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Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash buttons speaking

Become your own Brand: Sustainable sewing

In sewing an item from scratch – either using purchased materials or upcycling old items – you will experience the time, skill and patience it takes to create an item of clothing or accessory. Your journey to self sufficiency moves forward, and mending, fixing, upcycling and creating new, bespoke/tailored and exciting items becomes an enjoyable hobby: you become your own brand!

If you are interested in sustainable sewing projects, or maybe have been motivated to look into this more during COVID-19 lockdowns, here are a few ideas, patterns and links – I just hope that in inspires just one other person to replace one item which they usually buy, with a home-made / upcycled item:  By sewing your own clothing and/or accessories, you are choosing a leisurely, more sustainable lifestyle and, at the same time, making a stand against fast fashion.

Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash
Photo by Merve Sehirli Nasir on Unsplash

Your sewing skills can be used to dramatically reduce the number disposable items and products you use.

IMAGE Fewer disposables = less in landfill = more pennies in your pocket = you and the planet that little bit happier

Here are a few ideas to get you started – small steps make a huge difference! (Remember: google is your friend, and there are sew many patterns, instructions and videos out there, you are bound to find instructions and/or a tutorial which suits you and your capabilities!)

At the end of the day, the possibilities are endless…. If you need something, look online to see how to make it yourself!  Upcycle old clothing into bags, wraps and even into NEW clothing items! You can let your imagination go wild, learn some new skills, and create a more sustainable way of living.

Beeswax Wraps – an alternative to cling film

Wax Blocks from
Wax Blocks from

Not really a sewing project, but I suspect that the majority of people have at least seen Beeswax Wraps, even if they have not tried them and they are also fairly simple to make at home! (no sewing required!) Use your favourite fabric designs – or even remnants of that upcycling project from your old dress – to cheer you up in the kitchen! 

Also, I wrote a little on this topic here.

Reusable Bowl Covers – another alternative to cling film

Reusable bowl covers are another fantastic way to avoid the use of cling film. They are made from oilcloth which is a wipe clean waterproof fabric, and (this is the clincher!) can be machine washed!

Reusable Snack Bags – an alternative to plastic zip lock bags

This is great if you have some left over waterproof fabric offcuts – or are wanting to upcycle an waterproof garment!

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash
Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Cloth Napkins – an alternative to paper serviettes

A really quick and easy (and in my opinion, attractive) project – make a selection for your home (even matching other items in your home) using fabric offcuts, choose special fabric to make a set of napkins for a gift – or even upcycle clothing!

Reusable Kitchen Towel – an alternative to paper kitchen rolls

Another really quick and easy project – make a selection for your home using fabric offcuts / towelling – or even upcycle old towels/clothing!  The result is a washable, reusable and simply gorgeous ‘unpaper’ kitchen towel!

Reusable Face Pads

Like the reusable kitchen roll this project is another great one for using up an old towel/clothing – or even fabric scraps from a recent p. These pads can be used for makeup removal, or cleansing.

Plastic-Free alternative to Sponges

This is both an eco-friendly and scrap busting small project – additionally, these can be washed with your other hot wash cloths and reuse! (making them a more hygienic solution than plastic sponges!)

Fold Up Tote Bag

Avoid plastic bags, save some pennies and make your own fold up tote bag. This is small enough to be kept in your handbag, clipped to your keys, or stored in your glove compartment in your car AND they sturdy enough to carry plenty of shopping!

I made some Japanese Origami Bags out of old trousers and jeans!.

Upcycled Jumper Socks!

You can make actual socks from Jumpter / Sweatshirt sleeves !  Your crafting just got cosier!

Reusable Menstrual / Sanitary Products

Sanitary Towels

I have been producing my own Sanitary Towels. Not only have these been much more comfy to wear than those purchased, but the homemade ones have proven to weather the wear far better!

Also, I wrote a little on this topic here.

Dog by Silvano Audisio
© Silvano Audisio on

Making Eco items for your Four-Legged Friend

Lets face it, if you have dogs, and sew, you most likely have the best dog bandanas in the local area – if not, its time to start! There are lots of things which can be upcycled into all sorts of things for your best friend!