Growing inspiration….plant themed sewing projects and more

Since launching the latest plant themed label designs this week I have been so pleased with the positive response to them! Thank you to everyone who has ordered this far and I hope you enjoy sewing them into your makes.

Like many of us I became far too emotionally attached to my plant babies during lockdown which inspired these summery plant themed labels.

Seeing how many of you are also into plants it got me thinking about some fun summer projects around sewing and plants! So here is a round up of some of my favourite leafy finds, from projects to fabrics and some plant themed inspiration outside of the dressmaking community too! Let’s grow!

5 plant themed sewing projects

York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet

Credit for this one goes to @hagardashery on instagram who suggested a gardening apron!

The York Pinafore is a really popular pattern by Helen’s Closet and is great for beginners. Helen has even included an apron expansion pack to turn this into a gardener’s apron making it the ideal gift for a green thumbed friend or yourself!

This would look great in a heavier weight canvas such as the canvas twill from Merchant and Mills.

‘Plant Lady’ embroidery kit by Slow Evenings Embroidery

Miriam designs the most beautiful embroidery scenes that conjure up the love only known by a grower of plants! I have always enjoyed hand embroidery but am still working on my satin stitch – Miriam sells these beautiful kits that come with really clear instructions so even if you’re not very experienced you can still sew your own beautiful plant lady (and wouldn’t a label look lovely on this as a title??)

Fabric plantpot

A fabric plantpot is SUCH a good stash buster and is a great excuse to recycle – this pattern I drafted fits a standard metal can which you can turn into a plantpot. I’ll be adding my pattern for this soon but in the meantime here is another free pattern from Sew Retro!

Gardening too bag by So Sew Easy

How cute is this pattern from So Sew Easy? And even better, it’s free! This is such a great stash buster again and I think it would look great in some of the fabrics I’ve listed later in this blog post or in a utility style canvas.

Sew yourself a Tiki Libby Shirt

As I wrote recently, I am a big fan of the Sew Over it Libby shirt. My boyfriend is very fond of all things ‘tiki’ – be it drinks, shirts…so I’m currently working on one for him from a men’s pattern but it got me thinking about the shape of the Libby – is the boxy fit and collar not perfect for a tropical holiday shirt? I already want to make this in a palm print or maybe the new Atelier Brunette palm viscose which is available at Sew Me Sunshine

5 plant themed fabrics

Here are some lovely leafy print fabrics to get you inspired!

This tropical print from Material Girl Laura

Material Girl Laura is one of the indie brands featured in the upcoming August Modista Newsletter – you’ll get an exclusive discount for her shop whic features beautiful prints and a stunning jersey selection in particular! I’ve actually bought this poplin in the green colourway and can confirm the quality is stunning.

Retro fruit bowl print from Fabric Godmother

Ok so not necessarily a plant but a fruit – but look at the gorgeous colours in this retro print from Fabric Godmother! Like many of their fabrics this is an ex-designer fabric and I think would be lovely as a dress or top.

‘I have green fingers you know’ print from Selvedge and Bolts

This is a beautiful flowery print from Selvedge and Bolts. Dibs has an eye for really bold and vibrant prints as well as some stunning designer finds such as her Escada fabrics!

Bamboo jersey from Dragonfly Fabrics

Dragonfly are another indie sewing brand that will be featured in the August newsletter and are one of my favourite online fabric stores. They have a gorgeous collection but I especially like their ‘eco-friendly’ fabric selection which now includes….bamboo! So if you want to be literal with your plant based project, try this plant based fabric!

Lady McElroy canopy lawn

This is exactly the type of fabric I had in mind for a tropical themed Libby shirt! You can purchase the lawn over at M is for Make which has a really lovely curated collection of fabrics.

5 plant themed makers to follow!

In a rare venture outside of sewing – here’s 5 plant themed makers and educators to inspire your plant theme!

Plant Kween

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GURL, we all have that plant or plants that are suppose to be “easy” to care for but as soon as we bring that kween into our homes she struggles … even though we’ve done our research 👩🏽‍💻 … it happens, dahling … it the territory that comes with being a plant parent! 🌿🌱🌵 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ms. Peperomia Argyreia (AKA Watermelon Peperomia) is a kween that I have struggled with in the past, but has sometimes been labeled as a easy kween to care for⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ☀️ These kweens are native to northern South America, including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Venezuela, hunty. In their natural habitat these green gurls thrive in undercover within forests with some sun and shade so it’s best to try and replicate this … bright room, with indirect ambient light seems to be werking well for my 🍉 green gurl ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💦 These kweens also enjoy humidity and their soil moist, but not soggy to the point that root rot becomes an issue. I’ve started using a peat based soil mix and she seems to be enjoying that ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🍃 Leaf propagation is also a fun lil planty projects you can try with this kween. Start by choosing one of the healthier lewking leaves, as dying leaves are less likely to root. Snap off the red stem and with a sterilized tool make a horizontal cut through the leaf. A lil 3-4” pot should do nicely, place some damp soil in the pot and make a lil slit in the soil. Place the leaves into the slits, about 2 cm into soil, with the cut side down. Then, gently pack the soil around the leaves it so that they’re sturdily in place, hunty. Bright indirect light and placed in a dome or plastic bag to keep the humidity high, should werk well for this kween … keep the soil damp but you don’t have to water this kween until you see lil sproutlings coming out of the soil. It may take up to a month before you see any new growth, so be patient with her as she grows her roots 💚

A post shared by CHRISTOPHER 🌱 (He/She/They) (@plantkween) on

If you’re not following Christopher already….where have you been? Positive plant vibes abound in Christopher’s black queer femme kween world and I live for it. They share not only gorgeous content to spruce up your feed but lots of handy plant care tips, too.

Plants A-Z by Flora Dorian

I know Flora in person but would be recommending her book in any case which is a beautifully illustrated guide to plant care! This has been a labour of love for her and she is a really talented artist selling plant prints too (my boyfriend commissioned one of her drawings for me and I treasure it).

Root Houseplants

My local Liverpool plant store, Root have a lovely corner of the BlueCoat art gallery complex where they sell leafy houseplants and do classes as well! They have an online store with delivery so you can order from all over.

Hemleva crafts keychains and more

Apologies in advance to anyone who falls down a DEEP instagram hole looking at Samantha’s products. Actually I’m not sorry; they’re beautiful. Shipped from Singapore, her keychains in particular are such gorgeous quality and I love her Instagram.#

And of course….

….my new Plant labels are looking for a home on your me-mades! Each pack contains 3 x ‘plant lady labels’ and 3 x ‘you grow, girl!’ labels. And did I mention shipping is included?

I hope you have found inspiration in this blog post! Anything I missed? Let me know here or on instagram!

Introducing the new label designs!

FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING ON ALL LABEL ORDERS

Hey plant lady! Why not plant one of our new label designs on your lovely me -mades?

I’m SO pleased to introduce these new additions to the Modista label range.

They are as always made using OEKO-TEX fibres and are a gorgeous, soft quality.

The ‘Plant lady’ design is 4 x 4cm whereas the green ‘You Grow, Girl!’ is 1.5 x 6cm. They are sold in packs of 6, including 3 of each design.

As with all the Modista labels, 5% of profits are donated to charity and where possible biodegradable material is used.

I hope you enjoy using these labels!

6 x Modista Plant Labels

Pack of 6 woven labels including worldwide shipping. Made using OEKO-TEX fibres.

£8.00

5 x You Grow Girl!

Pack of 5 woven labels including worldwide shipping. OEKO-TEX certified material, 1.5cm x 6cm

£7.50

5 x ‘Plant Lady’ labels

Pack of 5 woven labels. Worldwide shipping included. Made with OEKO-Tex materials. 4x4cm

£7.50

New Look6461 trousers

Even before lockdown, I was dreaming of comfy linen trousers to lounge in. Linen makes me dream of warm summer evenings, romantic European city breaks and categorically not being sweaty. Aka, the ideal garment.

I wanted a simple, wide leg shape and elasticated waist to be friendly to the extra tummy rolls I’ve gained during lockdown. I considered the Ninni culottes and Bob pants, and still love them but wasn’t sure the volume of the former or shape of the latter would be right for me.

I saw the New Look 6461 pattern on instagram and decided to give it a go. New Look patterns have fitted me well in the past and their instructions tend to be easy to follow. The pattern was available quite cheap on eBay too (where I look for a lot of patterns) so it was ideal!

I also used eBay for fabric, buying 3m of enzyme washed linen from Higgs and Higgs. They’ve since temporarily closed the store but hopefully will be open again soon, as I would definitely buy their linen again. It’s a medium weight so really opaque and holds a shape, but light enough to drape nicely and feel super soft.

I enjoyed making these trousers; I toiled them first in a lightweight polyster to see how the hips fitted and didn’t need to make any adjustments – based on the body and finished garment measurements, I cut a size 16.

Not having to worry about adjustments, I instead concentrated on the details and making them as neat as possible – as I improve make by make, I’m more confident that I’ll be wearing my me made garments a lot so want to get the details right!

Previously on trousers and skirts I’ve been disappointed with the pockets not lying flat so wanted to use a lighter lining for the pocket piece. I’ve had about half a metre of this gorgeous Atelier Brunette viscose since making my Rouje copycat dress and the colours went together beautifully! I opted to cut just the upper pocket pieces from the viscose, as I didn’t want it to be visible from the front, more just a cheeky peek of it.

At first I wasn’t sure if the linen and viscose would sew well together but it was absolutely fine and the pocket lies really flat, I’m thrilled with how it turned out! Pockets and facings are a great way to use scrap or remnants and bring a little flair to the make.

I also had about 2m of matching binding left over as well so decided to use it on the waistband. The pattern calls for you to finish one edge of the waistband the, after stitching the other edge to the top of the trousers, fold the waistband over to about 1.5cm below the seam and affix by stitching in the ditch on the other side. This felt a bit messy to me; didn’t want my dodgy overlocker stitching stealing the show so bias binding was a much neater finish.

And of course, having used French fabric I had to use one of my Modista labels! I actually used Bondaweb to fix the label – as the waist is elasticated, hand stitching the label would cause it to bunch up. Bondaweb helps it lie flat and with additional stitching to provide extra stability, the label isn’t going anywhere.

Overall I feel like a linen goddess in these trousers and will definitely plan another pair – for the next ones I’m thinking a sage green double gauze or a denim chambray!

Modista labels

FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING/LIVRAISON MONDIALE GRATUITE

Modista labels are influenced by my love of languages, travel and, of course, sewing.

I was lucky to live in Paris for a while and whilst there I loved exploring the fabric district nestled behind Montmartre, or the unusual craft shops in the Marais and the amazing textiles and tailors up in La Butte d’Or.

These labels will bring a little bit of French chic to your makes with 5 fun French phrases and beautiful colours to complement all styles. They are 6cm x 1.5cm with a folded edge to make sewing them in even neater. They are made from OEKO-Tex quality material that withstand whatever you put your garments through!

The labels are £7.50 per pack of 5 designs, including worldwide delivery!

5% of all profits from this range of Modista labels are donated to charity.

Purchase via Paypal here:

Pack of 5 Modista labels

5 woven labels, includes worldwide shipping. 5 étiquettes pour personnaliser vos cousettes. Livraison gratuite.

£7.50

Isewlation labels

These labels were designed to fundraise during the Covid-19 pandemic for the National Emergencies Coronavirus Fund which directly supports charities across the UK during the crisis. All profits are donated to this cause.

The labels are high quality woven using 50% recycled OEKO-tex materials. Each pack contains 5 labels

Dimensions: 6cm x 1.5cm (blue)

‘With love from a sewcial distance’ – UK orders

Pack of 5 woven labels - includes UK standard shipping

£7.00

‘With love from a sewcial distance’ – International orders

Pack of 5 woven labels - includes worldwide standard shipping

£8.50

Made in Self Isewlation – UK

Pack of 5, includes standard UK shipping.

£7.00

Made in Self Isewlation – International

Pack of 5, includes standard worldwide shipping.

£8.50

Beginner-friendly sewing ideas during lockdown

With the Great British Sewing Bee starting on the 22nd April and the majority of people in the world now living under some sort of lockdown, it makes sense that a lot of people will want to start sewing as a new way to pass the time.

A lot of people who have bought the isewlation labels have told me they’re starting out sewing or buying them as a gift for someone who is.

I’ve loved seeing how people are using them and wanted to share some fabulous examples and ideas here for anyone thinking of doing some sewing during lockdown. Whether you’re new to sewing or experienced hopefully you’ll find some fun ideas here!

1. Mask hairbands by Juliet Ozor

These are a genius idea and super quick and easy for all levels of sewers. I am making them for my friends who are health workers who tell me they are ok to use provided they withstand the hot wash needed to clean PPE. The labels being OEKO-tex quality, they are hardy and will also stand up to it.

You can follow Juliet’s example pattern here.

2. Eye mask by Tilly and the Buttons

Another quick and easy make and best of all, it’s free! These are another great gift idea for any key worker friends who work nights, or simply someone you want to let know you’re thinking of them.

The drawstring bag is another easy free pattern from the set by Simply Sewing. I’ve made a few of these sets using gorgeous Masai cotton I bought in Kenya earlier this year.

3. Scrub Bag

Emma aka The Zipper Foot used her labels to make a gorgeous scrub bag for her friend who is a nurse. There are lots of free patterns online for these bags as well as a Facebook group for people making PPE and related items during the pandemic. They’re really simple to do, but at the moment so useful.

4. Zipper purse

This is often one of the first patterns attempted by beginner sewers and I personally never tire of making them as there are so many ways to adapt them and make every one different! On this one I’ve just used a simple rectangle shape to make a lined purse but there is an excellent round up of all the patterns you can imagine here by the Sewing Loft Blog.

5. Toys and teddies for little ones

I recently made this Luna Lapin for a new baby. She’s wearing the t-shirt bow dress from the first book and a cardigan I drafted (read more about it here). Why not add a label to a teddy or knitted item you’re making?

6. Pin badge display

I’m a recent convert to pin badges and although there are so many fun ways to display them, on fabric is one of my favourites. I love this DIY pin badge banner tutorial from Polka Dot Chair – it’s simple, effective and a great project for beginners and a label would look great on it!

7. Teabag holder

This is such a cute idea and a great way to use fabric scraps. It also folds flat so would be easy to send to someone in an envelope if you wanted to add a label to them as an adorable gift! Free pattern here by The Sewing Directory.

8. Jam jar topper

My auntie’s friends have been making jam and dropping the jars off at each other’s doors which I think is a lovely way of telling someone you’re thinking of them. A jam jar topper is super easy and doesn’t even require machine sewing – just a bit of material, some ribbon, a label and a hairband and you’re set! Free pattern available here from Hobbycraft.

9. Sunglasses case

It’s pretty sunny out there and even though we can’t spend too long outside it’s still nice to have a sunglasses case to take with you out and about. A free pattern for this easy make is available here on Sew DIY and would make a lovely gift for someone, especially in a Liberty style fabric like this one.

10. On your own clothes!

I can’t believe how gorgeous the pieces are that people have been using the labels on. Sewing as we know is a calming, mindful hobby (except when holding a seam ripper) and making a garment or item from scratch is so rewarding in normal circumstances, never mind now. I especially love this Wiksten shift top from @rosieo. It’s a cult pattern with straightforward assembly and such an effective design.

I hope that this list has given you some ideas! I could go on (and on) but know at the moment everyone has a limited bandwidth for how many items they can sew right now (myself included) so these easy makes are a good way to practise your sewing skills and make something lovely.

An update on #isewlation labels

Just over a week ago I launched a batch of labels I had cooked up, designed and ordered online with very little certainty of what I was doing except I wanted to try and do something positive in the current crisis. When a huge quantity of them arrived in the post I really thought I’d gone mad and thought I’d end up with a lifetime worth of labels no one would want to buy from me.

Fast forward to today and I just sold the very last pack of labels and made a donation of £500 to the National Emergencies Trust with the profits! I am over the moon!

Excuse my dodgy overlocking
labels can be used as a side seam or stitched on

In addition to being able to make a donation like that to a fund that is directly benefiting UK charities right now, some really big positives have come out of this experience for me:

  1. It’s enabled me to connect with the sewing community on instagram who. are. AWESOME. I’ve had such lovely chats with people who purchased a pack of labels about how they’re going to use them, what they’re working on right now and how sewing is helping them make sense of this sci-fi film we live in. It really helped me feel connected to the outside world somehow.
  2. It reminded me how we can still be kind to each other, and should! An unexpected amount of people purchased packs for their friends and family they can’t see right now, just as a token of reminding them that they’re cared for and thought of. I thought that was really beautiful and enjoyed writing little in-jokes or messages on notes I included in the envelope.
  3. It taught me that I can do this. This label idea didn’t come out of nowhere. For a while now I’ve desperately wanted to venture into labels as a crafty side hustle as I just love the creative possibilities and how they’re used in so many different ways. I’ve not had the confidence to do it up to now, but wanting to do something for a cause really motivated me to give it a go and has taught me a lot in the process!
  4. I got to see how people are using the labels so creatively. In this post I’ve included some of the ways people are ALREADY using the labels, from garments to quilting to (amazingly) scrub bags for NHS workers. It’s fantastic!
  5. It’s motivated me to keep going and reach a goal of £1000! The response to the labels has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s motivated me to do it all over again. I have another, new design arriving soon that will again be sold on Instagram and Facebook with all profits going to the National Emergencies Trust. My goal is £1000 and as we move through this I’ll continue to bring out new designs and fundraise for the cause.

Thank you everyone, #stayhome and craft on!

Made in self-isewlation : sewing for good

A couple of weeks ago I was starting to feel pretty helpless about this whole situation. The whole world seemed to be struggling and on a personal level I was finding it hard to adjust quickly enough to this new reality, which had come upon us so fast.

The fact is that the best thing we can do to help is #stayhome – follow the government advice to keep yourself safe at home and just pop out once a day for exercise. But I racked my brains for something that would make the crafty amongst us smile and do a good deed at the same time….and thus these labels were born!

My baby labels!

I designed and ordered these labels, which I’m selling to raise money for the National Emergencies Trust. They’re directly providing funds to charities across the UK in need during the crisis which feels like one of the most direct ways to help those helping everyone right now!

The labels are 3.5cm in width and when sewn using a 0.5cm seam look lovely and neat on your isewlation makes! They’re super soft and made from damask cotton with 50% of materials being recycled. Having such lovely quality means they’ll wash like a dream!

To test one out I inserted it into my Amelie dress and am so pleased with them! I’ve wanted to try producing my own labels for a long time but been too nervous to do so – this felt like the right time to try!

The labels are sold in packs of 5 and are just £7 including UK postage! I’ve included here a pic of how they will be packaged – each pouch is given a once with anti-bacterial wipes and popped in a new envelope which is sealed with tape. I use self adhesive stamps and walk past the postbox which is just 3 minutes from my home on my daily sewcially distanced walk.

If you would like to purchase a pack, please visit my Facebook page or email me at modistasewing@gmail.com – thanks for reading!