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Fabric & Sewing

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Fairy Wren Cottage blog is a journal of sorts about seasonal living & stopping to see the beauty in our day.
Your time is precious, it's the greatest gift we can give ourselves & it's humbling that you would  take time out of your day to visit.

hello & welcome!

Jude 

The dresses I make are from the 100 Acts of Sewing pattern Dress No.1. I may have turned a handmade gifted Christmas Star from Ottimade (Instagram @ottimade) into a pendant necklace!

Just like looking in our supermarket trolley to see what I could make from scratch at home to cut down on food miles, chemicals, cost and achieve a better tasting food or product we can use in the home, I have been borrowing the same kind of concept applying it to my wardrobe for the last few years.

This is a slow burn project, changing my thought pattern pushing my creativity that bit further.

These are some of the things I wonder about, I’m only partly aware of the miles a garment travels before it reaches my hands, the carbon footprint it creates, I wonder about fair wages and working conditions for the people who make the clothes, the actual manufacturing process, what chemicals are used, what happens to the waste after making clothing, right back to what is sprayed on the cotton crops, how that effects the soil, the waterways and land management short term and long term.

Phew…

That is a lot to think about already let alone considering other factors that come into play and just for a t shirt or any item of clothing for that matter.

The crochet cowl is made from 100% cotton and the dress is a linen/cotton blend. Both made by me!

Now just when you are thinking I am no seamstress or tailor nor do I have a spare 10 hours in a day to put aside to make said clothes neither am I.  Truth be told I’ve always described myself as a bit of a butcher when it comes to me and a sewing machine.  I am up there with the best of them when it comes to  sewing the back to the front, the quick unpick and I are well acquainted!  Add the fact that for the last six years my hand injury limits me to even being able to pick up a pair of scissors some days I am still willing to give this hair brain scheme a go.

The dress pattern I use over & over again. To add variety I use different fabrics, pockets, lengths.

I know I’ll never be able to make everything in my wardrobe but at least making some things that are possible for me to do is better then nothing at all, the benefits are too great not too:

Better quality fabric.

Cheaper to buy the fabric and create something then buying the finished project. eg. A linen dress made using the 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No.1. costs approximately $80 that includes fabric, cotton and bias binding, to buy a linen dress in a similar style would usually cost upward of $200.

Bespoke. You aren’t going to come across the same person wearing what you are wearing.

These 100 Acts of Sewing Dress Pattern No.1. allow me to be independent when dressing, some days my injured  hand just isn’t able to deal with zips, buttons and fasteners.

I wasn’t able to find anything in the shops affordable or made out of fabrics that I like wearing which is another reason why I started looking to make my clothes.  Why is it so many clothes are made out of polyester now a days? I don’t know about you but I sweat to here and back wearing a polyester top!

I often use a favourite contrasting fabric for the lining of the pocket. It is like my own secret surprise just for me when I use the pocket!

How I make a Dress:

1. I focus on what I can do on any given day and not what I can’t do.

2. I wash and tumble dry the fabric first, the finished garment is bound to go in the dryer by mistake at some stage so I figure if the fabric is going to shrink do it before the garment is made.

3. After the dryer I straighten out the fabric very neatly and fold it length ways over a coat hanger until I can work on the dress.

4. I focus on doing one step at a time. eg. neckline one day, the hem the next time.

5. After stopping and starting the project it gets put back on the outside of the Craft Room cupboard, (I used to put it in my wardrobe before we had a Craft Room). If it is there I often see it, don’t forget about the project and excited to finish it.

6. I sew at the kitchen table, the sewing machine is too heavy for me to lift now and I ask my husband or daughter to set it up for me after the breakfast dishes are cleared, it may stay untouched until late afternoon when I use it for twenty minutes but it is there and great motivation.

7. The project no longer feels impossible to achieve and I get to wear a skippy happy dress when it is finished!

I don’t know about you but when I am working on a creative project no matter how slowly it is progressing I feel such a strong sense of moving forward, progress, my self esteem increases. I know I am not able to make things in one sitting like I used to before my hand injury but this is focusing on what I can now do and for that I am thankful I am still able to sew at all.

Jude x

Ps. it’s not a sponsored post, I am just so so happy with this pattern and the freedom it has given me to be able to sew something for myself again because it is such an easy pattern to follow!

 

 

Slow Clothing!

December 11, 2018

  1. Margo

    December 11th, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    What a lovely simple ,comfortable dress,well done you.
    I can’t wear synthetic clothes either, so I stick to linen and cotton and wool.
    Your cowl looks lovely, if you would like a small sewing idea for your knitting, you could make some project bags, there are plenty of utube demos.
    I made one for myself 14″x12″ and then decided to make some different sizes…..then friends liked them so I made some more for gifts.Good fun to put all the different fabrics together and you can use up scraps .
    If you have a look at Project bags on Etsy there is lots of inspiration for drawstring and zip top designs…have fun !

  2. Jude Van Heel

    December 11th, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Margie,
    Thanks for the ideas!
    Over the years I have made a lot of fabric bags with drawstrings, handles & buttons & use them for lots of different things, they are so handy aren’t they!
    Did you see my tutorial for drawstring bags in previous posts? One is about Christmas Paper vx reusable bags and the other is the actual tutorial I wrote for them. Hope you are having a lovely day, Jude x

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