This month I’m taking part in MIY March. This is an annual challenge from Wendy Ward. It started out as a daily photo challenge on Instagram but this year Wendy is slowing things down and there are weekly prompts to get us all to slow down, think, write and read.
If you missed my blog post for week 1 you can catch up and read it here but now let’s get stuck straight in with week 2! The theme this week is sharing and caring and there are 4 key topics that we are addressing:
- where to source materials
- sewing tips
- looking after our me mades
- treasured textiles
So let’s dive straight in!
Where to source materials
This is one I’m still struggling with a little as I’d love to buy sustainably produced fabrics made with only those fibres that are least damaging to the environment, however the big barrier there is always price. Unfortunately, cheap fabrics often tend to be the most polluting and are produced with little care for the environment. Instead I often tend to aim for a halfway house of buying deadstock or end of line fabrics. These are fabrics that have been produced for fashion in high quantities to produce a particular range of garments and inevitably there is an overstock – they are then often sold on for home sewists to buy. These are slightly better environmentally as they were already in production and the fabric you are buying would otherwise be wasted. However, they are not without their problems – Kate from Time to Sew wrote a great blog about this which is worth a read.
Another great source of fabrics is through fabric swaps – sometimes these can be hard to come by but if you can find one it can be a great way to both clear out your stash and find some new gems!
For me, the best tips are those that will help you create a garment that will last well and stand up to the tests of time.
The best tip I could give would be to discover your own personal style – once you have that sussed you can make clothes that you will want to wear over and over again and not just throw out with the next change in fashion. For me, this was easier said than done – the things I like to look at and sew are not necessarily what I like to wear and finding a good middle ground was tricky. I have to recommend the love to sew dream wardrobe worksheet though as I found this invaluable in defining my style and helping me to understand the colour, fabrics and silhouettes that I reach for every morning when getting dressed.
Looking after me mades
Once you have poured your heart into making a dream garment it is essential that you look after it if it is to last a long time. For me, the first step in looking after my makes comes when it is time to do the laundry. Washing clothes causes the fibres to deteriorate which is not only bad for the longevity of the clothes but can lead to water pollution as microfibres from the fabric are washed away with the dirty water. I make sure to really ask myself if my clothes really need washing every time I go to throw them in the laundry basket. If the answer is no I spritz a little freshening spray and hang them to air (my favourite is Soak flatter by the way).
If, despite my best efforts, my clothes end up damaged I do my best to prolong their life by repairing. Lately, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with visible mending – I love that it allows you to tell the story of your clothes and celebrate the fact that you have mended them rather than discard them at the first sign of wear. My favourite repair is my sashiko jeans but I’ve even got round to darning my socks!
I’m not really one for sentimentality so I don’t really treasure textiles for that reason but those that have both function and beauty have a special place in my heart! In particular, this blanket I crocheted a few years ago. Unfortunately, some of the granny squares are starting to unravel so if anyone has any top tips for fixing that then I’m all ears!
p.s. want to keep up with my latest makes? Head on over to my Instagram for all the latest makes and in-progress shots!