I’ve been struggling to find time to sew recently, with a job and a toddler rushing around me constantly. Exhausted is just half of it! But I jumped at the chance when Jasmin was looking for pattern testers for her latest sewing pattern, The Daphne …
Tag: sustainable sewing
The Helene Selvedge Jeans pattern has been a long awaited one. Over lockdown I watched Anna Allen’s Instagram posts closely as she shared pair after pair of amazing jeans, she was making herself. I knew she was planning to release them, but as usual wanted …
To get myself back into sewing again I needed a quick project, I chose the Twig and Tale Sunny Hat. It’s been a while since I’ve sewn anything, with a new baby I’ve been quite busy. She has just started napping for longer periods of time, so it was time to get started.
SELECTING A PATTERN
I knew I wanted to make a sunhat for Robin as the weather was getting sunnier, and it was something she really needed. I searched around and came across the Twig and Tale Sunny Hat pattern. Which is actually a free pattern, so even better. The Sunny Hat is also available in 11 sizes, from newborn to adult.
Sunny Hat Sewing PROCESS
The Sunny Hat is made up of 6 panels, so it is perfect as a scrap-busting project. I have a box of scraps that I save for the perfect project. In it I had these lovely Eco Enzyme washed Linen pieces originally from Minerva that were the perfect size. As the hat is lined, I also dug out some lovely Liberty Lawn from Minerva. I used the Liberty lawn fabric originally for a vintage pattern I made. It also asked for some interfacing for the brim, but I just used some leftover medium-weight calico I had in my scraps.
I was extra careful when I cut out all the pieces, as just a couple of mm difference would soon add up and end up making the hat too big or small. I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to cut out such a small pattern. As I was working with scraps it was hard to layer them as I usually would for cutting out.
I started by attaching two panels together with the facing and immediately made a mistake. I attached a piece of the facing on the outside – mum brain in action. After unpicking and starting again, it all went smoothly. I made two half hats of 3 panels and then sewed a smooth curve seam to make the shape of the hat, then repeated the process for the Liberty lining. I then put the two hats’ right sides together and sewed around the brim. Turned it through and the hat is complete.
It was straight on Robin’s head before I could even press it for a sunny day in the garden.
I only made one adjustment, and that was to take a couple of cm off the brim of the hat so it wasn’t too big. Although it’s a sunhat I still wanted her to be able to see, as I know she’s a nosy baby.
WOULD I MAKE THE SUNNY HAT AGAIN?
The instructions for this pattern were impeccable, especially for a free pattern so I will definitely be making it again. There are so many sizes of the sunny hat, so I’m sure Robin will be wearing it for many years. Also, on the Twig and Tale website you can buy a super cute add-on to make the hat into a little flower, adorable.
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Versatile maternity clothing, I’m really running low on this. I’m currently shuffling through two to three dresses on rotation. Quite a few of them aren’t weather appropriate but they fit and that’s a win for me. But I definitely needed another maternity dress. Choosing a …
Choosing a Fabric As soon as I saw this amazing Mind the Maker dot fabric at Minerva I fell in love. Even better it is sustainable organic Ecovero viscose, so much better for the environment than regular viscose. Ecovero is similar Tencel fabric is made …
Hemp clothing has recently been gaining a lot of popularity in the west. Once a fabric for the hippies among us, hemp has been going mainstream, popularised by sustainable fashion blogs and influencers. However, let’s not forget that in many other non-western countries, hemp fabric is nothing new and people there have been reaping the benefits of this sustainable fabric for centuries.
This article is part of a new series on the Ruby Rose Sews blog, called Sustainable fabric spotlight. Within it, I will introduce a sustainable fabric every other week and talk about the good and the bad of it.
Where does hemp fabric come from?
In many places, the cultivation of hemp (or cannabis) has been restricted for a long time, due to the connection between the cannabis plant and its psychoactive qualities. However, as farmers have been planting cannabis for hundreds of years, some were looking for its psychoactive effects, while others paid attention to the strength of the fibre. Due to this, the cannabis plant used to create hemp fabric nowadays actually contains very little THC compared to the psychoactive kind.
So what’s the problem and why aren’t we all wearing hemp yet? Much of the legislation in the world does not distinguish between the two kinds of cannabis, and so the kind planted for its fibres is often confused with the THC-rich variation. For this reason, we are not taking as much advantage of this fabric as we could be. Let’s look more in-depth into why that is such a shame.
Sewing with hemp fabric
Hemp is a really versatile fibre and can be made into all sorts of different fabrics and textures. But it is mostly closely linked to linen and is a great alternative for linen in any garment. It drapes well, is natural and breathable as well as being very strong. Like linen it does unravel when cut so always best to finish the edges with an overlocker or serger. I’m trying to source some hemp fabric for my next project, so watch this space!
The pros of using hemp…
Let me preface this by saying that hemp can be used for many more purposes other than clothing production: as a protein-rich health food, or for the production of biodegradable plastics and biofuels. Now let’s talk about the benefits of using it to create one of the most sustainable fabrics. Because if I were to summarise all the purposes for which this plant can be used, you would still be reading this article tomorrow.
The amazing thing about hemp fabric is that its production is not releasing any toxins into the environment and it does not pollute the Earth in any way during its lifecycle. It is very resilient, grows quickly and does not rely on large amounts of water. As a result of this great resilience, the plants do not need to be treated with pesticides. On the contrary, they actually nourish the soil.
As hemp has been bred for centuries with the strength of fibres in mind, this is one of the biggest advantages of hemp clothing. It does not stretch out, keeps its shape and does not rip easily. Hemp can be made into more delicate fabrics, as well as heavy-duty clothing. It is the perfect material to wear during summertime since it absorbs sweat and protects your skin from UV rays.
…and very few cons!
Are there even any cons to hemp fabric? Well, there are some, but very few. Firstly, it is often mixed with cotton, which affects its potential to be recycled. However, since both hemp and cotton are biodegradable, this does not present too much of a problem.
Another small con is the cost, which can also be resolved. Hemp does not inherently cost more to produce than cotton, but there are some factors driving the price up. One of these is the scale of production, which is minimal compared to fabric giants like cotton. Some retailers also charge higher prices for hemp, since it is something new and trendy in the west. However, as we all wear more hemp clothing and normalize the use of the cannabis plant for fibre-making, the price is due to drop soon.
We have started off the Sustainable fabric spotlight series on a high note with hemp. With very little cons, there is a lot of reasons to love this sustainable fabric. Has anyone made anything with Hemp fabric? Let me know in the comments!
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