This weekend, I posted some photos of my epic banner making adventure for the pride march in Nantes last month – and today I want to share some inspiration for another project I am planning to make this summer. I am all into making things with a message, queer/feminist crafting right now! Usually in summer, I am less into knitting, but this year, I discovered the joy of making little improvised neckerchiefs or bandanas out of cotton yarn. At the moment, I am making a striped one and a rainbow one for a baby, but I have bigger plans!
The other day I came across a photo of vintage sewing accessories and I thought: Why not photographing my own little collection and tell you more about it? I think a lot of people collect vintage craft materials, but also a lot of us start out with vintage material that is handed down to us from mothers and grandmothers… So without further introduction: here is my own collection!
Summer is passing so fast this year! During May I had so many ideas of what to make for this year’s edition of Summer of Basics, but the June went by in a blink and now half of the three months is already over! I decided to write about my making plans anyway, partly to make myself stick to it…
It is my first year in this new city, in a new climate (near the ocean!) and in a smaller city than before. This means my wardrobe really needs some adjustments! The weather in the Bretagne is quite different than in Berlin and I am definitely spending more time outdoors (on the beach!) than before.
May is already over! And it was such a beautiful month, full of early summer energy, so many new projects in planning, trips to the beach, meeting old and new friends… Today is the last day of Me Made May, and this marks the first year where I participated more actively, and it has been a great experience in general! I took more photos of my handmade outfits than probably in the rest of the year combined, I wore some handmade things that I usually never wear and I identified some big gaps in my wardrobe. So here is a little overview and my conclusion from this month!
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:
Use your scraps to make quilt blankets, patch holes in other garments… etc.
Compost your scraps of natural fibers (that are dyed with natural colors!)
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.
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.
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!“.
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?
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…
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!
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.
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.