Natural fibres

Over on Instagram, I shared a little about my love of natural fibres. How it’s not just a preference, but something that has fundamentally changed how I feel about my body.

Before I discovered natural fibres, I really thought that my body just smelled bad, that I just had to try and mask the problem, but that ultimately my body was to blame. Spoiler alert: a wardrobe full of polyester will probably make anyone stinky.

Silk Noil Waikerie
Silk noil Waikerie Shirt with linen Glebe Pants

Now that I sew my own clothes, I’ve worked out that even amongst natural fibres there are winners for me. Linen, merino, silk, and even modal/bamboo work much better for me than cotton (which holds smells).

My preference for the fibres that I make my shirt, tees and pants from has a lot of crossover with the fabric I like to make my undies from! Merino and bamboo/modal are my favourite undies fabrics (especially in combination in the Kapunda Undies (bamboo side-panels and merino gusset and front and back is my favourite)!

Tarlee Funnel Neck
A funnel neck merino Tarlee T-Shirt hack worn with Birchgrove Pants, which you can’t really see.

What are my favourite fabrics?

Maybe you’ve noticed my wardrobe is a lot of linen? Linen has great qualities, and comes at a great price! I especially like undyed linen! Linen can also be great to sew with (if it’s not a shreddy b-word)!

Silk noil is my weakness (A+R Fabrics is my go-to source)- I love how it’s fancy but perfect for everyday-wear! It’s great to sew with, and doesn’t need ironing after washing (I air-dry and give my things a flick before hanging them out).

Merino is an old-favourite and my new favourite merino comes from The Merino Collective in NZ! I first tried it in this whisky shade from A+R Fabrics, which I used to make this Tarlee T-Shirt. I stocked up on the Merino Collective Fabrics from For Fabrics Sake (NZ-based) when they had a sale recently!

Muna and Broad Tarlee Tshirt
A bamboo Tarlee T-Shirt with linen Glebe Pants and quilted cotton Belmore Jacket

How do I wash my natural fibre fabrics before sewing?

I pre-treat my fabric in the way I intend to launder it. Coat fabrics don’t get pre-washed because I’m not going to wash them. Since I wash my clothes in cold-water, and generally air-dry my washing, that’s how I wash my fabrics before cutting & sewing.

How do I wash my clothes and how often?

I do a lot of spot-treatment to clean marks (I’m messy, what can I say)? And of course, I wear clean undies every day (and socks, if I’m wearing socks that day), but everything else is fair game. Of course, if something needed to be washed, I would wash it (can you tell that I’m preparing you?)!

My natural fibre t-shirts (in cotton, bamboo and merino) certainly go more than 5 wears before getting a wash… longer for merino.
Natural fibre pants? They get aired between wearings, they get the sniff test and they get washed a couple of times during the season.
Natural-fibre bralettes? The sniff test returns, but they’re certainly not 2-wears before washing.

Basically, moving to natural fibres for my clothes has also moved me from the ‘1-wear, 1-wash’ which was necessary with my polyester clothes because they made me stinky, and I made them stinky in return.

Waikerie Shirt
A linen Waikerie Shirt worn with linen Glebe Pants

What are some changes I’m trying to make

I love bamboo, but I’m trying to shop modal instead (you can hear @Michelleofatime chatting about the dark side of bamboo here).

I’d love to find some more sources for hemp fabric- especially 4-way stretch which would be appropriate for undies. Hemp has similar moisture-wicking, antibacterial qualities to merino (from what my googling has shown).

The ethics stuff: I’m also glad that there’s a crossover between fibres that I love to wear, and fibres that tick my particular environmental ethics boxes. I know that folks set these ethics for themselves, and everyone has things that are more important to them and things that are less important to them. For me, avoiding plastics is my main aim. This means I also mostly wear leather shoes (because plastic-free, but also because ethics and because there’s less smell with leather).

Bamboo Tarlee hack
A bamboo Tarlee T-Shirt hack

Basically, I love natural fibres!

Scrap-Busting sewing patterns

Since it’s the middle of November (and therefore practically Christmas), I’ve rounded up a few patterns for scrap-busting, many of which would make great gifts! Check out other scrap-busting patterns, free patterns, and patterns for gifting that I’ve rounded up previously.

Here are some things you can turn your scraps in to, or even stuff your scraps in to! Check out the roundup and then let me know if I’ve missed something or if you have a favourite way to scrapbust that isn’t covered here!

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Free Sewing Pattern Resources

Since it still feels like March, but it’s actually almost November, I wondered if it might be time to share the pattern roundups I’ve put together on the blog during the past wee-while. Whether you’re after free plus-size sewing pattern PDFs, free eco sewing pattern PDFs or free Christmas gift sewing ideas, I’ve probably got you sorted!

Free Christmas gift idea sewing patterns

9 free Christmas Gift Sewing Patterns, including a Christmas pickle sewing pattern and some great free tote bag sewing patterns.

All about Ramie

Native to China, ramie is a linen-like fibre made from nettles and which is classified as a cellulose fiber, just like cotton, linen and rayon.

Ramie fibers comes from the stem of a nettle plant called China grass (Boehmeria nivea). It looks similar to European nettle but it does not have prickles.

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20 more free sewing patterns for Christmas Gifts!

Free Apertio Pouch Pattern from Blogless Anna

Cloud pot holders from Ohoh deco

Free Fanny Pack pattern from Spoonflower

Free weekender bag pattern from Deliacreates

Retreat zipper bag from Emmaline Bags

Lucky Penny Wallet from Sallie Tomato

Free Sleep mask pattern from Spoonflower

Date night clutch from Sewmamasew

Manhattan zipper case from Emmaline Bags

Cutlery pockets tutorial from Samelia’s Mum

Free makeup roll pattern from Spoonflower

Pencil Roll from Sewcanshe

Mini Rucksack from naehratgeber.de

Free apron pattern for kids from Spoonflower

Book bag from Sewcanshe

Drawstring bag from Delia Creates

Free zipper pouch pattern from Spoonflower

Quilted Christmas potholders from Samelia’s Mum

Sewing patterns for your dad or whoever

Are you interested in free patterns? Check out this post full of Christmas gift ideas, or this one full of eco-ish sewing patterns, and this one too.

Here’s a collection of gifts that might be appropriate for your dad? I don’t know him, so it’s tough for me to say. Perhaps they’d be good patterns for you to sew for yourself?

The Sewing Part, Wine & Beer Tote

Free Sewing for Christmas!

I’m not meaning to scare anyone but since it’s currently October it will soon enough be December. I’ve been stockpiling patterns all year which might be appropriate for making Christmas gifts in anticipation for this moment so here’s the first installment of ‘free patterns for sewing Christmas gifts for kids, dogs and significant others’.

Crafting a Rainbow, Scandinavian Fabric Stars

20+ more free ‘eco’ sewing patterns

After sharing 15 free ‘eco’ sewing patterns last week, I got so many suggestions of other things that should be included in the next edition! While some of these items don’t necessary replace disposable items, they might be included because they’re fun or because they might be a way for you to avoid buying a similar product that’s made out of polyester!

Sew your own shoelaces from Sewing Party

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