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Deb Berman
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PEP1 clothing (everything but shoes --I think that should be its own category. I also think that leather clothing should be a different category, possibly with leather shoes --maybe a leatherwork PEP1?)

level 1 --white belt. I’m assuming someone is starting with no experience. There is a pretty steep learning curve here so I’ve divided this into sublevels.

1a. Make an entire set of clothing (everything you need for a year, including socks and underwear --exact number of everything should be specified so people won’t be tempted to wear the same three things all year round), using storebought materials and patterns. Include at least one garment with buttons and buttonholes and one with a zipper. Also include at least one knitted sweater and pair of socks.

1b. Repeat 1a, but make your own original patterns for everything.

1c. Spin 16 1- ounce 2-ply skeins of wool, using a drop spindle, from wool that you have skirted, washed, and carded or combed yourself; spin 4 ounces of lace weight, 4 ounces of sport weight, four ounces of DK weight, and 4 ounces of bulky weight. Include both combed and carded samples of the same wool. Knit a sample for each weight using yarn you have spun. Repeat, spinning the yarn on a spinning wheel.

1d. Make a knitted sweater starting with a raw fleece.

1e. Weave 5 yards of cloth suitable for clothing. Make a garment out of it. Weave 5 yards of cloth from yarn you have spun (including the warp). Make a garment out of it.

1f. Make 2 felted garments. Make one from fabric that you have felted, and the second felted after the garment has been made.

1g. Make one garment using traditional tailoring techniques and materials.


level 2 --green belt. Repeat Level 1 using fiber that you have grown/produced yourself. Include items made from both animal fiber and plant/bast fiber. Dye at least three garments using dyes and mordants from sources you have grown/produced yourself. Include knitted, woven, felted, and boiled wool garments. Include at least one outerwear item that would keep you warm outside in a Montana winter. Include three items that are embellished using embroidery or other decorative techniques.


level 3 --brown belt. Repeat Level 2 using raw materials sourced from your own ecosystem, using tools made from raw materials from your ecosystem. Include at least three items that are dyed using things from your local ecosystem. (The particular mix of animal vs plant fibers used will be adjusted to reflect local availability.)
 
Galadriel Freden
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Maybe add to 1a, or between 1a and 1b: Make an entire set of clothing for a child, relative, or other person who is a different size from you.

Edited for spelling
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Excellent thread (pun intended).

Every time I make a quilt I think back on the original reasons and ways quilts were made - to use up bit of precious cloth too small to do anything else with from worn out clothing, grain sacks, etc. I also think of the thrill women had when they went to the general store to buy cloth not generated by them on their homestead and the special dresses and other clothing they made from that cherished fabric.

Another item that could be added to this list is the making of blankets, rugs, quilts, mattresses, etc. All those things that make a homestead more comfortable.
 
Kate Muller
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New fabric is expensive now that all the mills have left the country. So much can be done with existing fabric that can be recycled in to new projects. Quilts are one example but you can redesign an existing piece of clothing or re-purpose fabric for projects. I use new and old sheets for all sorts of sewing projects, dresses and skirts out of old tablecloths, and redesigned the top or bottom of a dress to create a new one. You can make all sorts of useful items out of a worn pair of jeans.

I would add to the first level alterations, re-sizing patterns, redesigning existing clothing. Hemming pants, taking a jacket, replacing a zipper, redoing the bust line of a dress, and other tailoring skills can be used to save a piece of clothing, create a new piece of clothing, and they are used in making more complicated pieces. Being able to alter a sewing pattern to fit someone is a valuable skill to learn. Most of us are not standard pattern size and altering the pattern before you cut out the fabric saves time and possibly expensive fabric when building a piece of clothing.

It is one thing to make a set of pajamas but a suit or formal wedding dress is much more complicated. A hand tailored suit, fitted button down shirt, lined formal dress, and gloves are all much more advanced than most people sew.
Drapping, tailoring, pattern making and original garment design should all be in the advanced levels. These are advanced design skills that allow you to design any type of clothing.

Creating items like curtains,quilts, slip covers, bags, sails, kayak skins, leather goods and furniture upholstery are all useful sewing skills that could be included.

Have you considered separating the fiber arts from sewing or making them a separate level by themselves? a loom is a serious investment in money and space.
Also many people are allergic to wool and switching it to spinning any animal, plant or recycled fiber would expand the options for people.
Creating knitwear pattern that others can use would be another good skill for people to develop.





 
Ann Torrence
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I would make the white belt be a Chinese menu of complete several from a list of many things:
-make x sewn garments from patterns
-make x hand-sewn garments
-make x sewn household articles
-add some embellishment to a garment (embroidering, beading, crocheting, etc.)
-design, test, share a pattern in any craft
-knit a garment
-spin x amount of fiber
-etc.

Say 5 out of 7, enough to get a well-rounded start to the many crafts but demand mastery in none.

Then add the increasing complexity to the more highly colored belts.

ETA: took out remarks on leather since OP excluded it from consideration
 
Deb Berman
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I've added them to my original list and reposted it below (additions in italics). Let me know if I've missed things or you've thought of something else. I think the home furnishing stuff should be its own category, so I've started a new PEP for that. Please add to it as you see fit.

A couple of thoughts: We in the permaculture community (and elsewhere) are talking a lot about local food production and food self-sufficiency, but we almost never talk about local clothing and clothing self sufficiency, even though clothing production may very well have a larger carbon footprint and be overall more environmentally destructive than food production. Few of us produce our own clothing, or know how to. I'm sitting writing this, wearing nothing that I've made myself ( and I suspect that most of it is produced offshore), even though I can in fact do everything on my PEP list. So I think we need to be talking and thinking about it more, and become more empowered to make (and wear) clothing in a permacultural way, whatever that would be.

I once attended a demonstration by a Romanian master weaver, who made the most incredibly beautiful things (home furnishing stuff mostly), using fiber that was produced either by her or locally to her, on a 4 harness loom that was made by her out of sticks and string. Clothing production is now highly mechanized/industrialized, but it doesn’t have to be. Looms can be made out of all kinds of things, according to what ever is available (as people all over the world have been doing for millenia). I once made hand spindles for myself and a nephew out of trash that had washed up on the beach we were walking along, which we then used to spin fiber from things we found in the woods. I think if we turn our permaculture minds to clothing production, all kinds of interesting things will unfold as we develop local and regional innovative clothing and fibersheds.


PEP1 clothing (everything but shoes --I think that should be its own category. I also think that leather clothing should be a different category, possibly with leather shoes --maybe a leatherwork PEP1?)

level 1. I’m assuming someone is starting with no experience. There is a pretty steep learning curve here so I’ve divided this into sublevels.

1a. Make an entire set of clothing (everything you need for a year, including socks and underwear --exact number of everything should be specified so people won’t be tempted to wear the same three things all year round), using storebought materials and patterns. Include at least one garment with buttons and buttonholes and one with a zipper. Also include at least one knitted sweater and pair of socks.

1b. Make an entire set of clothing for a child or a relative or someone who is a different size from you or who has different clothing needs.

1c. Alter 3 garments to fit someone they didn’t fit before. Replace a broken zipper. Resize a pattern.

1d. Create an original garment from a flat pattern you have developed yourself. Make a second original garment using draping techniques.

1e. Repeat 1a, but make your own original patterns for everything.

1f. Create an item of clothing from repurposed/reclaimed/reused fabric.

1g. Spin 16 1- ounce 2-ply skeins of wool, using a drop spindle, from wool that you have skirted, washed, and carded or combed yourself; spin 4 ounces of lace weight, 4 ounces of sport weight, four ounces of DK weight, and 4 ounces of bulky weight. Include both combed and carded samples of the same wool. Knit a sample for each weight using yarn you have spun. Spin another 16 ounces (4 ounces each of 2-ply lace, sport, DK, and bulky yarn) out of an animal fiber other than sheep’s wool. Repeat with a plant/bast fiber. Repeat the above three (wool, non-sheep animal fiber, plant), spinning the yarn on a spinning wheel.

1h. Make a knitted sweater starting with a raw fleece.

1i. Make a knitwear pattern that can be used by others.

1j. Darn a sock.

1k. Weave 5 yards of cloth suitable for clothing. Make a garment out of it. Weave 5 yards of cloth from yarn you have spun (including the warp). Make a garment out of it.

1l. Make 2 felted garments. Make one from fabric that you have felted, and the second felted after the garment has been made.

1m. Make one garment using traditional tailoring techniques and materials.

1n. Make a waterproof garment.


level 2. Repeat Level 1 using fiber that you have grown/produced yourself. Include items made from both animal fiber and plant/bast fiber. Dye at least three garments using dyes and mordants from sources you have grown/produced yourself. Include knitted, woven, felted, and boiled wool garments. Include at least one outerwear item that would keep you warm outside in a Montana winter. Include three items that are embellished using embroidery or other decorative techniques.


level 3. Repeat Level 2 using raw materials sourced from your own ecosystem, using tools made from raw materials from your ecosystem. Include at least three items that are dyed using things from your local ecosystem. (The particular mix of animal vs plant fibers used will be adjusted to reflect local availability.)
 
Peter Ellis
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At some levels this crosses over into my question for Paul about just what depth he is looking for a person to have in how many subjects.
This thread is putting tailoring and making cloth under one heading, but breaking out some simpler sewing projects into their own subject?
The spinner, the weaver, the tailor, the upholsterer - these crafts have long been separated. Yes, a person can learn to do all of them to some degree and it is good for a practitioner of any of them to know something about the others.

And then my mind skips to the interconnectedness of it all in a permaculture approach. You need fiber to spin, which means raising plants and animals to get that fiber, which means knowledge of horticulture and animal husbandry, water management, rotational grazing, and all the mving parts that go with those. Then you need tools to work the fiber, carding paddles, spinning wheels, looms, which means woodworking, which means forest management.

No one person could reasonably be expected to knit a pair of socks, if they had to do every single step along the way to get them to the point of putting those socks on their feet. But it does seem, to me, reasonable for a person to be aware of all the steps, the numerous diverse elements that come together to make something as profoundly simple as a pair of knit socks.

This is the piece that the permaculture designer brings to the table - an awareness of how all the intricate pieces of the puzzle interact, fit together, can be arranged and rearranged so that they support one another, even provide synergies that amplify elements through proper relation to one another.

Most people probably don't see where the blacksmith and the lumberjack contribute to making a pair of knit woolen socks. A permaculture designer needs to see those connections.
 
Peter Ellis
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And, there actually is a leatherworking thread, I started it several days ago. Evidently, no one noticed.
It is in the PEX/PEP1 forum, titled Leatheworking.
 
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