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Check Your Thread

Author: Zoe Edwards

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Hello! Welcome to Check Your Thread, a podcast about sewing more sustainably. Each episode we enjoy nerding out about sewing, whilst picking up ideas and useful tips for how to reduce our impact on the environment. My aim is always to approach topics with a sense of curiosity and fun, and hope to leave our listeners feeling inspired by the end of each episode.

Examples of topics that we cover include sourcing second hand textiles, zero waste sewing patterns, mending, upcycling, scrap-busting and alternative and surprising sources for fabric. If there are any topics you’d like CYT to cover, anyone you’d like me to get on the podcast to chat to or you’d just like to say hi, please email me at or message me via Instagram @checkyourthread.
138 Episodes
How can you attend a large sewing event more sustainably? Is it possible to avoid getting overwhelmed, to avoid regrettable impulse purchases and to actually enjoy yourself? I take my pal and previous-guest Kim Witten to her first major sewing event, The Stitch Festival in London. We gather advice on how to make the most of these events whilst getting inspired, making considered purchases and connecting with the wonderful sewing community.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Show notes: **Click here to find the How to Sew Clothes from Fabric Scraps downloadable PDF** Kim and I went to The Stitch Festival in London in March 2024.  Kim Witten is a Transformational Coach and Research Consultant.  Listen to Kim in previous episodes: Ep. #71: Making Personal Manifestos with Kim Witten Ep. #91: Self Knowledge for Sewing Success with Kim Witten Ep. #92: Self Coaching for Sewing Success with Kim Witten Kim enjoyed the printed jerseys on the Dots ‘n’ Stripes stand. Zoe and Kim spoke to Charlotte (IG @lottejamiesoncrafts) on the Emporia Patterns stand. Emporia recently released two new patterns: Tony Shirt and Zoe Dress patterns. Vicki Reid’s new fabric designs and buttons were produced in collaboration with Pigeon Wishes and can be found on her website What Vicki Made, along with her woven labels.   Sharon from Maven Patterns gave excellent advice about taking photos of things you like before committing to buying them. Listen to Sharon’s husband Richard on the podcast: Ep. #109: More Sustainable Thread Options with Richard from James Tailoring Ep. #114: More Sustainable Haberdashery with Richard Mendham Fauve (IG @sew_fauve) and Asmaa (IG @sewgical_endeavours) from GBSB 2024 are collaborating as Imperfectly Perfect (IG @imperfectlyperfectbyfna) to run sewing classes in South Wales. My lovely colleague Claire was working on the Fabric Godmother stand wearing a dress made using the Vali Dress & Top pattern from Pattern Fantastique. We bumped into previous-guest Tony Rea (IG @tonyr.maker). Listen to the episode:  Ep. #124: Fearless Sewing with Tony Rea Kim plans to use her olive green denim to make the Cosecha Pants pattern by Sew Liberated.
Would you like to have new types of creative fun whilst saving money AND reducing your environmental impact? Sewing clothes from fabric scraps gives you all these things, AND the results are always completely unique. Today I’m sharing everything I’ve learnt over the years about sewing clothes from scraps. And although there’s never a right way or wrong way to approach sewing with scraps, these pointers will help you get started quickly if it’s something you’d like to try.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! **Download the guide that accompanies this episode ‘How to Sew Clothes From Fabric Scraps’** Listen to the following related episode: Ep. #116: Improv Scrap Play with Sherri Lynn Wood Fast track your fabric knowledge with the downloadable ‘Introduction to Garment Fabrics’ guide.  Pattern suggestions for self-piecing: Brindille & Twig (all children’s) Boxy Tee Lounge Sweatshirt School Sweats Vintage Pants Wide Loungers  Grainline Studios Linden Sweatshirt Scout Tee Willow Tank & Dress Helen’s Closet Jackson Tee & Pullover Orchard Top & Dress Sam Apron  York Pinafore Named Clothing Ninni Culottes Tessuti Patterns Amara Vest Athina Top Kate Top Myka Top Tosca Tunic True Bias Marlo Sweater Waves and Wild  Driftwood Dolman (men’s/straight fit) Field Trip Joggers (men’s/straight fit) Field Trip Joggers (teen-male/straight fit) Heyday Dungarees (adult’s) Heyday Dungarees (children’s) Pattern suggestions for pattern-led piecing: Bel’Etoile Isa Sweater, Dress & Top adults Isa Sweater, Dress & Top kids  Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic Sweatshirt Saltbox Tee & Tank  Elizabeth Sweetwater  Ziggy Top Boatneck Colourblock T-shirt Striped Zipper Jacket Jennifer Lauren Handmade Emmie Tee Matchy Matchy Sewing Club (most of them) Megan Nielsen Karri dress Misusu Patterns (most of them) which include childrens as well as adult designs.  Sew Liberated: Nest Sweatshirt Tessuti Patterns Lennox Sweatshirt Tilly and the Buttons: Sonny Jacket - there are lots of other panelled jacket patterns that would work equally well, but I’m suggesting the Sonny because it comes in a very inclusive size range.  Here are some wonderful, creative businesses and individuals who are creating awesome garments with piecing fabrics: @tannerfrostbowen @zerowastedaniel @holycowsberlin @lesreloux @softpawvintage @threadandsprout @isabelle_sews @judywillimentross @theconsistencyproject @the.light.touch  @rachiesews @m.o.s.s.o.m  @kionek @spunkybruiser @sweetfindupcycled @elizabethsweetwaterpatterns @pettypopcornmakes Improv quilters, modern quilters and boro practitioners are also a fantastic source of piecing inspiration. Take a look at the following: @sherrilynnwood @momiyamatakao @modernstitchwitch @encodedstudio @spontaneousthreads @blue_movement2017  Two more resources that might be useful: Improvisational Quilting for Garment Sewists e-course - Sew DIY Making a Scrap Patchwork Hovea Coat from Leftover Fabric - Megan Nielsen blog
Have you got your fabric scrap strategy sorted yet? This is the second part of the Scrap Strategies episodes and we’ll be discovering more systems, solutions and uses from the Check Your Thread listeners. Then we summarise all we’ve learnt to help YOU choose what’s best for you! Support the podcast over on Patreon! Image source: Ksenia Chernaya via Pexels Listen to: Ep. #119: Seasonal Stash Organisation Check out the resource Amy spoke about regarding textile recycling.   Thread and Sprout on Instagram (@threadandsprout) is a great source of inspiration for how to combine fabric scraps.  
If you’re a garment sewer, I’m sure you’re more than aware of how quickly fabric scraps and leftovers can start to pile up. Your fabric scraps contain so much creative potential, but you need some strategies in place so they don’t overwhelm you. In this episode, we hear from CYT listeners who share what scraps they keep, how they store them, and what they use them for. Use these responses to form your own scrap strategies and solutions! Support the podcast over on Patreon! Image source: Fiona Murray via Unsplash
Are there fabrics in your stash that you’re just too scared to cut into? I talk with Stephanie Canada, vintage sewing pattern and fabric seller, about when and why it's ok to use the precious fabric. Plus she shares her sourcing secrets, and tells us when it’s important to chuck vintage sewing resources in the bin…  Support the podcast over on Patreon! The website I used to research the sustainability credentials of various banks is  Find Stephanie’s shop at her website ‘Backroom Finds’.  You can also find her on Instagram @backroomfinds and on Youtube @StephanieCanada. Listen to the first episode with Stephanie: Ep. #125: Vintage Sewing Not Vintage Values with Stephanie Canada Stephanie bought an entire sewing shop! Stephanie recommends these reproduction pattern companies: Mrs Depew Vintage Wearing History  @WithLoveKristina on Youtube is Stephanie’s pal.  My most precious length of fabric: Listen to: Ep. #72: Sewing for Body Changes Ep. #76: Sewing for Body Changes, Part 2
Do vintage sewing patterns make you swoon but you’re scared to try actually sewing with them? Vintage pattern obsessive and Youtube queen, Stephanie Canada, unpacks the perceived obstacles that may be holding you back. We also discuss the enjoyment of vintage style without the perpetuation of vintage values, and how using vintage resources might help us sew more sustainably.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Sign up to the newsletter via the home page of Find Stephanie’s shop at her website ‘Backroom Finds’.  You can also find her on Instagram @backroomfinds and on Youtube @StephanieCanada. Stephanie recommends these reproduction pattern companies: Mrs Depew Vintage Wearing History  The podcast episode I mentioned that featured Gretchen Hirsch (Gertie´s blog for better sewing and Charm Patterns) was The Craft Industry Alliance: Episode #238: Gretchen Hirsch Laci Fay can be found on Youtube @LaciFayTheVintageGirlNextDoor.  Stephanie made a video addressing the question: Why are Vintage Patterns So Small?
What would it be like if we could enjoy complete freedom within our sewing lives? Free from the shoulds and shouldn’ts, the fears and even past experiences? My guest, Tony Rea, tells us how this mindset took him from sewing newbie to top-three-finalist of sewing’s most famous competition: The Great British Sewing Bee. Plus, Tony shares his formula for sewing more sustainably (spoiler alert: it involves a lot of thrifted duvet covers…). Support the podcast over on Patreon! Find out more about Tony on his website, and see his latest projects on Instagram @tonyr.maker. Tony’s Etsy shop is stocked with handmade cycling caps in fun prints.   This Postman Pat shirt was clearly inevitable: If you find yourself in Plymouth, swing by the Plymouth Scrapstore. Tony made a Fabric Godmother Peony dress for his wife to attend Christmas events in.  Tony first encountered zero waste sewing patterns during the pattern challenge on GBSB: Tony adapted Birgitta Helmersson’s ZW Block Pants and ZW Workwear Jacket patterns for his style and frame.  Image source: Birgitta Helmersson.  Tony wore a denim ‘suit’ created using these patterns which he modelled on the runway at the Knitting & Stitching show in London, October 2023.  Tony recently embarked upon the Studio Trouser Low Waste pattern by Norwegian brand, Indigo Indigo ( on IG). 
Is your wardrobe stuffed with me-mades? Whatever role garment sewing plays in your life, after a while, the clothes can really start to pile up. So how can we continue to take pleasure in sewing, without adding to your problem of too many clothes? Image source: Megan Lee via UnSplash Idea No. 1: Challenging ourselves. Hear more about hand stitching clothing: Ep. #15: Hand Stitching Clothes with Louisa Owen-Sonstroem  Ep. #73: The Seeds of Slow Sewing with Alexis Bailey  Learn more about improving fit: Ep. #95: Refining Fit with Kate Roberts Options for online courses to learn and develop new skills: Project Patterns Domestika Craftsy Idea No. 2: Sewing things that aren’t clothes. My favourite bag pattern designers: Noodlehead Tytka Studio Motif Studio Patterns Merchant & Mills Start your sew making journey at I Can Make Shoes. Get inspired to make a quilt more sustainably by listening to the following previous episodes: Ep. #19: Quilting and Considered Consuming with Shelly Sommer Ep. #26: Harvesting Materials with Eliu Hernandez Ep. #89: Threads of Sustainability with Bridget O’Flaherty Ep. #105: A Habit of Curiosity with Heidi Parkes Ep. #106: Reframing a Relationship with Clothes with Heidi Parkes Ep. #116: Improv Scrap Play with Sherri Lynn Wood Idea No. 3: Sewing clothes for other people Idea No. 4: Sewing for charity  Make washable menstrual pads for: Pachamama Project Days for Girls Make reusable tote bags for Boomerang Bags. Make dress and other children’s garments from pillowcases for Little Dresses for Africa. Idea No. 5: Mending! Hear from super creative mending expert, Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald: Ep. #39: Modern Mending with Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald Ep. #40: Experimend with Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald Get her book Modern Mending: Consider the spectrum of mending possibility: Ep. #68: Visible Vs Invisible Mending
What are the unique challenges that designing zero waste sewing patterns for children throws up? And the ways in which it might actually be easier? In this episode, Liz Elliott, the designer behind Thread Faction Studio, gives us a fascinating insight into her business and processes. We also discuss navigating life when your role as a parent and as a business owner are entwined.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Find Liz’s patterns on her website, Thread faction Studio, plus follow her on IG @threadfactionstudio.  Sew 4 Bub was Liz´s first blog where you can still access some free patterns.   Like every ZW pattern designer, Liz was inspired by The Zero Waste Fashion Design book by Holly McQuillan and Timo Rissanen. See the ZW pattern look book on Thread Faction Studio website.  I’ve previously made the ZW Utility Jumpsuit pattern (my version) and the ZW Cap Sleeve Tee pattern (my version). Image source: Thread Faction Studio.   Liz is a big fan of previous-guest Birgitta Helmersson’s book, Zero Waste Patterns.  Listen to my conversation with another Australia-based ZW pattern designer, Liz Haywood: Ep. #31: Exploring Zero Waste Design with Liz Haywood Find some of Liz’s previous ‘Hatchlings Patterns’, including grow-with-me baby/toddler styles, in Liz´s Etsy shop. Listen to previous guest Alexis Bailey talk about her ZW pattern journey: Ep. #74: Recognition and Responsibility with Alexis Bailey I spoke about ZW sewing patterns on a reel made by Fabric Godmother in advance of a sewing class I taught that focused on Birgitta Helmersson’s ZW Cropped Shirt pattern.
Do you enjoy hearing the whys and the hows behind other people’s sewing projects? Previous-guest, Judy Williment-Ross, is one of the most prolific, resourceful and creative makers I know. In this episode, Judy talks us through the ideas and development behind some of her more recent projects. She also shares her secrets to creating professional looking garments out of op-shop finds and fabric scraps.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Follow Judy Williment-Ross and her creative journey on Instagram @judywillimentross.  Judy´s previous appearance on  CYT: Ep. 69: Making Mindfully with Judy Williment-Ross Check out The Epic Dress. Judy has shared about the process (and again) as well as the finished version of her Scrappy Jacket.  Her Scrappy Pouch was proof of concept.  The logical step, after working with suit trousers and button up shirts was, of course, ties! The result being the All Tied Up Dress: Next up was a plethora of Blanket Coats! Including her pal Rhonda’s.  Judy started adding ‘My Mum Made It’ labels to her daughter’s garments: Judy’s Waste Coat is made using the scraps leftover from the All Tied Up dress: Judy’s previous waistcoat project used a pattern from 1895.  Does this look like a bog blouse?!  Holly McQuillan’s spiral trousers concept has also been made by previous-guest Liz Haywood.  Georgia´s professional upcycled and handmade wardrobe: We chatted about my patchwork denim quilted jacket.
Do you know what your sewing machine needs to stay in good working order? What equipment is required for that? What issues can be tackled at home, and when should we call in the professionals? And what’s the best way to become the professional, if that’s of interest to us? These are just some of the questions my guest, sewing machine technician, Bizz McKilligan, answers in today’s episode. Bizz is also the owner of a shop called The Green Thimble, that recirculates secondhand sewing equipment and fabric. She shares the long and interesting journey she went on to arrive in that situation.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Bizz is the owner of The Green Thimble, an online and bricks and mortar sewing shop in Victoria, Canada, that helps to recirculate existing sewing resources.   Follow them on Instagram If you haven’t already, listen to: Ep. #104: How to Successfully Shop for Second-hand Sewing Machines Find out about the many ways in which The Green Thimble endeavours to be a more-sustainable business.  Bizz recommends the Bernina 830 Record if you are looking to purchase a robust and easy to fix machine. I now desperately want one! The Green Thimble has a wonderful, supportive relationship with The Makehouse Co-op, also in Victoria, Canada.  
Do you have a system for organising your fabric stash? I didn’t until recently. In this episode I’m sharing my own method of organisation that I’m calling the ‘seasonal stash’. This system is allowing me to unlock the potential in what I already own, whilst stopping it from feeling overwhelming. Could the ‘seasonal stash’ system help YOU?! Support the podcast over on Patreon! (image source: Mel Poole via Unsplash) **CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FREE DOWNLOADABLE PDF VERSION OF THIS GUIDE** The Seasonal Stash Guide This is a simple step-by-step guide for implementing the Seasonal Stash system for sorting and organising a fabric collection. It won’t take you long to implement, and once set up, requires little maintenance.  This will help you to: unlock the potential in the resources you already own shift any negative feelings you may have about your collection plan projects and ACTUALLY SEW THEM.  Sounds good? OK let’s do this! The first three steps I’d recommend for whatever system of stash organisation you want to implement.  Step 1) Gather your fabric.  Gather it all in one place to sort and organise. Ideally, we also want to be storing it in the same spot as well going forwards. If at all possible, keep all your fabric lengths together in the same room, if not the same cupboard / set of shelves / collection of storage tubs. This will prevent you from: forgetting what you own losing items you’ve already bought/acquired being unable to compare suitable fabrics for a project plan annoying those you live with with random smaller stashes of fabric dotted around your home Step 2) Edit. To paraphrase William Morris: have nothing in your stash that you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful. Just hold each item and answer, honestly: Do I think this is lovely and / or  is it useful? If so, am I actually going to sew with it? Tips to help the editing process: Keep this step running smoothly and quickly: just react to each piece, place it in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile, and move on Work out what you’ll do with the NO fabric another day. That concern will slow you down. Today we sort and organise only After the editing step you should be looking at only the pieces that: you genuinely like aren’t particularly exciting but you can see yourself using, like lining or toiling / muslin-making fabric  Step 3) Set aside anything small or scrappy.  Think about what that means to you. Some examples of definitions may include: anything that is too small to make a garment from anything too small to place a pattern piece on Anything smaller than an A4 or letter sized piece of paper Anything under 50cm Whatever your definition is, put aside those pieces to be stored separately. Scraps and leftovers are a great resource for sewing, however, finding uses for them will be much easier if they’re not wedged in between the longer and weightier lengths. **Note: the only exception to this might be if you have scraps of one of the lengths of fabrics in your collection. You might be able to cut some pattern pieces from the scraps when you come to use the length, so you should probably store those scraps with the rest of the length** If you have any garments that you’re keeping to either refashion or harvest fabric from, separate those out too.  Step 4) Separate your fabric into 3 piles.  Currently you’re just dealing with your main stash of garment-sized fabric lengths. Once again, go through them piece-by-piece and place them into one of three piles. Pile #1:  In this pile place the fabric pieces that are suitable for the season you’re currently in or are about to transition into. Only include the pieces that you have plans for, even if those plans are fairly loose.  Pile #2:  In this pile place the fabric pieces that are suitable for the next six months to a year (basically fabrics suitable for a season or two ahead of what you’re currently experiencing). Again, only include the pieces that you have plans for, even if those plans are fairly loose.  Pile #3:  Everything else! Because you have already done the work, at this point your stash only contains items you genuinely want or can see are useful. Therefore, the pieces in this pile deserve to be here, you just don’t know what to do with them yet.  Step 5) Positioning the piles: Depending on how much fabric you own and the shape / size / orientation of your storage situation, each ‘pile’ might actually be multiple piles.  Place Pile #1 where it is most visible and most accessible.  Pile #2 ideally goes behind or underneath Pile #1, still pretty accessible if possible, but not in constant sight.  Pile #3 can go away, out of sight. But preferably not completely inaccessible should inspiration strike.  Step 6) When the seasons change: When a season comes to an end, it’s time to rotate the fabric around. Follow these sub-steps: Go through each remaining piece from Pile #1 and think about why each piece from this pile didn’t get used. If necessary, redistribute those remaining pieces into one of the other piles.  Go through Pile #3 to remind yourself what’s there, and see if any project ideas spring up Swap Pile #1 and Pile #2 over so they are seasonally relevant again Put it all back! **When to swap things over** Finally, a note on when to do Step 6. The timings I’ve suggested above require swapping your fabric round every three to six months. However this whole system is, of course, entirely open to interpretation and customisation. You could make your ‘sewing seasons’ shorter or longer. Or you may decide to to swap things over and reevaluate when you discover the pieces in Pile #1 aren’t inspiring you. You always want to be looking at a collection of fabric that you’re excited to sew with! Happy Sewing! 
Could you go for a year without buying fabric? Or even a couple of months? I speak to Lise Bauer about what Last Sewist Standing, the ultimate stash busting challenge that she created, can do for you. In this episode, the second in the Fabric Stash mini-series, we discuss shopping habits and motivations, perfectionism, habit building, resourcefulness, community, accountability and so so much more. Plus you NEED to hear how Lise’s own challenge went this year. As you can hear in the episode, I was SHOCKED! Support the podcast over on Patreon! Lise and her fabric-of-shame! Follow Lise Bauer @miss.taeschli on Instagram. Check out the IG posts relating to the #lastsewiststanding challenge. I first discovered the challenge through regular-guest, Shams el-Din Rogers, the ‘unofficial winner’ of the second year of the challenge.  The ‘unofficial winner’ of the first year of the challenge was Wilma Gerlsma @vladivos. Discover many of the participants through the comments on Lise’s most recent check-in post. Wilma wrote an excellent blog post about her relationship to fabric and fabric buying.  Lise is on a roll, making pouches for everyone she knows!  Lise is using the Pipa the Pouch pattern by Sewing Patterns by Masin, which is free when you sign up to the newsletter.  Image source: Sewing Patterns by Masin  You can read my road test of the Pipa the Pouch pattern on my blog as part of my Free Pattern Friday blog post series. 
Would you like to bring your sustainability values and your sewing life into closer alignment in 2024? If so, one key area to focus on is materials. In this episode, CYT listeners share their fabric-related goals for the year ahead. Which ones resonate with you?  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Check out the ‘Introduction to Garment Fabrics’ guide.  Find the Stash Hub app on their website, on IG @stash_hub, or in your smart phone’s app store.  Learn more about the #lastsewiststanding challenge via its creator, Lise Bauer, AKA  @miss.taeschli.  Read the blog post by Modern Sewing Co. that inspired Amy Dyce’s approach to planning her autumnal sewing.  Image source: The Modern Sewing Co.
Would you like to get more creative with your fabric scraps, but you’re just not sure how to approach it? You could be missing out on a whole heap of fun, if only you could learn how to be more receptive to their potential. My guest this week is improv quilting artist and teacher, Sherri Lynn Wood. Sherri Lynn defines the two types of creativity as ‘active’ and ‘receptive’. As garment sewers, we are used to actively creating the garments that we’ve envisioned. However, Sherri Lynn encourages us to access the second type by playing with fabric scraps and existing textiles, to see what we can create without a clear idea of the finished outcome. Whether that play becomes a quilt, a garment, or something else… Find everything Sherri Lynn Wood is involved in, past and present, on her website. You can also follow her on Instagram @sherrilynnwood. Find all the workshops in the Found Color series.  Learn about Sherri Lynn’s improv quilters’ community, Bravepatch. Eli Leon was a scholar and collector of African American quilts.  Quilters that inspire Sherri Lynn: Rosie Lee Tompkins  Arbie Williams  Sherri Lynn’s book, ‘The Improv Handbook For Modern Quilters A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously’, was published in 2015. Sherri Lynn is offering a free warm-up class at the start of the series, which takes place on 6th January 2024. Sign up via her website.  Sherri Lynn recommends that garment sewers with scraps try strip piecing: My pieced cardigan that I was wearing during our conversation: Suay Sew Shop in LA is a fascinating businessthat are doing wonderful things to keep textiles in use for longer.  Listen to my episodes with improv quilt artist, Heidi Parkes: Episode #105: A Habit of Curiosity with Heidi Parkes Episode #106: Reframing a Relationship with Clothing with Heidi Parkes My scrap pieced denim dungarees that I was wearing during our conversation: Wool batting by Fairfields is Sherri Lynn’s preference if she’s buying new batting.
Is your pile of items to be repaired getting out of hand? Do you struggle to find the motivation to tackle it all? My guest, Jeanna Wigger, invented a challenge called Winter of Care and Repair, and it might be just the push you need to get on top of things! We talk about the fun and satisfaction that can be found through acts of repair, as well as the unique challenges and growth opportunities that come through completing a season-long personal project. Support the podcast over on Patreon! Jeanna Wigger wearing an outfit of invisibly mended clothes: You can follow Jeanna on Instagram @thepeoplesmending. The challenge was previously mentioned on the podcast in my conversation with regular guests Shams: Episode #32: Textile Activism with Shams el-Din Rogers  Engage with other participants via the hashtags #winterofcareandrepair and #winterofcareandrepair2023. Jeanna and I are both fans of writer and podcaster Gretchen Rueben. Gretchen developed the Four Tendencies personality framework, of which I am obsessed!  Katrina Rodabaugh, author of ‘Mending Matters’, played a key role in Jeanna’s mending journey.  Jeanna’s beautifully mended knit cardigan: Previous guest, Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, creatively mended this stained toddler top: Image source: Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald Additional ideas of what could constitute an act of repair from Jeanna: - laundry care! level up your stain removal knowledge or learn about alternatives to washing such as spot cleaning or alcohol spritzes to refresh clothes between washes - depill a sweater with an electric depiller or a sweater comb - jewelry repair - fix a clasp or replace a battery in a watch (or take those items to a repair shop) - hand wash and air out wool knitwear - use a leather treatment on leather handbags, boots, jackets, furniture, etc - replace worn shoelaces - clean up or polish shoes - overdye a garment or other textile that needs a refresh - alter a garment for yourself or someone else - repair something with stitches that isn't clothing (like a pillow, bag, dog toy, curtain, etc). Remember, anything with stitches can be mended! 
All the materials that go into our sewing projects have an environmental impact. You’re probably starting to think about more sustainable fabric, and possibly even thread. But we can go further! This episode features the second half of my conversation with Richard Mendham from James Tailoring, a company dedicated to sourcing more sustainable haberdashery. In this part, he tells us about our options for more sustainable elastic, zips and buttons… Support the podcast over on Patreon! Listen to the first half of my conversation with Richard: Ep. #109: More Sustainable Thread Options with Richard from James Tailoring Find all the more sustainable haberdashery options Richard sources on the website James Tailoring. Find all their more sustainable elastic options.  Natural Rubber Activewear Elastic Organic Cotton and Natural Rubber Fold Over Elastic  Find all their more sustainable zip options.  Zips with recycled brass teeth: Image source: James Tailoring Find all their more sustainable button options.  Find all their more sustainable fabric options.  Learn about what has to be achieved to receive GOTS certification. 
If you’re looking for ideas for quick and cheap sewing projects that make great gifts then this is the episode for you. And if there is a maker in your life that you’d like to buy something special for, or people are asking for gift ideas that they can get for YOU, Grace from Beyond Measure talks me through some of the beautiful and useful items she sells that might fit the bill.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Gifts for makers: Tool roll tutorial by The Book Hut. Stowe Bag pattern by Grainline Studio. Image source: Grainline Studio Simple Accessories & Clothing Gifts: Sorrento Bucket Hat pattern by Elbe Textiles.  Image source: Elbe Textiles Sandcastle Bucket Hat pattern by Waves & Wild.  Reversible Bucket Hat pattern by Oliver + S.  The Orton Bag pattern by Merchant & Mills. (In the episode I have said this is one is free however, it is now a paid-for pattern).  The byTilly shopper bag pattern from byGraziela Fabrics. Image source: byGraziela Fabrics Scrunchie tutorial by Melly Sews.   Mittens pattern made by using wool knitwear by fibreandtwigs on Etsy.  Mandy Boat Tee pattern by Tessuti. Read my review of this pattern.  Luna Tank pattern by Helen’s Closet.  Dominique Skirt pattern by Tilly and the Buttons.  Lightweight summer face mask tutorial by Sophie Passmore.  Homeware Gifts:  Apron pattern by Tessuti. Workaday Apron pattern by Merchant & Mills HERE. Oven Mitt pattern by Bombazine. Read my review of this pattern. Please note that this pattern for previously free, but is now a low-cost paid for pattern.  Fabric Bowl Cover tutorial by Hearth and Vine. Read my review of this tutorial. Gifts for Kids: 40 Free Sewing Patterns for Gifts for Kids blog post. My Favourite Free Children’s Sewing Patterns blog post. Batman Costume tutorial by Fleece Fun. Pom Pom Tutu Skirt tutorial by Brit + Co.  Princess Dress Up Apron pattern by It’s Always Autumn.  Image source: It’s Always Autumn Easy Apron pattern by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  Oven Mitt pattern by Made for Mermaids.  Gift Wrapping: Furoshiki Wrapping Cloths tutorial by Wellness Mama.  At Beyond Measure: Listen to Ep. #59: Tools for Life with Grace Whowell Sarah Young animal and people printed tea towels.  Daruma Yokota Sashiko threads Image source: Beyond Measure Daruma Yokota variegated Sashiko Threads Daruma Yokota Sashiko Sampler Cloth pre-printed with different patterns Image source: Beyond Measure Daruma Yokota Sashiko Cloth Hiroshima Cellulose-head Tulip Pins  Image source: Beyond Measure Cohana Wooden Star Head Pins  Cohana Mini Masu Pincushion Image source: Beyond Measure Cohana Silk Braided Mini Snips Cohana Cast Iron Pattern Weights Cohana Awaji Kawara Magnetic Needle Rest with Polisher Image source: Beyond Measure Dropcloth Sampler designed by Rebecca Ringquist Hand Sewing Clothing book by Louisa Owen Sonstroem Listen to Ep. #15: Hand Stitching Clothes with Louisa Owen Sonstroem 100 Acts of Sewing Shirt No. 1 by Sonya Philip  Awls made in Japan  Image source: Beyond Measure Wooden Stitch Rippers  Tracing Wheels  Linouiio yarn made in Yorkshire
If you’re a fan of making your own clothes, chances are you might also be into growing some of your own food. And like this week’s guest, garden consultant Pippa Chapman, highlights, once you start trying to be more sustainable in one area of your life, that approach usually spreads to other areas. In this episode Pippa actually takes the reins and gives me a consultation about my own little garden. She offers up advice on how I can use my space more productively and successfully.  Support the podcast over on Patreon! Garden consultation  Find Pippa Instagram’s feed @pippachapman_thoseplantpeople and Those Plant People’s Youtube channel and website. The Cloud Gardener specialises in garden designs for balcony places.  My post about saving seeds from shop bought baby plum tomatoes. Pippa’s design for a milk bottle slug/snail trap: Stephanie Hafferty is a proponent of the No Dig approach to gardening. Pippa’s design for a double palette planter: Huw Richards is a permaculture inspired gardener with a popular Youtube channel.  My takeaways from the garden consultation: Train courgettes to grow upwards Grow pumpkins and BNS up washing lines to form a canopy Look for squash variety Crown Prince  Try slug and snail trap (see pic above) Try growing some perennial vegetables including perennial kale varieties Taunton Deane, Daubenton Kale and Panache Kale Look out for Babington Leek  For the shady area, consider Caucasian Spinach - which can be encouraged to grow upwards, plus salad leaves and swiss chard  Plant spring bulbs to provide food for pollinators early in the year  Edible flower options can provide food for humans and pollinators. Look for Daylilies (Latin Hemerocallis) - you can eat every part of the plant, Campanulas - siberian bellflower and Allium Molly - edible flowers for adding to salads  Add mulch to the soil in Nov/Dec Incorporate water into the garden, a container with shallow edges, so bees and other pollinators can drink Decomposing wood provides a habitat for some insects Consider comfrey as living mulch and to make fertiliser from it
Have you ever found yourself feeling unhappy with your sewing output? You’re making more items than your wardrobe can handle, or a lot of them are styles that you rarely wear in your regular life? Or both? My guest, Lena King, recently realised that her sewing output was no longer in alignment with her goals. In this episode she talks about what was going wrong and what she plans to do about it.   Support the podcast over on Patreon! Follow Lena’s creative output and thoughts via Instagram @thatlenaking. Lena also shares her thoughts in a longer format on her blog ‘The Unpick Stitch Papers’.   The Seamwork / Colette Patterns Peony Dress pattern was one of Lena’s early successes in dressmaking.  Read Lena’s initial post about losing her way with her sewing goals.  #AnkaraFabricAppreciationWeek #sewankara23 is hosted by Lena and Juliet Uzor. Lena’s Heather blazer looks amazing in Ankara fabric: Lena worked hard to create a stunning Victoriana dress: You can create a similar garment using Fabric Godmother’s Peony dress pattern.
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