Welcome to the June newsletter and welcome new subscribers.
Me-Made-May finished yesterday. Did you do it? Collectively, I think it was the best one yet. It was the 6th year for me and I did enjoy it although I admit it was a bit of a stretch some days! My pledge was to try and wear only zero waste clothes: a top + bottom or dress/jumpsuit. I looked in the wardrobe and sample boxes and rounded up 48 (!) zero waste items, shown below. I discovered early on (like, Day 1) that there was a deficit of tops but I ended up including knitted things in the definition of zero waste. A follow-up “Me-Made-May and beyond” wardrobe worksheet can be found here.
In other news, for the past month I’ve been doing this freelance job for Decathalon, a French sports goods superstore retailer. It entails another designer and me looking at some of their swimwear and leggings styles and generating ideas to minimize waste, which are then presented to their design team along with the ideation process. It was fun because there was a lot of patternmaking involved, but at the same time really challenging! Normally with my own patterns I wait for inspiration to hit and then go with it, but this was a lot more intentional.
A Year of Zero Waste Sewing
The February and March installments of A Year of Zero Waste Sewing got finished shortly after last month’s newsletter (yay!) and are now available. Read about them here. I’m hoping the next one/s will be ready at the end of this month.
March contains a modular jacket pattern, which has already been made by Sue Stoney on her blog. She cut hers from a pink blanket, very successfully. When I made the pattern the weather was really hot and I didn’t even think of using a blanket!
That new pattern that’s taking ages
Work is moving along slowly on my next zw pattern, a smock-style blouse. It’s had another fit test and now has tucks instead of gathers.
Some things you might enjoy
Meet the two women who designed the sheep jumper worn by Princess Diana. (3mins)
Some of the vintage knitting patterns from the National Library of Australia's archives are now in a book. Read about some of the challenges they had presenting old patterns to modern day knitters.
Lots of lovely visible mending on knitwear by Collingwood-Norris. Also, take a look at Collingwood-Norris's new visible mending book specifically for knitwear.
For those interested in zero waste pattern grading: a paper outlining the Carrico ZW Banded Grading technique.
On the subject of zero waste fashion design, here’s a short paper on it.
Will sheep shearing become an occupation of the past? New research into chemical defleecing which I heard about at the Knit-Spin-Weave fibre craft retreat. Animal welfare and superior quality fleece are two of the big positives. Previous attempts include Bioclip, which had a few issues.
An homage to Ukrainian embroidery with some absolutely beautiful examples. (In French.)
Just because you can, does it mean you should? Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr President" dress - yep, the actual dress - to the Met Gala. Historic dress people aren't happy. (Yes, this is kind of "old news" now, but being a monthly newsletter I miss out on the scoops.)
Madame Weigel has been on Landline again, with the exciting discovery of a photograph of her and new exhibits in the Templin museum (12mins). If you missed the first Landline, it’s here (11mins - it starts at the 37min mark).
Patternmaker Stacey East’s Me-Made-May pledge was: To wear my vintage me-made wardrobe for the month of May. I am going to decide whether to keep it or give it up. Browse through 50 years of fashion from Stacey's attic.
The Fleece to Fashion event (formerly the Australian Wool Fashion Awards) has just been and the winner was high school student. I’ve entered this award in the past and it’s a great experience. I recommend entering, especially if you’re a student.
Is this a breakthrough in the future of plastic recycling? An enzyme which will break down plastic in days not centuries.
Can fast fashion ever be sustainable or is it inherently not? This article discusses.
A tutorial on how to make a puff quilt. I’ve never seen a real one - I saw these quilts illustrated in picture books when I was a child and always wondered how they got so puffy.
On the blog lately
Me-Made-May pledge and plan of action.
The February and March installments of A Year of Zero Waste Sewing.
Looking for some good reads? Here are 3 recommendations.
From the blog archives
A tutorial for the double-fold waistband, which uses itself for interfacing.
Sewing with hand woven fabric - a very special experience.
Many thanks for reading!
Best sewing wishes from Liz