sewing, pattern review, slow fashion

the box shirt

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I have been super busy over the last 6 weeks, curtains and home furnishings taking up lots if my time.  So when I was able to carve out a day to sew for myself, I decided to make the Box Shirt by The Maker’s Atelier.  A while ago I was in Ray Stitch in Islington and I found some bamboo silk, it has a wonderful sheen and weight to it.  And now they have a selection of beautiful jewel colours, would so love to make another shirt in this fabric.  I decided not to make a vent in the side seams and construct with french seams.

It looks great tucked in or out and can see this becoming a real wardrobe staple, just hoping it doesn’t shrink as I didn’t prewash the fabric.  It’s a brilliant pattern.  I did a quick twirl, sharing on instagram stories – kind of shows the fabric better.

 

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plastic detox

#drowninginplastic simple swaps

If you haven’t seen Drowning in Plastic that was shown this week on BBC1, do.  It’s a hard watch and shows the horrific scale of plastic pollution that is killing marine life, poisoning rivers and how we are now eating microplastics in our food and the damage it is reeking.  Finding alternatives is hard, in our daily lives we are all bombarded by plastics.  From our first cup of tea in the morning to closing our eyes, plastics are everywhere – polycotton sheets = sleeping on plastic, it seems to be never-ending.

swap shop

There are some simple swaps that are low cost and will make a difference, some swaps do require a change of habit or more investment and that does take quite a while to get going.

Having a reuseable bag, rather than a plastic bag.  If your up for DIY burdastyle has a good pattern and its so simple.  Perfect to make as gifts.  I use a basket for food shopping and try to carry a string bag or a homemade bag packed in my handbag for other purchases.

If you drink dairy, try a local milk delivery company – there is also 1 company that does make dairy free milks in glass bottles available from Hetu (always best to call ahead as they sell out so quickly).

Who gives a crap, paper wrapped loo roll.  Since buying the first box, been impressed by this loo roll and not gone back to the supermarket plastic wraped stuff.

bin bags

When I can I use Biodegradable bin bags, I buy them from Baldwins and As Nature Intended (both in store) and am writing to all my local supermarkets asking them to stock biodegradable waste bags.

Try a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush, I bought mine at The Source Bulk Foods and there are lots now available.

Tea there are a few options, PG Tips loose leaf is the only 100% plastic free I’m aware of – unless you have found some.  Do comment below if you have.  Coffee I tend to go out for and use my insulated cup, found in TK Mazz.  It’s not leak proof but keeps my coffee hot and is easy to take around.

I love stationary and this one has been very hard, I’ve switched to a fountain pen with a refillable converter to use bottle ink.  I know it can’t be used everywhere, but has solved my daily needs and I love using it.

Switching liquid soap, Baileys Home & Garden have bars of un-packaged soap and it lovely.  I tend to buy quite a few bars when I am visiting Herefordshire.  There are lots of lovely options.

Cotton handkerchiefs (ebay) rather than tissues, I have found paper tissues in Tesco that are plastic free – but have invested in a dozen and now in the habit of grabbing a new clean hankie every day.

These are just a few suggestions, if you have more do please comment.  Would love some skin care suggestions!

All views are my own and i have bought all the items at my own cost.

I have a new instagram for my plastic free journey @my_plastic_free_journey_uk

pattern review, sewing

The Utility Coat: a review

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This weekend I went to North Wales to the Good Life Experience, a wonderful festival that is so much more than music – although that was brilliant.  As advised packed for all eventualities and my new rain coat came along.  It is the Utility Coat by the Maker’s Atelier and lined with a warm quilted fabric.

Pattern: The Utility Coat by TheMaker’s Atelier.

Fabrics: Water proof cotton fabric from The Cloth house wearhouse & quilted lining.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread.

Pattern description: A relaxed, unlined coat with hood or round-necked collar.

Pattern Sizing: I made the size 12.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?: Yes, although a little fuller because of the lining.

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: I love the simple clean lines for the pattern.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?: Yes, I fully lined the coat, so didn’t bind any of the seams.  I also used eyelets on the hood, as well as the waist,  simple patch pockets, poppers instead of buttons and made a parker shape at the back.  There is a very simple ‘how to‘ on The Maker’s Ateliers website, I used a parker of my daughter’s as a basic shape.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?: Yes, a very well written pattern and if making the basic unlined version it is a quickish make.

Conclusion: delighted with my new winter raincoat and had some really lovely comments about it when I took it away for the weekend.

 

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

pattern review, sewing

Simplicity 2587

I have been working on some dresses based on Simplicity 2587.  I have increased the fullness in the skirt, raised the plung V neckline and also made the sleeves more bell like.  I love the floatyness of the sleeves and it is super to wear, the cotton embroidery anglaise is lovely in the heat and lined with cotton voile.

I added some piping detail to the neckline and midriff panel, really love how well the piping works.  Its a fabulous dress to go from day to evening, with heals or flip flops.

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For lunch with friends or just running errands.

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I love the fit and have made a couple for customers – who saw mine and wanted a version for themselves!

sewing

sewing in the heat

Over the past couple of months we have been experiencing an amazingly hot summer, something my wardrobe is not used to.  I have very few pieces that are for extremely hot weather and those that I do own are rather more beach/resort wear.  So in between commissions I have been snatching a few hours making up a couple of dresses and on Saturday bought some fabulous pure cotton white broderie anglaise, cotton voile and light weight cotton print to make up Simplicity 2587.

simplicity 2587

making view c, with a few modifications  pics in my next post.

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Another much worn dress has been Vogue 9253, I love this dress!  East to wear and simple to sew, did take 5.5m of fabric as I chose a narrow width.  I made a neckline alteration as I didn’t want such a low V and worn it lots, the african wax print I used is also brilliant and washes like a dream.

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Just finished Butterick 5898 for a client in Liberty Tana Lawn, it looks really lovely and perfect for a hot summers day and also smart.  If you can not face getting your sewing machine out, Justine Tabak has some beautiful pieces, made in London and from beautful fabrics including some super Liberty tana lawns.

Will post the photo’s of the finished dresses soon, but for now must get back to work.

plastic detox

#plasticfreeJuly

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This month I have finally managed to get plastic free toothpaste, mouthwash & a new type of bamboo toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable.  All found at The Source Bulk Foods in Chiswick, although you can also find the toothpaste and mouthwash on Etsy.  The charcoal toothpaste is good and a thousand times better than the first powdered charcole powder I tried, apparently not as popular as the mint and the mouthwash is great, pop a tablet in half a glass of water and hey presto – mouthwash.  Very easy to travel with.Kiehls-Logo

I was chatting to the manager of Kiehl’s in House of Fraser in Victoria and she told me that they take returns of old packaging to be recycled and very soon will be launching their products in recycled plastic.  It’s a great recycling scheme, would be brilliant if more companies did this and as Kiehl’s is owned by L’Oréal maybe something all L’Oréal brands could be doing.

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As promised last month I have researched sunscreen and although I didn’t need it for my holiday, goodness on my return home the heat was such a shock.  So far I have covered up while out and about, although today did spend quite a few hours trying to track down sun protection on my local high street.  Plastic free is very hard to find on the high Street and seems to be an online only product, will keep looking!  Etsy as usual came up trumps and I found one made here in England.

HappyNaturalsEtsy has a SPF 30 – 40 and comes packaged in aluminium screw top pot. Made to order.  Raw Love is a brand from the USA, it’s a zinc oxide (non nano) broad spectrum with a SPF35.  Cocoalohasurf  all natural & waterproof facial broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen SPF 45, that comes in untinted and 2 other shades.  Shade, all natural sunscreen,  broad spectrum UVA and UVB.  Again it contains non-nano zinc oxide.  Suntribe natural sports & face sunscreen, with an SPF 30 with broad spectrum UVA/UVB.  It is water-resistant, reef safe and contains the least ingredients of any of the products I’ve found – only organic beeswax, coconut oil and non-nano zinc oxide.  Again Kiehl’s would also be an alternative, not plastic free – but you can take the bottle/tube back to Kiehl’s to recycle.

My search for a good mascara continues and other plastic free alternatives.  I have found a refilable mascara by Kjaer Weis and will do more reaserch into the refils.

This is not a sponcered post and all views are my own.

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The Landgate | a review

the landgate

Pattern: The Landgate

Fabrics: waterproof cotton fabric from The Cloth House warehouse.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] threadhardwear, zip & elastic.

Pattern description: The Landgate Jacket is the first unisex pattern from Merchant and Mills, it’s versatile, functional and thoroughly modern.

Pattern Sizing: Medium.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?:  Yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Nice, straight forward make.  Easy to follow pattern, I prefered to bind the seams inside for a nice finish.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?  Yes, I dipped the hem at the back into a curve, just to make it good in a storm.  Also used the same fabric for the pocket linings.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  yes, its a good pattern. If you’ve not made a jacket before, take it slowly and maybe use a waxed cotton.

Conclusion:  This is the second Landgate I’ve made.  The first in a Merchant and Mills waxed linen, re-waxing it proved tricky and thought this waterproof fabric would be perfect.  The fabric is thick and didn’t like pressing all that much (used lots of steam aand a pressing cloth), it’s waterproof rather than shower proof and with wear the fabric will soften.  Using the metal eyelets gives a really professional finish and instead of using cotton cord, I used a thick elastic cord in a contrasting khaki.  The jacket is easy to wear and unisex, so would make a great make for a guy.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

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#Plasticdetox June

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I have been using Aesop on and off for quite a few years, finding the packaging really attractive.  Trying to go plastic free, they do have a good range of products with only plastic lids and the bottles are recyclable and also reuseable too.  Some of the products I thought were recyclable and discovered I had completely misunderstood the symbols!

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I have assumed this means recycling as it appears on deodorant bottles and all sorts of things.  In my London borough we can recycle spray antiperspirants like the Sure bottle in my bathroom cabinet.  The symbol above actually means that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging – NOT that the packaging is recyclable.  But I’ve at least learn that now.  The cleanser I chose is an oil base and good, my skin clean – alough still unsure.  So the search continues….  The eye makeup remover is fabulous and so is the facial scrub – but that it appears to be totally recyclable and I am waiting to hear back from Aesop.

Marks-and-Spencer-lambs lettuce

Failed miserably with salad – why do salads items always come in plastic?  No where can I find a lettuce not wrapped in plastic, so have taken matters into my own hands and now have a small space on a friends allotment.  I can not get an allotment of my own in my borough, our garden is a very small courtyard that appears to home bugs of all descriptions that eat all my attempts at growing any veg.

plastic plant pots

I then became aware of gardening without plastic was going to be more tricky, seeds in paper will be fine. I’ve started growing some and will transplant when they are big enough.  Found some woad seeds and thought they would be interesting to add in, then I could experiment with dyeing linen and wool.  But all potting compost appears to come in plastic – pre planted veg, fruit and herbs are all in plastic – it’s everywhere!  But I’m sure I can find a way and have plans, the others at the allotments grow the most amazing things.  So inspiring!

With holidays coming up I am researching sun creams etc and busy emailing companies to gain more information. More on that next month!

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T:203 cuff top | a review

T-203 cuff top

Pattern: T:203 Cuff Top by The Assembly Line.

Fabrics: clerical cotton from Fabrics Galore, I bought this in store and can’t see it on their website.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread & elastic.

Pattern description: The Cuff top has a straight fit and kimono sleeves with wide elastic cuffs.  Kimono sleeve with top stitch detail on centre and shoulder seams.

Pattern Sizing: X Small, Small, Medium & Large.  I made the medium.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?:  Yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Well written pattern, with clear instructions.  Simple and straight forward and classed as very easy.  It is beautifully packaged and the instructions are in booklet form, complete with drawings and lots of helpful tips.

Did I make any pattern alterations or design changes?  yes, used a thinner elastic – 1.5 inch wide as I have a large reel at home.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  Yes, I will definitely make it again. The top has a real Cos look to it and very easy to wear, would be great in other colours and also think washed linen and silk would work.

Conclusion:  Great pattern, simple and would be a brilliant first pattern for some one.  I bought it direct from The Assembly Line although The Draper’s Daughter is now stocking them.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.

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The Holiday shirt | a review

the holiday shirt

Pattern: The Holiday Shirt by The Maker’s Atelier.

Fabrics: Washed linen from Ray Stitch.

Notions: Epic [polyfil] thread, 3mm white elastic  metal cube cord ends, white cotton tape and cord locks.

Pattern description: An easy pull-on top in two lengths, with options for short or long sleeves, collar or hood and with or without drawstring waist.

Pattern Sizing: 8 – 18.  I made the size 12.

Did it look like the photo/line drawing on the pattern once finished?: yes

What did you like or dislike about the pattern?: Well written pattern, with clear instructions.  Simple and straight forward to make.  The cotton tape worked beautifully to hide the seam in the hood.

Did I make  any pattern alterations or design changes?  No.

Would I sew it again or recommend to others?  Yes, I will definitely make it again.  Thinking of a winter weight version – slightly longer with pockets, may be in a denim.

Conclusion: A great pattern, that will be easy to wear and add to my wardrobe.  Perfect added layer and with some lovely details.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinion are my own.  I purchased the pattern and fabric.