the boards.

Kizmet Collage
Left: a collection of Susan’s embroidery – Middle: Susan’s first handmade garment – Right, Susan’s second handmade garment

I was also deeply inspired by Kate of A Playful Day’s interview with Sonya Philip. I hadn’t heard of Sonya or her 100 Acts of Sewing before. I think I might like to be Sonya, or at least have her colorful, artsy-quirky brave sense of style. That interview turned me on to Cal Patch and how to draft your own patterns (this certainly makes things fit you and a more affordable way to try those first garments). There are so many resources out there for sewists!

I am working on narrowing down what I want to challenge myself with. I know one is going to be a skirt or tunic from Alabama Chanin, and I’d like to have one that’s a nice “girly” top that would go well with handknit shawls and cardigans. And I think I’m at least as excited to see what all of our fellow challengers take on. Inspiration awaits!

Thanks so much for joining us on the blog Susan! You can find her posting online here:





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