Let's slow down, celebrate the handmade, and enjoy fashion mindfully.
The dreaded Covid finally caught up with me this month. So a large portion of my June was spent in bed resting. However, there was a silver lining to this forced rest. I caught up on the Great British Sewing Bee, and got around to a couple of those computer admin jobs I had been putting off because the weather has been too good to sit behind a screen.
One such job was a mini revamp and reshuffle of this site, including a change of the sites name.
Did you notice?!
So why the change? I have been naturally finding myself gravitating back to my first love of sewing, and in particular pattern making. I have noticed the contents of this site naturally heading in that direction anyway over the past couple of months. So it only felt right to just go with it and acknowledge where my head, and heart, are at and do what I love.
While I will continue to write and share all things ‘Fashion + Psychology', this will no longer be the sole focus of the site. Instead, there will be more of a focus on slowing down, the handmade wardrobe, and mindful fashion in general.
I hope you enjoy!
My wrap up of this month
The Etta from Merchant & Mills
New on the blog
Pattern review: Tessuti - Naia pants, unpicks this super comfortable and versatile pant pattern. This is a new favourite of mine featuring everything I love in a pant pattern - slouchy fit, dropped crotch, cropped length, and of course, deep pockets!
How to read a sewing pattern envelope will walk you through what you can expect to find on the front and back of a sewing pattern envelope, and how best to utilise this information.
Who am I?
As I mentioned above, the site has undergone a bit of a makeover this month, and is taking on a slightly new focus. Therefore, I thought it might be a good time to break the ice, reintroduce myself, and share some things you may not know about me. So here are 10 fun facts;
I am Australian born and bred, but I live in beautiful Munich, Germany. Before moving to Munich, I lived in London, United Kingdom.
I have been with my husband Ben since high school (almost 16 years).
I have a very well travelled pug named Harley who has been to 13 countries.
I have degrees in Design (Fashion), Business (Marketing and Management) and Psychology, hence the interest in the relationship between clothing and human behaviour.
I am a bit of a bookworm. I am loving a murder mystery at the moment.
I have been doing yoga everyday for almost 2.5 years.
My favourite movie is '10 things I hate about you'. How can you not love this movie?!
I am vegan.
I have a pyjama set from when I was in primary school (around age 12) that I still wear at the age of 32. It is in pristine condition, and still fits (apparently I am not much taller now than I was back then).
I have been described as Monica from Friends (minus the ultra-competitive streak). The idea of vacuuming a vacuum just isn't weird to me 🤷♀️
Be sure to head on over to my About Me section for more on my story.
The Etta from Merchant & Mills
Have you seen the latest pattern release from Merchant & Mills?
Named The Etta, this simple wrap dress would make the perfect addition to ones summer wardrobe. I know I certainly have my eye on it!
From what I have read and seen online, the pattern comes as a PDF pattern, with paper coming soon, and is available in sizes 6-28. The pattern gives you the option of varying sleeve length options (3/4, short and sleeveless), and features in seam pockets (a must for a dress of this style!). Personally, just love the way they way they have styled it with a simple tee.
The dress does take quite a bit of fabric so be prepared!
Plastic free sewing
Plastic Free July for 2022 will be upon us as this article is posted. This global movement is all about refusing, and reducing pesky single use plastics. While we should be making every effort to incorporate this challenge into our day to day lives, if it is something new to you, then this month is a great time to start. There is so much help and support out there to kick you off and get you inspired!
A good place to begin might be with a simple audit of one area of your life, such as your fridge, or maybe your shower. Identify where single use plastic exists and see if you can come up with some feasible alternatives. Start small, and don't try to overhaul your whole house at once. Then turn these into lasting habits. Small changes do add up, and progress is better than nothing. right?!
One area I recently reorganised, and I guess you could say "audited" was my sewing area after having being reunited with all my things from the UK. Therefore, I have chosen to continue to focus on this area this July.
For me, the month won't just be about focusing on single use plastic, because to be honest there isn't a lot within my sewing area. Instead I am focusing on both plastic and waste in general. So here is what I have come up with so far:
Polyester thread: I am going to incorporate some Natural Cotton and Silk Thread into my projects. I have a lot of polyester thread in my stash so I am not going to stop using it, that would be counterproductive. Furthermore, some projects do call for it as it is a strong thread. But I feel there is no harm in experimenting with these alternatives, and cutting back on my reliance on polyester thread where I can.
Closures: Next on the the chopping block is plastic closures, like buttons, and zips. There are some great alternatives on the market like cotton or Corozo (a nut from the tagua palm tree) buttons.
Fabric: This one is pretty straightforward, and a swap I tend to implement anyway. So, I will continue to avoid synthetics fabrics and trims for my makes.
Cutting waste: Sewing does produce waste. A quick look at our fabric scrap drawers will reinforce this fact. Therefore;
If using a commercial pattern I will use the cutting guide as just that, a guide only, and enjoy the jigsaw like challenge of trying to get the pattern pieces to fit into as little fabric as possible.
If drafting my own patterns, I will take the fabric widths into consideration. If taking a couple of millimetres off a pocket bag means i can get an extra piece to fit the width of the fabric then so be it!
So much thread is wasted every time a seam is finished. Therefore, I will do my best to limit the length of these. But if there are any decent pieces (think lengths from your rows of gathering), why not use them to complete any hand sewing on the garment?
What tips do you have to reduce your plastic, and waste in general within your sewing area?
What I was reading in June
Recycled plastic swimsuits aren’t as green as you think, from Vogue Business, delves into why brands can't just rely on the use of recycled polyester when it comes to their sustainability efforts.
While recycled polyester is a better option than its virgin counterpart, the industry needs to focus more on reducing the total amount of plastic used in the first place.
For more on this, check out my 'Fibre focus: Recycled polyester'.
Inside Colour Queen Katie Kortman’s Technicolour World of Wearable Art, from Peppermint Magazine, provides some great insight into where this fashion designer, Katie Kortman, draws her inspiration from, and the joy of colour.
I strongly recommend giving her a follow on Instagram (@katiekortmanart). She certainly
adds some much needed colour to my feed.
Can we mend our relationship with repairing clothes? – #MendItMay, from Fashion Revolution, details our broken relationship with clothing.
Sadly, clothing is not being deemed worthy of repair (thanks fast fashion). Additionally, there is a lack of sewing and textile education, which has meant that basic mending and repairing skills have been lost over time.
However, there is hope thanks to campaigns like #menditmay which encourage people to build back those relationships with clothing, and learn and share new skills along the way.
Slow down and scale back: Degrowth in the fashion industry, from Fashion Revolution, explores the concept of degrowth, which is defined as a planned reduction in the amount we consume and produce.
So what does this have to do with the fashion industry?
Why wearing vintage clothing is more necessary than ever, from i-D magazine, is an interesting read on how clothes from the past have never felt more modern.
"Fashion is stuck in a bit of a rut. The constant search for newness feels old, and as a result, the old is what feels intriguingly new."
Coming up in July
How to: Machine gather
Please get in touch or leave me a comment, I would love to know about your June. Also, let me know about anything interesting you have been reading, watching, or listening to.
Thanks for reading, and see you in July!
This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions contained on this site are my own. I am not affiliated with any brands, products, or organisations mentioned, and do not receive any sponsorship, payment, or other compensation for any of the content on this site.