Hey, fellow sewists! Do you love sewing but also care about the environment? If so, you might be interested in sustainable sewing. Sustainable sewing means sewing in a way that leaves a minimal impact on the planet. It involves choosing eco-friendly fabrics, using up your scraps, mending your clothes, and more. In this blog post, I’ll share some tips and ideas on how to sew sustainably, as well as some projects you can try.
What fabrics should I sew with?
– Natural fibers: These are fabrics made from plants or animals, such as cotton, linen, hemp, wool, silk, etc. They are biodegradable and renewable, but they can also have a high environmental impact depending on how they are grown and processed. Look for organic, fair-trade, or recycled options whenever possible.
– Synthetic fibers: These are fabrics made from petroleum or other chemicals, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc. They are durable and easy to care for, but they are also non-biodegradable and can release microplastics into the water when washed. Avoid them as much as you can, or opt for recycled or certified versions that use less resources and emit less toxins.
– Blended fibers: These are fabrics that combine natural and synthetic fibers, such as cotton-polyester, rayon-spandex, etc. They can offer the best of both worlds in terms of performance and comfort, but they can also be difficult to recycle or compost. Try to choose blends that have a higher percentage of natural fibers, or use them sparingly for garments that need some stretch or durability.
Some of my favorite sustainable fabrics are organic cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, Tencel (made from wood pulp), and recycled polyester. You can find them online or in your local fabric store. Just make sure to check the labels and do some research before buying. Most of the fabrics I use are quilting cottons, lawn and linen. They work well for the majority of my sewing projects.
Use your Scrap Fabrics
Another way to sew sustainably is to use up your scraps. Scraps are the leftover pieces of fabric that you cut off when making a quilt or other sewing project. They can pile up quickly and take up a lot of space in your sewing room. Instead of throwing them away or letting them collect dust, why not turn them into something useful or beautiful? You can find some inspiration here: Sewing with Scraps – A Spoonful of Sugar (aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com)
Use Old Clothing or Materials from Op Shop or Charity Stores
You can also use old clothing as your fabric source. This is a great way to give new life to clothes that are stained, torn, or out of style. You can cut them up and use them as you would any other fabric, or you can refashion them into something completely different.
Look for other recycled materials such as old table cloths, tea towels, aprons etc.
Use Second Hand or Vintage Sewing Tools and Supplies.
Look for second hand or vintage sewing tools and supplies. One of the best places to find vintage haberdashery is at flea markets, antique shops, thrift stores, and garage sales. You never know what treasures you might discover among the piles of old Bric-à-brac. Check out our handy guide to vintage haberdashery You can also cut buttons from old items of clothing to re-use them on your next project.
Make Do or Mend
One more thing you can do to sew sustainably is to mend your clothes. Mending is the art of repairing your clothes when they get damaged or worn out. It can extend the life of your garments and save you money and resources. It can also be a creative and fun way to add some personality and flair to your wardrobe.
You can mend your clothes by:
– Sewing patches over holes or tears.
– Darning holes in knitwear with yarn or thread.
– Embroidering over stains or marks.
– Adding buttons, beads, sequins, lace, etc. to cover up flaws or add interest.
You don’t have to be an expert sewer to mend your clothes. You just need some basic tools like needles, thread, scissors, pins, etc., and some patience and imagination. You can find many tutorials and tips online for different mending techniques.
Here are our top sustainable sewing projects:
One of my passions is sustainable sewing. I love creating beautiful and useful items that are also eco-friendly and reduce waste. Some of my favorites are the Eco-shopper, fabric gift bags, Holiday decorations, and mug rugs/placemats. These projects are sustainable because they use fabric scraps, recycled materials, or natural fibers that are durable and biodegradable. They also help me avoid using plastic bags, wrapping paper, paper/plastic decorations, or disposable coasters that end up in landfills. Plus, they make great gifts for my friends and family who appreciate handmade. If you want to join me in sustainable sewing, check out our Pattern Store and Etsy Shop and get inspired!
Here are a few of my favourite sustainable sewing projects:
For more inspiration on sustainable projects, check out these posts:
I hope you enjoyed this blog post on sustainable sewing. I hope it inspired you to sew more responsibly and creatively. Sustainable sewing is not only good for the planet, but also for your wallet and your soul. It can help you express yourself, learn new skills, and have fun along the way. Happy sewing!