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.
You may remember that I have been trying to actively look back at clothes I made a year ago in an attempt to evaluate my style, make sure I am not making clothes that I won’t wear and reminding myself to repair or refashion garments that for whatever reason, didn’t work out. I have done an Autumn post and a Winter post so even though it’s a bit late, it’s now time to evaluate what I made in Spring of last year – let’s look at March, April, May 2019!
This is the second part of my One Year Sewn series where I go back and look at makes I made a year ago and see if they are washing and wearing well. I hope to make my clothes last and so I am using this as a useful exercise in examining why things maybe didn’t work so well and if I am not wearing them, is there anything I can do to fix that?
The first post I did was this Autumn Edition one where I looked at makes from Sep/Oct/Nov of 2018 and it prompted me to fix a skirt that wasn’t being worn so that’s great!
I’ve had a few conversations recently about revisiting older makes and talking about how they are wearing six months or one year on. So I’ve decided to do a #oneyearon spotlight on makes that I made a year ago and examining how they are doing. Are they being worn? If not, why not? Is the fabric washing and wearing well? How could I make sure that my makes are more sustainable to avoid any problems that I uncover… I am going to try and do this quarterly so that I can examine a set of makes for each season. Let’s start with what I made last autumn!
Happy New Year! It’s been one year since I clicked ‘Publish’ on this, my little corner of the internet and I have lots of thoughts on how that year has gone. I won’t go into the epic saga of my not succeeding to move house in 2018, instead I want to look at my sewing/sustainability goals and take a hard look at how those went.
Today’s prompt for the New Craft House Sew Yourself Sustainable challenge is ‘Eco Fabric’ but if I am totally honest with you, I kinda disagree with the term. Production of all fabrics take something away from the planet so none of it is ‘good’ for the Earth. What matters most, is getting as much wear as possible out of your garments. I don’t think that means everything we make has to be everyday garments such as knickers and plain white t-shirts. If you make a timeless dress and wear it twice a year for 20 years surely that would be just as sustainable as a pair of trousers that you wear 40 times in the next 12 months? (this ethos is largely why I make very few fitted pieces, most of what I sew is loose and flowy and will hopefully fit me at a range of weights and sizes – our bodies fluctuate and that is OKAY).
Often in the home sewing community we talk about our ‘handmade wardrobe’ and say things like “Ooh almost x% of my closet is handmade!” OR “Hey! Check out my new handmade dress!”, we use hashtags such as #HandmadeWardrobe to find other sewists and connect with people who also like to sew. But aren’t all clothes handmade by someone?
The more I started researching this, the more I discovered that people just don’t realise that all their clothes have been handmade by a human person. There seem to be so many people who seem to think that machines are sewing clothes. When we talk about clothes being made in factories, in an assembly line, there are so many people who don’t realise there are human beings doing the majority of the steps in the process.
Whew. It’s been a minute. 2020 has really done a number on me and the last time I sat down to write a blog post was in the first half of May! I’ve not had any creative energy AT ALL. I haven’t been sewing or knitting or doing anything other than homeschooling, household chores, sleeping and repeating. The weird thing was, I didn’t even miss it, I had no desire to sew – the love for it was just gone.
I sewed this in the few days after new year before returning to normality. I was feeling pensive about our move to York being exactly one year ago and thought making the York pinafore would be a nice way to celebrate the anniversary. I also thought it would be a really nice simple project to reignite that new year sewjo! What a mistake that was!
Don’t get me wrong – the pattern is indeed a simple one. I just got way too overconfident, completely stopped looking at the instructions and made some rookie errors on top of a complete failure to try it on as I was making it (it’s only going to take a couple of hours – why stop to try on?!) GAH what an idiot!
As you might have guessed, these pictures were taken a while ago! Often when I make things as a fabric review for Minerva Crafts, there is a gap between me taking the photos and me being able to publish the post. I don’t mind though and am enjoying being reminded of frolicking round a frosty field in the early morning sun in my frosty princess dress (it’s icy blue and glittery so that’s what I’ve been calling it!)
Anyway, I think the Ellis dress might be my new favourite pattern. I LOVE patterns with facings instead of bias finishes, I LOVE the keyhole back – no zips or buttonholes! I LOVE the absolutely giant pockets and I LOVE the four darts at the neckline.