The final report of the British Parliament Environmental Audit Committee on fast fashion was published on Tuesday this week. It highlights that the average clothing consumption in Britain is the highest in Europe, yet we only wear them for an average of 2.5 times. Moreover, less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing at the end of its life. ‘A glut of second-hand clothing swamping the market is depressing prices for used textiles”, the report also states. And around 300,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up in household black bins every year, sent to…
I am definitely not a bag person. By that, I mean someone who has a massive bag collection and rotates them all the time, the right bag for the right shoes and so on. In fact, I am quite the opposite. The function is more important than anything else, and when I find that one perfect bag that I can use every day, I pretty much stick to it until it falls apart. I usually try to buy leather bags that I know will last a very long time, quite big totes with loads of pockets that in a pinch…
A few weekends ago, my friend Kate from Time to Sew came over to mine for an afternoon of sewing fun. She had a jersey project for her son and wanted to use my overlocker, which happens to be a Baby Lock Enlighten. After a year and a bit of owning it, although it’s great, I became quite blase about. But when I saw her amazement at how perfect every stitch is every time, I realised how lucky I am to be the owner of such a fab machine. So, I decided it’s the time to share my impressions of…
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.
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.
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 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.
I just have too much fabric! Said no sewer ever!
And yet, if you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle, or on a journey to a meaningful wardrobe through sewing, like me, there comes a time in your [sewing] life where you just know you need to get rid of some fabric. It might be because you just do.not.have.the.space anymore. It might be because there are just too many options to choose from and you can’t see the forest from the trees in the insanely big stash. Or because you are just not in love with certain pieces anymore and you want to make room for something you might enjoy (and use) more.
Whatever the reasons, and I’m really not in a position to judge here, with my 150 metres+ stash, there comes a time when you just need to let some pieces go. But of course, you would like them to get a loving new home or at least do some good when you part ways.
So I’ve come up with some ideas that would make your next destash a bit easier and also help towards a higher purpose (even if it’s just to make you feel a bit better about yourself).
As sewers, we have a skill that might seem a bit magical to other people – turning a piece of flat fabric into a beautiful 3D garment that fits and flatters. Not to mention all the other situations when it helps with more mundane or practical issues like sorting out the kitchen curtains. But how other do you use your ability for hand-sewn gifts?
Sewing as a profession aside, home sewers sometimes categorise themselves as selfish or selfless sewers, depending on their inclination to use their skills for themselves or for others. I am a very selfish sewer and I usually flat refuse to make things for anyone other than myself. However, I have been on a sewing gifts spree lately which lead me to wonder what other sewers feel about hand-sewn gift giving. Are you for or against it and why? I’ve made a list of pros and cons to get the conversation started.
Clearly, there are many positive effects of sewing on our lives. We create, we unwind, we connect, we escape reality. We surround ourselves with beautiful fabric, we create beautiful clothes that fit the bodies that we have, not that the ones that the fashion industry says we should have.
But is this all there is to it?