Epic Cloth, Pt 2 (why): Handwoven Scout Tee

This post will as part of a reflective study about engaging in an Epic Cloth challenge – I hope you will share your own experiences of making cloth with me in the comments! This is cross-posted to our Patreon feed so that our community is able to follow along as well. In the first post in this series, I discussed my plans and thoughts around creating an epic piece of cloth. This isn’t really an epic piece — it’s a relatively small piece of cloth and I wove it off quite quickly. The reason, though, for engaging in this process was to learn about creating, planning and executing on a larger piece. My plans for weaving large pieces for specific projects remains at the forefront of my mind so this is a ‘trial run’ so-to-speak. Enjoy!


In Part 2 of this challenge, I will discuss my ‘why’ and the importance of reflecting on our why in many areas of our lives. “Because I want to” isn’t usually enough to keep us going when challenges set in! Asking ourselves ‘why’ several times (usually up to 4-5 times) can often get us to the crux of our why:

  1. “Because I want to … I think it’ll be a neat experience …” is pretty simple but with some thought, upon asking ‘why’ again, slowly becomes:
  2. “Well, I haven’t woven anything with this much intention before and while I don’t know how it will turn out, I would like to try.” This has much more substance and then, after asking ‘why’ again, the respond builds and becomes:
  3. “The primary reason for wanting to learn how to weave is to make the cloth for my handmade garments as I move towards a largely hand-made wardrobe” is a great response! With some more thought, the response deepens slightly again:
  4. “I want to create a largely handmade wardrobe to lessen my impact on the world. Part of creating a largely handmade wardrobe is creating from raw materials that are ethically sourced and minimize my textile waste. In order to minimize my textile waste, I would like to work with yarns and fibres that are exciting and appealing to me. As I learn and create, weaving my own fabrics becomes essential to the overall process.”


In reviewing those responses, it really didn’t take very long to get to the crux of my ‘why’ and that fully flushed-out reason for wanting to make pieces of cloth to sew with becomes the background for when the process gets difficult or challenging. Struggling to stick with a lifestyle change or plan? Ask yourself ‘why’ again and again until the reason is substantial, not just ‘to look better’ – look better naked? look better in general? how will that affect you when you want to eat all-the-junk-food at 11pm at night after a stressful day? is it enough of a reason? I’m going to hazard a guess that it probably is not. Instead, think about it, sit with it, allow the uncomfortable feelings of ‘why’ ruminate for a bit. Maybe, after 4-5 times of asking yourself ‘why’, you land on something really substantial. As an example, I’ll share my ‘why’ with you that I landed on after engaging in this process a few months before my 35th birthday a couple of years ago:

I want to change my diet and lifestyle to reflect the person I feel that I am inside. While looking good in a bathing suit is important to me and I recognize that I look healthy now, where I am, I want to feel more confident since I swim a lot (I was a swimmer/lifeguard/instructor of years). I want to have the endurance and metabolic conditioning to engage in strenuous activity now so that I am able to continue to be incredibly active as I age. I was to build the strength capacity to be able to get up off the floor as I age, especially if I were to fall, and lift heavy things, like my children as they age, particularly if there was an emergency. Lastly, I want to eat in a way that is globally sustainable and ethical. These things are important enough to me that I am committing to my plan and changes. This statement will be what I come back to when I am struggling to remind myself why I started.

May 24th, 2017

This is just an example (although it is mine that I wrote a couple of years ago and still reference it when I am struggling) but I encourage you to try asking yourself ‘why’ several times before you begin a large project!


What’s your ‘why’ for making? Please think about sharing it in the comments below!

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