Fall in the Mountains

This fall in Colorado has been so beautiful. My phone is full of pictures trying to capture it, but I just don’t think there’s any way. We’ve been going to a lot of art festivals and so many paintings are of aspen in the fall- so many!- and we were all wondering what the market is like for nature paintings in Colorado. But after these past few weeks, I totally get it. If I could paint I would probably spend my whole life trying to capture the gold peeking through all the evergreens.

It snowed for the first time this season on Tuesday (and expecting some more this afternoon and evening!) and the snow on the mountains with the golden trees and bright blue skies was almost too much to take in. I hope these pictures bring a little Colorado fall to wherever you are right now!

Taking a Break!

Wanted to pop on and make it official- I’m taking the summer off! I love the online spaces and communities I’m a part of and appreciate every comment, like, and share. Making things and talking about them is something that adds to my life and is a fun thing I make time for, not a necessity.

We are in the full swing of summer and I’m just enjoying it. Adventures with my family, hanging out together, reading lots of books, these past few weeks have been so wonderful. But it also means not a lot of extra time and because you know I love to be intentional, here’s an intentional break from digital life.

I will see y’all in a couple of months and I hope I have a lot to share! Until then, wear your sunscreen, stay hydrated, and spend time with the people that matter most in your life. Happy summer!

Around Here

We are full into summer around here.

Lazy Mornings

Family Walks

All day imaginary play

Evening trips to the pool

Hitting golf balls with dad

Farmer’s Markets and Produce Boxes

Late nights and losing track of who showered when

Stacks of books home from the library

Stops for ice cream and shaved ice

Cooking anything that means I don’t have to turn on the oven (yay for grilling and the instant pot!)

Slower pace and time together

Jumping into Summer!

We spent our first week of summer in the Ozarks and my kids went hard. The week was a blur because they crammed in as much as possible into every day. There was a lot of swimming, paddle boarding, a lazy river, a ropes course, and the last day we went out on the boat. We spent two hours swimming or tubing and I liked how everyone had a different style jumping in.

Charlie would just run off the side, ready to go. Chris took giant dives in. Harper kind of walked/hopped off.

We had so much fun this week and are fully embracing this fun age the twins are. Big enough to decide for themselves what they want to do, small enough that they want us to do it with them. I hope this summer is different than last in a lot of ways, here’s to adventures both big and small!

And in case you’re wondering, Sam’s preferred method is to be handed into the water, given a snack, and float around on dad while he watches the action go down.

Does Fashion Even Matter Right Now?

I’ve been reflecting on my closet and what I wear and have started sharing the process of building my spring wardrobe here, but I have to admit that I often wonder, does talking about fashion and clothes even make sense right now? So much is going on in the world, so many people are in pain and need. Why spend a breath or a blog post talking about what we’re wearing?

Well I think a few reasons. I hope it’s obvious I do not think fashion is as important as racial justice. Or climate change. Or the pandemic. But I think they are all interlinked and by shrinking from the ownership of our day to day decisions, we are throwing up our hands like nothing we do can make much difference anyway.

That’s just not true. Unless you are reading in the nude (which, hey! props to you!) you made a decision about what you put on your body today. And whatever that is, it means people sold it to you. People made it. People sourced the fabric. There is a long line and a whole lot of people from around the world that are affected by the clothes you purchase and put on your body. Being more aware of this and making decisions that are informed and intentional can only lead to good things for everyone in that long production line.

We need to quit saying that fashion is frivolous. It’s a multi billion dollar industry! There’s nothing frivolous about it! Also, choosing to make purchases and wear clothes that you feel good about and make you feel good is a great thing.

No, looking stylish won’t change the world, but feeling like your best self shouldn’t be looked down upon. The power that can come from loving how you look is real and anyone that says otherwise isn’t being honest. You don’t have to follow fashion magazines or invest time in learning the newest trends. You can simply focus on what you love and what fits best and that be all the energy you put into it. There isn’t fashionista or nothing!

We also need to recognize that no matter how conscious we are in our buying choices, no matter how much work we put into owning our style, it’s absolutely ok and necessary for things to change.

This past year is a great example! I’m sure we are all getting dressed very differently and how we wear our clothes has changed. Our bodies change, how we spend our time changes, our lives change. We need our wardrobes to change and know how to make that happen in order to continue to love what we wear.

When we stop and assess our clothes- what we wear, where we shop, and how we shop- we can make intentional choices that move outside the realm of fashion. I hope you can build a closet where you walk in and you love everything in it and you wear it all with pride!

And please remember “Not to strut your stuff outrageously is a crime!” 😉

Spring Wardrobe///Building a Capsule

It was a little over a year ago that I started really taking the time to think about the clothes I wear, how I get them, and what that means for the world around me as well as my personal style. I shared all my thoughts while I read the book A Conscious Closet and you can see all those posts here!

I’ve changed so much in how I get dressed and how I plan what I want to sew this year. I get dressed pretty much every day. I have focused on my skin care and how I treat my hair. I have found that when I take the small amount of time every morning and at night before I go to bed to feel good on the outside, it really isn’t something I think about throughout my day. I feel good and happy in my skin and I hope that that shines through in other areas of my life.

When I was getting ready to plan what I wanted to wear for spring, I did quite a bit of reflecting. You know I love my modules, but I wasn’t feeling that right now. Instead I looked through my patterns and pulled a bunch that I just really wanted to sew. I tried to get tops, bottoms, and dresses so they could work together and then went looking for fabric. I ended up with a giant stack that I will be sharing with you Tuesday!

Then I watched a video by Whitney from TomKat Stitchery where she talked about the EveryDay Style School. I started listening to Jennifer’s podcast and was hooked pretty quickly. Her style philosophy really speaks to me and I went to research her capsule wardrobes.

Every season Jennifer puts out a capsule wardrobe. The spring one is still available to purchase, but I believe you can get a free mini capsule if you sign up for her newsletter if you’re wanting to see what this is all about.

Basically the Everyday Style Team builds a 39 piece capsule wardrobe and then gives you links to pieces to buy, tons of ways to style them up and wear them, as well as a lot of advice on how to love your closet and get dressed quickly every day. There is also a very active Facebook page if you happen to be on Facebook.

I was really intrigued. I’ve looked at capsules in the past but always felt they were boring or take the fun out of getting dressed. This one seemed to be so well thought out that I decided to give it a try!

I printed out her shopping list and first pulled pieces I already had in my closet. Then I looked at my sewing plans and was able to plug all of those pieces into the capsule. Already knowing the colors I wanted (I changed up the capsule recommendations a bit!) and styles I liked meant that everything already worked well together. It was just a matter of having a little guidance to fill out the pieces that were missing.

From there I went shopping! I ordered a few things from Thred Up and some new shoes from Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. I have 3 pieces coming from Boden and then my capsule should be done. My plan is to share all my makes here with you in the coming week and then in May wear everything and show you how it all goes together!

I’ve had a lot of fun thinking about this and it’s been a fantastic tool for me. I don’t need a closet full of ‘stuff.’ I need a closet where I go in and know that anything I pull, I truly love to wear. To me, a closet full of clothes you love and wear is a conscious closet. I hope that in making things with intention and shopping with intention, I can slowly build a wardrobe that represents who I am right now and what I want to say to the world when I get dressed.

I hope you’ll follow me along as I build and then share this capsule! Please let me know if you have any questions or specific details you want. I will be happy to share in the weeks to come.

Digital Declutter

I recently read Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (if you know me in real life you’ve probably heard me talk about this the past month!) and I loved it so much. There are a lot of articles and books about the impact of technology in our lives but what sets this one a part is that the author has a strong premise; we need to start with our values and establish what we want our life to be like and then add in digital tools that align with those things and use them with intent.

After establishing the why of this reasoning, he gets into the nitty gritty of the how. How do we use technology in a way that is not mindless? That serves us and helps us, not taking away from our precious time?

And that is where the Digital Declutter comes in. He suggests taking 30 days and removing all non essential technology from your life. I have taken down all social media and removed everything from my phone that is not text messaging or phone calls or my camera. Nothing I can get on and scroll basically. I am still blogging and emailing, but all from my computer. I only just started and I’ve already had quite the revelation, I don’t actually miss any of the apps. What I miss is picking up my phone and doing something with it.

I’m sure I will have a lot more thoughts at the end of this, but I was surprised that so quickly I don’t care what’s happening on Instagram, I just want to check out and mindlessly look at my phone.

After 30 days you are supposed to assess what apps/technology are beneficial and then set boundaries from there on how to reincorporate them into your life. I’m obviously paraphrasing all this here and I highly recommend this book!

I think this past year we have all had to be tied to technology in ways we never have before and I’m getting burned out with it all. I am excited about this declutter and will absolutely check in at the end and share my thoughts. I just wanted to recommend this book in case you can’t find me on instagram and wonder why or if you are getting tired of the scrolling and the pressure to ‘stay connected’ as much as I am!

Sustainable Changes in my Home

In December I made the goal to find some new ways to be sustainable within my house. I have three new things I’m doing that are really easy and great ways to reduce plastic, create less waste, and make more intentional purchases. I thought I’d share them with you and I’d love to hear of any practices you have within your own home!

No more plastic dish soap and dispensers!

This may sound like a little thing, but since lockdown I noticed a big increase in the amount of plastic soap dispensers we were going though. With everyone being home all day and us all being hyper aware of washing our hands, I found us going through them like crazy. I tried to get a larger refill, but it was still more plastic!

Then I found these great sets from Grove. I’ve been ordering cleaning supplies and laundry detergent from them for awhile and I can’t say enough about these. You invest once in the dispensers and then can order the refills when you need them. What I love is that the refills are in aluminum cans! So much better than plastic. I like the quality and scents of the soap as well and now have every bathroom upgraded as well as our dish soap swapped out.

Along with the glass dispensers I’ve ordered the shampoo and conditioner bars for the kids and will report back after they use them for awhile. If you want to try out Grove, you can use this referral link to receive $10 off your first order.

A produce subscription box

I recently set up a membership with Misfits Market and I’m loving it so far. I ordered from Imperfect Foods back in Dallas and was bummed to learn they didn’t service where I live now. Misfits Market is the same concept, perfectly good produce that would otherwise be thrown out is shipped to your doorstep. You get to pick your preferences of delivery, although nothing is guaranteed. I always pick the staples (apples, greens, citrus) and then throw in a few other things that sound good.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of produce that was in the box- that picture above is what came last week. For $35 I think this is a great green grocery option!

I have a code for this as well, use COOKWME-CG1URH to get 25% off your first order.

Monthly Online Orders

I read about this online when a friend of mine was talking about budgeting and I think it’s a great idea to be more mindful and less wasteful with your online shopping. You set a day on your calendar and that is the day you will make your monthly online order. Then you start a list or a cart and add to it as you think of things you ‘need.’ When the day comes to buy, you can go through that list and determine what is actually needed and the thought is that you will probably delete a few things after waiting to buy them.

I’ve only just started this and last week placed my monthly order. I had a list going of random home things we needed (new sheets for Charlie, vitamins for Sam I can’t find in our grocery store, and some new printer paper). Before I definitely would have purchased items as I thought of them, along with a couple more things that just seem to fly in the cart! I’m hoping this limits some of our family consumption and just makes us a bit more thoughtful before placing online orders. Good for the planet and good for the wallet!

I stand by the idea that small changes add up and these three changes are pretty small. Even in a few weeks I’ve noticed a difference and I’m hopeful I can keep making choices that are more sustainable in the year to come.

Welcome to Whit Makes!

Hello! Hello! I have recently picked up quite a few new followers here, on Instagram, and on my youtube channel. I’ve been thinking and planning for the next few months and want to be more intentional about what I post on all three platforms and how I want them to work together.

So,I’m going to try something new for the next two months. The posts I have planned center around sewing/making, sustainability, styling, organization/tips and tricks, and art.  I’d love to really hone in on what it is that I want my online spaces to be and when I think about what I’m passionate about sharing in the online world, these are the things that pop up the most!

Moving forward you should see posts here on the blog every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  This month I have Youtube videos planned for almost every post- I don’t know if that’s sustainable in the long run, but right now it’s what I have planned. My instagram grid will be mostly sewing and blog related posts but I’m sure I’ll still get personal in my stories!

I still love books and food and exploring and I’m sure those things will sprinkle in, but I know that my passion is making and uplifting other makers. I’d love to be a voice that you come to for inspiration on how fashion and creating can impact the world in a positive way. I’ve been thinking so much on how racial justice, the fight for environmentalism, and sustainability all link together and I think art, and making in general, fit in with all these things.

I hope you’ll follow me on whatever platforms you prefer and I hope you leave my space feeling uplifted and ready to go out and make something yourself!

Step One, Clean Out the Closet

Today is we are looking at Part One of The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth L. Cline: Good bye fast fashion!

Part one of this book is about assessing what we already own and figuring out what to do with what we no longer want. So today is step one, the great cleanout! This is actually the chapter that first got me hooked on this book and here’s why, Cline is adamant that cleaning out your closet is not about getting rid of everything you own and starting from scratch. The point is to understand what you have and to put what you no longer need to good use. Then to use that information and go forward to make ethical, sustainable purchases in the future (which we’ll get to later in the book!)

So here’s how I cleaned out my closet.

First, I have to admit that I had done a bulk of the work before we moved. Trying to decide whether something is worth moving cross country is a great way to purge everything in your house! So before my move I looked at everything and got rid of anything that didn’t fit, that I hadn’t worn in a really long time, or that I just didn’t like anymore.

This past week I went through my closet and I actually went against Cline’s advice and looked at all my clothes, not just my seasonal ones. I did this for two main reasons. One, I have a much bigger closet now and can keep most everything out at all times. Two, I live in a place where spring means one day I could be in shorts and the next I’m going to be layering on sweaters. I would rather just have it all out where I can see it. Plus, with this strange time in history, I have plenty of time to just tackle it all now, so why not?

I sorted everything into two main piles, keep and give. Then within those piles I sorted again.

In my keep pile I have the following.

Things I love. These immediately got put back in the closet

Things that are a maybe. Cline says to keep the maybes, try to figure out what you like about them and what you don’t and see if you can get more wear out of them in the coming months.

Things that need to be altered or repaired. I have a few things that need a button sewn on, need to be taken in, or that I love but want to alter a bit. These are all headed down to my sewing machine and my plan is to use the month of May to work through them.

Things that I can keep and use the fabric for something else. This is where knowing how to sew comes in very handy! I have some clothes that can absolutely be reworked into kids’ clothing and I plan on using them this spring and next winter. My rule is that I have to know exactly what it will be, just like when I buy new fabric, otherwise it will just sit in my office and never turn into anything. If I know what I want to make with it, chances are it will actually get made.

For my give pile I have things to sell and things to donate. It’s a weird time right now so honestly this may be a box that sits in my closet until things open back up again and I’ll just have to be ok with that. For the sell I like Thred Up. I don’ get the biggest returns on this, but it’s the easiest to use and for me it’s worth it. I’ve used my credits to buy a couple of things off the site before and the process is really simple. Cline uses the other chapters in part one to discuss other ways to sell and she has some great advice.

For donating, I’m not quite sure yet where I will be taking my clothes. Again, Cline has great advice and again, I’m going to have to wait until things open back up to really research this. For now I will sort like clothing (more business, dressy, casual) so that when I find places that will take them, I’ll be able to be a bit more specific. Some shelters for example ask for work wear or seasonal things.

The final part of the cleanout is to look at your Wardrobe Statistics. I added in the category of handmade into mine and came up with this. I’ll be filling this in in the weeks to come and hope to share my final count at the end of this month.

Wardrobe Statistics

# of articles of clothing:

% Worn:

Thrifted:

Handmade:

Ethical brands:

Fabrics:

Orgins:

Knowledge about environmental impact in fashion:

Knowledge of social issues in fashion:

The following chapters, 2-6, go into greater detail on ethical ways to take care of your clothes and how to donate, sell, and swap your clothes. I think it’s important to know how much of our clothing that we donate goes into landfills because people just dump things off at Goodwill to make themselves feel better (I say this as someone who has done just that.) Taking the time and effort to make sure your clothes are being recycled, reworn, or put to good use is absolutely part of a conscious closet. All that work will also help in making you (me!) more mindful about what you bring back into your closet.

I feel really good about where I am in my closet clean out and will update as I go along. I’m hoping that Me Made May will really help with this process and get me motivated to make alter alterations and changes I have planned. I hope it’s helpful to see how I cleaned out my closet and inspires you to clean out yours in a conscious way!

 

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