Greetings from Spain: Tamarack

I’m back!

‘Tis been an inhumanely busy summer, culminating in Dan and I getting married (best thing I ever did), and schlepping all the way to the south of Spain for a six month honeymoon/working holiday adventure. I have worked my ass of this year (finishing my master, running a B&B, taking my driving license, planning a wedding, moving from Sweden to Denmark, maintaining two part time freelance jobs…), and going from that to not doing much…. Well, I kind of crashed when we got here. Turns out ‘relaxing’ doesn’t happen by simply flicking a switch. But I’m getting there, and the amazing surroundings here in the Sierra Nevada mountains are definitely helping. As is the twice weekly pilates class with the old ladies in the village….

Having not been able to sew properly for six (!) months, I’ve started back slooowly. I managed to bring a decent sized sewing kit with me to Spain since we drove down here, including some new patterns I haven’t worked with before. And first up on my sewing list was the Grainline Tamarack Jacket.

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Old mans Tap Shorts (and the Watson bikini in its true element)

What a holiday. Costa Rica is without a doubt the greenest and lushest country I have ever been to. We managed to squeeze in a lot of different destinations and activities in our two weeks, so if you want tips, shoot me an email. Couldn’t recommend it more! We’re still suffering (the word suffering to be taken lightly in this context) from jet lag and an aircon induced cold, so I haven’t really ‘landed’ yet but thought my long suffering blog needed some attention.

While on the most gorgeous beach in Puerto Viejo Dan took some photo’s of me wearing my tropical Watson bikini (in an appropriate setting so to speak) which I’ll share below. But the main star of this show is one of the last makes I made before heading off – a pair of old man’s Tap shorts. Also photographed on said beach.

(Please note that these photo’s are taken after a long walk through 80% humidity and with absolutely no styling whatsoever. Sweat, bad hair and slightly odd facial expressions is what you are getting.)

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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

#theRefashioners a.k.a sustainainable sewing fest!

refashion1 (1)Have you heard of the Refashioners? Organised by sewing mastermind Portia over at makery.uk, it’s a month long sustainable upcycling marathon and challenge hosted on her blog. She invites a number bloggers to take part, and gives them the challenge to make something new out of an old piece of clothing. This year that piece of clothing is a men’s shirt.

I was one of the lucky few to be invited and without blinking I agreed to to take part. For me, this was a golden opportunity to: Continue reading

Alder by the sea

I’m always raving about how much I love Indie patterns, and here I go again. My friend remarked the other day how I always make really ‘modern and cool’ pieces (thank you very much!). I think this is all thanks to almost exclusively making clothes using patterns designed by smaller independent designers, who design really current, but also timeless pieces.

The Alder dress is no exception.

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Upcycling plans

Man I miss sewing. I am on lockdown at the moment until the end of May when I have a major uni deadline. I’m trying to squeeze in a little bit of sewing whenever I can, but it’s not easy.

I’ve also had a bit of a wardrobe meltdown, because for some reason all of my favourite jeans (that is two pairs out of the three RTW pairs I own) decided to die a sudden death of the ass-ripping kind. When you’ve pledged to make all your own clothes, have no time to sew and pretty much live in jeans, that is a bit problematic.

Luckily, this all coincided with my mum doing a major clear-out of old clothes she can no longer wear. After a visit I left with a whole suitcase full of lovely clothes including two pairs of jeans. Thank god.

In addition she gave me two of her favourite dresses. Hence this blog post….

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One year on

I started blogging pretty much exactly 1 year ago today, and oh my how time goes by quickly. I thought I’d write a post to take stock of what I’ve achieved in my little sewing corner of the web.

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I keep a ‘Make library’ spreadsheet where I list everything I make (my longterm memory is shite – we call it Alzheimer light in my family), what pattern I used, where I got the fabric etc… And having reviewed it I’ve realised quite how much I’ve made in the past year Continue reading