Saturday, 26 March 2011

Be an eco fashionista!

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.



  1. It's about time someone took an interest in Eco Fashion! I'm about to start my dissertation which I'm doing on sustainability in fashion and I also plan to do an eco collection in my final year next year so I shall be watching your blog closely :) Don't let me down!

  2. Thank you, I've become obsessed with it, we all need to pull our finger out and face the reality of what we are doing to our planet and to our people! Have you read any of Katharine Hamnett's campaigns? they are fantastic, its what got me into this.

  3. Yeah too true. I've not read her campaigns but I am indeed aware of her work. A friend of mine does a lot of work for/with her. She's super nice from what I hear.
    You should check out my internship blog, I did a stint with designer Lu Flux, bet you'd love her work.
    Which uni are you at?

  4. That so cool! Katharine Hamnet is just so amazing.
    I have checked it out a while ago actually, and I love Lu flux!
    I'm at farnham doing foundation, fashion textiles, and doing my final project on eco fashion.

  5. Aw, I just left Farnham last year to come to Rochester. I was on the textiles course.
    Wait a minute, it was YOU that left a comment that time!
    How funny. ^_^ did you ever contact her?
    What are your plans after foundation?

  6. yes it was :) i wrote an email, but thinking about it i don't think i ever sent it! I will do though.
    Doing fashion textiles at winchester, middlesex or bath...cant decide

  7. Ooh la la. I got places at Bath and Winchester. You live in Devon no? I'm from Dorset :) Bath spa is a lush uni.