Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 The Year of Salvage Sewing


This is my first post and it won't contain any images.  I know, not a great start to a blog, but I needed to start getting my words and thoughts down now.  I have a lot to say, and frankly, everyone around me is sick of hearing it.  Ultimately I'd like it if my theory and ideas took off and somehow this blog became something 'more' but if it ends up being just for me, I will also be happy with that.  I just need a place to start saying the things I need to say.

First off, and to quickly get it out of the way, I am Splithoof and I am a Native American two spirit.  My partner and I are both nonbinary and use they/them pronouns.  We work together on two separate but shared salvaging businesses.  They have a repurposing and building salvage business called Up Your Alley Salvage and I have SplithoofSalvage, a textile and sewing based salvaging venture.  These are actually mostly a hobby, as we give away and encourage others to landfill search instead of buying from us, but in full disclosure we do sometimes make sales but I would hardly say it currently pays the hours it takes us.

Continuing on; there are a few goals I have with this blog, some logical and practical while others wistful dreams.

Firstly and mainly; I wish this blog to be a collection of my thoughts and processes as an indigenous queer artistic salvager that focuses on textiles, gender, race and class.  While there will be a political bent to my postings, it will also be because it's the life I am experiencing and the effects it has on my lifestyle in this current political climate.  This doesn't sound fun, but honestly, I want to have fun too!

Secondly, if others do read my blog, I'd like for those reading to consider salvaging on their own terms for their own needs.  The amount of high-quality waste we find is extreme and there is no shortage of it for us to share.  I wish other people could see the quality in waste and not consider it such a dirty or unnecessary.  I want to show others and myself, as well as encourage both, to see how much money can actually be saved by salvaging.

I have made a pact for myself for the year of 2017 which I am belated deciding to blog here and that is: to only use salvaged materials for the entire year.  I am not allowing myself to spend a single dollar on fabric.  I still do custom design so clients are allowed to but fabric for their own designs, but I will not be posting them here.  If I am given scraps from my clients, I may use those in my projects.  I am not allowed to be given free fabric unless it was destined for a landfill; this includes people giving to me instead of donated but does not include free offers of new fabric from shops or friends who want to give me a gift. I am allowed to spend money on patterns, notions, tools and some supplies, but I am to attempt to exhaust my current stash first until there are no other options.

The goal will be to use as much salvaged fabric off of RTW or remnants thrown away.  I am to use a pattern from my stash before deciding I must have a specific pattern.  If I don't have enough matching buttons for a garment, I simply will have to work around it.  I have /a lot/ of salvaged buttons and there's no need to match them.

Let me be upfront - this will not be a quality sewing blog.  If you came here to look at fancy new hip threads and eyeball photos for perfectly turned collar points - you won't get that here. Not even close.  Until you read this post you probably even wondered what the hell was wrong with me.  Did I not notice that wonky hem?  I sure did!  However, along with my 'rubbish is good enough' theory I'm extending that to my skills as well.

I will learn a lot about sewing this year and my garments will be progressively increased in quality as I figure out what I am doing and bumble along.  I want to document my learning curve.  I want to be able to look back and an old attempt and go "You did well! Look how far you've come!"  If I can encourage people along the way to see the benefits of salvaging, making your own clothes and being proud of mistakes, well, I will have felt the year was a definite success.

Even if I only learn more about myself, my style, sewing and manage to save two people's worth of textile waste - that will be a success in itself.

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