For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Carl and Laura from Sew Got This, a husband and wife sewing team with a mindful and eco approach to fabric sourcing and usage. From buying up vintage or de-stash fabrics to clever pattern placement and using up or passing on their offcuts, they show that it is easier than you might think to create products without making a big impact on the planet’s resources
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do
We are Sew Got This…a husband (Carl) and wife (Laura) sewing team living in Aberdeen, Scotland. We love to make all things fabric – anything from dog bandanas to handmade bow ties for various cake items – including cakesicles which turned out beautiful!
How or why did you get started?
During 2020 we were discussing taking up a new hobby. At the time The Great British Sewing Bee was on the TV and it sparked something in us! However, it wasn’t until Christmas that Carl purchased a Singer Fashion Mate sewing machine for a gift. We were quite excited to get the machine out of the box and get started. During my first go at the machine I bent the needle on the foot of the machine which came loose, luckily it didn’t scare me too much and we continued on sewing.
What is the favourite thing about the work that you do?
We love working together and making some really special items. Our first make we made together was Liberty of London bunting, which will always have a special spot in my heart. Making items for others and seeing their faces is also really special – some items is teddy / dolly blankets sent all the way to Toronto, Canada. We have also made and donated reusable sanitary pads with a drawstring bag for refugees part of #sewforgirls2021
Where can we find you on the Internet, buy your work or join in?
We are on Instagram – @sew_got_this – which has a library of all our makes and daily stories of our sewing journey and some food related posts too – we love to cook and eat!
Our other venture is making dog bandanas & snoods and are currently on sale at a local pet shop called Grampian Pet Services Express located in Aberdeen City Centre if you are local to the area. We have also made some custom orders for Patch the dog (@patchthesprollie) as seen in the photo, Boro (@thenorthedit) and Dougal & Fyvie (@hettyanddougal).
Our Liberty of London fabric bowties are another special addition to our make list. These bowties are made to order and we love seeing them on beautiful pieces – especially from little_bird_bakes_
Take me on an imaginary tour of your workspace!
Our workspace is currently in our dining room. At the end of our dining room table we have our sewing machine set up along with two boxes with items we use regularly – such as a un-picker, chalk, rulers, paper weights, bowl for cuttings and our beautiful recycled tags and stickers from Lois Palmer Design (@loispalmerdesign). These are made from recycled paper and sent to us using fully recycled packaging. We also have a large basket filled with our frequently used fabrics and scraps and two drawers with other sewing items not used as often! For all orders we send out we use recycled boxes and bags. Our garage is starting to look like a packaging centre haha.
How do we work sustainably to help the planet?
We really think about our fabric buying before purchasing items. Do we really need this, can we use something we already have? We buy from vintage Instagram accounts for fabric cuttings and buttons – you can find some amazing gems. Any offcuts or scraps we keep to turn into quilts – we have one baby quilt completed with a larger project started. A blog has been created for the baby quilt and will be available this month (June) through a blogging platform called @we_sew_fabulous
During the fabric cutting stage we think about pattern placement to minimise waste. We keep all scraps or offcuts and have recently gifted our fabric offcuts to another Instagram account who has turned the fabric into beautiful scrunchies (@madewithlove_scrunchies).
Purchasing items from fellow sewist destash accounts is a great way to help use unrequired fabric and accessories – including patterns. We have purchased many items! We always highlight important milestone dates in the calendar such as World Earth Day and Bee Day to raise awareness and give ideas on how to help the planet.
Thank you so much for interviewing us – we have had a blast!!
Laura and Carl