Nov 10, 2015 :: by Leila Raabe
Rebecca Velasquez brings us another great crochet piece with Pamela, a sweet collar worked in our Sparrow linen. There are so many ways to wear a statement piece like this. The beauty is that it works for many different occasions and styles—dress up, or stay casual; adorn a soft, feminine blouse or sweeten a distinctly darker look—it may surprise you how versatile a crocheted collar can be. Especially with two sizes to choose from (both of which have written and charted options to follow).
Photographed beneath that gorgeous collar is a silk blouse sewn by Kelsey Parker, of Garbedge Clothing, who also posed as our model for this release. Intrigued by her work, we asked Kelsey about her brand.
After graduating from Sarah Lawrence and needing a break from academia, Kelsey decided to sew a backpack for herself. Having sewn for fun since she was little, she had so much fun designing and putting it together that she began sewing all the time, progressing to opening an Etsy shop as well as selling through different Brooklyn-based boutiques.
"My initial plan was to use only repurposed materials (hence the name Garbedge) but I received too many orders right from the get-go to be able to sustain that. There are still a few token repurposed items in my shop at any given time, but for the most part I like to offer size runs so that my clothes can be available to people with all different bodies. So for that reason (and because it's so time consuming to hunt down materials and garments to repurpose!) I mostly work with new fabrics at this point."
Describing her bedroom sewing studio, Kelsey says that aside from a huge book collection, almost everything she owns is sewing-related. Fabrics are bought in bulk, thread on large industrial spools—all of which take up a lot of space.
"I design all of the clothes I sell myself, so I have a huge amount of patterns, as well as a large industrial roll of dressmaker's paper. I have a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine (whom I have identified with an indisputably female gender identity) and Brother serger sitting on my sewing table, both of which I have a gigantic crush on—especially the Viking. She's such a queen. My dress form is named Camille and I like to think of her as my coworker."
About her designs: "I try to keep Garbedge clothes accessible to people of all sizes. I want my brand to be very body positive, and for this reason all of the items in my shop are available in plus sizes. I had a runway show in Brooklyn a little while back, and chose to use all non-models with an array of figures, and the result was really empowering and beautiful."
"I am only [in Maine] until this coming spring or summer, and then it's back to NYC with me for grad school (I'll be studying public policy). I grew up in the Portland area and have always had a lot of love for the place. My family lives here as well—particularly my 8-and-a-half-year-old niece—so I really wanted to come back for a little while to spend time with them. I also really wanted to get out of the city for a little bit before heading back to NY to start grad school.
I grew up on an idyllic piece of land in the woods with big gardens and lots of chickens and little waterfalls and fruit trees, and figured this might be the only opportunity I'd have for a very long time to revisit the rural fairytale of my youth, since I'll be in school for a while and then most likely staying in the city."
Keep up with Kelsey's work:
Garbedge Clothes on Etsy
on Instagram as @garbedgeclothingdesigns
and on Tumblr.