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Meet Whitney Franklin


This week on Making Friends, we are happy to introduce you to Whitney Franklin (@whitneygetsdressed)! Today, Whitney is taking over our Instagram stories to share her Slabtownmaking process.

Get to Know Whitney

I'm Whitney Franklin, a midwestern mama and maker. I bought my sewing machine about 9 years ago, but didn't really learn to sew in earnest until after my daughter was born. Since then, sewing has become my primary creative outlet, but I also enjoy knitting, cooking, and traveling to my husband's native Italy.

 


Where are you currently located?

I live in Lawrence, Kansas (about 45 minutes away from downtown Kansas City), with my husband and our 3-year old daughter.

How do you (normally) spend your days?

I'm a stay-at-home mom, so most days are spent doing housework, playing with my daughter in the backyard, and trying to sneak in a little sewing here & there.

^ Left: Whitney and her husband / Right: Whitney’s daughter in Italy last summer

What does your creative practice look like these days in light of the pandemic, uprisings against police violence and racial injustice, and the general turbulence that has defined these last few months?

Right now, it mostly looks like getting excited about a project and buying all of the materials, and then being too sad or too tired to cut anything out. My creative process involves a lot of daydreaming about where I'll go and what I'll do while wearing the garments I make, and right now that sort of daydreaming just makes me sad. When I do get the urge to sew, I've switched from my usual background music to actively listening to a podcast instead. I listened to the 1619 podcastwhile sewing my Slabtown, but other recent favorites have been Justice in America, Coffee Break Italian, and LeVar Burton Reads

^ Slabtown Backpack with berry + natural waxed canvas (+ Jen Hewett scarf!)

What project(s) are you currently working on, or hope to work on in the coming weeks?

I've been working on a couple of swimsuits for my daughter, and I want to make a pair of Cashmerette Calder shorts for #havelegswillwearshorts (organized by Grace from Maker Mountain Fabrics). July is when I usually start thinking about fall, so pretty soon I'll start working on some back-to-school clothes for my daughter's first year of preschool, and my own palette will transition to something more earthy. And if I can ever work up the courage to cut into the silk I bought in Italy last summer, the Muna & Broad Nullarbor cami will jump to the front of the queue!

^ Pietra Shorts by @closetcase.patterns

What do you hope to build, nurture, or transform within yourself as a result of living through these strange and difficult times?

I'm hoping to reaffirm my commitment to living my values. For me, that means supporting my community when and where I can—shopping at local businesses, joining a CSA, donating to local bail and mutual aid funds, and being an informed & engaged voter. Not just when it's trending, not just during an election year, but always. I believe that real lasting change starts within and takes consistent effort, so that's where I'm putting my energy these days. Some of my biggest role models in this area are Meredith Moore (co-owner of my local stationery/art supply store Wonder Fair) and Lia from @liarosestudio. They both remind me that justice is a lifelong pursuit that comes in many forms, and that even small-scale action can have a ripple effect. 

What are you finding joy theses days?

Learning how to make pasta. Losing myself in a book (currently the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin). The art of Bisa Butler. A really good tomato sandwich. 🍅

^ Holyoke Maxi Skirt by @cashmerette + Akita Blouse by @seamwork

Are there any resources, small businesses, or other creatives out there you’d like to send some virtual love to?

Faye from Sevilla Smith, who crafts the most beautiful, comfortable leather shoes using traditional techniques. Jen Hewett, who has turned me into a scarf person with her joyful, wearable art. Yvonne, who owns AddVintage on Etsy, where she sells the most unique, high quality vintage deadstock buttons—finishing off my makes with delicate glass or shell buttons feels like such a luxury!


Left: Sevilla Smith leather shoes / Middle: Jen Hewett scarf / Right: AddVintage buttons
 

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Whitney! To follow along with Whitney’s work, follow her on Instagram(@whitneygetsdressed)!

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Make your own Slabtown!

Want to make a Slabtown in the same colors as Whitney?! Her backpack is berry and natural waxed canvas with chestnut leather straps and shiny brass hardware. Build your full maker kit today—plus get the Slabtown online class with it for free (a $45 value)!

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MAKING FRIENDS is an interview series with friends who make! In this weekly(ish) series, we’ll be introducing you to some new friends in the sewing world and inviting them to share a bit about their current creative projects, where they’re finding inspiration, and what working with their hands means to them during these chaotic times. Our hope is that these conversations will foster connection, community, and mutual support during this season of physical separation.

 

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