Without a doubt, this autumn has been the season of coat making. They say that you can never escape that which you most fear and the coat curse has hit me with a vengeance. But no worries, it was all for the best. I do feel that two (albeit imperfect) attempts later, I have now conquered this fear and I am almost ready for new challenges. However, there are only so many coats a girl can have in her wardrobe, so I might just have to curb my enthusiasm and save some coat-making mojo for spring and such!
Back in September, during Zero Waste Month, I wrote a post about how we can put our sewing skills to good use towards a more sustainable lifestyle. I had so many ideas for that post that I had to leave out a few for a follow-up and guess what, now’s the time for that!
Single-use plastics continues to be the topic du jour, especially since the European Parliament has recently passed on legislation to ban plastic plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds by 2021. In the previous post, we talked about why the big 4s of single-use plastics (bags, bottles, cutlery, straws + added bonus of coffee cups), and how we can tackle them using our sewing skills. But there are more things we can do with our sewing machines + fabric to cut out on single-use items from our lives and benefit the environment.
Last week I was telling you about my epic fail coat making attempt, that ended up as a cardigan and vest instead. I was also advising everyone to acknowledge their sewing fails and stop brushing the less than perfect garments under the carpet. Well, the time has come to put my blog posts where my mouth is and take my own advice.
So, I am posting about the very same project that made me pull my hair out, but which I made myself finally complete, with debatable results. Having said that, it’s kinda growing on me, having worn it a few times. But probably not the best piece I ever made…
But I’ll tell you the story in all its gory details and let you judge for yourself.
In January, I had started a coat as part of a project for Simplicity Patterns. I was on a deadline, it was a collaboration post and I had never made a proper coat before. So there was a lot of pressure to produce something good. I was also using a fabric that I had dyed and spent a lot of time on, which I did not want to waste. And it went terribly. It was so bad that I had to abandon halfway through, after spending waaay too much time on it. My husband, who is ever so patient and never complains about how much time I am hidden away in the sewing room, actually complained that he never got to see me. I ended up making another garment for that collaboration, a quick cardigan, and this coat went into my ‘drawer of shame’, where the UFO pile resides.
Making my own jeans was one of the most empowering sewing projects I ever completed. And now I want to tell you that there are even more great reasons to feel great about making your own jeans. You might be doing a little bit for the planet as well. Of course, as sewers, we know exactly who made our jeans: US! So all the potential ethical and social issues that surround the fashion industry are avoided this way. But did you know that you could also have an environmental impact as well?
I recently learned more about the denim production process that made me realise that there are a lot of steps that are part and parcel of the industrial manufacturing process that we don’t do when making our own jeans, and they are actually very water and chemical intensive, not to mention the health hazards to the factory workers. So I wanted to share this with you and encourage you to give home jeans making a go if you haven’t already!
To me, a meaningful wardrobe means making items I love, crafted with care, that fit perfectly in the context of my wardrobe and that I reach for over and over again. Well, here is a garment that embodied all of that in a way that few of my me-mades do, and it’s darn comfortable. With pockets! And it’s bright pink! Nuff said!
I am launching a new series on the blog, called ‘How 2 Three’, and each month I will style one old, beloved me-made item in three different outfits, one for work, one for play (going out with friends, dates, etc) and one for comfort or chilling out.
was listening to the latest episode of Love To Sew Podcast where Helen and Caroline talk about sewing struggles. They turned to the community to see what are the most common struggles and one of the first things that came up was loneliness. I spend many weekends sewing and I don’t even contemplate going out of the house unless I have to (or my husband makes me). So I can completely relate to that.
And this made me think if, in spite of the amazing sewing community, blogs, vlogs, Facebook groups and Instagram, is sewing making us feel more lonely?
In this blog post, I’m exploring this in a bit more details and also offering some solutions to help you become less of a sewing hermit.
I have to warn you from the beginning that this post comes packed-full of unbelievable geekiness, including Excel spreadsheets and charts. But, there is method to the madness, as I am exploring wear counts as a way of analysing my wardrobe and recording what I am wearing. This all links to the first step of my guide to building a meaningful wardrobe, ANALYSE, as I am looking to dig deeper into my existing closet and figure out the patterns for what types of garments I reach most for, if they are me-made or RTW, what colours and what brands or pattern companies.
In this post, I will tell you more about my method for recording my wear counts as well as cataloguing my overall wardrobe, a few other tools that are out there and the first findings after two weeks of this exercise.
Let’s dig in.
Can I squeeze one more summer make before we all move to coats, scarves and jumpers? Well, like it or not, here it is. I actually wore this dress yesterday, so clearly it’s not doom and gloom just yet. (T-shirt ) Maxi dresses really do make me feel like it’s still warm and sunny, and as long as my toes are not freezing in sandals just yet, I will wear what I like, when I like it. Especially since someone stopped me on the street the other day to ask me where I bought the dress from, because it’s amazing! *sewing pride bust*
I don’t know if I am living in an echo chamber, surrounded by people who think like me, but it’s amazing how the tide seems to be turning against plastics and waste in general. I hope it’s not news to any of my readers that I feel very passionately about leading a less impactful life. This links mostly to my wardrobe and my sewing, but in today’s post, I’d like to talk about another aspect of sustainability I feel really strongly about – waste.
I’m so glad that the sewing community is also starting to become aware and interested in sustainability and there are a lot of conversations going on on social media and on blogs.
This got me thinking about how could we sewers put our skills to good use towards a more environmentally friendly life, having fun, using our fabric scraps and helping reduce plastic at the same time. So looking at the biggest culprits for waste, I gathered some ideas and projects to inspire you to give it a go too and tackle them through sewing.