Scrap buster: Wallet

I’m sure no one’s managed to avoid noticing the Fashion Revolution campaign on social media this week. Such a brilliant campaign, and I hope it reaches a lot of people. I don’t think us sewers are necessarily the main target audience (that would kind of be preaching to the converted), but I think we’re good ambassadors in terms of communicating the value of sewing skills, and also emphasising the hard work behind, and also the value of a piece of clothing.

Although we can still try to pull our weight in terms of choosing fabric that’s been ethically produced, and also avoid waste. In the spirit of this, I’ve decided to work through my massive pile of scraps, starting with the fabric I had left over from my latest Inari dress. I used to make loads of zipper pouches and make-up bags for my now closed (not sure if it’s temporary or not) Etsy shop, and they are great as a smaller scrap busting project to do in-between making clothes. My favourite tutorial is this open wide zipper pouch from Noodlehead.

This time I decided to make a new wallet for myself, as my old one had been dying slow death for some time. Here is the result.

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Sydney jacket

But first, a few inspiring things that have happened in cyber space in the last 24 hours or so.

  1. Did you read about Essena ONeill? The Aussie “lifestyle” blogger who had enough of the glorified life she promoted on social media, closed it all down and started a website, where she instead promotes things that she feels passionate about. She’s got some really good things to share – incl. the documentary ‘Fashion victims‘, and my favourite TED talk of all times, Amanda Palmers ‘The art of asking’.  Go girl, is all I’ve got to say.
  2. The Guardian published this interview with Amber Rose. A much needed article, if nothing else than for the sometimes frankly bitchy voice inside my own head.

Moving on to something considerably less ground breaking – my Tessuti Sydney jacket. Guys, it’s so warm and snug I might just never take it off. Oh and in the interest of full disclosure – I did put on make-up to take photo’s for this post. I did not look like this an hour ago. Also, I should really be sweating it out in the library right now, not blogging. But who’s perfect…We the sewing Sydney jacket 5 Continue reading

A bit of a gamble

Hola sewers. A while back I bought this jacket/cardigan pattern from Lekala Sewing Patterns. They sell a wide range of patterns, which on first glance look pretty boring. Or, for someone used to the awesome styling of indie pattern companies, they do at least!  Their big selling point is that they have a nifty system whereby you create a profile, and upload your measurements, and a bunch of further ‘adjustments’, e.g. if your shoulder width is below or above average, arm length etc. So, when you buy a pattern, they send you a custom made one, based on your profile and god knows what kind of complicated algorithm.

It sounded a bit too good to be true, but as their patterns cost a pittance, I went for it.  I’ve been in dire need of a cardigan for a while, so I finally decided to sew it up. And people, IT FITS SO WELL. We the sewing lekala cardigan 1 Continue reading

Refashioners – my contribution

I hope you’ve been following the Refashioners over on makery.uk? It’s been so much fun to see all the different creations people have made out of their men’s shirts. Who knew men’s clothing held all that potential?

When originally invited by Portia to take part in refashioning a men’s shirt I planned to make a button down skirt. However, the shirt I got in the post was in no way big enough to cover my backside, so, I went with a top instead.

For more info on my refashioning process, check out my blog post on makery.uk here!Refash results 2Here is the shirt Portia sent to me, and below are more photo’s of the result! Continue reading

Copying RTW jeans!

When I made my Ginger jeans earlier this year, I felt that I head reached a major milestone when it came to making my own clothes. I’ve worn those jeans almost to death and it was so satisfying to be able to make something so complicated and essential to my wardrobe.

To challenge myself even further I decided to rip apart a an old pair of H&M  jeans that I thought fit really well  and turn them into a sewing pattern. Well, the bits of jeans ended up lying in a pile in my sewing room for a few months, before I plucked up the courage to do something with it. I was just dreading the time consuming process of creating the pattern and what I figured would be a crap result. Here’s how it went:

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Funky oilcloth apron

First of all, huge thanks to everyone who commented and contributed tips to my last blog post on where to source eco fabric for sewing. Many of you have done a lot of thinking about this which is awesome. I’ve decided that rather than the list becoming another blog post disappearing into scroll-down oblivion, to make it a permanent page on my blog. In that way I can update it regularly and add new resources that are interesting and useful (e.g. other blog posts on the topic, vintage fabric shops etc). Once it’s updated I’ll let you guys know!

Now this blog post is for everyone but my mum. If you know her, don’t spill the beans ok?

She asked me to make her an oilcloth apron for her birthday coming up. At a trip to Stof og Stil in Copenhagen I found this REALLY cool patterned oilcloth that I thought would be perfect for her – bold patterns and bright colours are completely her thing. The pattern repeat was a bit odd though, a gorgeous and huge circular patten with about 30cm gaps in between. So what do I do?

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Who makes our fabric? Sourcing organic fabric online

After the recent ‘Who made your clothes’ campaign, I’ve been thinking a lot about who the hell makes my fabric? I am a sewer who’s made a pledge to only make my own clothes as a way to avoid ‘fast fashion’ after all.  The clothing industry that make ‘fast fashion’ is of course linked very closely to the fabric industry. It’s a no-brainer, but I haven’t really seen a debate about this in the online sewing community (if I’ve missed something, let me know).

The documentary ‘The True Cost’ looks at not only the garment industry in countries like Bangladesh, but also at the incredibly toxic cotton industry in the US and the huge influence and power of GMO a-holes like Monsanto.

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The documentary is absolutely nauseating and it’s made me even more resolute to try to have as a sustainable wardrobe as possible. This made me think about where I buy fabric, and how I can make sure that I buy fabric that’s produced in a sustainable, organic way and not harmful to the environment, or the people involved in the production process.

So I’ve done a LOT of googling, and made a list of online fabric companies that are either exclusively organic, or at least provide a selection of organic materials. I thought I’d share this list as a useful resource to all of you fellow sewers. The list is by no means exhaustive (and very Europe and North America-centric…), but it’s at least a good place to start.

If you know of any shops not included on this list – please write a comment below or email me so that we can expand the list! So here we go: Continue reading