Today I attended a baby shower -- my second ever. This was a great chance not only to see some good friends, but also to reduce inventory (my whole purpose in life, remember?)!
This little jobby is made of a linen-cotton blend, so soft! The pattern, as you can see, is a wee bit vintage. I made it on a whim this summer, but had stopped short of the back fasteners (I chose Velcro) and a placket to sew them to. Now it is finished and has found a home!
I had a farmer's market booth this summer. My ambition to sell a line of children's clothing is one of the reasons I have so much fabric to burn through.
I had noble reasons behind the ambition. I wanted people to think about how much of our stuff is made in sweatshops where work conditions are disastrous. I wanted -- still want -- a 'local clothes' movement to grow, just as the local foods movement has grown. In fact, my "company" name is "locally stitched". Not only that, I wanted to encourage "reusing" and "recycling," and discourage "throwaway", so rampant in our society.
The idea of selling cloth diapers came from the Lakota reservation. I was being called every other week and asked to wire $20 so two teenage mothers who'd run out of money could get diapers for their children. On one occasion, I heard that those two mothers (sisters) were fighting over baby wipes. It seemed absurd. I made some prototype cloth diapers for them, developed the pattern further, and introduced the diapers to my market stall. I bought yards and yards of cute PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric at an online shop specializing in all fabrics baby-related. Unfortunately, I found that the average customer didn't want to pay $15 for one diaper, no matter how much use they might get from it. The teenage mothers on the reservation didn't want them either, even though it meant not having to buy disposables. We've become that much of a throwaway society.
Given this experience, I knew presenting reusable diapers to today's honoree would be presumptuous -- especially from someone who's never cared for a baby herself! -- so I stitched up this waterproof zippered bag of PUL instead. It's about 12" x 15". Surely a mom could make use out of this:
In the bag, I put a stack of flannel cloth wipes, single layer with serged edges. These can be used with a homemade cloth wipe solution (scented with your favorite essential oil!), and washed and reused instead of disposed of :
As a boon, an art teacher in attendance mentioned she'd prefer her kids to use cloth towels instead of paper towels for their cleanup. Maybe that can be a way to use up some of the excess fabric in my sewing room!
At some stage of this de-stashing program, I'll be making diapers or zippered wet-bags to use up the PUL, and you'll get to see that process in detail.