The Needle Bee



Slow fashion in a Fast world

fashion, Knitting, SewingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

sewing-thread Is it is possible to be part of the slow fashion in this fast world?  Absolutely. A few days ago when I read the Fringe Association blog post about slow fashion October, I was intrigued and had to find more information about it. I had no idea there was a dedicated month to the slow fashion movement. Fringe association has weekly post during the month of October 2016 with great information and a weekly theme of handmade clothing.

But what is exactly Fast Fashion and Slow fashion? According to Study-Ny fashion company based in Brooklyn, NY, "Fast fashion" is a contemporary term used by retailers and designers to describe a phenomenon and business model that is widely implemented around the world. It describes the method of imitating trends and styles seen on the runways at Fashion Week. These styles are then sold at a lower price and quality to the majority of consumers who cannot afford the designer pieces. At Study, we utilize Slow Fashion. Slow Fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. Slow fashion encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste. We have reached a place in society where garments seen on a runway today are knocked off and available in stores tomorrow. By adding transparency about our production process and educating consumers about the craft of clothes making, we hope consumers will begin to understand what is required of producing a well-made garment".

Study-Ny is one of the few companies in the US producing clothing in NY where their goal is to make fashion without waste. And while more companies and are now becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly, usually the price you pay for an Eco- friendly shirt is double of what you may pay at a big retailer store.

If you want to see Slow fashion in action, check ou this video by the founder of Preloved- a Toronto, Canada. Saving the planet with slow fashion and watch how old sweaters are recycled into beautiful fashion.

The truth is, everyone has their opinion and expectations when it comes to where and what type of clothing they buy. I love fashion and I love buying clothes. But as I get older, I have become more conscious about my budget and buying quality vs quantity.


But my question is, is it possible to afford slow fashion? what can you do to help the environment when everything that is marketed as Green,  handmade, natural or organic cost twice as much as mass produced items. How do we teach ourselves to learn how to wait for clothing when everyday we are bombarded with ads full of beautiful fashion that shout "Buy me" with just a click on your phone?

I know not everyone agrees with this subject. But for me, slow fashion is being mindful and aware of where your clothes come from, what materials they are made of, who made it and thinking twice before purchasing garments. You see, when you knit or crochet or sew your sofa pillows, you realize how important it is the quality of the materials that go into making these things.

You may asked yourself how these companies you are buying from treat their employees. What are their values. Are they taking care of our environment? When you make things You value what you have in you closet and learn how to take care of your wardrobe.


I know! It is impossible to make every item we wear. As it is impossible to stop buying clothes. Clothing is a need, not a want. We just have to be intentional about it.

During the last few weeks I have been busy cleaning my own closet and keeping those items that I really love and wear. Keeping only the things I care for has helped me get ready faster in the morning and keep my closet cleaner. Now I can see the clothes I have and need and make better purchases.

Here are a 4 things you can do to become part of the slow fashion movement:

1- Buy local handmade items. Start shopping at Etsy!

2- Buy quality vs quantity

3-Go to a thrift shop and buy well made items at discounted price

4- Learn to sew and make your own clothes

Also,   Here is a  link  to 10 sustainable and affordable fashion companies.

For now, you can follow  #slowfashionoctober in instagram and get inspired by wonderful people. You can also check out the fringe association master plan for the slow fashion October 2016 here.



Summer Sewing news!

SewingBrenda Reynoso Pena2 Comments

Many  years ago I learned how to sew in a very simple sewing machine. Soon, I began to hem a few skirts and sew simple tablecloths and curtains. But that's as far as I got. Knitting and crochet and hand sewing were easier for me. Fast forward several years later and the wonderful technology of Craftsy and YouTube, I am starting to learn and understand how rewarding sewing could be. Finally this summer I  got my hands on my new sewing machine and started sewing a few simple items. Project bags, pillows. Installing an invisible zipper!  I feel very proud. Pillow covers are the perfect  project for beginners.So I made a few. Here is my perfectly straight seam. I used the seam guide foot ( I had no idea there was such a name) anyway I decided to practice with this foot on the envelope pillow by Diana Rupp which is part of the Sewing Essentials craftsy class.

I learned how to make a bias tape and piping using a zipper foot. This was supper easy. 

This is another pillow (also in Diana Rupps book) but I decided to use an invisible zipper instead of a universal zipper. The only challenge here was to install an invisible zipper with a regular zipper foot. It might not look perfect but who is going to be checking! Lol

If you are new to sewing, I recommend the SEW everything workshop: The complete Step-by-step  Beginner's Guide with 25 fabulous original designs, including 10 patterns book by Diana Rupp and her craftsy class, Sewing Essentials. Both excellent ! This book was published in 2007 but the instructions are timeless. 

I also have Deborah Moebes sewing books One stitch at a time, learning to sew one project at a time and Stitch Savvy

Which is my favorite? The SEW everything workshop book because it has more more projects, paper patterns, and instructions on how to read and cut using commercial patterns . 

However, each book has unique projects. All of the beginner's  techniques that I am mentioning here in this post are covered in the Sew everything book.

I also made a few project bags (sock knitting bags) for my cousins. I used fat quarters and my rotary cutter and cutting mat. This was my first time using both of these tools and let me tell you, they are easy and very precise. I mean, if you want to cut a perfect square, use a rotary cutter.

So this means that now I am ready for a dress or skirt right? Well now comes the fun part:  shopping for fabric.

Online websites like and mood are just like yarn stores. They have so many choices and colors, it is difficult to make a decision. 

Until next time, make something. It will make you feel good!