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!
Why would I make a banner from fabric?
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:
- Make your own multicolored fabric twine from leftovers.
- Zero waste sewing patterns from designer Maja Stabel.
- Use leftover yarns to create new, colorful sweaters.
- 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 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!
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).
I found this sweater some years ago at my parent’s place, when my mother was sorting through clothes to donate or throw away. It’s a nice and simple wool sweater that nobody except moths were ever interested in: It had some bad holes in the shoulder area.
I made my first zine! Judging from the feedback that I got for my original period underwear article, you all are quite interested in making your own period underwear! So I thought it would be nice to improve the instructions, add extra tips and tricks and illustrate the whole process. And because I love zines and think there should be more sewing and knitting zines, I put it all in a zine! Working with a new medium has its challenges, but I really liked the process and I am already thinking of other zine ideas…
For this occasion I started an Etsy shop where you can find this little zine, and hopefully more in the future.
For a few years now, my go-to workhorse backpack is the Fjällraven Kanken. Its minimalistic design, perfect size and the fact that it’s foldable and lightweight makes it the perfect everyday backpack for me. The daily use, dust, and a recent bird shit made it very clear though, that if I want to enjoy this backpack for many more years, it urgently needs some care. So against the warnings not to do it, I threw it in the washing machine at low temperature for a first cleaning. And it turned out fine! Over the years and now in the machine the fabric lost most its waterproof finish and I bought a box of Fjällraven Greenland Wax to touch it up. However, when I saw the minuscule package of wax that I had bought for 6€, I was a bit shocked.
I quickly googled how to make your own „Greenland-Style“ waterproofing wax for fabric and it turns out to be super easy and simple! I should have trusted my DIY instincts right from the start… So I send the tiny Fjällraven wax back and made my own. Here is how:
I am starting the Summer of Basics make-along late, but I am ready and challenging myself to make an outfit entirely out of materials that I already own. Not buying new fabrics is hard, especially with the new Atelier Brunette collection around, but I have so much fabric stashed that needs to be used. I will also finally do things that sit in my making queue for too long, so I hope this will be a success all over! Creating an entire outfit is quite the challenge for me, as I usually just make single garments without really planning a wardrobe or matching items together. I always figure, if I like it, it will fit my style… However, this time it will be different!
My plan is to make:
- Summer pants with deep pockets from an 80s Burda magazine from a beautiful blue cotton fabric
- A black silk shirt, for which I will recycle an old skirt from my mother with beautiful pearl buttons
- A summer scarf from rust colored cotton yarn in a cross stich pattern
I already started the scarf and the pants, so I am quite confident I will finish my Summer of Basics-Outfit in time!
This weekend I got into a serious patchwork frenzy. I recently organized my fabric stash and leftovers, and this made me want to play with all these tiny pieces that are useless on their own, but that I couldn’t bare to throw away. I started out with some little patchwork pieces that later became little drawstring bags, and then went on to make a bigger piece for a pillow case. I made use of even the tiniest piece of fabric! I also used up some leftover sleeves from vintage shirts, and it is incredible how much fabric comes out of a shirt sleeve when you cut it open! Cutting and arranging the pieces, sewing everything together was a lot of fun and actually felt more like a creative practice than anything else I have made in the last months. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop!
While doing that I binge-listened to all the Have Company Podcasts, instead of watching/listening to random TV-shows as I usually do. In the podcast episodes Marlee of Have Company interviews resident artists and friends about their art, practices, how it is to be a small business owner and other things. It’s great! At the end she always asks people what they are excited about and I just wanted to write what I am excited about at the moment: A few days ago I received a little package from Little Red Tarot, including the Herbal Homestead Journal, a queer Tarot book called She Is Sitting in the Night and the beautiful Moon Angel Cards by Rebekah Erev. I am so excited about all these little things! The Herbal Homestead Journal includes simple and accessible ways of working with plants for every month and I am already looking forward of going back to this book over the course of this year.
The first card that I drew from the Moon Angel Cards is Nr. 5 Go!
I am also excited about this Coldcream from Weleda that I bought because I have these red dry spots in my face from the cold and it smells so good (and helps)!
I also made two patchwork t-shirts in my Patchwork Weekend, and reused some shirt sleeves, random leftovers from other projects and small pieces of fabric from my collection. I was inspired by this woven Geodesic Top and these Wabi Sabi tees, and again, just piecing the squares together was so satisfying. I cut 30×30 cm squares from the fabric, pieced it together and then cut out the neckline, easy! I will probably make more for summer (that will come at some point… we just have to stay optimistic).