All posts filed under: The Environment

Making your own fitted sheets thedreamstress.com

Re-make & re-use: how to turn old flat sheets into fitted sheets

Has anyone else noticed that you just can’t buy good quality cotton sheets anymore? Sheets I bought when I first moved to NZ 15 years ago are still going strong, but anything I’ve bought in the last five years (when we upgraded our bed size) lasts less than three years, even when it’s the same brand. And that’s an issue. Cotton (even organic) is not great for the environment, and the best way to lower its impact is to get as much use as possible out of anything cotton that you buy. Three years for sheets = not good. To get a little more use out of the extremely disappointing sheets I’ve purchased in the last 5 years, I’ve been recycling the sheets that have worn out. I turn the fabric around the edges of worn out fitted sheets into pillowcases, and do the same with flat sheets that are very thin, or where there are tears in the middle. If there is enough robust fabric left in a flat sheet, I turn it into …

Tree planting at Island Bay, thedreamstress.com

Planting Trees (and shrubs and other natives)

I took a break from teaching and sewing and breaking my brain over the stays pattern to plant some trees today. Tree planting has been on my to-do list all winter. It’s a way to be literally hands-on helping the environment. Tree planting in NZ is a winter event: you want to get them in the ground while there is plenty of water, and take advantage of the spring growth spurt to get them rooted in before the dry summer. I missed the early winter events because of colds, but got in for the last of the planting today. There weren’t as many planting events as I’d hoped in Wellington (I feel like we should be desperately planting trees in every possible space…maybe next year), but I found Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, and signed up for a planting. Sixty willing volunteers showed up bright and early this morning at Tawatawa Reserve in Owhiro/Island Bay, bundled up in layers of wool and waterproof jackets, feet encased in proper shoes, and spades in hand. We came from …

Ramsay to Renoir thedreamstress.com

Costume Re-Use: How many times can I wear that dress?

I’ve been so uplifted by the response to my post on the climate crisis. In addition to many comments and expressions of support, there has been immediate action. Sewstine has started a group: Costumers for Climate Action, with the goal to use our visibility and voice to help raise environmental awareness and to create change, both as costumers, and in the wider world. We’re working on bigger plans, but to start off, every member has been encouraged to blog or post about the topic this week. While costuming isn’t a huge contributor to climate change in the bigger picture, it could still be more eco friendly as a hobby. We’ve been talking about ways to make it more so, and one of the big things that has come up is re-use. As costumers we feel so much pressure to have a new outfit for every event, and to keep making new things. But, both for the environment, and for all the work that goes into a thing, it’s sad to only wear it once. So …