Zero Waste Sewing

It’s Fashion Revolution Week!

There are many things happening around reducing waste, recycling, reusing, repairing… and a lot of it in the crafting world. I thought about how to reduce my own „waste production“ while crafting and put together some people and projects that inspire me. There are so many ideas out there! From actual Zero-Waste sewing patterns, to a million ways to use your scraps and tiny leftover fabric pieces.

So before I will talk about my own practice, here are some ideas I like:

For my own practice, I implemented a little recycling system, and I hope it will help me to actually stop creating any waste:

For the tiniest scraps, like cut thread, serger waste, etc. I set aside a paper bag to eventually use them as stuffing for a pillow, or if I will ever get to it, handmade toys.

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A tote bag holds all my small fabric scraps. They are too small to use for clothing, but could still become quilts, patches for holes in other clothes, or letters on a handmade banner.

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A small box holds the scraps that are big enough to be used for clothes, pouches, etc. This is actually my favorite treasure box! It holds cut off sleeves from gorgeous 80s silk shirts, pieces of great fabric that I used for other projects… And it is an immense source of inspiration for me! I go to it from time to time and make a patchwork top from silks, or leftover jersey. Making patchwork tops or pillowcases allows me to let my creativity go free, to play with colors and textures. The other day when I bought some beautiful new fabrics, one of my first thoughts was „I will have great scraps again!“.

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Sorting the scraps by size helps me to access the ones I am looking for faster. It would probably make sense to sort them by material as well, but I don’t have enough shelf space for that.

How do you reduce waste while creating? Do you have some great ideas on how to use those small scraps?

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Handmade banner for the pride this year, made of recycled fabric and scraps!
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Japanese Sewing Books: Some Useful Tips

I have recently bought two Japanese sewing pattern books (in Japanese!) by the talented pattern and fashion designer Asuka Hamada. I was hesitating to buy a sewing book in a completely foreign language at first, but the amazing designs in the books convinced me in the end! I gathered some tips and experiences on how to work with Japanese sewing books if you have absolutely no clue of the language and some photos of the designs in the two books below! However, as I just saw, translations are in the works (at least for German and French), if you can wait longer than me…

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Guest Post on the Sewcialists!

I am really proud to announce, that my guest post for the Sewcialists is online now! For all of you who dont’t know the Sewcialists (yet): It’s a community-run blog with regular topics (such as „Sewing with Stripes“ right now). They also run a super interesting series that connects sewing and identity called #WHOWEARE. Anyone can submit to the blog, no matter if you are an absolute beginner or seasoned sewing blogger. You can find my article on the Sewcialists blog, or directly here. Have fun reading!

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Piecework: Log Cabin Sweater

You saw it already in my post about my first handmade Jeans, but I wanted to present you this sweater in a separate post, because it is truly already one of my favorites. Making this sweater was truly a spontaneous creation: I found and ordered the book Piecework by Japanese designer Asuka Hamada some weeks ago. I found some great wool fabrics at a local shop, pre-washed them and made the sweater the next day! And I barely took it off since then.

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No Fear New Jeans! Morgan „Mom“ Jeans

For the last years I went back and forth between „I want to sew jeans! It’s totally doable!“ and „No way, a zip fly is way too complicated. You don’t have to make EVERYTHING“. I just couldn’t decide if jeans-making was something that I would enjoy or actually could do, I was scared of the fitting part because buying jeans is my absolute nightmare. So I observed and admired all you jeans makers from afar and stayed with making elastic-waist pants. So you are wondering what changed my mind in the end? A good old pattern sale! When Heather from Closet Case Patterns announced her No Fear Jeans Month and pattern sale, I didn’t hesitate too long and finally bought the Morgan Jeans pattern.

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Refashioned Silk Kalle Shirt & A Very Late Summer of Basics Outfit

I almost finished my Summer of Basics Outfit in time, my summer pants and cotton scarf were done on time, but somehow I didn’t quite manage to finish my silk shirt until shortly before christmas. Now that my outfit is done, however, I am even more happy about it! The whole discussion around the Summer of Basics shifted my way of thinking about my new projects. Of course, still a lot of my projects are started for fun, but I am also thinking more and more about filling holes in my wardrobe and prioritizing projects that I need right now (for example a warm cardigan for the rest of winter).

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Queer Craft: Close-Knit

I want to explore more about how queerness and crafts intersect. This time, it’s about queer knitting in a movie! The movie I am going to write about is the only one I have ever seen where knitting played an interesting role in the story development, but we never know! Maybe more will follow! Or maybe you have some great movies to recommend?!

I recently had the chance to see the Japanese movie Close-Knit, written and directed by Naoko Ogigami (2017). As the title suggests, the practice of knitting plays a central role in the film. It tells the story of Tomo, an eleven year old girl, whose mother disappears for a love affair one day and leaves Tomo in the care of her uncle Makio. He lives with his new girlfriend, Rinko, who is a trans woman. Slowly the three get to know each other better and navigate the everyday live in this new family constellation. The film is quiet and full of small gestures. Rinko’s identity is not the focus of the film, but rather the complicated familial relationships between the main characters.

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A Knitted Patchwork Blanket

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I started knitting this blanket last year, before The Big Moving, as one part of reducing my wool stash (other parts meant giving yarn to friends and donating to a kids art school). So it looks like I have been really loving those natural brown-beige-grey-black-white natural alpaca colors and was lucky enough to have a lot of leftovers. So I started knitting pieces for a knitted patchwork blanket.

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Another No Frills Sweater!

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This is the last project of 2017 and the first finished one of 2018. I knitted the No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnit before, so it was a quite straightforward sweater, perfect for Christmas holiday travels and cozy evenings in front of the TV. It’s the (late) Christmas present for my girlfriend, and the only modification she requested is a mock neck with a folded neckband, like I saw on another No Frills Sweater on Ravelry.

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