Earth Day Sewing

Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day! Are you expecting me to tell you that today is the perfect day to make a tote bag from a t-shirt? C’mon, we can be more imaginative than that, don’t you think?

Eco-Friendly Fabrics

Bamboo knit dressHow about making something from an earth-friendly fiber? Such as a non-petroleum product. Or an organic fiber. Bamboo knits are more widely available these days; Vogue Fabrics (an ASG Supporting Retailer) has a selection of bamboo knits that have a lovely hand and come in a variety of colors. I recently made some scarves and a convertible dress out of their bamboo knit. It was easy

To learn more about eco-friendly fabrics, here are a couple of links:

However, do be careful in trusting everything labeled as “organic.” Some practices are still not as regulated, so some of the so-called organics may not be as organic as they claim to be and may just be a way to inflate the price/yard. Unfortunately, as a consumer, we don’t have a way to ask for verification.


Reconstructed Outfit by Alla

Material Girls' Alla shows her reconstruction challenge outfit

Upcycling. Recycling. Reconstructed clothes. Altered Couture. Call it what you may, you could be earth-friendly by taking an existing item and making it into something new or embellish something you have to give it new life. This isn’t new; generations have done it before us, but the current trend is to call it “Altered Couture.” Kinda nicer than “I recycled this old shirt,” don’t you agree?

Here’s an interview about eco-sewing from with Ruth Singer. Ruth Singer is the author of Sew Eco, sewing sustainable and re-used materials and Sew it Up, a modern manual of practical and decorative sewing (called The Sewing Bible in US/Canada). Ruth is a textile artist and designer, creating one-off exhibition pieces using her large stash of sustainable and vintage fabrics. She also writes and designs projects for magazines and books, and teaches extensively in the UK.

Earth Day Sewing Projects

I don’t think you have to go so far as to only use a treadle sewing machine, but maybe Earth Day is the opportunity to catch up on hand-sewing…no electricity needed to run a sewing machine. How about hand-picking a zipper instead of machine sewing? Nancy S. from SewChicago NG said her grandmother used to press her hand-sewn aprons by folding neatly; placing under a book on a chair; and sitting on it during supper. Talk about no carbon footprints!

Still want to bust out your sewing machine? How about making a stuffed globe or an endangered animal.

  • Globe: Use this pattern for your basic ball shape, then trace the continents from a map onto felt and appliqué to your ball.
  • Endangered Animal: Search the internet for free animal patterns or check your library or bookstore for “Wild and Wonderful Fleece Animals” for a fun selection

Twitter logoFollow our tweets today for more Earth Day-inspired projects and ideas— including the obligatory t-shirt tote. 🙂 Happy Earth Day Sewing!

Video Tweet Day List

Watching movies clipart from MicrosoftDid you follow the tweets of videos yesterday? Did you follow #vidtweetday or did you follow on the blog? I really hope you liked them; I had a fun time finding various topics and not-the-norm videos.

In case you missed any, here’s a list of all the videos:

  1. Threadbanger’s How to Wet Felt a Beret
  2. The art of tambour beading as done in French Haute Couture Embroidery at Lesage in Paris
  3. The Making of a Chanel Haute Couture Outfit from New York Magazine
  4. VogueFabrics’ Mac Berg shows how to use the stilleto when sewing and pressing
  5. Embellishment With Bias Strips from Sandra Betzina
  6. Haute couture French crochet beading from Corinne Meunier and photos
  7. Bespoke tailoring in U.K.; mobile tailors set up in pubs and the suits are made in Hong Kong
  8. Traditional shibori tying & dyeing
  9. Shingo Sato, extreme pattern making: Transformational Arm-Hole
  10. Francesco the tailor, Italy (I wish there was more to the video)
  11. Julian Roberts Subtraction Cutting by an Indiana University student under Julian’s direction
  12. Japanese kimono maker. I love his foot action and mesmerized by his adept needle-handling.
  13. A two-fer deal: Spoonflower’s tutorial of how to design without Photoshop and creating wall art with custom-printed fabric

I hope you enjoy these videos! I’ll try to do another Video Tweet Day every few months.

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