My wardrobe became really practical over the pandemic. My habits and hobbies changed and my clothing slowly evolved to reflect that. I didn’t have much use for party dresses when all I did was work, garden, walk the dog, play my drums, and skate outdoors. As I let go of old dresses, skirts and blouses in cheap fabrics and bad fits, I gradually replaced them with sturdy denim jumpers, warm wool sweaters, and shorts and t-shirts I could move in.
I now needed things that could go from screen printing, to walking the dog, to going out into the garden to dig something up for dinner. I had very little use for a delicate dress I couldn’t get dirty in or a skirt that would rip if I took a full stride on my skateboard.
My wardrobe shrank quite a bit, as I seemed to be donating three to four things for every one I brought home. Around this time, I also started to really focus on only buying things that I thought were a 10/10 for quality, usefulness, eco consciousness, and fitting my style. I have a lot of empty space in my closet and dresser now, but I love everything I see and get a lot of wear out of everything I own. When I do need a party dress these days, it’s so easy to choose one that I will look and feel great in, because the few I have now are all winners.
Jumper Angry Rabbit
Wool Tights Rachel
When I first started screen printing, I knew I wanted to work with eco-friendly water based inks. It didn’t take long for me to discover all the limitations and drawbacks of printing with water based inks, but I was determined to stick with the eco-friendly option.
The first time I washed one of my screen printed shirts, I was disappointed to see how much the ink had faded. After working so hard to get a crisp, dark print, my new t-shirt now looked old after one wash. With more practice and with better tools and techniques, I learned how to make better prints, but then, one day, as I was hanging a load of laundry out on the clothesline, I noticed how beautifully the ink had faded on one of the shirts I had made for my husband. The light black ink that said “BEER” in big block letters had blended with the heather grey cotton. The word still stood out but you could see the variegated flecks and bands of grey peeking out from underneath. It was at that moment that I had an idea: to stop fighting with the ink and instead embrace the vintage fade.
I looked for soft, worn-in feeling shirts with character for my fall season print and found the perfect, super soft t-shirts, with matching sweatshirts, in a woven three-tone plum colour. After one wash, the previously opaque ink fades to reveal the colourful character of the fabric beneath. What remains is the permanent, vintage fade look of the print, it won’t fade anymore with the next wash. (And don’t worry, you can wash the shirts regularly with your other clothes, they won’t damage your old favourites.)
I was so pleased with the results, I had to keep a sweatshirt for myself!
All photos by me.