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Welcome to week four of the Wardrobe Refashion Challenge, in which I have pledged not to buy any new manufactured clothing, instead relying on vintage, recycled, thrifted, handmade or renovated clothes for all my summer fashion needs.

Let’s talk a little bit about buying handmade items. Ever since BUST Editor Debbie Stoller launched Stitch ’n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook in 2003, traditional craft has been reclaimed for the hipster classes and quickly overtaken the world. Aside from the plethora of how-to books filled with drool-worthy (and sometimes impossibly professional) items from sweaters to quilts to tablecloths, the handmade revolution has found a lively online community in sites like (the place to go to show off your handiwork, ask questions, and participate in swaps and challenges) and (the place to go to buy and sell the best in handmade art and craft). And across the country, like-minded craftsters are getting together and forming collectives, such as our own Alamo City Craft Union, to share tips and resources.

Even if you lack the time, talent, or inclination to start your own cottage industry of craft, it’s still important to buy handmade whenever possible. You get something unique, the artist gets your support, and most importantly, buying handmade is usually better for your planet and your pocketbook. Come out July 24 to cheer on the ACCU at the Bad Record Party, where you pay the DJ to stop spinning the horrible hits. There will be food, family fun, and, of course, crafts, from 6-10 p.m. at the historic Leonard House at 1025 E. Crockett. For more info:

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