The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment)

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

When I’m not sitting behind the sewing machine, I work full-time as a psychologist. This is why I every once in a while share a mental health-related post on this blog. Please grab a coffee and join the conversation!

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Which one of you considers themselves a hoarder? An addict?

Add the word fabric and I’m all in.

I’m definitely guilty of having a slightly unhealthy relationship with buying fabrics. I have all the cute postcards, signs and coffee mugs about how fun my fabric shopping addiction is.

Fabric shopping is amazing: I get home from a long and exhausting day at work. I could sew now to feel relaxed, empowered, fulfilled and productive and just generally good about myself. Instead I decide to flop on the couch with a glass of wine, get inspired by Instagram makers, feel bad about neglecting my hobby and then decide to check out some cute fabric online shops for a little inspiration. Browsing through endless creative possibilities I finally feel connected to my favourite pastime again, I get the happy sewing feels, I get a rush and decide to spend just a little more than I planned to spend after I decided to skip not spending anything altogether. Seeing the order hitting my inbox makes me happy. I will sew again, very soon, I promise.

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Fabric shopping – It’s a trap!

Our brain makes us feel happy when we shop. When we buy ourselves things our brain’s reward centre jumps into action and releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, that makes us feel good about what we just did and makes it more likely that we’ll do it again. Like when eating chocolate, or having sex. (Or taking drugs.)

Dopamine isn’t just released when we get a reward, but it’s also actually released in anticipation of a reward. Thus enters the joy of online shopping. It’s TWICE THE FUN! A couple of clicks and we get ourselves a double dopamine hit! First, when we order and second, when our order finally arrives in the mail. So in a way, online shopping isn’t only easily accessible it’s more exciting for our brain than shopping in person.

Finishing a project or buying fabric both triggers a dopamine response reward.

This is the reason why fabric shopping feels just as fun as sewing itself. It’s a pretty good substitute in the short term. But that’s about it. It’s a trick of the mind, and induces the feeling that we’re doing something for our hobbies, when we’re actually just lying on the couch stressed-out and scrolling through online shops. It gives us pleasure, we feel connected to our hobby without actually engaging in it. So it feels like a pretty good alternative when we can’t muster the energy to get immersed in a project.

Shopping for our hobby can feel like a pretty smart shortcut to calming our conscience, upping our mojo, feeling creative and engaged

Problem is, this only lasts for a pretty short time. Long-term – that’s not hard to guess – it doesn’t get us any of the benefits we achieve when we sew, make, create stuff. (Read more about the benefits of sewing here.) In our fast-paced lives we sometimes struggle to find the time and motivation to immerse ourselves in a slow-paced, mindful activity like sewing, embroidery or knitting. So shopping for our hobby can feel like a pretty smart shortcut to calming our conscience, upping our mojo, feeling creative and engaged.

I love fabric shopping. And I’m not saying that fabric shopping is a bad thing. But gaining pleasure from unnessecary and unsustainable fabric shopping instead of getting into action and sewing with the fabrics we already bought last time kind of defeats the purpose of sewing as a mindful and sustainable activity.

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com
The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.comThe Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

‘Lifetime’ stash – pleasure or pressure?

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about having a stash of five different fabrics at home. I’m talking so-called “lifetime stashes”, stashes so huge, we will never have the time to use them up while buying more fabrics in the meantime. I’m a fabric hoarder myself, let’s get this out. I buy fabrics because I like them, not because I need them urgently for a particular project. Lifetime stashes are fun. We pride ourselves with them on social media. I tell myself I’ll never have to leave the house or wait for an online order, because I always have everything I need for any project right at home with me. Does this keep me from adding to the stash? Hell, no! The sad thing is: I started to feel pressured by it. It’s not a trophy, more like a silent reproach. It’s a constant reminder of all the things I haven’t made yet.

Fabrics are not environmentally “neutral”. Polyester fabrics are one of the major sources of oceanic pollution and microplastics in our waters.

Furthermore, I turn my sustainable hobby into a hoarding business. I bought more than I will ever use (if I don’t stop buying). Fabrics are made from natural, animal or artificial fibres. They’re not environmentally “neutral”. Demand determines supply. The more fabrics we buy, the more fabrics are produced, using cottons, wool, all sorts of fibres and – sorry to break it to us – non-recyclable materials and a lot of microplastics. Polyester fabrics especially are one of the major sources of oceanic pollution and microplastics in our waters. But even natural fibres – cotton, linen, wool – are made by cutting down plants, animal farming and exploiting poorly paid workers in developmental countries.

I always took pride in the fact that I am independent from having to shop for my own clothes, that I support slow fashion and sustainability. Instead, I have been fooled by my own laziness and my brain’s reward centre into hoarding materials.

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Realising this, I have done two things:

First, I stopped buying fabrics. I actually haven’t bought any fabrics in almost a year now. More than a year, if I do not count the fabrics I bought as mandatory souvenirs on my last holidays – but I do. Instead, I’ve only used fabrics from my stash to sew and have been able reduce the amount of fabric in my sewing corner to some extent (probably only visible to my eyes if you ask the Mister). It feels really freeing to destash and I got inspired by the limits I set myself to up my creativity game. More often than not I feel happy going through my stash before the next project instead of feeling guilty. I try to be more conscious about fabric choices and and my own impact on the fabric industry.

Second, not being able to online shop instead of sewing, I finally had to tackle my inner conflict when I was just too lazy or tired or exhausted to sew and felt bad about it. That was interesting! Why do I feel guilty about not engaging in a self-imposed activity that is meant to promote relaxation and general well-being? I had to learn to tell myself that it’s ok to take a break from a thing I love every now and then. It doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped loving sewing and need to get stressed about it. It just means that I do not feel like sewing and not need to get stressed about it.

Since I stopped substituting sewing with fabric shopping, I haven’t actually sewn that much more. I read a lot. I knit. I took up spinning wool (it’s amazing!). It’s been a lot of fun!

The other day I wanted to make a dress and didn’t have the right kind and amount of fabric I needed at home… I made something else instead.

The Fabric Shopping Trap // Why buying less fabric is good for your mind (and the environment) by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Allowing myself to do what makes me happy and to take a break from it when it doesn’t make me happy reduced some of the time I spend sewing or taking pictures of finished projects. Instead, I’ve been really enjoying blogging some other content, posts like this one and articles about mental health.

Are you enjoying reading these? What’s your relationship with fabric shopping like?  I’d love to hear from you and get some feedback!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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Autumnal Florence Dress

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

leaves as golden as the buttons on my dress

Every year I’m sad at the end of summer for exactly five seconds until I remember how much I love autumn. I find beauty in every season and autumn has its very own special appeal. Hot chocolate and cosy blankets, long walks with muddy dogs and wellies, the smell of burning wood fire and red wine and books. Oh, and long dresses and boots. Why complain about the weather then?

Remember how I gushed over the Doris Dress in one of my recent posts? The only dress that got me more comments and compliments this summer was this gorgeous floral Florence number. And I am so glad how well this lady transitioned into the cooler season. Just add boots and denim jacket and you’re good to go.

pattern: The Florence Dress (Sew Over It), Version 1 (size 10)
fabric: lightweight cotton viscose from a Swedish sewing shop in Ljungby
amount: ~2,75 m
cost: less than 15€ (it was price per kg, buttons from my vintage stash)
duration: ~4 hr

I’m having a massive Sew Over It sewing spree this year and Florence is one of their more recent patterns. From its release on I had my eyes on this pattern and couldn’t wait to find the right fabric. I found this lovely viscose maxi flower print during our holiday in Sweden and it was perfect for this pattern. The shop sold pre-cut fabrics (price per kg) and I had a little less than needed for the Florence. As I’m super stubborn I went ahead anyway and just shortened the skirt pattern to fit my fabric. I love the midi length as it keeps the elegance but make for a much more casual, work-appropriate style.

Apart from changing the length, I sewed the pattern straight from the envelope without further adjustments. I got a pretty decent fit. (The shaping at the waist happens automatically due to the elastic sewn into the waist seam.) There appears to be some excess on the shoulders towards the neck, especially at the front, but since I wear the dress with the top unbuttoned it’s pretty much unnoticeable (to the untrained eye!) Now you go ahead and spot it!

I will certainly try and fix this when I make this dress again, which I most definitely will do!

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comSew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sew Over It Florence Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Do you wear your summer dresses during the cold season?
Or do you have a separate winter wardrobe?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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The Impact of Sewing on Body Image

Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.comWhen I’m not sitting behind the sewing machine, I work full-time as a psychologist. This is why I every once in a while share a mental health-related post on this blog. Please grab a coffee and join the conversation!

***

This isn’t a scientific research article. As there is very little research to review on this topic, information given in this post is largely based on my work experience and training as a mental health professional. 

For a long time I have been wanting to write about making your own clothes and its relationship to body image. While sewing encompasses our skills, tools and materials, our bodies are the foundation when it comes to making and wearing garments. I myself feel like I developed a healthier body image of myself since starting to sew my own clothes. There are many other sewing bloggers who have written about how they feel sewing affected their perception of themselves. (I’ve put together a list of blog posts I could find at the end of the article.)

Why is that? And how can sewing help to see ourselves in a more positive light?  First, let’s have a look at the term “body image” to know what exactly we’re talking about.

Body image is the mental representation you create of yourself and the way you look. It consists of the mental image you have of your own physical body, meaning your size, shape and appearance, as well as your personal attitude toward that physical self. Your attitude is made up of your thoughts and feelings and also beliefs about your body. All this together is your “body image”. And, this mental image of your body does not necessarily represent reality.  It is also not super stable and can change as it is subject to all kinds of distortion from moods, perceptions, feelings as well as a number of social factors.

Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Healthy body image has to do with self-acceptance and self-compassion. It means you are comfortable with the body you have, even when you do not think that you are perfect. It is about accepting flaws, embracing the body that is given to you and caring well for it.

When someone has a negative or unhealthy body image they find it very hard to accept and think positive about the way they look. They might be very preoccupied with perceived flaws. They might experience discomfort, disgust and shame, as they will also believe that others think about them in the same way. Severe dissatisfaction may result in a constant desire to change their body, even when such changes are not achievable. Negative body image may contribute to low self-esteem, unhealthy eating behaviour and therefore might affect your well-being. In severe cases unhealthy body image might cause severe distress,  contribute to depression, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, self harm etc. In those cases the help of mental health professionals is needed as it seriously affects functioning and quality of life.

Healthy body image is not synonymous with healthy body weight. It this case we’re  differentiating between physical and mental health (although these two are very much connected). Even if you’re over- or underweight, it is important that you find ways to accept yourself the way you are, whether there is a need to get to a healthier body weight or not. A diet or lifestyle change will be more successful and long lasting if you do it out of self-love and self-care instead of disgust and self-hate.

The term “body positivity” appears to be now used interchangeably with the term body image, whereas body positivity sounds “trendier” and appears less connected to mental health problems such as eating disorders and body image disorders, self harming etc. I am a bit cautious using both terms as synonyms, as body image is a very complex term consisting of many factors and variables, whereas body positivity mainly focusses on loving yourself unconditionally. Your body image will always contain negative perceptions, too, as it is normal to be critical of yourself. The extreme promotion of body positivity seems to lead to a converse trend of not allowing body negativity. People that are “objectively” perceived as beautiful (if there even is a chance that we can speak of being objectively beautiful…) are often openly and very harshly reprimanded on social media for “attention seeking behaviour” when they open up about not liking themselves. But this isn’t my topic today (I’ll save it for some other time, though.)

Many of skills we use when sewing a garment for ourselves are similar to certain therapeutic techniques used for building positive body image.

In my profession as a psychologist, I used to mainly work with eating disorder patients for a while, a group suffering from one of the more severe forms of body image disturbance. There are various methods and techniques to try and help someone change their perception of themselves. I’ve noticed that many of these techniques that focus on observation, non-judgment, neutrality, acceptance and self-compassion are  similar to certain skills we use when sewing a garment for ourselves.

I found this very exciting, as I’ve shared the opinion that sewing changes body image in a healthy way, but there is pretty much no research on this topic so it is hard to pinpoint the causalities and correlations.

When sewing, instead of rejecting your body, you are working with it.

It’s hard to reject your body when you sew. As it is our foundation, we have to work with it. Working with instead of rejecting it means we are a big step closer to embracing our bodies and what we look like. To make a garment fit your body, you have to go beyond the “I don’t like the way it looks on me” or “my body doesn’t fit the pattern”. You have to take a step back and look at yourself from a more objective angle. You’re looking at general forms and thinking in shapes instead. You’re on a very different level of judgement. Instead of judging the way you look and whether or not you like the overall image of yourself, you’ll be judging whether one shape matches the other shape and if not, where and what you have to mathematically tweak in order to make it fit. This is a healthy way of observing yourself in a more neutral, constructive way and taking a step back from judging yourself in unhelpful ways.

Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com

We tend to compare ourselves to others all the time. This is reinforced through social media. The sewing community is no exception, but it’s certainly a „slightly healthier crowd“ to compare yourself with. It’s about achievable goals, constructive skills and support. You might notice that almost no one has a perfect body. Everyone has to make adjustments. It’s a very rare thing to fit into the ‘average size’. Reading about other people’s experience when sewing a certain pattern and learning about their struggles with fit, can help to develop some self-compassion toward your own body shape.

There has been research on the link between body image and self-esteem and the link between self-esteem and creativity. Body image and self-esteem are different concepts, as self-esteem focuses more on personal strengths and self-worth which can be valued on more factors than just your physical appearance. According to research, body image and self-esteem are linked, but the direction of the relationship is not clear. They affect each other in many ways. Making your own clothes certainly influences the way you gauge your self-worth. Making and wearing handmade clothes might lead to higher feelings of self-efficacy as well as self-sufficiency which are quite empowering. This, in turn, might influence, but it doesn’t necessarily need to lead to, a better body image. There is good cause to believe that having a number of different things that you value about yourself leads to a more stable and solid perception of yourself and your self-worth.

Research definitely supports the hypothesis that creativity and self-esteem are directly linked (even stronger for females than for males). Our creative skills might also help us to deal with body dissatisfaction in other ways. For example, let’s look at fluctuating weight and sewing.

If the clothes don’t fit you, put your energy into changing the clothes, not your body.

Obviously, when we sew garments, we have to measure ourselves regularly. One inch more or less makes a difference. Changes in weight and shape are much more noticeable. But there are also many more options of dealing with those changes. We sewers have a very empowering set of tools!
Sewing blogger Tasha says “When I’m standing in front of a dressing room mirror and no pair of pants I try on looks good or feels right, I think that encourages me to feel like I need to change, like my body is not right” But, with making your own clothes, you have the tool to change the garment, not your body. Your body is fine as it is – the clothes do not fit! And that is changeable. You know how to do that: you can cut out a size bigger or smaller, pick more flattering shapes and fabrics, let out or take in some seam allowance, etc. You have a set of skills to make body changes count less and make self-efficacy count more.

Sewing clothes instead of going shopping saves us from exploitative marketing strategies that feed on women’s body dissatisfaction, self-consciousness and low self-esteem.

Being able to make your own clothes also saves you some really frustrating shopping trips. Clothes sizes play a major role in pigeonholing ourselves into “good or desirable” sizes and undesirable sizes. What makes this even more frustrating is the fact, that there is no standard for sizing when it comes to women’s clothes. Unlike men’s clothing, there are no direct measurements, but categories such as a “size 6/32”, a “size 12/38” etc. Different countries, and even different brands, use different sizing for those categories. Unfortunately, consumer culture shows an unhealthy trend of making those categorical sizes smaller over time. That means a woman with a size 12 might be a size 14 after a while, without gaining a single pound. As clothes and beauty ideals are very much connected, so are clothes and body image. Women tend to see clothing size in direct relation to their body size. The size she is wearing might very much affect how beautiful a woman feels. To make this even more confusing, there are marketing tactics such as “vanity sizing”, scaling down clothing sizes, so that consumers suddenly fit in smaller sizes. This strategy feeds on women’s body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem – counting on women to pay more for a smaller size.

Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com

By the way, there is also no consistent sizing when it comes to different sewing pattern brands. But size becomes less important and “just a number” once you start seeing through this system. We are also able to cut between sizes, merge sizes or alter patterns altogether. I mainly use sizing as a rough guide to cut out a pattern. I often cut out one size larger and take in the seam allowance where necessary. So, when making garments, we do not sew a Size 10 or a Size 36, we sew a “my size”. Decreasing the overemphasis on size and numerical identities boosts confidence and satisfaction with self. Furthermore, this helps to focus more on individual style and personal traits as key components of beauty. So let’s create some garments at home and save us some frustrating shopping trips!

There are various ways in which making handmade clothes can help with a healthier body image. Sewing might not necessarily lead to 100% self acceptance and uncompromised body positivity, but it might help to develop a more holistic, stable mental image of yourself and your body, that is less prone to quick fluctuations.

After all this talk about positive body image … don’t forget: It’s ok to feel body negative, too. It’s hard when we look in the mirror constantly and don’t like what we see, it’s hard when your handmade clothes suddenly don’t fit anymore, it’s hard to run around with a measuring tape all day. It’s hard if you feel like a pattern you love looks better on everyone else. It’s hard to have to cut out a larger size. There will be days like that, too, and sometimes even sewing won’t change that. And that’s ok.

All in all, sewing is good for you! It is not only a fun, creative hobby, it also helps in unexpected ways. It’s healthy and pays off in all kinds of good ways.

Sewing and Body Image by thisblogisnotforyou.com

So next time you feel guilty for spending too much time behind the sewing machine, remind yourself that sewing may be a little like taking a trip to a spa – and what can be wrong with some spa time?

***

If you found this article interesting, I think you might enjoy reading the following posts:

Interesting articles by other sewing bloggers on the topic:

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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Research & Further Reading:
Ronald E. Goldsmith & Timothy A. Matherly (1988) Creativity and Self-Esteem: A Multiple Operationalization Validity Study, The Journal of Psychology, 122:1,47-56, DOI: 10.1080/00223980.1988.10542942
Tiffany M. Stewart (2004) Light on Body Image Treatment: Acceptance Through Mindfulness, Behavior Modification, Vol 28, Issue 6, pp. 783 – 811, DOI: 10.1177/0145445503259862
Kinley, T. R. (2010), The Effect of Clothing Size on Self‐Esteem and Body Image. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 38: 317-332. DOI: 10.1111/j.1552-3934.2009.00027.x
Kumar Tiwari, Gyanesh & Kumar, Sanjay. (2015). Psychology and Body Image : A Review. SHODH PRERAK: A Multidisciplinary Quarterly International Refereed Research Journal. 5. 1-9.
Grogan, S. (2008). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Feeling Great in Mia Jeans & Carme Blouse

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.comMia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

A Winning Team

Hello & meet my new two favourite pieces in my wardrobe! Can you tell how much I love this outfit from the photos? I just love the combination of textures, colours and silhouettes. Let’s have a look at those fantastic team members, shall we?

pattern: Carme Blouse by Pauline Alice Patterns
fabric: cotton lawn from local shop
amount: 1,5 m
other materials: 10 buttons, interfacing optional
cost:
Zero as fabric and buttons both were gifted to me. (+8€ for the pattern)
duration: It took me almost two full days.

First, there’s the versatile, but high-maintenance Carme Blouse. I’ve had this pattern in my stash for ages and knew by the look of it that this wouldn’t be a quick and easy make. It a PDF/paper pattern by Pauline Alice Patterns, who have a small but growing gorgeous range of patterns in their shop. I sewed this pattern without making any fitting alterations, so it’s basically straight from the envelope!

After so many years of sewing my own clothes you should think I could more or less tackle any technique, right? Well, say hello to pin tucks. Let’s just say there’s still oh-so many things to learn. Man, these pin tucks were some real suckers, especially constructing them with such a lightweight fabric. Luckily the print is crazy enough to hide the uneven pleats! Otherwise you could see that I struggled on the left front yoke and had it figured out reaching the far right side of the yoke. My tip: instead of following the pattern markings for the pin tucks, measure them out one by one as you go. This way you’ll get evenly spaced pleats. In the beginning I tried to follow the pattern markings – but if you’re off by just a millimetre the inaccuracy becomes very noticeable after a couple of pleats and it’s increasingly difficult to correct.

I used this luscious cotton lawn, which was a gift from the Mr for our wedding anniversary. He bought it at a local fabric shop, so I can’t give you any more info than that it’s fa-bu-lous. It might be a bit too noisy for such details as pin tucks, but it was an experiment and I love how it turned out. Together with some simple skinny jeans it’s not too crazy, right?

The pattern comes with really cool sleeve taps and a button-down front, which make the blouse quite versatile. I like to wear the top unbuttoned and sleeves rolled up. It looks a lot more casual and the white back of the fabric gives a nice contrast. The cute buttons were a gift from my sister which she bought on a trip to Korea.

***

Let’s check out team member number two!

pattern: Mia Jeans by Sew Over It (Capsule Wardrobe ebook, ÂŁ20)
fabric: stretch denim from Alfatex.de (12,90€/m)
amount: 1,5 m
other materials: 12,5 cm long zip, one jeans button, fusible interfacing
cost: ~ 20€ (the ebook was courtesy of Sew Over It)
duration: ~ 3 hours

It’s the very low-maintenance Mia Jeans! It’s my fourth pair of Mia Jeans, a pattern by Sew Over It. It’s made from a stretch denim fabric and the only main alteration I did (and which I do with all my Mias) is that I lengthened them to full-length instead of ankle-length.

The top-stitching at the waistband got a bit out of hand. There are days when I love me some top-stitching and this was one of them. I think it looks really nice and it also gives a bit more structure to the waistband. The best part about making jeans is that I get to try new decorative stitches on the pockets every time. My sewing machine has loads of different ones which I sadly never really need or use, so I make an extra effort of putting them on all the pairs of jeans I make.

I used blush pink thread for the top-stitching and overlocked seams. You can’t really see it in the pictures, but it looks really nice up close.

The easy fitting and quick construction is what I love about the Mia Jeans. As the cut is quite simple, the fitting options are limited. I always use stretch fabrics and try to really stabilise the waistband so it doesn’t start gaping after a couple of wears. As it’s a quite high-waisted pair of  jeans it’s flattering as long as you haven’t had a big lunch. But I don’t mind, life’s too short to suck in your tummy!

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Mia Jeans and Carme Blouse by thisblogisnotforyou.com

jeans & blouse: handmade | shoes: second-hand Clarks | watch & jewellery: Skagen

I tried to wear this outfit as often as seemed appropriate recently without appearing like I have nothing else in my closet. I will definitely make a few more Carme Blouses, I’m sure! I might skip the pin tucks here and there and do a hack without them. I just really like the sleeve taps and button front.

As for the Mia Jeans – of course there will be more. My first pair was just about to come apart after two years of constant wear when I finished this one. So this is a constant cycle of sewing, wearing and burying the dead.

It’s crazy what a successfully handmade outfit does to your confidence. I’ve written about sometimes disliking myself in pictures in my last blog post. Well, not this time! Thumbs up to sewing boosting self-esteem, I guess.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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NEW! Doggie DIYs – Let’s start with making your own dog toys!

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hello everyone! I’m really excited about this:

There’s a new category on Thisblogisnotforyou.com: Dog DIYs!

There’ll be some really fun doggie-related projects coming up! We’ve got a new pup in our home right now and I’ve been busy making lots of cool things – toys, leashes etc.! If you’re not into dogs, don’t worry. Of course, there’ll be new fashion projects coming to the blog in no time!

Having a puppy in your home is an exciting time! There’ll be many new routines to get used to, a lot of work and worry, but also a lot of joy. And some time on your hands while you’re puppy sitting in the first days and weeks once your puppy is ready to come home with you. Time to sit on the couch, watch some Netflix and make some stuff! You’ll soon notice that toys are very useful things as they keep your puppy’s mind distracted from going after your carpet or favourite pair of shoes. And puppy goes through them in no time! Puppy teeth are very sharp but sensitive. You’ll need a lot of different toys of different textures, soft and hard ones, and of course toys that aren’t made with harmful chemicals or hard plastic which can break.

I tried a lot of different techniques to make some dog toys, leashes and treat bags for our puppy, while mainly recycling fabrics and materials I already had at home. These projects are perfect for recycling fabric scraps and your old pair of jeans.

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

If you’re curious about learning more, watch Dog DIYs. There’s more coming up soon! And check out my first project tutorial on making some eco-friendly, washable CHEW TOYS from fabric scraps (as shown above)!
DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Last but not least: Meet our adorable, crazy but super cute new puppy, Aslan! He’s 10 weeks now and we’re in love!

xx

Charlie


Have a great week!
♄

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