This paper describes a doctoral research project that investigated the theme of openness in fashion, generating insights related to reworking, open design, and the lived experience of homemade clothes. A distinctive, practice-based approach to design research emerged from the project, which uses generative and participatory processes of designing and making to investigate research questions at multiple levels: from micro-scale practical challenges to much broader social issues. This multi-level structure emphasizes the theoretical contribution of the research and the methods used, and could be used to support future design-led research projects.

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