Self Help, Helps Sustain!

Before I start this blog post, I just want to thank God for all the lovely people I have met because of my blog and because of the cause and ideals I am slowly but surely making progress towards. Ever since I started blogging about sustainability in what we wear, everywhere I turn around I see only sustainable brands, ethical bloggers and people who have adopted slow fashion as a form of living and its just so motivating to know this community is not a very small one. Am I experiencing the Baader Meinhof effect (*Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly.)  Probably, but look who isn’t complaining? Me! 🙂

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So as I had mentioned in my previous post, I am doing a few blog posts on the various ways you can live a little gently, and ease into sustainability in fashion. To take that forward, today I wanted to discuss about stitching our clothes ourselves. Learning to sew your clothes is an important life skill which is not being stressed enough. It means you are taking proactive steps to ensure the clothes you wear have been made ethically and no one has been unfairly exploited in its making. There are two plus one ways of doing this (you’ll see why I didn’t say three in a minute 🙂 )

  1. Source the fabric and sew your clothes. There are countless Youtube and blogging tutorials for literally every piece of clothing you can imagine. So even novices can enjoy stitching if they invest in a basic sewing machine. The least one should know is to do quick fix sew tricks like sewing back a button, or stitching up small holes, etc because that will ensure you don’t end of throwing or letting an outfit sleep in your closet simply because of a small correctable defect.
  2. Take an old piece of clothing and give a fresh spin on it. Now this is a trend I have honestly never tried, but that being said, this is also my favourite genre of videos I love watching on Youtube! This is also the kind of sewing which is popularly seen in the US because there are so many stores where you can get oversized second hand clothes for prices way cheaper than what you might be paying to buy raw new fabric to make them!
  3. The third method is not exactly a self-sewing method, and is popular in India. It is where we don’t stitch our clothes ourselves, but get it stitched through our friendly neighborhood tailor! (Or tailors who literally live in another city if you are a crazy person who is a sucker for good stitching like me :O) When you think about it, even this form of stitching is so much better than fast fashion clothes because you actually know #Whomadeyourclothes and chances are these tailors are well taken care of because of the scale of operations and achievable targets set for them. Stitching blouses and salwar kameez sets are so common in India but many tailors these days are ready and eager for a challenge, so next time try giving your tailor a piece of not very expensive fabric and get your a nice pair of pants or a simple top stitched. You’ll be surprised how customized and one-of-a-kind the end result will look!

I have taken a course on stitching in the past and have made my fair share of clothes and I intend getting back to stitching very soon.

For my birthday this year, a close friend decided to present this beautiful skirt she completely stitched herself! It was such a perfect and thoughtful gift and I was moved by the gesture! When I decided the theme for the current post a few days ago I realized there was no other better way to portray self-sewing than by creating an outfit around this cheerful, floral skirt! I didn’t technically “self-stitch” it myself, I know, but hey showcasing a handmade gift like this makes this whole theme even better! You can thank me later for showing you what best gifts are made of! 🙂

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My friend has used a stretchy synthetic fabric for the skirt which is what gives it its beautiful fall and pleats. Sewing a circle skirt is quite easy (once you get over the weird and rocket science-ish measurement part of course) and I have attached an easy but detailed tutorial of it here!

Sewing can be a lot of fun once you get a basic hang of it and the pieces you sew is going to help you in the path of sustainability because when you put in your hard work to make something this beautiful, chances are, you are going to treasure it, treat it like an heirloom piece! When my dad had a short stint of about a year’s work in Germany before his marriage, he lived with an old grandmother-ly lady there as a paying guest, and as a part gift she made a fully hand embroidered handkerchief for me. Guess where it sits till this day in my house? In our locker with our other valuables! 🙂

After much contemplation I paired this skirt with this maroon top. I was feeling so reluctant to blog about this top because I bought it a couple of years ago from Forever 21! But then I realized sustainability is not about changing your wardrobe overnight but is a gradual process! Also, by throwing out all the fast fashion clothes I own, I am doing exactly what I am trying to move away from ~ cloth waste! So don’t judge me!

I’m going to leave you with a few more images of this beautiful outfit! Hope you enjoy it and get motivated enough to buy yourself a new sewing machine and in case you already have one, I hope I have intrigued you enough to wipe the dust gathering on that thing and start using it! 🙂

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P.S: Oh! And finally, I watched two very powerful documentaries on Netflix recently. The first one was The True Cost which is about the evils of fast fashion, the effect it has on the laborers, the effect to our planet and what marketing strategies these large brands use to make people buy clothes they really don’t need! The other one was more of a lifestyle documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Strongly urge you to watch it to understand how liberating minimalism and slow fashion are! 🙂

Thank you as always for reading all the way to the end! Have a great week ahead!

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2 thoughts on “Self Help, Helps Sustain!

  1. Super cool blog post! It shows that when you truly believe in something you can rapidly increase the convincing power! Two of my most favorites on Netflix and goosebumps and butterflies to see someone react the same way I did! Great job and good luck ✌🏽🎈

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  2. Great post Shilpa. We need this awareness on minimalism and brand consciousness now more than ever. It’s nice that you are creating it through your posts. I hope this blog fulfills the intended purpose. 😊

    Like

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