No to Fast Fashion

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have already seen my latest dressmaking, a Blackwood cardi. This is such a nice pattern, it fits great, really flattering and is quick and easy to sew. The only tricky moment is top stitching the pockets in place. The answer to that is to pin them really well, then place some thin tissue paper on top and stitch through all the layers. If you use white tissue you'll hopefully be able to see the edge of the pocket, but if you can't, you should still be able to feel it. When you're done, tear the paper away and voila! A perfectly stitched pocket with no distortion.

I'm sure I will make more of these cardigans, I need to go through my stash and see what suitable fabrics I've got.

In the Insta post, I referenced the BBC documentary by Stacey Dooley about the fashion industry's failings to address the environmental devastation it's causing. If you're able to watch it on iPlayer, it's well worth checking out. I had heard about the rivers running with this season's colours, but to see it is truly shocking. It seems that all the big retail names, through their avoidance of speaking on the programme, are complicit in not tackling these issues. It really makes me uneasy about buying ready to wear, but I love clothes as much as the next person. The points to take away from the programme are to, if you can, buy ethically produced clothes, wear what you buy, wear it lots and make it last.

When you make your own clothes, of course you're still using fabrics that have likely cost the environment a great deal. If any of you know about the best places to source ethically produced fabrics that as home sewers we can purchase for our projects then please do share in the comments. I think at least when you make your own clothes you value them more. The time that you've taken to sew them, the care and attention to every detail, making sure they fit so you're more likely to wear them often. That all matters and has value. I really treasure the clothes I've made for Amelie over the years and it's a real pleasure to pass them on to other children.

I've written a post over on the DMTV blog with my tips for dressmaking, what machines I use, my favourite patterns and places to get fabric. I hope you might be tempted to give dressmaking a go and start saying no to the fast fashion retailers.

Here's the link to visit the DMTV blog.

Happy sewing!
Bye for now,


  1. Hi everyone!
    As I sew my own clothes and do love beautiful fabrics - I often alter clothes with lovely fabrics. Isn't it ethically justifiable? I found also a group on facebook which is called Up-Cycled Cloth Collective. Funny ideas but good intentions to not throw or reuse clothes...
    Happy sewing!

  2. I love your new cardigan. The other part of ready to wear (and then toss when it goes out of style) are the news reports of the bales of still useable clothing sent to landfills in Third World countries. I am so embarrassed by what the US has been doing in polluting not just our own land but the land of others and our disposable mentality. Everything is being made to last a short time and then to be pitched. I wasn't born during the war or Depression, but those values were drummed into my head - use it and then reuse it. I am looking to find information about upcycling. My husband is now retired. Gone are the suit and tie days and they all sit in the closet. We have donated many to local organizations who help people dress for job interviews and other activities. I have pulled my favorite Oxford shirts for quilting fabric, but some of them I'd love to alter for myself. I'd also love to take some of the suits and alter them into some sort of clothing that I'd actually wear. I always think of the movie stars of the 30-40's (Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, etc.) and how their clothing looked like altered men's suits. It may not be stylish, but honestly, who cares?

  3. Following this philosophy from childhood (when buying new clothes was because of need and not for fashion), it's sad to see how much waste we humans are able to make. So, YES! making my own clothes and recycling clothes into new clothes or patchwork, or give them away should be a 'hummingbird style' solution. Thank you for sharing Laura, lovely cardigan!


Post a Comment