Friday, 20 September 2013

Organic Textiles Weekend

Apparently it's Organic Textiles Weekend - part of the Soil Association's Organic September, and they've published a really good infographic which explains the benefits of organic cotton all the way from the field to your wardrobe. The theme for Organic September this year is 'small changes, big difference', and you're invited to share the small change you plan to make on the website. It bothers me a bit that a lot of the suggested changes are about things you could buy - buying a pair of organic cotton jeans if you don't actually need new jeans right now doesn't help anything! Neither does adding some overpriced organic luxury snack item to your supermarket trolley. These supplements should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet, if you know what I mean. You have to buy organic instead of the other stuff. Then it's really a change, and not just more shopping.

I'm not exactly making a change myself, just continuing with the never-ending process of trying to buy less/use what I have/keep it simple... Being able to sew is so helpful on this front! It's incredibly satisfying to turn something I already have into something I need. Lately I found myself in need of a nightie, but couldn't find one (an organic one) I liked and also am a bit impecunious. Then I thought of the huge piece of lovely organic cotton interlock that's been taking up so much space in my stash cupboard for years. Perfect autumn nightie fabric! I lengthened a self-drafted/rubbed-off raglan top pattern and added pockets. (No photo for you: it doesn't look good on a hanger and I'm not putting myself in my nightie all over the interwebs.) It was quick to make, is super-cosy, and the stash is (slightly) reduced - win win win - but I'm getting popped stitches all along the hem, which I stitched with a twin needle. Anyone know why that is? Is this just not a strong enough finish for a nightdress hem, or is it to do with my thread, or what? I used free-with-my-machine polyester in the two needles and organic cotton in the bobbin; it's the bobbin thread that's breaking. Should I have matched all 3 threads? Would a wider twin needle produce a stretchier hem? Advice gratefully received!
While you're advising me, what do we think about velvet leggings? 'Washed' velvet, at that (crushed velvet's marginally more sophisticated sister)? Just far too 1995, or that magic combination of stylish and warm? I mentioned in my last post that I was thinking of buying some organic velour to make leggings, but then remembered I have some filleted trousers in my stash that could be re-purposed instead. Black washed velvet (or velour because it's knitted??). The trousers were made for me by my mum in, yes, the mid-'90s...

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