Here I have made a skirt out of two shirts buttoned together. Its so simple.
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Over the next few weeks I will be showing you how to become more eco friendly in what you wear, and not sacrifice your style!
Firstly, we must all take full advantage of what we already have in our wardrobe. We all have some hidden treasures that have been collecting dust, brush them off and get them out! And if you feel they just aren't you any more, there are so many things you can do to make them beautiful again, breathe a new life into them, and make them into something you are proud to wear.
Here I have taken an old waistcoat of mine, and customized it into something utterly unique. It isn't complicated, anyone can do this. So why not give it a go!
I chose this waistcoat because I hardly wear it, its a pale colour so any stitching I do on it will show up nicely, it also has a great lining, so I can play with that a bit too, you need to be confident and be prepared to cut into your garment, really take advantage of great linings or fastenings.
So here I have cut away one section of the outer fabric to reveal the fabulous lining, and then sewed it back up using a wavy stitch on my sewing machine. Its great to play with the different stitches that you have available on your machine, because you can create great effects with minimum effort!
Using free machine embroidery, which is were you take the foot off the sewing machine, meaning that you are free to stitch any which way you like, you can use the needle and thread like a pen, making a continuous line drawing, it takes some practice, you must always keep the fabric taught, if you can its best to put it into a embroidery hoop if you are working on a larger area, and be careful, try not to stitch your fingers! As you can see I have free machine embroidered some leaves onto these straps.
Its great to add other fastenings and trimmings to your garment. Here I took the edging from an old pillowcase and stitched it on using another great stitch on my sewing machine. Replacing the odd button with different colour or style of button is a great way to jazz up an old garment.
If you aren't a savvy on the sewing machine or just don't want to do machine embroidery, then just a simple straight stitch can give you a great effect. That's what I have done here, do what ever you feel confident with, just enjoy it and don't be afraid to go for it, if it doesn't work out, you can always unpick it!
Here I had to unpick the seam and slip this piece of lace in that I had lying around from an old table cloth, and then sew the seam back up, this is my favorite part, and it looks like it has always been there.
So have some fun, and if you don't feel like laying into any of your own clothes just yet, charity shops are a great place to find some hidden gems, older clothes are more often better made, and have the more elaborate linings which you can have great fun with. You can try unpicking a sleeve or something, turning it inside out and stitching it back on, if you have a really fabulous lining you want to show off. The possibilities are endless, the more adventurous you are, the more likely you will make new discoveries and end up with a very special garment.
So now I have a lovely waistcoat that I wear much more often, something completely unique and I'm proud to wear, the number of compliments I receive from it is surprising, and makes me feel a great sense of achievement to know that I have had a part in creating this garment. Also it has cost nothing, it has saved me buying a new one, and made better use of something old that was being neglected. I encourage you to do the same, have a rummage through your wardrobe and find something to become proud of.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
H&M are stepping up to the mark and releasing their new 'Conscious Collection'. A collection that incorporates eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, Tencel, and recycled polyester. This is not just a one off collection, it will be a new line that they will keep going. The pieces are very pretty and feminine, a huge contrast to the shapeless unappealing organic cotton t-shits that we see in some high street shops, as their attempt to 'do their bit'. The whole collection is coloured white and natural ivory, no need for harsh chemical dyes with these fresh summer outfits. This is a great start to encourage other brands to do the same, as competition arises and more and more people are buying ethical clothing not just because it is ethical but because it is fashionable too!
But is this enough? are they just trying to bail out saying they have an eco collection to distract us from the fact that they are selling hundreds of other garments which are not eco. Surely if they can create an eco collection can't they make the rest of their collections organic and eco friendly too? Or will this affect their profits to much...?
Cotton crops use a staggering 25% of the worlds pesticides. Many of them deadly, and used by farmers who do not understand the dangers or are not equipped with the correct protective clothing needed to handle these harmful chemicals. Pesticides cause over 20,000 deaths a year from accidental poisonings. Aldicarb, the second most used pesticide in cotton production, just one drop absorbed through the skin is enough to kill an adult. And there are the farmers spraying it in the fields in their shorts and t-shits and sandals...This chemical is banned in over 70 countries, it's use is banned in the EU yet the EU still produce it and sell it the third world countries, where is the sense in that?!
This is a complete outrage. It is so unbelievable that this is happening right now, and that we are contributing to this by buying cotton products which are manufactured in this way everyday. So how can we change this? well it is up to YOU. The fashion industry as a whole is too lazy, too ignorant and too disinterested in fair trade and the environmental issues surrounding the sourcing of raw materials. Only pressure form the consumer is enough to change their habits. We must be more inquisitive and demanding when purchasing our clothes, sheets, towels, there are SO many cotton products out there! Asking where the cotton is sourced is a start, push for brands to use organic cotton, and ask WHY they don't use organic cotton already. Buy organic cotton products when you can. The more popular it becomes the more it will be produced. The more competition will arise among brands, making organic cotton more widely available.