Plus_Addict-28_Aug_2014

Some Thoughts About Textile Waste & Sewing Your Own

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Well it’s been a while since I penned anything for the blog, these past few months have been a whirlwind of activity here at Plush Towers. I can assure you I’ve been as busy as a busy thing and I’ve just not had time to sit down to write anything, but I’ve not been resting on my laurels. There are lots of things going on that I’m not quite ready to share with you yet but I hope today’s post will show you I’ve been beavering away in the background and not slacking off, oh no sirree.

I’ve been devouring lots of dressmaking blogs of late, there are so many talented people whipping up their own clothes and I have been truly inspired. I learned to sew as a teenager and my first projects were clothes (thankfully photos of these early creations do not exist, the orange plaid trousers are a clear example of why we should be wary about recycling 80s trends, even Gok Wan would have been hard pushed to find encouraging and kind words). I inevitably ran in to fitting issues that I had no clue how to resolve (this was way before the Internet existed – yes I am *that* old) and making my own clothes soon got pushed to one side. Well praise be for the Internet and all the wonderful information now available at the click of a button! I’m super excited to share that I have been geeking out on pattern making and have whipped up two skirts and I made using my very own patterns, am I proud or what?! Alas I don’t have photos yet as the battery died on my camera on the day we were going to take them but I’ll post them soon in all their A-line glory.. It would appear pattern cutting is actually quite common sense and pretty straight forward as long as you keep the design simple (she says with a meagre two skirts under her belt *cough*)

I’ve always been very interested in fashion, actually that’s not quite true – I’ve always been very interested in shopping and clothes were an obvious outlet for that habit. I must admit to buying more than my fair share of garments from cheap shops like Primark, Matalan or supermarket chains which fulfilled my desire for lots new clothes without breaking the bank with the mid set of “oh it doesn’t really matter if I wear it once, it’s only a tenner”. How times change… With stories that charity shops are turning away clothes from the lower end stores alarm bells started ringing for me, how can we be producing so much textile waste than clothes are being shunned by charities as they were drowning in unwanted, and mostly unsaleable clothing? It seems inconceivable, and that’s before thinking too hard about how on earth garments can be produced and sold at such a low cost. Almost a million tonnes of textile waste is sent to landfill in the UK a year, that’s a lot of fabric! And China produce almost 20 times that figure – gulp. Fashion has become throwaway.

So what makes our clothes valuable to us? Or so lacking in value that we just throw them away without a second thought? The obvious one is cost – how much we’ve paid for an item. I’d imagine a cracking dress from Jigsaw probably wouldn’t find its way to landfill in a hurry. Another reason clothes might be more valuable to us is that if we (or others) have expended time and effort to create items ourselves. I love to make Baby Plush clothes, there’s nothing that compares to the feeling I get when I see her running around in something I’ve made for her, it’s like she’s wrapped up in an envelope of my love or something.  The clothes that I make, or that are handmade by others are the items that I’m keeping in a special memory box, or they will get re-fashioned in to something else – I certainly don’t throw them out the same way I have a lot of her cheap shop bought stuff (this may lead to some scary levels hoarding but I’ll deal with that when I have to, right now the loft has lots of space!) And don’t get me started on the cloth nappies I’ve made, I can’t bear to part with them right now, I’m still mourning the loss of pretties since Baby Plush has potty trained. My point is I will think carefully about how I dispose of these textile items that I no longer need and I’m pretty sure I won’t just chuck them out, they mean a lot to me and hold memories of both making them and wearing them. They are valuable to me. These creations will be carefully recycled, up-cycled or gifted in a thoughtful manner and they definitely won’t end up in the bin.

Birthday dress

Baby Plush’s first birthday dress won’t be ending up in landfill any time soon, that’s for sure!

Made by me cape, I don't think I'll ever throw this away!

Made by me cape, I don’t think I’ll ever throw this away!

Of course textile waste isn’t the only reason I want to make more of mine and my family’s clothes but it is a big factor for me. I can’t wait to get better at altering and fitting patterns for the sense of achievement, the individuality and the feeling of pride I get when I see my daughter frolicking around in something mum-made which I’ve yet to beat.

So what are the reasons you sew your own? I’d love to hear.

 

 

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I’m in this month’s Sewing World magazine and you can get a discounted subscription!

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I was more than a little excited to open the post  and discover a copy of this month’s Sewing World magazine, I *may* have let out a squeal of excitement and jumped around from foot to foot doing an enthusiastic a happy dance. It’s been a long time coming but I’m thrilled the day has finally arrived and my words are right there in black and white printed on something I can actually touch and flick through, accompanied by photos of some of my favourite plush makes.  Continue reading

Summer-Sale

Our Summer Sale Has Started!

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Hello folks! It’s that crazy sale time of the year once more and we’re having a big clear out to make room for lots of new scrum my autumn and winter fabrics. There are reductions of up to 70%. You’ll find quilt cottons, dressmaking fabrics, plush, habdash and nappy making supplies in the sale. It ends on 20th August. Get in early to grab the bargains!

 

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Win a FQ Bundle of the New Kona Shades Worth £64!

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**This giveaway is no closed**

Huge congrats to the winner Helen Brand and thank you to everyone who entered!

We are so delighted to have all of the new Kona colours in stock even before Robert Kaufman have finished announcing them that we’re going to run a giveaway to celebrate their arrival! We’re offering the chance to win a fat quarter bundle containing 1 FQ of each of the new colours worth £64.

Here’s how you enter

1) Follow us on Twitter or Instagram 

2) Leave a comment here telling us where you are following us.

That’s it!

A winner will be selected at random from the blog comments on Sunday so you have until midnight Saturday 9th August to enter.

Good luck!

 

                           

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New Kona Shades Are In The House!

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It only seems like five minutes ago that Robert Kaufman released their last round of new Kona shades but looking back it was actually about a year ago (where does the time go?) and we’re delighted to announce that the new 32 new shades arrived yesterday and are all in stock taking the total Kona colour count to a whopping 303 colours. Robert Kaufman Kona is a wonderful quality quilt weight solid and the choice is fantastic so you’re bound to find the perfect shade for your project.

Continue reading

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Celebrate With Us! 10% Off until Sunday Plus…

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Wowers, I really can’t believe we’ve just passed 30,000 followers on Facebook. Pretty amazeballs,  I still find it quite astounding that we’ve picked up such a following along the way in such a short space of time. We certainly owe a lot to the power of modern social media so we always like to mark the occasion, and this one is no exception.

There will be 10% off everything in the shop until Sunday and there’s also a chance to win this mega craft hamper worth over £250! Every order placed until Sunday will be entered in to a draw to win this fantabulous prize. Full details and what is exactly in  he hamper can be found here.

Happy days! 

What is Ponte Di Roma? A Fabric Guide

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It seems that the knit fabric ponte di roma (also known as punto-di-roma, but I’m going to call it ponte roma for short) is all the rage at the moment and much credit must lie with Tilly Walnes and her wonderful Coco Pattern. And what’s not to love? It’s an easy knit to sew, it doesn’t crease, it doesn’t cling to your lumps and bumps like some knit fabrics, it’s an all round good egg. The fabric was developed in Italy (the clue is in the name) and I’m very glad they did (to think they gave us this AND pizza – praise be for Italy!) Continue reading

50% Off Burda Patterns Ends Today

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This has been such a great promotion, who can refuse bargains that start as low as £1.98?! Well it’s about to come to an end folks so grab these half price Burda paper patterns whilst you still can as at the stroke of midnight they return to full price. You can shop for Bargain Burda patterns here. Enjoy!!

 

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Sausalito Cottage from LakeHouse

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Oh my! This new collection “Sausalito Cottage” from Lakehouse might be too pretty for words. Designed by Holly Holderman, Sausalito is actually a city in California with pretty hillside shoreline and this collection certainly nods to kicking back and relaxing through the summer months. Images of the garden are throughout; there are flowers, butterflies and bees buzzing around. I think this collection would make a beautiful feminine quilt and it’s vintage feel would be great for clothes and homely makes.

The collection is available here. What would you make with it?

 

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Forever Fiesta: A Quilt For Nanny Plush

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know that I have recently made my mum a quilt in break neck speed. I have to admit to being a bit of a fly by the seat of my pants crafter and often just make hasty, unplanned decisions of what to make next, usually starting then and there (this is my justification for having a big fabric stash – you never know what inspiration is just around the corner!) Continue reading