Today in Slow Fashion: Toaster Sweater and Espe Boots

Saturday was exhausting. We had an all-day speech tournament – the one that could qualify  our students for State – so I left my house at 5:30 AM and wasn’t back until 9:00 PM. And, while one of our kids did make it to State (yay!!), some of them didn’t, so there were a lot of emotions riding all over the place. So Sunday was my day to recover.

And what do I do when I’m recovering from things? I make stuff.

I didn’t feel like making anything that required much thought, since the goal here was to fill myself back up after a rather depleting day, and I really wanted to see something from start to finish, so knitting was out. Enter: The Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7.

This sweater was so stinkin’ easy to make, it probably would have only taken me about an hour and a half from first cut to final press if my serger didn’t all of a sudden start making seams that split apart about halfway through my first cuff. At that point, I had to walk away and come back because I was in no mood for problems. But, with a clearer head, I was able to fix the serger (just cleaned out the dust and re-threaded it and it worked just fine – go figure) and finish it all in one day. And I have a toddler, so that’s saying something.

I picked the version 1 because I didn’t feel like learning how to do mitered corners, and I also know that I always think I want to have blousy, boxy shirts because I don’t always feel great about my body, but they never look like I think they’re going to look, so I went with the more fitted version. I have to say, I absolutely love it, and will probably make about 10 more of these, spring weather be damned!

I’m wearing it today and I have never been more comfortable at work on a not-spirit-wear-Friday day. The long cuffs and bands give it a cool-to-wear-to-work vibe, but the french terry fabric I chose gives it a Sunday afternoon feel and I couldn’t be happier. I’m also feeling like it hugs all the right places and doesn’t hug all the wrong ones and, while I did use my new tailored-to-my-measurements dress form to make it, I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern. Since I’m a sleeve-pusher, I will probably make the cuffs on my next one smaller or use a fabric with better recovery since they are driving me a little crazy as they fall down.

I can see pretty much endless variations to this sweater, and I plan to make at least one more in a floral pattern for those chilly, spring days. This fabric is decently lightweight, but not so much so that I need a cami underneath, and the mock turtleneck makes it so I don’t need a scarf over it, which is perfect for a chilly or rainy spring day.

I’m wearing pants today because post-Speech-tourney Mondays are all about comfort (and survival), but I can totally see this sweater with a black pencil skirt, or with a navy-and-ivory polka dot swing skirt to dress it up a little. This is a versatile staple to my wardrobe that I will probably wear holes through, and is definitely my favorite sewing make so far.

Today, I’ve paired the sweater with my black Gap jeans and my new, handmade Espe boots from The Root Collective. These were a Valentine’s Day present from my husband (that I picked out and ordered for myself because that’s how marriage works sometimes) and I cannot say enough good things about them. They are sturdy, well-made, and probably the cutest, most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. They were delivered last Thursday, and I’ve worn them every day since. Of course I love that they were hand made by people making living wages with minimal environmental impact, but if we’re being real, what I love most about them is that they can pair with both black AND brown-toned outfits. This is what we call a win-win. Hey, who says sustainable fashion can’t be fashionable fashion?

This review is just my opinion. I did not receive any compensation or freebies for it.

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