Happy September! It’s Sew Yourself Sustainable month, organised by The New Craft House they are spending the whole month celebrating sustainable sewing. So, I am hoping to try and make this month’s blog posts particularly relevant to the themes. I thought writing the next edition of my One Year Sewn series might be a good idea. I was really late writing the Spring one (I wonder why? Did something happen this Spring??) so I am at least trying to get this one written before Summer is officially over.
If you are new around here, with One Year Sewn, I look back at the garments I made a year ago and assess how they are doing. ‘Influencers’ are quick to promote fabrics and patterns when they are all shiny and new, but how do they actually wash and wear over a long period of time? Are there drafting errors or thoughtless features in a pattern that made it uncomfortable to wear? Did the fabric you raved about on Instagram start to bobble after the second wash? I am here to deep dive into last years makes and see what worked well. In doing this, I also learn lots of lessons about my personal style so if something isn’t getting worn then I can make sure I don’t forget and make something similar again. I think there is a lot more to being ‘sustainable’ than picking fabric.
Rifle Paper Co Gyo Top – this top has been a winner. The Rifle Paper Co quilting cotton is perfectly fine to wear as a garment and it has washed well with little fading. The pattern is a little impractical as I cannot wear a bra with it (I did move the thinner strap for this version but still not enough to hide a bra strap – I think widening it a bit would be the way to go next time) but fortunately one of my lockdown revelations has been that bras are totally optional and have basically given them up (sorry large chested ladies – there has to be some benefit to having virtually no boobs!).
Jaeger Skirt Upcycle – I love this skirt and wear it a lot. It goes with a lot of my wardrobe and was one of my first real successful refashions. Chopping a Jaeger dress up (it was from the charity shop and had a stain) and loving the finished result gave me lots of confidence in refashioning.
Seasalt Stevie Top – unsurprisingly this was a winner, I love the Stevie pattern having made several versions. The Seasalt cotton/viscose blend has washed well – not faded or bobbled at all. Very happy with the quality of all the Seasalt fabric I’ve tried so far.
Green Heyday Dungarees – these were temporarily too small so they haven’t been worn that much. My first pair of Heyday Dungarees were made out of this chunky stretch cord, I have worn them tons and think they are the comfiest things ever. I didn’t realise that the reason they fit is because they have stretch (I just thought the stretch was just lending a bit of extra comfort) unfortunately, when I made this pair from some rigid cotton twill (now sold out), they barely fit over my hips! I wore them to take these photos and then put them away. The stress of lockdown has seen me lose almost 20lbs and now I can fit into them and they are finally getting the wear they deserve! I can confirm the fabric washes well though as I made my husband some shorts from the scraps…
Mountain Shorts for Fred – When I realised I had a good chunk of cotton twill leftover I asked my husband if he wanted anything and he said he was in need of some shorts. I made him the Thread Theory Jutland Pants in a shorts-length and these have been worn A LOT. Probably because I stitched my husband’s favourite mountain range on the back pockets (one great example of how sewing items that are ‘loved’ can often make them more sustainable). The fabric has washed really well and this has probably been one of my best uses of scraps ever.
Foliage Derby Dress – this was another braless lockdown success. There are no closures in this pattern – the neckline has to be big enough to fit over the shoulders – so it is a bit *too* open to be worn with a bra. I have worn it a lot this year due to being at home and going bra-less but I think in the future it will be a bit more of a holiday dress to be worn over a bikini/swimsuit. The fabric is washing lovely but I don’t think I’ll make this pattern again.
Cranes Fringe Dress – this dress is a total winner. I have worn it loads it is washing nicely and I’ve already repaired a little hole that formed under the arm. I love the fabric and the pattern. Definitely recommend both!
Vogue 9246 Green Wool Jacket – Hmmm. This is sat in the refashion pile. I love the wool and I took SO much effort on the inside to make it special and one of my ‘loved’ garments but I feel it’s just too big. Because of the swingy shape I naively decided not to toile as it doesn’t really require any fitting but I got bitten by the ‘Big 4′ pattern companies’ love of ease. I am certain I can do something to make this fit a little better as I love both the fabric and the lining so much but right now this has only been worn once or twice. Ugh.
Ochre Hinterland Dress – I’ve read some people who have been a bit unhappy with this fabric, but I am not seeing much wear and tear so far. I really do wash things as infrequently as possible so that could be it, but I’ve had no bobbling or problems so far. Obviously I love the Hinterland Pattern, I’ve made it three times so far!
Named Jersey Knot Dress – Another great win, the tencel jersey is washing reasonably well (faded a bit but no bobbling) but unfortunately the UK branch of Girl Charlee closed down. I love the pattern which I got free with Love Sewing Issue 60 but you can also buy Named’s book Breaking the Pattern to get it (I didn’t buy the book as I don’t find them to be very size inclusive). I would like to make more – jersey dresses are the ultimate comfort yet I don’t have many!
I definitely had less ‘fails’ this time around, by last summer I was finally getting a good idea of my personal style, apart from the Vogue jacket, all of these garments are in regular rotation and am confident they will reach the milestone of 30 wears.
If you liked reading this (I hope they aren’t too boring as I know they are basically just lists) you can find my previous One Year Sewn posts here: Spring, Winter, Autumn. As always, I encourage you to get involved and assess which garments are wearing well in your wardrobe after a year or so of wear. Any warnings for us? Any great successes?