Resources for Sustainable, Organic Fabric

Hi friends! Today is all about sustainable and organic fabric options for the consciously minded sewist. In my quest for a handmade, ethically sourced wardrobe, it's been difficult to find fabric manufacturers that are well known and also conscious of how their fabric is made. Part of the issue with the clothing industry is not just who makes the clothes and how they are treated, but what fabrics are used and how those fabrics are processed. For example, did you know that cotton is one of the dirtiest crops on the planet? And not in a Christina-Aguilera-music-video kinda way. I've had to do some searching to find sustainable, organic fabric, and even then my options are limited.

Sustainable, Organic fabric

Obviously, one of the best ways to acquire sustainable clothing is hand-me-downs, clothing swaps, or the thrift store. I'm all for that, and I'll do plenty of re-fashioning on this blog, don't you worry. But sometimes a girl just wants some brand new, shiny fabric to make something and indulge her creative process, amirite? So cultivating a list of places that will indulge my creative urgings while also satisfying my need sustainability sounds like a win-win to me.

This is a list I hope to keep updating and expanding as I learn of more companies who are purposeful in their ethical business practices, so feel free to share any that I don't have listed here. The more, the better, in my opinion!

Sustainable, Organic Fabric Resources:

  • Organic Cotton Plus - They have a beautiful selection of organic cotton fabrics from muslins to voiles to sateens. I used one of their navy cotton sateens to make this version of the Anna dress from By Hand London.
  • Fabric Worm - They have tons of organic cotton fabric for quilting and other craft products. I think they are geared towards quilting more than garment sewing, but nevertheless a good resource to have.
  • Honey Be Good - This online fabric store sells fabric from a variety of merchants, and even sells organic cotton batting and thread!
  • Cedar House Fabrics - Another online store that sells fabric from a variety of organic cotton merchants. Ships internationally!
  • Stork and Me - This Etsy shop has tons of organic fabrics for baby blankets, quilts, knits and more. Great selection and great seller ratings.
  • Birch Fabrics - This vendor has a great selection of knit and woven fabrics in fun colors and prints.
  • Mood Fabrics - I add this with a caveat - many of the fabrics from Mood, although I totally love their selection, are not organic. However, they do sell some organic cotton, hemp, and raw silk. If you are looking for their eco-conscious items, search "organic" in the search bar, and that should narrow down the selection a bit.
  • Spoonflower - Spoonflower prints fabrics on demand using eco friendly dyes. They print the exact amount of fabric needed, so there is little wasted fabric or dye.
  • Pick Natural - This site sells organic cotton, linen, and hemp fabrics. There is a minimum order of 10 yards, so it's best for larger projects.
  • Donna Flower - An online store specializing in antique, vintage or retro fabrics. A great way to add a blast from the past to any project.
  • Revival Fabrics - Another online retailer that sells mint condition vintage fabric from the 1920's through the 1970's.
  • Retro Age Vintage Fabrics - An Australian shop which offers a range of beautiful and eclectic vintage fabric. They sell all types of varieties from sheeting to sateen.

I'm looking forward to sifting through these retailers to see what goodies I can come up with. What organic or sustainable fabric retailers do you know that aren't on this list?

 

Christmas in Mexico


Hey friends!

So I fiiiiiinnnnally got around to editing my pictures from my trip to Ensenada, Mexico over Christmas (because better late than never, amirite?). My parents moved there at the beginning of last year to experience some adventure in their retirement, or "re-fire-ment" as they like to call it (da-dum-tsss). Major puns aside, it's been an interesting journey for them, moving to a new country, attempting to make friends and learn a new language in the process. I was really lucky to be able to spend some time there, especially over the holidays when what's familiar is so far away. I thought I'd share some of my favorite images from that trip.

Ensenada is a beautiful city, about 2 1/2 hours south of San Diego, California. It sits right on the ocean, surrounded by mountains and greenery. It was certainly one of the more memorable trips I've ever taken and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering traveling there.

City view - whoo!

 

Hey friend!

I was ecstatic!! I love this stuff.

No bad days allowed, I guess

Beautiful sunsets

My dad looking at the city on Christmas morning

And of course, I can't visit a new city without checking out the fabric stores there. I'm not sure where the fabric and garments were made (my Spanish is muy terrible), but it was fun to look around.

My step-mom showcasing the mounds of fabric

Clothing stores in Mexico

There were so many street shops like this one, selling clothing of all sizes. Mostly to tourists, I think. I loved the overlapping colors and textures. I did end up buying a little bit of fabric but I'm not sure what I'll make with it yet. Who knows, I'll probably figure it out by next Christmas ;-). Buying fabric or some small piece of jewelry is my favorite souvenir from any trip. It becomes a beautiful, wearable memory of that unique experience in my life.

Have you ever bought fabric in another country? What kinds of souvenirs do you like to bring home from trips?

Finished Project: Navy Blue Anna Dress

The Anna Dress by By Hand London. An internet classic. The pattern came out just around the time I started sewing. It felt like I couldn't turn around without seeing another version, a hacked version, etc. I've been wanting to try it for myself for a while now, and finally had a reason to give it a go.

Navy Blue Anna Dress

A recent school project asked for us to address an issue of social justice with a creative project. I chose to make a dress out of organic, fair-trade fabric, and decided that the long-awaited Anna dress was the perfect pattern to use. Let me just say, it is extremely difficult to find certified fair-trade fabric, even on the internet. I finally settled on a navy blue cotton from Organic Cotton Plus. They are a family owned business that sources their chemical-free cotton from a farm in Texas. I will definitely be using them again, as the service was great and the fabric has held up beautifully.

navy blue floor length Anna dress

Back to the dress! Really, what else can be said about the Anna? She's beautiful, easy and quick to sew, and just looks so feminine. I chose to do the floor length version because I don't have too many long dresses and they make me feel super elegant. And that slit soooo says I'm-Angelina-Jolie-at-the-oscars-sexy.

Navy blue anna dress 2

I added pockets to mine, since I absolutely love having pockets in everything I own. I can finally say I understand what all the fuss is about and am totally on board with By Hand London's designs. I can't wait to try the knee length version in the future.

We got a little artsy with the pictures

Navy blue floor length Anna dress Navy blue Anna dress

 

Bonus: My friend who took the pictures has a cat named Lucy. Isn't she adorable??

Lucy cutie cat

Finished Project: Kimono Sleeve Shirts

So remember that fabric I bought a few weeks ago? It has now officially become a shirt - actually, more like three shirts. The pattern is a sketch I made after laying several shirts on the floor on top of each other and haphazardly tracing. I'm trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, as I looked in my closet the other day only to realize that I could really only wear some variation on the color gray. Although all three shirts were made from the same pattern, the different colors and textures lends a unique feel to each shirt, in my opinion. I love their loose, slightly unstructured feel. Until next time, be well! DSC_0073

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Procrastination Day

It’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean fall, or the holidays, or anything that resembles anything even remotely joyous. I’m talking about: FINALS.

Yes. The dreaded tests and papers that move like an iceberg through your life, slowly flattening and crushing it with soul-sucking destruction until there is nothing left.

Am I being too dramatic? Probably. But sometimes it’s just too much and you need a break. When that happens, I do what all sane, rational people do:

I buy fabric.

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I’m excited to get my hands into some sewing again. It’s been a little busy around here lately, and I’ve missed my evenings of sewing with some chill jazz playing in the background and a glass of wine next to the sewing machine. Drinking wine while using fabric shears and sharp needles, isn’t that a terrible idea, you might say? Well, I guess I just like living dangerously.

I’ll post back as soon as I get some lovely shirts made out of this fabric. Until then, happy holidays!!