Friday, 5 January 2018

Slow Fashion - Top 5

Having read a few books on the subject of 'Slow Fashion', I became quite concerned at the amount of Fast Fashion consumed, not only for the cost to the planet of using up resources, pollution and adding to greenhouse gases, and therefore climate change, but also the poor conditions of the workers.  I started looking at labels in my clothes to see where they were made - India, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan.   It didn't seem to matter whether they were bought from Primark or Marks and Spencer, our clothes are now mostly made in third world countries with very much third world working conditions. 

This got me wondering what I could do as an individual.  I decided to have a year of not buying any new clothes.  It was quite an adventure!  I have been sewing my own clothes for a few years now, and this year had enough 'me-made' items to properly join in with 'Me-Made May'.  Here's my blog post about it.  But I had not really ventured into buying second hand clothes much before.   I am not much of a 'rummager', I find it a bit embarrassing!

However, with the plethora of charity shops locally, I gave it a go and had some successful buying trips.   Notably, this coat.  It is an Eastex coat, and hardly worn.  It is lovely quality wool, and very comfortable to wear.  It cost me £10, just in time to wear to a day out in London in March.

 Other successes include jeans that fit!  These jeans have not got a label in them, so I am assuming they would have been quite cheap brand new.  I wear them all the time!  This jacket was an ebay purchase and I added the embroideries as embellishment to try to bring it up to date.

I wore this combo of cream trousers and top a lot in the summer.  I really love this top! 

I bought this orange t-shirt because I loved the colours.  I altered it as it had elastic around the hem which I didn't like.  It means that the t-shirt is a little short, but I still wore it a lot in the summer.  Here it is with some black linen trousers that I previously bought from a charity shop and altered to fit.

I did buy new shoes and boots, a new handbag, and new underwear.  I am sure I could find shoes and boots in charity shops, but I am not too sure about wearing second hand shoes yet!  I have noticed lots of handbags for sale, but they tend to be rather old fashioned.  I also must confess to buying a couple of new items - a brand new faux leather jacket (because I love the look!) and some new black trousers to wear at Christmas (because I didn't have time to make trousers to go with the top I made)

I would like to carry on not buying new clothes, but I don't think I will be so fastidious about it in the future, although I must admit that I am out of the habit of shopping for new clothes now!

My goal originally was to learn about global warming and climate change.  But I found that it was such a big subject that I didn't know where to start!  By starting with learning about the fashion industry, and Slow Fashion, I am inspired to live a more sustainable lifestyle in more areas of my life.  My goal for 2018 is to reduce the amount of plastic that I use.

I will be back to show you my Top 5 makes soon! 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Cheap Dressing!

I am trying not to buy any new clothes this year!  Instead I am sewing new clothes or buying second hand from charity shops and ebay.

Here's an example, what I am wearing today.

First the jacket.  I wanted a light coloured jacket that I could wear on cooler summer days really.  I bought this one from eBay for £4 and decorated it with some cheap iron-on rose embroideries.   The jacket has been brought up to date!

Next the jeans.  I bought these from a local charity shop.  They were brand new, and I think I paid about £5 for them.  They fit perfectly except that they were a bit long.  So I turned them up, double stitching the hems as they were originally. 

The top is new and is from Lidl.  I think it was about £6! 

So whole outfit for £15.  Bargain!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Fun vintage tops

I wanted to use another one of my vintage patterns, so I chose this one, Simplicity 7549 from 1968.

I made view B, and with help from Laura at More Sewing, we redrew the pattern, repositioning the darts and making it wider at the hips.

I found this fun novelty print with 1960s girls on scooters in Plush Addicts before they moved up north.  I sewed this top last summer and wore it loads!
I decided to make another one this year, and chose this fun novelty print with Hawaiian dancers from my local shop More Sewing.  I put a lacy black chunky zip all the way down the back on both of them, which makes a really cool detail.

Seen here with my shorts that I made last summer.  I really like the orange top with the brown shorts.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Reporting on Me Made May

I participated in Me Made May again this year .  I wore Me Made clothes each day and shared pictures of myself on Instagram.

I am a bit late, but here are my thoughts on a fantastic month of wearing, photographing, Instagramming my me-made clothes.

I love using the selfie timer on my phone!  I staged my photos in several venues:
my bedroom
outside in the garden
in the kitchen

I wore mostly different clothes each day, really because I wanted to try everything I have made rather than that be my normal routine.  There were things I wore more than once (Cleo pinafore dress and brown shorts), and there were things I didn't wear at all.

I made lots of connections on Instagram.  I am now following lots of 'new-to-me' sewists, and have new followers myself.  I love Instagram!

May is a great month to choose for a 'Me-Made' month as the weather usually improves through the month, and here in the UK we are putting away our Winter clothes getting out our Summer wardrobe by the end of the month.

Looking at me 'Me Made Wardrobe' I realise that I sew with lovely colourful patterned fabric.  I am really happy when I open my wardrobe doors now and see the colour in there.  But... if I want to wear all 'Me-Made' I should sew some plain coloured basics, eg jeans, skirts, t-shirts to go with it all.   I know that I am not alone in this - I see this in most reviews I have read!

I have had jeans on my to-sew list for a while, in fact, the brown shorts are a toile for a good fit.

I show cased my most recent makes, my second Tiramisu dress from Cake Patterns , and a maxi dress from New Look 6280

I also wore some refashioned and pre-owned items, such as these brown trousers (bought from a charity shop and altered to fit) and this corduroy jacket from eBay.

I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Me Made May 2017

I am joining in with Zoe's Me Made May again this year.    I love that Zoe picks the month of May to do this, as hopefully we will get some nice warm days later in the month and we will be able to wear Summer clothes as well!

I am pledging to wear either an item made by me, or an item refashioned by me every day during the month of May.

During this month, I am hoping to:
*wear all my Me Made clothes
*wear different combinations, and discover new outfits
*identify clothes I don't wear and why
*discover 'holes' in my wardrobe and plan to fill them with Me Made clothes
*celebrate that I have enough Me Made clothes to wear every day!
*learn how to use my phone camera on timer (DONE!  See day 2 photo below)
*learn more about my new Panasonic camera, especially how to use it on the timer

I have decided to add in 'refashioned clothes' as I am pledging not to buy any new clothes this year, but am allowing myself to buy and refashion preowned clothes from charity shops and ebay.

Here's a look at what I wore for days 1 and 2:

Day 1 I wore the top I made with Kwik Sew 4026.  I have made 2 dresses with this pattern.  You might see at least 1 of them later this month.

Today I wore a top I bought from a charity shop and refashioned.  It was the simplest refashion, I simply took the elastic out of the bottom!  It is a great top for this time of year, loose fitting, and cool, but covering up enough for cooler days.

Monday, 24 April 2017

2 shirts - Butterick B5526

I can never get a ready-made blouse/shirt to fit.  It is either too big on the shoulders or too small on the hips.  Trust my pear shape!  So I decided to make one.  I bought this current (not vintage!) Butterick pattern as I thought it is versatile and I can make lots of different shirts from the same pattern.  I was pleased to see that LLadybird likes this pattern too!

This lovely orange butterfly fabric came from my local shop More Sewing.  It's actually quilting fabric, so has a nice weight to it.  It is a lot brighter in real life, and lots of people comment on it when I wear it.   This is view D with princess seams, and lots of top stitiching.  I lined the collar and cuffs with yellow fabric, which makes it look very Spring like.

One clever little touch that Laura at More Sewing suggested was to sew little triangles into the bottom of the side seams to give even more room for my hips!  I love the way they make it look like a  peplum.

This one is View A (without the pockets).  So this one has no darts or princess seams.  I bought this lovely fabric with vintage bathing ladies all over it as a remnant ages ago.  I have seen this fabric made into dresses and tops all over blogland!  This fabric is much softer, so probably more suitable for summer warmer days.

Here's a picture of the extra triangle in the bottom of the side seam, see how I fussy cut it to have a whole lady!

I am so happy to have shirts that fit!  I would like to make one in a drapey silk type of fabric next.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Vintage sewing - Vogue 1772

Hard to believe that 1990s patterns are now classed as vintage!  This one appeared in a batch I purchased for my SewLindyLou Etsy shop, and I put it to one side as I liked the jacket.  It is a DKNY designer pattern for Vogue, a dress and jacket, dated 1996.  Just over 20 years old!

I decided to try and make the jacket.  I chose a light jersey fabric, which in hindsight is perhaps a little too lightweight.  The pattern had been used and was cut to size 18, so I cut mine to that size.  It was far too big!  With some help from Laura at More Sewing we took it in to make it fit.  I decided not to line it, but instead finished off the inside seams with a pretty floral binding.  I bought 3 vintage 1980s buttons to complete the look.

Sadly I have not worn it much.  My idea was to make a light jacket that I could just sling on and off, but this isn't it!  It is too light to wear as a jacket, but quite good as a top on it's own.  It rides up as soon as I move in it and I am forever adjusting it.  Also the sleeves are too wide, which I could rectify by taking them in.  I think it would be great made in a heavier weight fabric like a ponte roma.   I do love the shape and may well try it again.