An unexpected dressmaking project…with cars and sheep!

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Tigger trying to fit himself into a parcel I was sending off this weekend

Since I still have that pesky fold at the waist of the snake print maxi dress to contend with, I’ve not really given much thought as to what other project I can get started on. I normally let the inspiration of fabrics I find at shops or market stalls lead the way. When you find a fabric that you really like, you have some idea as to how you want it to turn out.

So in the meantime, I’ve been trying to let go off things I haven’t really used and either post them off to friends who are selling old and un-used things to raise money for charity or set them aside in bags to bring to local charity shops instead – which is where the above photo of Tigger comes in.

The next project I have in store arises out of necessity more than interest. If you have ever seen a man’s wardrobe, you’ll probably be able to relate to trying to convince them to throw out something that’s falling apart while they insist it’s still fine. Having tried on several occasions to convince my OH to recycle his pajama trousers which have been seriously falling apart, he agreed. Only if I used the elastic from the waist band of his old trousers to make him new ones. So off to the fabric shop we go.

We had been browsing possible fabric choices in the past, but finally decided on two for him and (unexpectedly) one for myself:

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Blue and pink sheep jersey and cotton car print fabric

Originally the OH had picked out two cotton fabrics, but on looking at the other fabric available in the shop, we couldn’t stop looking at the jersey sheep. These fabrics in particular bring back fond memories because (wait for it)…on our first Valentine’s Day, the OH made me a fleece blanket in the same sheep print as a present (Ahhhhh) 😮 We still use it to this day and it’s still on our bed for the colder days. So we only thought it fitting (and completely stereotypical couple-like) to make matching his and hers jersey sheep pajama trousers!

I’ve never made trousers in my life, so this will be a completely new project! The plan is to take apart some of his old trousers (and use one of my own pajama bottoms as a guide for length) to see how it’s constructed and use that as a pattern for making these new ones. This is also where my copy of DIY Couture: Create Your Own Fashion Collection by Rosie Martin that my OH got me will also come in handy for when I get stuck. As always, with new projects when I’m not following a dress pattern, I’ll make sure to add a tutorial for you!

It’s also great to see how small independent businesses seem to be booming! According to an article on Etsy by YeroUK, the number of micro-businesses (ie those that employ less than 9 people) has risen by 40% in the last decade alone. I think the importance of supporting local independent businesses, especially in the UK where so many products are imported, is becoming recognised. Since my OH is a staunch supporter of taking steps to preserve our world and Mother Nature and as a chef we grow most of our own veg at our allotment, I’ve started to adopt changes to ensure that our world isn’t negatively affected by the progress of technology and inventions.

We made a conscious decision to have my engagement ring commissioned from a jewellery designer who only used recycled gold and fairtrade gemstones and was more than happy with the ring that Lilia Nash made. From there, I’ve been more and more aware about supporting independent businesses, but where possible, those who only use sustainable materials in what they produce. The first step was buying a tunic top from an independent designer in Uruguay, Texturable.

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Black and beige short sleeve tunic top with a tribal printed design, £35.20 from Texturable

The one thing I really like about this top, apart from the unique design, is knowing that I’m supporting a business that is looking to preserve (as opposed to destroying) the natural world. In addition to being quite comfortable to wear, I also feel a sense of pride in knowing that the efforts of using sustainable materials means that instead of depleting resources, somewhere in the world, efforts are being made to help build up the natural habitat, for our own well-being as well as the habitat for wild animals. I’m excited to say that in the near future, I’ll also be involved in speaking with another independent business who uses sustainable materials in their jewellery and sculptures, but in the meantime as they are in the ‘designing’ process of their business, I will have the opportunity to display their works of art when they’re ready.

Other independent businesses, like Bibi’s Bakery means that when friends visit, they bring lovely goodies for you to enjoy!

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Macaroons and cupcakes from Bibi’s Bakery

What are your thoughts on supporting local (and independent) businesses? Are there any independent businesses that use sustainable materials that you feel deserves recognition?

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