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There’s a first time for everything

Hi there! I’m Rebecca, and welcome to Of Cotton and Wool.

I learned to sew and knit when I was about eight years old, and I don’t think I ever really stopped. I very seriously dabbled in cake decorating (like going-to-real-cake-design-school serious) before realizing that I was slightly more obsessed with fabric than cake (don’t worry, I still make and eat plenty of cake). So I carried that with me into university, and graduated from the textile design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto, Canada.

I spent the summer after graduating telling people I would start the job hunt soon, when really I was just busy sewing dresses and knitting sweaters. It felt really, really good. I became obsessed with sewing and knitting podcasts as well, and I’ve been learning more about the incredible, global maker community that exists on Instagram and blogs. Historically, I was one to sew “special” dresses – clothes for wearing to weddings (I don’t go to that many) and other special occasions (there are a lot of Jewish holidays, but not that many). Enough research taught me that I could actually make clothes for everyday. Things that scared me, like sewing knits, were actually so straightforward (and really quick). In reality, there was nothing sewn that I couldn’t make if I put my mind to it. Sweater dresses? Sure. Collars and cuffs? You bet. Jackets? I don’t see why not!

Not only could I make whatever I want, however I want, to fit my body, I also could have complete quality control. While the concept of fast fashion has been bothering me for quite a while, what with the global decline in ethical manufacturing processes, I was also growing tired of the quality of clothes available to me in shopping malls. I haven’t really been able to afford the “eco/ethical” brands out there, nor have I really found brands that mesh with my style. I felt I needed to know exactly what was going into the production of my clothes, and realized the best way to know is if I make it myself. Not only that, but in constructing a garment myself, I become so familiar with how it’s built that I find I’m more comfortable with mending it down the line.

So now, it has become my goal to knit and sew my own wardrobe. Such a wardrobe makeover is hardly innovative, of course, but it’s still new to me and it’s been opening my eyes to all sorts of possibilities. It’s a whole new adventure in making clothes, and I’d love for you to come along for the ride.

Along the way, I also hope to share some resources that have really helped me. As a knitter, I have been striving to support Canadian-farmed/milled fibre, but I’ve found that those farmers can be difficult to track down online. As a sewist (sewer? seamstress? Does anyone really know?), I try to source my fabric from small Canadian businesses that provide quality fabric and service (and domestic shipping!). I look forward to sharing my discoveries with you as I go.

Lambs’ wool yarn from Lickety Spit Fibre Farm in Ontario

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