Handmade Wardrobe, Kids Clothes
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Environmentally Friendly Sweatshirts

I’m sorry to have left you hanging for over a month, someday I’ll post about what has been going on in my life, just be forewarned that there have been a lot of changes and unfortunately sewing, taking pictures of my sewing and blogging have fallen at the wayside. The sweatshirts I want to share with you today were actually made in November, but I got a great picture by accident this morning. If my cousin Jon ever gets sick of the tent business, I think he’d make a great photographer.

Onto the makes!

A “side effect” if you will, of making my own clothes is that I feel like I’m being more environmentally friendly. However, I’m a realist, I know many fabric lines are not made in ideal conditions and can contain harsh chemicals that aren’t good for the people who work around them. I know that the people in those factories are often paid just as poorly as the people who work in sweatshops, but I also know that buying a pattern from an indie designer who I can get to know via their blog or social media and using it over and over again is a lot better for the [somewhat] local economy.

I don’t go out of my way to buy ethically sourced or local fabric, but when an opportunity arises I take advantage. Case in point, the Ginger Jeans denim kits. High quality denim that is made in the US, sign me up! The latest ethically sourced fabric to fall into my lap? Hell Gate Fabrics.

sonja_hgf_logo_v2The brainchild of Sonja, of Ginger Makes, Hell Gate Fabrics specializing in textiles that are healthier for people and the environment and come from traceable origins. Her fabrics are sourced from someone she knows in real life that works for a mill in Japan! I ordered some purple french terry, coordinating ribbing and plaid tencel gabardine. The french terry and ribbing were made into these sweatshirts.

I used the White Russian pattern for my sweatshirt and made no adjustments from when I used it last. I should have shortened the neck band, cuffs and waistband pieces to factor in the extra stretch of the ribbing, but this was my first time using ribbing and I didn’t realize what a difference it would make.

I usually push my sleeves up so the extra space means the cuff doesn’t dig into my forearm so I’m not going to unpick and reserge it. The neck band I did remove and shorten, but when I put it back on I put the seam in the front. It’s somewhat embarrassing to make such a silly mistake, but no one has said anything unless I bring attention to it so I’m going to try and not feel too bad about it. I have enough ribbing left to try again, but I really don’t want to unpick those serger threads AGAIN.

I bought this fabric in early November and made my sweatshirt almost immediately and it was been getting a lot of wear. If you want to know more about my love towards the White Russian pattern you can read more here and here.

Now, onto my very simple pattern hack that I did for a mini version! I didn’t have much fabric left after finishing my sweatshirt, but it was just too good to throw away or put in the scrap bin that I might “someday” use.

In all seriousness, I can get behind keeping my scraps of cottons, but what am I ever going to do with little bits of french terry or bamboo jersey? I wouldn’t make a quilt with them and the pieces are always too small for anything else. There needs to be a better way to recycle fabric.

Now that I’ve shifted direction, let me get back on track.

I thought it I cut off grain and was very strategic I might have enough french terry left to make a little sweatshirt for Julia. I don’t have many childrens patterns, but I do have a few with fairly basic items that can be made fabulous. Enter, the playtime tunic. I used the bodice pieces and extended them by 4.5 inches and I used the sleeves as is. I measured the neck, sleeves and waist and subtracted 1 inch to cut my ribbing and I actually had enough of everything! The playtime tunic I made for Julia last year is still a little too big so I used the same size, but I would suggest going up a size if you’ve used this pattern before and the fit is spot on. A sweatshirt should have a little extra room to move in my opinion!

This was really a super simple hack that yielded a great result. Now my little dear and I get to be twins in our environmentally friendly French terry!




  1. Very adorable – love the matching sweatshirts. I love buying indie patterns and making my own clothes as well for those reasons. Great makes!

  2. That terry fabric looks lovely, and it’s so cute you’ve got matching jumpers! I keep meaning to sew matchy matchy for me and my son but I’ve not got round to it yet. I know what you mean re little scraps of jersey, though as my son is only 2 I do find I can use quite small scraps for t-shirt sleeves and cuffs for him. I just found your blog and am really enjoying nosing through your posts!

  3. Pingback: Top 5 Hits Of 2016 | Sweet Carolanne

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