How to Care for your Me-Made Garments & Make Them Last
In Canada, approximately 12 million tonnes of textiles are disposed of every year. In Metro Vancouver alone, it is estimated that 20,000 tonnes of clothing are thrown out annually.
If you’re reading this article or have shopped with us before, chances are you’re a sewist! Sewing is a fantastic way to be a more mindful consumer. When you put in the effort to make your own clothes you appreciate every stitch, every seam, and every mitred corner just that little bit more and take pride in sporting your makes. But even homesewn garments have a lifespan!
Here are some of our top tips to prolong the life of your garments and make them last as long as possible!
1. Sew Slow & With Intention
Sewing can oftentimes feel like a race to the finish! But we all know that good things take time. Sew with longevity in mind and choose finishing techniques that will help your garments withstand wear. Choose your projects and fabrics carefully — sewing trends come and go but your me-mades could last forever (or at least for a very long time!). Just make sure you are making them mindfully!
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair
Put the same amount of time and love into repairing your garment as you did making it. When zippers break or buttons fall off, replace them and they’ll be good as new! Look at rips, tears and holes as an opportunity to get creative with visible mending (ie. patches or embroidery) and a way to truly personalize your garment. When your me-mades no longer fit, try altering them or upcycle them into a whole new garment!
Extra tip: When your handmade garment is beyond repair or too damaged to donate, think about salvaging the notions and hardware like buttons, zippers, clasps, rings & sliders, and even elastic to repurpose into other projects.
3. Wash Gently & With Care
Your me-mades can go through a beating after many washes and wears. To extend the life of your garment, consider washing it less often and when using a laundry machine, choose a cooler, shorter, and more delicate cycle. If you’re able to, hand wash when possible as it’s the most gentle way of all. Spot clean for stains and use a soft detergent or laundry powder.
- Extra tip: If you have sewn with polyester or synthetic blends, use a micro mesh bag to reduce the amount of microplastics that are released when washing!
4. Air It Out
The combination of high heat and agitation in a machine dryer cycle can break down the fibres of your clothing over time. Avoid this by air or line drying as much as possible. If air drying isn’t an option for you due to climate, consider a shorter drying cycle on lower heat and air dry the rest of the time.
- Bonus: Air drying also means you’re saving on the amount of energy you consume!
5. Get the Hang of Storage
How you put away your garments can help to extend their wearability. Heavier garments like coats and jackets can stretch around the shoulder area due to their weight. To prevent stretching or warping, use sturdy coat hangers for outerwear garments. Clothing made from knits or stretchy wovens should be folded to maintain their shape.
Love the labels above? They're our Look After Me Labels by Kylie & The Machine!