Recent Posts

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

Sewing – The Wilder Gown

The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company was the dress of 2019, so I’m quite late to the party. It’s been on my radar for a while but just haven’t had the right fabric…until now! I was recently contacted by Fabric Godmother, one of my 

Sewing The Basic Instinct Tee

Sewing The Basic Instinct Tee

This month I have mostly been sewing, The Basic Instinct Tee. During lockdown I have started to realise that I need more relaxed comfy clothes. I realised that I always made more complicated clothing and hadn’t really tried any basics. I decided a good starting 

BIPOC Sewing businesses to support in the UK

BIPOC Sewing businesses to support in the UK

If like me you are struggling at how you can continue to support the BIPOC community on an everyday basis,. Hopefully this blog post is for you. I have compiled a list of Black owned sewing businesses, so I can make more conscience decisions to buy from them, when purchasing my fabrics, patterns and general sewing supplies. I usually end up buying from the same few shops, so this research project was really informative. It helped me to not only find great new businesses, but also knowing that maybe in my own small way I could help.

Sister Mintaka

Sister Mintaka BIPOC owned sewing business

Already a favourite of mine, not only a BIPOC owned sewing business, but women owned too which for me is an added bonus. Sister Mintaka picks some of the most beautiful dressmaking fabrics and has eclectic tastes. She also stocks patterns and haberdashery. As a seamstress herself you can head over to the Sister Mintaka Instagram and get inspiration from some of the pieces, she has made with the fabrics she stocks.

My pick is this amazing Atelier Brunette Lenzing™ Ecovero™ viscose fabric, for its beauty and eco credintials

Atelier Brunette LENZING™ ECOVERO™ sustainable fabric

Cloth and Candy

Cloth and Candy fabric shop

This is a new discovery to me, but I’m sure many of you have already heard of Cloth and Candy. This POC owned business stocks beautiful whimsical cotton fabrics and there is a whole section of organic cottons which I’m excited to purchase. They do sell in fat quarters so take into account when ordering.

My pick is this amazing Rise and Shine organic cotton linen mix. Its out of stock at the moment but fingers crossed it comes back.

Cloth candy organic cotton rise and shine

Paper Theory Patterns

Paper theory Pattern BIPOC sewing business

Another favourite of mine and coincidentally a POC and women owned sewing business, Paper Theory Patterns make some of the most covetable patterns out there. The Zadie jumpsuit is iconic and they even have a free Stevie Knicker PDF pattern to get you started. Tara the creator of Paper Theory is a big supporter of the slow fashion movement which really resonates with me.

My pick is the Kabuki tee, just look at those stunning seam lines.

Paper Theory Kabuki tee

Pigeon Wishes

Pigeon wishes Black owned sewing business

This BIPOC owned sewing business is more of a wholesaler, but great for those starting a brand and looking for small minimum quantities, starting as low as 15 meters. Meg the founder of Pigeon Wishes concentrates of sustainable natural fibre fabrics made from closed loop systems that are biodegradable. Also their recently sold out button collection is just too beautiful, can’t wait for more to be available.

My pick is of course any of the beautiful buttons!

Pigeon wishes buttons and sewing equipment

Selvedge and Bolts

Selvedge and Bolts Black owned business sewing

This BIPOC sewing business stocks some amazing bright prints and designs. Dibs, the owner, started Selvedge and Bolts because of her love of bright bold prints and textures. Her immaculate taste shows throughout her stock of dressmaking fabrics. She even has ex designer stock so you can make one of a kind pieces to really stand out.

My pick is this lovely I am a Field Italian linen, imagine a demeter dress made from this!

Italian field linen selvedge and bolts

Ocean by the Sea

Ocean by the sea yarns botanically dyed

A special shout out to Ocean by the Sea for her stunning botanically dyed yarns. Although I don’t knit, I’ve got to appreciate these eco dyes and the beautiful subtle colours that are created using just flowers and plants. Not only that but her Instagram is full of inspiring imagery and beautiful poetry, such a relaxing place to be.

My pick is this beautiful beach comber fleck yarn, makes me want to take up knitting!

Beach comber botanically dyed blue yarn

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to amazing BIPOC owned sewing businesses. Do you have any suggestions? Or are you the owner of a BIPOC business and want to be included leave you details below.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content, I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby x

Top 5 sustainable underwear brands in Europe

Top 5 sustainable underwear brands in Europe

Where can I find sustainable underwear that will last and doesn’t cost the earth? Whether you are a long-time slow fashion enthusiast or a complete sustainability newbie, you have probably asked yourself this question. Finding good-quality ethical underwear can be a challenge and with this 

Pattern Testing – The Tulia Tee

Pattern Testing – The Tulia Tee

I recently took part in the testing process for Sewing Patterns by Masin for the launch of her new pattern, the Tulia Tee. This is a unisex jersey t-shirt with an oversized fit. It only has one view in the pattern but is open for 

Sewing with Wool – Making a Basic Skirt

Sewing with Wool – Making a Basic Skirt

So, before the lockdown happened, I had planned to make the perfect Spring work skirt. I have quite an active job, I am mostly on my feet and don’t get much time to sit down. I’m constantly moving about the studio and therefore need to be able to carry equipment with me.

I decided that I wanted to make a skirt that looked neat, stylish and smart but was also super practical. So, of course this means…BIG POCKETS.

close up detail shot of wool skirt hand in pocket

I recently started blogging for Fabric Guys and I was lucky enough to receive this beautiful wool fabric in exchange for a blog post. Fabric guys have been selling beautiful hand-picked fabrics for many years. They have a brilliant selection, and there prices are really reasonable.

The wool fabric is great because the wrong side was just as beautiful as the right side, which gave me lots of options for creating a garment.

girl with hands in pockets

Top Tips for sewing with wool:

Pre wash

Wool often shrinks, so as with most projects it is best to prewash your fabric. Choose either a wool cycle or 30 degree. Whatever you’d be washing the garment on.

Overlock the edge

When working with a woven wool like this one it does have a tendency to fray, so overlock the edges. If you think that this will make the garment too bulky, try using pinking shears.

Mark darts with threads

Due to the larger weave often chalk wont show up so well. Also pins can fall out of the looser weave. So a few contrasting threads work perfectly.

Careful Pressing

Press with lots of steam, but put something between the hot iron and the fabric as if its too hot you can end up woth shiny marks.

Use a longer stitch length

Set your machine to 2.5-3 to get it more easily through your machine and so it doesn’t bunch up.

This is just a summary of my main blog post over on the Fabric Guys website, so head on over to find out more tips for sewing with wool. Also details of how the skirt was sewn.

Ruby adjusting sleeves, turquoise jumper and monochrome wool skirt

At the end I say I can’t wait to wear it to work, but now, I can’t wait to wear it at home!

Check out another of my skirt sewing projects, the SewDIY Nita wrap skirt.

Thanks for reading

Ruby x

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution week is a very important date in the calendar for sustainable fashion. Before I started to concentrate on a more sustainable ethical lifestyle, I didn’t give much thought to where my clothing came from. Clothes just came from Topshop and H & M 

Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps with Georganics

Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps with Georganics

Creating a zero waste bathroom is a new mission in my life. While on my sustainability journey I have mostly been concentrating on my clothing and fashion in general. But sustainability goes so much further than that! I realised it needed to apply to my 

Pattern Testing – The Pomona Pants

Pattern Testing – The Pomona Pants

I was recently asked to be part of the pattern testing process for Anna Allen Clothing’s latest garment – the Pomona Pants. A versatile pattern that comes with 3 different views, shorts, wide trousers and tapered trousers. I love Anna Allen’s patterns, they are just my aesthetic, relaxed styles that always have different views and are easy to hack. You can read the previous blog post here featuring the Demeter Dress, which I also helped test.

Pomona Pants shorts

Pattern Testing

I feel like my sewing has generally improved so much due to testing patterns, I have to read the instructions carefully and follow along step by step.

When I agreed to test the pattern I had a holiday planned for the end of the week, which meant I had limited time to get the pattern made up and reviewed for Anna. I decided to make the shorts version so I’d have something new to wear on holiday. But of course with Corvid 19 my holiday was cancelled but I have a lovely pair of isolation shorts to wear!

Ruby Rose wearing Pomona shorts

Pomona Pants Process

As the Pomona Pants pattern has an elasticated waist Anna advised we use the measurement chart and pick the size based on hip size, as our widest part still needs to fit through the waist, which stretches to the same size as the hips. So I decided on a standard US size 6, as generally my hips are a bit larger and my waist slimmer than average.

I chose to use this lovely vintage fabric that my mum found in the back of a cupboard. Because I was in a rush due to my booked holiday I decided to skip making a toile and start straight on the final version. I had so much fabric if it failed completely I had loads more. This pattern is a simple one, as it has no side seams and a grown on waistband it is just one main pattern piece and then a piece for the pocket. Therefore it’s a pretty quick make, and I completed it in under 2 hours. I love the run and fell style seams.

Vintage fabrics shorts back view

Adjustments

So the size 6 called for 30 inches of elastic, I sewed the waistband and formed a casing for the elastic. I then fed the elastic through using a safety pin to create something to grip as I passed it through. I have also been recommended this tool for thread elastic and ribbons available here

Once threaded I pinned it together and tried it on. I then decided to take the elastic in and ended up taking about 3 inches out of it and now they fit perfectly.

One thing I would say is that as there are no side seams, if you needed to make your own adjustments it would be a little trickier as taking in the inner seam is harder to do without messing up the crotch.

Pattern testing Pomona pants

Would I make them again?

One of the design features I particularly like are the fake run and fell seams that have the 2 lines of top stitching. This looks great but the busy fabric I chose means it is lost. Since this blogpost I have made a version in plain fabric. This really showcases detail, you can see on my instagram here. Made using this denim with jeans style topstitching.

I’d also like to try the trousers version, Anna Allen made a beautiful canvas version of the tapered trousers here. Also a lovely silk version here. The pattern is avaialble now, you can purchase it on Anna Allen’s Website

I’d love to here if any of you make the Pomona Pants or Shorts – send me links in the comments

Be sure to subscribe to my blog up on the right, you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content, I can’t do it without your support

Thanks For reading

Ruby

Colieco Lingerie – Ethical Fashion

Colieco Lingerie – Ethical Fashion

This week I am focusing on one of my favourite ethical fashion brands, Colieco Lingerie. A bit of a different blog post, it’s me in my undies!! Sadly our holiday to Tenerife was cancelled because of the Corona Virus, I was hoping to show this 

Sewing – Demeter Dress

Sewing – Demeter Dress

This week I have been making a Demeter Dress for my summer holiday wardrobe, as I am off to Tenerife next week. Depending on virus outbreaks, but lets not think about that! I picked up this beautiful mustard cheetah viscose lawn from the fabric godmother 

Sewing Self-Drafted Dress

Sewing Self-Drafted Dress

I thought today I would share one of my favourite and definitely most popular makes to date. This is a self-drafted dress I made in collaboration with Minerva.

This was my first make for Minerva who kindly gifted me the fabric in exchange for a blog post on their website. This is just a summary of the self-drafted dress blog and the full blog can be found here.

I am used to working with cheaper fabrics, fabrics I’ve acquired over time and bargain basement cottons. As a result the chance to work with this stunning Atelier Brunette viscose was a real treat. It feels really luxurious and drapes and flows beautifully. You can find it here on the Minerva website. Available in 3 colourways

It is debateable if viscose is a sustainable fabric, as it is made from natural fibres and is plant based, made from wood pulp, which is a renewable source. But like many fabrics it uses a lot of water and chemicals. Above all during the manufacturing process. However making your own garments on a smaller scale is always more sustainable than buying from fast fashion shops.

This dress is self-drafted loosely based off a garment I own but with many changed with sleeves added and the neckline changed. I also added a button closure and a skirt, so by the end of the drafting it was completely different.

The making of this went like a dream and the fabric sewed beautifully. For the rest of the blog head over to Minerva here

Let me know what you think in the comments below or over on teh Minerva website.

In the future I’m going to share more summaries of my Minerva projects. Comprehensive blogs will always be on the Minerva site.

Here is another Minerva summary, Striped shorts

Thanks for reading

Rx

Organic Basics – Sustainable Fashion

Organic Basics – Sustainable Fashion

Today I’m going to be chatting about one of my favourite sustainable fashion brands, Organic Basics. As you know I make a lot of my own clothes but underwear is something I have to buy, Organic Basics is so well engineered and made so I 

Pattern Testing – The Dayo Blouse

Pattern Testing – The Dayo Blouse

This week I have been lucky enough to test the new Dayo Blouse pattern for Sewing Patterns by Masin. As soon as I saw the shout-out on Instagram asking for testers I jumped at the chance. She is fairly new pattern designer, but she already 

Sewing The Nita Wrap Skirt – SewDIY

Sewing The Nita Wrap Skirt – SewDIY

As soon as I got the pattern for the Nita Wrap Skirt I knew I wanted to make it straight away. So rather than wait to buy some fabric I dug into my stash.

Over the years I have accumulated quite a large amount of fabric, a mixture of vintage and quirky patterns that catch my eye. Most of them are natural cottons, silks and viscose which are much better for the environment than man made fabrics. This also means they are better to sew with.

Making the Nita Wrap Skirt

Luckily I had this fab heavy Ikea cotton on my shelves just waiting to become a skirt. The Nita Wrap Skirt pattern is a PDF and you can select the different sizes you want to print. This makes it really easy to use. I started by making a toile in size 6. But I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t read the instructions, therefore I added extra seam allowance to the pattern and made it way too big. But after realising and taking it in it fitted perfectly. So for me this pattern didn’t need any adjustments.

Another great thing about the Nita Wrap Skirt is because it’s a wrap it is very giving with the fit, so if you chose a size large or smaller you can just adjust the button or fastening placement to make it fit you. It comes with 3 different lengths, I went for the mini as its more flattering for me, and 3 different fastenings; D ring, button or tie.

For mine I chose the button fastening, I decided to add two button holes but 3 buttons so I can adjust the size for the days I eat too much and need to let it out, as we all do haha. The buttons I used are vintage, also from my stash and I really think they finish it off nicely

Pros

  • Quick Make
  • Selectable Sizes on PDF
  • Multiple style options
  • Easy to fit
  • Flattering

Cons

  • No page number printing guide for PDF
  • No pockets

Will I make it Again?

Yes definitely, I’m already planning it, but I’m going to draft some pockets onto the next one. You can purchase the pattern over on the SewDIY website.

Have any of you made the Nita Wrap Skirt? Let me know what you think either here or on my insta

Rx

Sewing Comfy Striped Shorts

Sewing Comfy Striped Shorts

I have added a quick summary of the making of my Comfy Striped Shorts below. But the whole blog can be checked out on Minerva. Minerva asked me to be part of their Bloggers Network recently. Since, I have worked on some brilliant projects using 

Natural Dye Experimentation

Natural Dye Experimentation

A great way to refresh your wardrobe is with fabric dying. I wanted to experiment with dying fabrics and clothing. A much more sustainable way of doing this is with natural dye. Luckily many of these can be made from products already found in your 

Hello world!

Hello world!

Hello.

After much encouragement I have decided to start a blog to document my journey of sewing and sustainability.

I’m not sure how it will go. Or if my writing will hold its own on the wide web, so any tips or suggestions are welcome.

So here goes…