Category Archives: Fabric

Slow Fashion Revolution // Part 2 of 3

After exploring the definition of slow fashion in Monday’s post, let’s take a closer look at its three elements that I mentioned:  care, quality, and cultivation.

First, let’s talk about Cultivation (or, if you prefer, curation.)  This refers to the way you build your wardrobe.  How are you obtaining your clothes–are you buying new, hitting up the thrift shops, swapping with friends, or creating your own?

Thrifting or swapping is often seen as the most responsible, eco-friendly way to get “new” clothes.  These clothes have already been purchased (or made), but are no longer wanted by their original wearers.  Passing them onto someone else keeps them from the landfill.  But whether you’re thrifting; buying new; or planning to sew, weave, crochet, or knit your own; you’ll want to think about quality.

Quality refers to the materials used, the way the garment is constructed, and even the design or style.  (Is it something trendy that’ll grow stale quickly, or a classic you can wear for years to come?)  Are the materials used natural, like cotton, wool, linen, hemp?  Or are they derived from petroleum?  Plastic microfibers, like those from polyester, can cause big trouble.  

Another important aspect of quality to think about refers to the life and working conditions of the people who make your clothes (this is relevant mostly to those who are buying new items.)  Are they paid fairly?  Are they working in safe factories?  The answer is often a resounding “NO,” but transparency in the fashion industry is so infamously non-existent that it’s difficult to know exactly what is going on.  Organizations like Fashion Revolution are investigating so that we can be better informed about the choices we make and brands we support, but there is still a long way to go.

Care is fairly self-explanatory, but certainly worth mentioning: how do you treat the garments you have?  This includes wearing, washing, storing, mending.  Are you washing your clothes in the recommended way?  Are you keeping the moths from getting to your wool sweaters?  When a button pops off or a seam begins to fray, what do you do?  A little sewing know-how can go a long way!

If you get a chance, glance through your wardrobe tonight.  If you’re like many, you’ll find a full closet but nothing to wear.  Think about what pieces you love and wear often.  Are there certain characteristics common to those garments?  Now look at the pieces you bought and wore once, or maybe haven’t worn at all.   What is it that you don’t like about those pieces you aren’t wearing?  Think about what gaps need to be filled in, and what you might pass on to others.

Later in the week, I’ll conclude this series with part 3, in which I’ll explain in more detail how to implement these concepts, share some of my favorite resources, and talk about how you can get involved in the slow revolution.

Favorite Fabrics: The Feedsack Dress

There is something so appealing to me about the feedsack dress.  Though sometimes viewed as a symbol of the necessary frugality (or, poverty,) of the Depression era, it was also a way to “[give] rural women a sense of fashion.”  I’d love to see this type of practical reuse come back (though granted, less people are living in rural settings and don’t usually find themselves purchasing large bags of feed…)

I know “the good old days” were not always a fairy tale, but you have to admit this aspect of past times is pretty dreamy.  And aside from the upcycling aspect, the prints were so fun and cheerful!

Yellow tiered feedsack dress from Dreem Co, $165
’30s feedsack dress from Vintage Clothing and Co, $114.99
1940s Dress from Carla and Carla, $145

When searching for examples, I even found this children’s play costume of Cleopatra!

Vintage feedsack from Maudelynn, $98

Of course, these colorful fabrics were also utilized for crafting quilts and other items that were useful around the house…

Yo-yo Twin Size Quilt from Upswing Vintage, $225
Floral Feedsack Apron from Hatfeathers Vintage, $32.49

Craftsy has a lovely post about feedsack quilting that talks a bit more about feedsack fabric, which you can read here.

Scrapper’s Delight

As you may know, I often offer curated scrap kits over at my Etsy shop, because after 15 years or so of sewing, I have accumulated a whole lotta scrap.  If I am unable to use them (or am just tired of looking at a particular fabric!) I sell them because I know there’s someone out there who will give them the love they deserve.  Also…it’s the responsible thing to do!  The EPA estimates that the average American trashes about 70-80 pounds of textiles a year.   (YIKES.)  That is an absurd amount of waste that can be easily prevented by wise purchasing, careful use, and reclaiming/recycling.

Needless to say, I am so excited when I see other scrap kits popping up on the web!  Recently, the non-profit FABSCRAP in New York City launched their online store featuring mixes of fabrics recovered from high end designers, which you can visit here.

Also, the London-based artist Flextiles, who specializes in indigo shibori and ecoprints is now offering kits in her shop, which you can see here.

Really, you can find a wide variety of scrap bundles available on Etsy with a quick search.

One of my goals for this year is to put together a little inspiration booklet of projects that would work well for the scraps of all sizes…we’ll see when that gets done!

But in the meantime, as I was doing a bit of searching, I stumbled upon this fantastic directory of Scrapstores, as they’re called here.  Is there one near you?  Click here to check it out!

Mermaid’s Tale Scrap Kit from Moth & Rust
Unicorn Parade Scrap Kit from Moth & Rust