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Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

10 Things to Love About Slow Fashion

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater

The Slow Fashion movement is gaining popularity around the world. Quite simply, the idea is about choosing more sustainable clothing alternatives such as eco and fair trade fashion, second hand buying, swapping and repairing existing wardrobe items.

As a crafty girl that puts a lot of time and effort into design and making, I can definitely appreciate the fact that quality is better than quantity. So, when my husband's favorite sweater was in need of some TLC, I decided to take the time to repair it instead of just chucking it in the trash.

My husband keeps this sweater in his office and it has likely been worn every work day for the last five years. Unfortuantely it had developed two problems. First, the zipper pull broke off in the laundry. Second, one of the pockets was detached and beginning to unravel.

The good news about the zipper was that my husband never actually uses it. Also, there was already a redundant set of buttons in place, just in case. This meant I was able to simply remove the zipper and restitch the facing. Easy peasy.
The pocket presented a slightly larger problem, but one that I was able to solve thanks to my knitting experience. Since the pocket was unravelling I needed to re-knit the stitches. Fortunately the yarn was not damaged. After that I used a piece of scrap yarn from my stash to graft the pocket back into place.
So, what did I learn from this slow fashion experience?

1. Slow fashion is empowering!


In just a couple hours, I was able to at least double the life expectancy of this garment. That may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I feel like I accomplished something pretty amazing.

2. Slow fashion discourages a throw away culture.


It is so easy to just throw away a cheap item knowing that you can pick up a replacement at the local big box for a few dollars. Is that the type of lifestyle we really want to embrace and model to our children?

3. Slow fashion is a way to practice creative skills.


This little project gave me a chance to flex my creative muscles. I had to figure out how to make a sturdy repair that looked nice and was functional. I was able to incorporate my engineering, knitting and sewing skills. Just look at those neat little handmade stitches!

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater

4. Slow fashion saves time.


This may seem counter intuitive because fixing this sweater took a couple hours. If I had thrown it away and purchased a replacement we would have driven to the mall to browse a number of different stores or spent time online searching for the perfect replacement sweater. And of course there is the time spent working to earn the money to pay for a new sweater.

5. Slow fashion saves money.


I used a seam ripper, needle, thread, knitting needles and yarn to fix this sweater. I already had all of the tools and materials in my sewing room, but even if you consider the full price for each of theses items, it would add up to less than the cost of a new sweater.

6. Slow fashion is a way to express yourself.


My repair was fairly basic, but I have seen other mends that involve patching or embroidery and they can be a beautiful way to incorporate new color and texture into an old garment.

7. Slow fashion creates less waste.


It's well known that the fashion industry creates a lot of waste in the production process. My repair minimized the need for the waste from producing a new sweater and kept the existing one out of the landfill.

8. Slow fashion shows you care.


I took the time to fix this sweater, in part because I know my husband really likes it. I hope that every time he wears it he feels the love that I put into every stitch.

9. Slow fashion makes you appreciate the importance of a job well done.


Of course I am proud of my own repair work and glad I took the time to do it right. While I was working, I also noticed the well-thought design elements from the original construction. Who ever chose to add a sturdy facing to the sweater opening was a genius. It was more expensive to manufacture the garment with this feature, but if the facing had not been there, removing or replacing the zipper would not have been an easy task.

10. Slow fashion generates quality time.


As I sat at the table making repairs, my husband sat with me and we were able to savor a cup of coffee, chat about current events and just enjoy each other's company. Definitely time well spent!

10 Things to love about slow fashion: What I learned from mending a sweater
How do you incorporate the concept of slow living into your daily routine?



Crafter Thoughts: T-Shirt Refashioning

How to move the print from an old T-Shirt to a new one.When we went to Scandinavia this summer, I picked up a cute burn out t-shirt from Finland. After we got home, I think I wore it twice and then something bad happened. I'd like to say it was my husband's fault, but I am completely to blame.

I did not follow the washing instructions. As a fiber enthusiast, I should have known better. After a trip through the dryer, the burnout shirt was basically see through except for the printed area. Then it hung it my closet, unwearable for months.

Luckily, I have a couple blog friends (Lisa from Cucicucicoo and Agy from Green Issues by Agy) who frequently post about mending and altering textiles. So I thought I would do a little t-shirt refashioning of my own.

I hang my head in shame as I show you my burned out burn out. :( Luckily, I found a plain blue shirt ready to be spruced up with a new look.
I started by cutting out the printed area on the old shirt leaving a couple inches around the printed area.
Next I applied a lightweight, fusible interfacing to the back side of the image. This is a good thing to do any time you are going to cut up a t shirt. It stabilizes the area and keeps it from fraying.
Then, I cut out the image.

I had a bit of Pellon Wonder Web in my sewing stash and decided to use it to fuse the image to my new shirt.

I cut the Wonder Web slightly smaller than the image because the web tends to spread out a little as it melts.
Next, I positioned my image on the new shirt with the Wonder Web between the image and the front of the new shirt.

Pro Tip - When you are placing an image onto a shirt, a good rule of thumb is that the top of the image should be 3-4 finger widths from the bottom of a rounded neck line.
With the help of a press cloth and my iron, the image was fused to the new shirt in seconds.

Theoretically, I could have stopped there. The Wonder Web should hold the image and shirt together.
But I wanted to add my own little personal touch, so I grabbed a needle and some embroidery floss and did a blanket stitch around the outer edge of the image and a simple backstitch on one of the inner borders.
I am so happy I was able to save my vacation souvenir and refashion it into a wearable shirt.

How to move the logo or image from a worn tee shirt onto a new shirt or bag.




Sewing Pattern: On the Go Backpack

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.Whenever we travel I swap out my purse for a more roomy backpack so I can carry my tablet, a magazine, wallet, keys, travel documents and of course at least one knitting project. Of course I also like to have a water bottle or two handy because sight seeing makes me thirsty.

This backpack is my new favorite. It's 11 inches wide by 16 inches deep. It closes with a drawstring that is covered with a flap. There are two generous pockets on the outside that have a stretchy elastic top and two generous, elastic-free pockets inside.

The construction is a little unconventional because that's the way my engineering mind works. Hopefully the method makes this bag easier to assemble than other backpack patterns you may have tried.

Materials



Tools


  • sewing, cutting and measuring tools
  • lighter
  • pliers
  • hammer

Directions


This pattern uses 1/2 inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

Cutting out the Pieces

Begin by washing, drying and pressing your fabric.

Print the pattern pieces. Make sure you "print actual size" and do not scale the pieces to fit the page.

Cut out the paper pieces. You will need to cut 4 lower strap holders, 2 bag bottoms and 2 strap connectors.

Tape the two bag bottom pieces together along the dotted line to create a single bottom piece.
With tissue paper or a large roll of paper, cut out:
     2 - 14 1/4 x 17 inch pieces (bag front and back)
     1 - 14 1/4 x 19 inch piece (pocket)
     4 - 3 x 15 inch pieces (straps)

From the lining fabric cut 1 bag front, 1 bag back, 1 pocket, 1 flap, 1 bottom, 2 strap connectors.

You may need to position the pieces different than shown depending on the width of your fabric.
From the outer bag fabric cut 1 bag front, 1 bag back, 1 pocket, 1 flap, 1 bottom, 4 straps, 1 loop, 4 lower strap holders.

You may need to position the pieces different than shown depending on the width of your fabric.

The Little Things

Cut the nylon strap in half and carefully use a lighter to fuse the ends so the strap will not fray.
Press a 2 x 2 inch piece of interfacing to a scrap of fabric. Cut 4, 1-inch squares. These pieces will be used later to reinforce the snaps and grommets.
Fold the loop in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch along the long edge. Turn right side out. Press so the seam is at the center back of the piece. Stitch lengthwise 1/4 inch from each side.

Upper Strap


Fold the strap connectors in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch along the long edge. Turn right side out. Press so the seams are at the center back of the pieces. Stitch lengthwise 1/4 inch from each side.
Pull a strap connector around the upper bar of the strap adjuster so the wrong sides are together.
Position one piece of strap fabric on your work surface, right side up. Center a strap connector on a short edge of the strap. Position second piece of strap fabric, right side down over the first. Stitch along the long side of the strap, one short side (securing the strap connector), and the other long side.
Stitch short, diagonal lines on each side of the strap from the short edge to the long edge on either side of the strap connector being careful not to catch the strap connector in your stitches.
Trim the strap and turn right side out.
Repeat the process for the second strap and press both.

Stitch 1/4 inch from the sides around the straps.

Lower Strap


Place two lower strap holders, right sides together. Stitch one of the short sides of the triangle.
Position a nylon strap between the triangles so the long edge is against the first seam and the short edge is aligned with the unstitched, short side of the triangles. Stitch in place.
Turn right side out and press. (Be careful not to press the nylon strap or it could melt.)
Trim the excess fabric.

Stitch 1/4 inch from the seams. Repeat the process for the second lower strap.

Bag Lining


Fold the pocket in half widthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Stitch 1/2 inch from folded edge. Mark the center of the pocket (7 1/8 inch from either side).
Position bag lining front, right side up, on your work surface. Place the pocket on the lining front and stitch along the center line of the pocket.
Place the bag lining front and back, right sides together and stitch side seams.

Turn right side out and press seams toward the bag lining back.

Outer Bag


Fold the outer pocket in half widthwise, wrong sides together and press. Mark the center of the pocket (7 1/8 inches from either side).
Center the elastic between the pocket fabric so it is against the fold and pin in place. Stitch across the pocket 1/4 inch below the lower edge of the elastic being careful not to catch the elastic in your stitches.
Position the outer bag front, right side up, on your work surface. Place the outer pocket on the bag front and stitch down the center line of the pocket.
Pull elastic so 2 inches is exposed on either side of the pocket. Pin elastic to pocket on each side and trim the exposed pieces.
Place lower strap holders, as shown, so the lowest corner is 1/2 inch from the bag bottom and the straps point up towards the top of the bag. Place the outer bag back and outer bag front right sides together and stitch side seams.
Turn right side out and press seams toward the bag back.

Flap


Position the flap lining wrong side up. Center the snap disk so its lower edge is 1 1/2 inches from the lower flap edge and mark the side slits.
Press a 1 inch square of interfacing over the slit marks and use a sharp scissors to cut the slits. Push the thinner snap legs through the slits, right side to wrong side.
Center the disk on a square reinforcement piece. Mark and cut the side slits.
Slide the reinforcement square over the snap legs. Slide the disk over the snap legs.

Use a pliers to bend the snap legs over.
Place flap fabrics, right sides together, and stitch around leaving the top edge open.

Turn the flap right side out and press. Stitch around 1/4 inch from seams.

Bag Hardware


Center the snap disc on wrong side of outer bag front fabric so the lower edge of the disk is 1 inch above the top edge of the pocket and mark the side slits.
Press a 1 inch square of interfacing over the slit marks and cut slits. Push the snap legs through the slits, right side to wrong side.
Center the disk on a square reinforcement piece. Mark and cut the side slits.
Slide the reinforcement square over the snap legs. Slide the disk over the snap legs. Use a pliers to bend the snap legs over.
Make marks on the wrong side of the bag front, 1 3/4 inches from the top edge and 6 5/8 inches from each side. (The two marks will be one inch apart.)
Press a 1 x 2 inch piece of interfacing over the marks.
Use the grommet tool and a hammer to punch holes on the two marks and at the center of two reinforcement squares.
Press grommets through the bag, right side to wrong side. Place a reinforcement square over each grommet. Use the grommet tool and a hammer to tightly secure the grommets.

Attaching the Bag Bottoms

Fold the bag bottoms in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
Pin the bag lining bottom to the bag lining, right sides together. The pressed center line on the bottom should align with the side seams. It is best to pin around the curved edges first, then the straight edges. Stitch the bottom to the bag. Repeat for the outer bag fabric.

Straps,  Loop and Flap


Place the upper straps, side by side, right side up.
Center the loop ends on the top edge of the straps, wrong side down and pin in place.
Center the flap on the top edge of the straps, lining side up, and pin in place. Baste across 1/4 inch from the top edge.
Center the straps/loop/flap piece on the right side of the outer bag back and pin in place. Baste 3/8 inch from the top edge of the bag.

Finishing


Slide outer bag into lining, right sides together. Pin in place, aligning side seams. Stitch around leaving a 4-6 inch opening at the front of the bag.
Turn bag right side out through the opening. Press around the top edge of the bag. Stitch around the bag 1/8 inch from the top edge.
Create a channel for the drawstring by stitching around the bag 3/4 inch and 1 3/4 inch from the top edge of the bag being careful not to catch the straps or flap in the stitches.

Pull the drawstring through the channel and through the cord stop. Knot ends and trim if desired.
Pull nylon straps around the lower bar of the strap adjusters.
Fold the ends of the nylon strap under 1/2 inch, twice, and stitch to secure.
Fill your backpack with your favorite travel essentials and you are ready for an adventure! Bon voyage!

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.

Happy sewing and happy exploring!