It feels like a long time since I sewed anything. It’s partly down to a conscious decision to do some slow sewing, even though I’m sure it doesn’t make for an interesting sewing-centric blog!
We need some slow sewing
There’s a reason I’m not sewing a constant supply of new clothes. I think constantly churning out garments to wear a handful of times is every bit as harmful as fast fashion. Ok, so sewing your own clothes means you’ve removed garment workers from the equation and there are plenty who pat themselves on the back for this. But what else has changed? Your textile consumption is likely to be fairly voracious, and probably undiscerning in terms of supplies and how ethically produced they are. How many handmade garments are worn just a couple of times, or sewn to join in with an Instagram challenge? How many handmade garments are languishing in wardrobes as we move onto the latest “best ever” pattern?
I love Instagram, but nearly every day I see a post proclaiming someone’s newest handmade garment to be their favourite thing ever. I get it, I’m equallly as excited when I make something and it fits properly, but if the next day you’re working on your next “best make ever” there’s something not right. Let’s face it, we need a finite number of clothes.
My slow sewing plans
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I think that using the handful of fabrics I already have is the most eco-friendly thing to do. When I bought my fabric, mostly cotton, I didn’t know enough about cotton production or why sustainable fabrics are a more ethical choice. Having said that, getting rid of this fabric and buying again isn’t an environmentally sound decision. As I tend to buy fabric with projects in mind, I’m going to use it up before I start shopping for more.
First on my list to sew is a cropped navy blue sweatshirt, which I’m personalising with some embroidery. I just can’t decide what to embroider on it! I made one for my friend as a birthday present, so I’ll be using the leftover fabric for mine. The idea for embroidery it came about because I don’t want us wearing the same thing! Plus I love a bit of embroidery. It definitely falls under the remit of slow sewing.
I’d also like to sew a few bits and pieces for my girls. Their wardrobes are definitely due a good sort out after recent growth spurts. Sewing less for myself does free up time to sew for others!
Why slow sewing?
I think there are a number of benefits to slowing down our handmade output and being more conscious sewists.
- Considering whether we want a garment in our wardrobes vs the need to sew it to join in on social media
- Taking the time over a garment and making something that will last
- Appreciating the finished garment more because it took time
- Creating a wardrobe of items that work together and get worn regularly
- Using less fabric and other supplies
A comment on a recent blog post sent me off reading about Natalie Chanin, a huge advocate of slow fashion. Her work is certainly worth reading about if you’re interested in slow sewing or sustainability.
What are your thoughts?