I decided to start a blog as I wanted a way to share and document my creations. I have always enjoyed creative hobbies like painting, photography, art, gardening, architecture, and now sewing. Before 2019 I had sewn here and there, such as mending my clothes , taking in jeans to turn them into skinny jeans.. that sort of thing. I had made a couple bags from a pattern years ago when I was about 14, and I enjoyed having a self made item, but I do not think I fully appreciated or had the patience for sewing. I think the pattern instructions were a little unclear, and I think it may have been a little too challenging of a project. so for years I had hated sewing!
Then in January 2019 I watch a documentary called The True Cost a documentary about the negative impacts the fashion industry has on the environment and the Inhuman treatment of the garment factory workers. This really opened my eyes and cause me to really think about who made my clothes, and where it comes from. I was disgusted to learn that fast fashion companies take advantage of people in developing countries with poor labour laws, just to be able to save money on manufacturing and to sell their items at low prices to developed countries. Unfortunately a $5, $10, or a $15 t-shirt will not pay the garment worker at the beginning of the production process.
Unethical practice doesn't just have to come from fast fashion companies offering low prices, but could also come from the ultra-expensive haut-couture companies. Many companies do not adequately pay the garment workers regardless of how expensive their products are, as they want to make a larger profit. There is also the issue of negative environmental impacts from both expensive high fashion to cheap brands and everything in between. Companies that are burning their excess products to protect their brand from counter fitting, overproduced clothing going to landfill, chemicals used to dye and treat textiles going into our water systems and oceans, cruelty to animals and the list goes on.
The fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluter after the oil and gas industry, and uses modern day slavery. I can talk days about the environmental and social issues that the fashion industry has, and I am still learning more about it everyday. That is why I decided to make a change and alter my perspective on the way I viewed my wardrobe. After watching the documentary I felt inspired to look at the old clothes in my closet that I hadn't worn in years, and decided to refashion them into pieces that I would like to wear. I changed a too-small romper into a top (didn't document this in photos unfortunately), and started to make a pile of all the clothes I no longer loved to become a new item someday (still working on a pile).
After that first refashion I felt inspired to try sewing my own garments, so I started with a free PDF pattern I found on Pinterest: the Sandra peplum shirt by spitupandstilletos (which I can no longer find a link to) and bought this lovely and super soft buttery organic cotton fabric from Birch fabrics. After that 1st project I was hooked! this was what I wanted to do and this is how I want to express myself creatively.
I understand this hobby can also have environmental impacts but I use natural fibers as much as possible and make pieces that I love and will want to treasure for many years. Also it is a learning process and I hope to learn pattern drafting and use my new creative skill to inspire others to possibly want to start sewing their own garments or at least educate others about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry so that maybe we can all learn to be a little bit more conscious about it.
I have also never been so inspired and excited about something! The sewing community is amazing and I have found myself among many other creative people on Instagram and other sewing blogs!
Anyway this is what I thought about the Sandra peplum top: I had modified it a bit and used a knit fabric instead of a woven, I added a back zipper (one that was probably way to large and I had to cut it and shorten it). As a new sewist I did not make a mock up or tissue fitted and the bodice ended up being too long for me, So I had to shorten it, then I made it too short so then I added fabric to the shoulders! which is all part of learning but I love my shirt anyway! It is actually my favorite pieces I own, faults and all. I also added mini cap sleeves as I find it more flattering on me.