Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time: 8:09am Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

A few people were disappointed when I told them I probably wouldn't have time to blog on my rush in-rush out visit to Europe. But as it turns out, such a time appears to exist when one is lying in bed, eating pringles, nursing a decent hangover and everyone else is asleep. The reason for the hangover? Eurovision.

Let me preface this story by saying that I've been in Copenhagen a day and a half. It's a winner. Great walk-about city, something to look at on every street, gorgeous buildings, food to die for. Most new cities I arrive in feeling cautious, a bit lost and painfully aware that I do not look or feel like a local. Not Copenhagen. I felt immediately at home.

So my wonderful friend Anne flew over from Berlin yesterday morning to meet me. As we sat on the dockside in Nyhaven soaking up a bit of sunshine and watching canal boats go by, Anne told me that the Eurovision Song Contest was on that night. Wait! Did you say Eurovision? I love Eurovision! And I'm actually in Europe! And therefore, I can vote!

So not too long after we found ourselves back in the hotel room with takeaway sushi, two bottles of wine and the tiny, highly dodgy hotel tv tuned in.

Now, Germany had not won Eurovision since 1982, but they had a new system for picking their entrant and a good song, Satallite, to show for it. After quite a few terribly boring love songs (sorry Ireland, what was that?) it was clear that Germany was my favourite with it's up-beat, Regina Spektor style quirky song. So I voted, and we waited.

To cut a long story short (and believe me, watching every country in Europe allocate points to every country in Europe is long) the winner was announced and Germany was triumphant! Yay! I believe a celebratory drink is in order!

And that is how I came to be in the state I am right now. I might try to go back to sleep for a bit. Sweet Eurovisiony Dreams all xx

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Stitchybritt is taking a quick break and visiting a part of the world she has been keen to see for ages - Scandinavia!

But before I scoot off, here's a quick update of projects:

Firstly, I made a jeans skirt

Old pair of jeans, chopped off the legs, unpicked the inner thigh seam, slotted in a piece of lower jean leg in the front and back and... voila! Jeans skirt.

A real simple refashion, but a good one, coz jeans skirts go with just about anything. This one is coming to Copenhagen with me.

Secondly, I'm still working on my bunny wool cardigan. It's getting longer, but still doesn't look much like a cardy. We do have a train trip from Malmo to Gothenburg though, and that will take a good few hours, so I'm thinking more will get done then.

What are holidays without stitching anyway?

See you soon everyone *waves* !

P.S. I just realised that I've worn the same striped top in at least three different blog posts. Therefore, I am now referring to it as my blogging top.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Goodies in the mail

Really, what is more exciting than getting goodies in the mail?

Today was a very good day for my letterbox (ok, so I also got an electricity bill, but I'm ignoring that for the moment). Look at these exciting packages...

(apologies in advance for the shadows/photo colours, it got dark early in Sydney today)

Don't keep me in suspense! Open them!

The first one was the gorgeous fabric I ordered from Ink and Spindle. Fantastic natural cotton and organic hemp printed with environmentally-friendly, solvent free ink. Oh yeah.

Then... a package from my mum in Queensland. This one is exciting. Recently my grandma moved into a nursing home and pretty much tried to giveaway everything in her house. "But 'Ma, I don't really need anything" "take it anyway". I told my mum that I'd be interested in any sewing supplies, no matter how old. Then, my nana got wind of this story, and offered up some stuff from her sewing stash that she no longer needed. Hence, a whole box full of vintage sewing supplies landed on my doorstep! So let's take a look.

There is a whole bunch of embroidered bits and pieces that my grandma obviously started a long time ago, but never finished (a challenge, perhaps?),

some really cool old print teatowels, including this one,

crochet and embroidery cotton, in all sorts of colours,

a pile of lovely colourful vintage bias binding,

and (drumroll) a whole bag of vintage buttons! Score!

And I must mention that there is one package left that I am not allowed to open until boyfriend gets home. It says "teapigs" on the side. I like tea, and pigs... I wonder what it is!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Social power = social responsibility

The lovely Tia at NOTWeeds featured one of my mug cozies in her blog post this week that was focussed on 'Going Green'. To be honest, I hadn't even considered my mug cozies to be a 'green' product, until Tia pointed out the many cups of tea that are wasted because they go cold before you get to drink them (and therefore you have to boil the kettle again, use another tea bag, use more water etc etc).

Despite this, the sustainability of my teapot and mug cozies has been on my mind for a little while (I am studying business sustainability, after all). I look at sustainability from a triple bottom line view - that is, the environmental, social and financial outcomes. The environmental is about the resources (water, energy, raw materials) that go into making your product. The social is about the communities your products effect, and the outcomes for them. The financial is about the ongoing viability of your business to sustain it in the long term.

With all this in mind, I am starting to make the transition towards more sustainable stitchybritt products, starting with fabric because this is the main material that goes into my products. I have just purchased some fabric from the wonderful Ink and Spindle, who specialise in ethical and sustainable (and beautiful) textiles. It's always irked me a bit to buy from those big chain stores whose fabrics are usually so cheap and nasty - it's sadly likely that they are produced using toxic chemical processes in countries with poor labour conditions. I feel much better about buying from a supplier that actually gives a damn.

It's my belief that with social power comes social responsibility. As a customer you have some degree of social power, to make decisions to buy ethical products and influence the producers. As a small business, I have a social responsibility to ensure my products are not effecting the environment or communities in a negative way. And big businesses... well, it's time to acknowledge how much responsibility really lies in your hands.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother's Day

Packaged up a couple of gifts for some very special mums this morning. I even made some gift tags by sewing some leftover Ink and Spindle fabric bits onto cardboard. It worked out alright! Any guess what's in the packages?