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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.)
 
Posts: 374
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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
 
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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.
 
Posts: 223
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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.





 
steward
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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.)
 
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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.
 
master steward
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This is a wonderful idea.  I think I would like to try for my PEP1 clothing belts. 

I've done a fair amount already.

I think the current belts look like this

sand (off white)

straw (yellow)

wood (brown)

iron (black)


going with the ideas in this thread, and adjusting things to my physical limitations, I propose to follow this outline.  This is assuming each stage builds on the last and can be achieved within a 12 month period.  It would take 4 to 5 years for someone starting from scratch to complete. 

Assume all materials are as natural as possible.


sand (off white)

1a. Sewing:
i. one set of summer clothing and one set of winter clothing, using storebought materials and patterns.  Sew one jacket and a set of undergarments.  Include at least one garment with buttons and buttonholes and one with a zipper. 
ii. sew one large item of clothing hand sewing. 
iii. Learn basic sewing machine maintenance.

1b. mending:  Darn a handknit sock.  Darn a commercial sock.  Create at least one visible repair.  Mend something invisibly.

1c. Knitting: Knit 2 sweaters, 6 pairs of socks, one pair of mitts, using storebought materials and patterns.  (crochet is also possible)

1d. Weaving: make your own loom and weave 10 yards (total) of cloth suitable for clothing out of commercial yarn.

1e. Spinning:
i. make a drop spindle
ii. spin 500g of yarn by drop spindle
iii. wash one sheep fleece and card by hand.
iv. spin the fleece.
v. use this years' spinning to make a blanket.
vi. spin an additional kilo of fibre, consistently, so that the first bobbin of yarn is identical to the last and every other one.  Ply the yarn and knit a sweater from it.

1f. Felting: felt a pair of mits or slippers.

1g. Dyeing: Dye in batches of 100g at least 6 different colours from natural items found in the grocery store. 



straw (yellow)

2a. Sewing:
i. one set of summer clothing and one set of winter clothing, from a pattern of your own design. Sew one jacket and a set of undergarments. Include at least one garment with buttons and buttonholes and one with a zipper.
ii. sew one large item of clothing hand sewing and a pattern of your own design
iii. aquire a non-electric sewing machine and repair it to working condition (easier than it sounds)
iv. sew one garment from your own weaving.

2b. Mending: create a Boro (Japanese patchwork) jacket from reclaimed clothes.

2c. Knitting: Design and knit at least two different sweaters, 6 pairs of socks, one pair of mitts - from patterns of your own design. (crochet is also possible)

2d. Weaving:  Weave 10 yards of cloth from your own handspun yarn.  Weave 5 yards of cloth from handspun singles.

2e. Spinning:
i. Prepare one fleece from scratch (washing, carding, everything) and spin it true woollen style.
ii. perpare one fleece from scratch (washing, combing, everything) and spin it true worsted style that is strong enough for warp!
iii. spin 500g of cotton yarn.
iv. spin at least 500g of line linen and 1 kilo of tow.
v. prove your understanding of spinning wheel maintenance and repair.

2f. Felting: Full a bag (knit or weave the material, then felt it)

2g. Dyeing:
i. using natural materials, dye 1 kilo of wool fibre, yarn or cloth the same colour.
ii. ethically wildcraft at least 6 different colours from your landbase
iii. grow at least 6 different dye plants.  Use them to dye but keep enough to save seeds. 
iv. create your own iron mordant.
v. Have one dye pot of iron, one of aluminium, one of copper and one of stainless steel. 


wood (brown)

3a. Sewing:
i.  on a treadle or crank sewing machine, sew one set of summer clothing and one set of winter clothing, from your own handwoven fabric.
ii. make a quilt or duvet cover from reclaimed cloth.

3b. Mending: Make shoddy - take old fabric, create strips and use it as weft for a twined rug

3c. Knitting: Knit at least one sweater from handspun yarn.  Knit one pair of socks from handspun singles.  Knit one pair of socks from handspun plyed yarn.  Knit one pair of socks from spindle spun yarn.

3d. Weaving: Weave enough cloth of linen or cotton for the sewing part of this level's challenge - about 12 yards ought to do it depending on the width.  Same of wool.  Prove your understanding and competence with plain weave and twill.

3e. Spinning:
i. Wildcraft at least 100 yards of yarn from your local land base.
ii. Grow cotton, linen or other suitable plant fibre and process it into yarn.
iii. create silk hankies from cocoons and spin it into yarn. 
iv. blend different fibres together
v. spin at least 2 kilos of wool to the same consistency (hint, you can use this wool for the next level if you do it well enough)

3f. Felting: felt a jacket or coat.

3g. Dyeing: 
i. create your own mordants.
ii. create sample book of at least 12 locally sourced plants dyed on wool.  Use different mordants and after baths and record what colours each produces.
iii. Grow and dye with either indigo or wode. 
iv. Dye on linen or cotton using locally sourced tannin.


iron (black)

Putting it all together with fully locally sourced materials either wildcrafted, ethically harvested, locally grown or grown by you. 


4a. Sewing: by hand or on a treadle or crank machine
i. one set of summer clothing from cotton or linen cloth that is locally grown and hand processed, hand dyed, handspun, and handwoven by you.
ii. one set of winter clothing from wool or mixed animal fibre cloth that is locally grown and hand processed, hand dyed, handspun, and handwoven by you.

4b. Mending:  Create Shoddy fabric by shredding old clothes and weaving it into a fabric Sakiori style for a jacket.

4c. Knitting:  ?

4d. Weaving:  Everything needed for the sewing section from everything created in the spinning section.

4e: Spinning: locally and ethically acquire, process and spin, the yarn required for the sewing section. 

4f: Felting:

4g.  Dyeing: Dye the yarn spun using all locally and ethically sourced materials.


Anyway, it's just a draft at this stage.

What do you think?  Would it be enough to earn an iron belt? 
 
r ranson
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Peter Ellis wrote:
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.


That's a neat example. 

Let's see.  A pair of socks is about 100g of yarn. 

It takes about 30 minutes of actual labour to sort, wash and card (by hand) that much wool. 
It takes about 1 hour per sock to spin the yarn on a drop spindle.  2 hours for the pair.  Half that on a spinning wheel.
It takes 8-20 hours to knit the socks depending on complexity.
Back when I could knit, I usually made a pair from raw fleece in a few days.

Going into more depth, raising the animal isn't too hard. Growing the fodder for them is about as difficult as growing beat.  - but I think a basic understanding of these steps is enough for the clothing requirement.  Not everyone has the space to grow every animal or plant.  However, it would give them a more rounded knowledge if they participated in growing at least one fibre plant and one fibre animal (even if it's silkworms). 

Making a drop spindle, that's about 10 minutes work for a simple one. 

Knitting needles aren't too difficult to whittle.

Every single step along the way seems quite reasonable to me.  But I really like yarn.  I imagine anyone endeavouring to get their PEP1 clothing iron belt would like yarn at least as much as I do. 


 
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