Slow Fashion: How Knitting Has Boosted My Self-Confidence
It was finally spring; time to disown the jeans and free my legs with my preferred garment: a dress. I threw on a favorite number and went to zip it up. And . . . yeah, I said some not-safe-for-work words when the zipper only went halfway up. Sometime during my 24th year of existence, my body started to change again, and it accidentally sent me on a slow fashion journey.
This bodily change reawakened thoughts I had stomped down so hard that the returning wave was almost overwhelming. My eyes are SO small! Why is my face so round? I look like a kid! And the worst one of them all, my arms are HUGE. I’d at least be semi-attractive if I could just have nice-looking arms.
I’ve always looked at my reflection and only seen what I hated, and “evil-Kermit me” would say that those flaws were all that everyone else saw, too, despite countless friends and loved ones saying otherwise. And nothing makes me think more about my body than knitting for it.
When I shop for ready-to-wear clothes, I’m looking to fit into what’s already there—clothing that other people think I should fit into. But when I’m knitting my own clothes, I select the size that will work for me so there isn’t the “is this going to be my size” dance that can strip the fun out of wearing clothes. Of course, knitting my own clothing has its pitfalls, and I’m still afraid of taking my measurements and making something that ultimately doesn’t fit. So when I went into garment-planning mode, I had one absolute in mind: I would only make tank tops
My reasoning was that if measuring my bust caused that much anxiety to bubble up, knitting tight tubes for the body part I objectively hate the most was a terrible idea. So I found three tops I couldn’t wait to knit and wear.
1. The Seashell Tank from knitscene Summer 2018
The gorgeous lace panel—which was both challenging and rewarding to knit—drew me to this top. I plan to wear it over a dress or paired with shorts. I am omitting the I-cord corset-style back to make the top more flattering for my body.
2. The Breeze Sleeveless Airy Top by Irene Lin
I chose this top for its summer appeal—and because it meant I got to bust into some stash yarn! I love the looser fit mixed with structured yarnovers—it makes me feel put together and confident.
3. The Traveler Tank Top by Bethany Richards
This is actually the top I’m most worried about knitting because it recommends knitting it with positive ease to allow the pattern to really show. I’m still in the process of knitting it and will have it done before the summer is over. Fingers crossed on this one!
The most surprising outcome of this summer knitting goal is that through all of the doubts and harsh words, I’m slowly learning to appreciate my body and growing a bit more comfortable with this newer version of it. I think knitting for my body shape and size has helped change my perception of clothes, giving me more confidence with my style choices and taking pride in how I look.
How has making your own garments changed your views on clothing?