NEW ONE TIME CLASS

This class is suitable for complete beginners with no sewing experience, but also for beginners who already know how to use the sewing machine.

Do you feel you have nothing to wear, when in fact your clothes are piled up, waiting to be repaired? Then this class is for you.

Bring all your pieces that need simple adjustments such as shortening/lengthening, covering holes/stains or tightening.

In 3 hours you can repair as much as you can, depending on your rhythm and project difficulty.

Each class has a number of maximum 4 participants.

YOU WILL LEARN

  • how to use the sewing machine settings you need for your project;
  • how to adjust the machine according to the fabric you have;
  • how to plan your process for an easier experience;
  • techniques for simple repairs.

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNER ADJUSTMENT PROJECTS

  • pieces that have lining;
  • winter coats from thick fabrics;
  • clothes from silk and other sensitive fabrics;
  • any piece that is more than one size bigger and requires tightening;
  • men’s shirts.

WHEN

Tuesday, November 26th, between 18:00 – 21:00.

HOW MUCH

50€ (tools, fabrics and snacks are included). Bring a friend and both of you get 10% off.

Sewing machines are provided, but if you want to use your own machine, feel free to bring it.

BOOK YOUR CLASS

E-mail us your desired date for this class at wiederundwider@gmail.com. 

In order to officially reserve your spot, a 50% advance is required, payable through Bank Transfer/Pay Pal. The rest of the amount can be paid in cash, after each class.

When we have more requests for a date than the number of spots available, the first person to make the payment would have priority.

Sustainable alternatives to the natural fabrics you already know

Nettle or Bennessel (auf Deutsch) or Urzică (în română)

Apparently, Nettle fibers have been around for over 2000 years, but because of the low degree of fiber content of the Nettle plant (around 10%), they lost ground in the capitalist battle for survival to other natural fibers such as flax (20% fiber content) and hemp (30% fiber content). Plus, in the 16th century cotton started to become more and more popular, due to its easier harvesting and spinning process.

Image result for nettle fibers

A German company has managed to discover a method through which they can obtain from the stinging nettle 20% fiber content.

Nettle fiber can be processed to obtain low heath transfer for winter and high health transfer for the hot summer. Stinging nettle grows where you least expect it (as we’ve all experienced), with a fast pace and requires very little water, which makes it a perfect raw material for the textile industry.

Where can you get it? They seem to sell it here, but by the price, we can tell it might still be early to find it in mass market.

Coffee grounds & recycled polyester

It turns out that from 3 cups of coffee grounds and 5 recycled plastic bottles you can create a fabric that is UV protective, has a superior odor control and fast drying. How? We don’t know exactly, but the fabric exists and it is produced by a Taiwanese company called Singtex (which has too many patents and trademarks to not find it credible).

The coffee needed to create the fabric is the leftover obtained after preparing the day to day cup of coffee (wondering if decaf is of any use). For hundreds of years we’ve been throwing away coffee grounds (or used them for DIY enemas), when we could have saved it to create new fabrics.

From the combination of coffee grounds with recycled polyester from plastic bottles, Singtex developed quite a range of fabrics, each with specific properties and uses in the clothing industry: the stretch series ( a range with increased flexibility), a dry series (with increased humidity control) and a cool series (with high temperature performance).

How can you get it? It’s not very clear. Check the website of the company here.

Pineapple Leather

Pieapple leather or Piñatex, as the product is officially registered, is created from the fibers found in the leaves of the pineapple plant (By the way, did you ever think pineapple grows in the ground and not in a tree?).

After the harvesting of the pineapple fruit, the remaining leaves are put through a process called decortication, using a special machine patented by a Spanish company called Ananas Anam. Through this process, fibers are obtained, which are then processed into a non-woven mesh, which is then turned into pineaple leather through a special finishing (all the process illustrated above). Because no new plant needs to be cultivated and also because it creates new job opportunities for farming communities in Philippines, Piñatex is considered one of the good guys.

“Piñatex Original is inspired by the natural surface of full-grained leather. It has a unique texture with a softly crumpled appearance and is strong, lightweight, breathable and pliable”, says the description on their website. We touched it two years ago at fashion week and the expectation was to feel something soft and moist, but it has a pretty dry touch.

How can you get it? Check the website of the company here.

Kapok fiber

Made from the dried fruit of the Kapok Tree (see picture of the fruit here), this fiber has a silky soft touch, is lightweight, insect repellent, antibacterial, waterproof and quickly dryable. It has been used in the past mostly for insulation (or stuffing those creepy plush toys) and recently, it has been discovered to have great properties also as a fiber for clothing. Because of the fiber’s structure, Kapoc yarn cannot be yet processed into 100% Kapoc fabrics, but it can be blended with other natural fibers – this would reduce the production of textile fabrics with a bigger impact on the environment (like cotton, the thirsty bastard). “Kapok trees need no irrigation, no pesticides, and no fertilisers. “They can grow on hills, in a biodiverse environment, and on land which is not suitable for agricultural purposes – resulting in 100% positive impact on the environment” claim Flocus, the producers of this fabric. Cutting trees to make clothes is still a bit of an absurd concept, but until we meet one of the Flocul employees, we’ll give this debate a rest.

How can you get it? Also not very clear, but check the website of the company here.

Mycelium (Mushroom Leather)

“Leather grown rapidly from mycelium and agricultural byproducts in a carbon-negative process”, as MycoWorks, it’s producers would describe it.

After 20 years of research, a team of engineers, designers and scientists managed to create this strong, flexible, durable, breathable, sewable alternative to leather, which can be grown in any dimension and dyed in any color and all in the fraction of the time it takes to produce leather. The fabric is made from mycelium a colony of bacteria that spread like a branching tree in a filamentous structure, which makes it perfect for creating fabric.

Here is a really cool short video where you can see the fabric.

How can you get it? At the moment probably only someone like Stella McCartney might have the financial means to use this fabric, but maybe, hopefully, we peasants will be also able to touch this miracle of biology soon. If you’re interested, follow their updates here.

In conclusion, after a quick research one can discover it’s still pretty hard as an individual entity to get access to these new sustainable fabric sollutions. If you truely want to create, while keeping a reduced footprint, the only viable option at the moment is upcycling. It’s a more than accessible route. As we speak pretty much anyone of us has some clothes stacked somewhere for a “you never know when” future. That’s where we can start: learning to sew, going to the basement/attic, picking up the old stuff and getting creative. Who’s up for truely making a change, while having loads of fun?

Our First Meetup Event!

Clothes are our second skin. They cover our bodies every day, and yet, there is so little we really know about them.

“What are you wearing?” is a series of talks with people working in the fashion industry and other fashion-related organizations, aimed at helping us better understand clothes and their influence on our lives and the world around us.

We start with the very beginning, when seeds are planted and chemical substances developed: during our first meetup we will talk about fabrics with our special guest, Jeanette Jungbluth, Head of Quality Management at Lebenskleidung.

How are fabrics made? What is good quality? What is better for our health? What is better for the world around us?

If you are curious about fashion, if you want to make aware purchase decisions, if you feel intrigued by the growing discussion on the topic of sustainable fashion, join us on April 16th.

This is the first meetup of the Sewing, Sustainability & Fashion Berlin Group, open also for everyone else interested.

Expect a relaxed, after-work evening, so come as you are – just make sure you bring your ID – you will need to scan it at the registration tablets at the front desk of WeWork. If your ID does not successfully scan, simply check in at the tablet as a guest of “Meetup Event”.

For any questions, thoughts and suggestions e-mail us at wiederundwider@gmail.com.

The event will take place on April 16th, from 18:00 – 20:00, at WeWork, Neue Schönhauserstrasse 3-5, 10178 Berlin. Free entrance.

Give the gift of a new skill

Because she is lovely, strong, sweet, supportive, because she is patient, because she knows her shit, because she is ambitious, because she is kind, because she’s there for you every day, because she wants to do it all and lately she barely had time for herself – celebrate her with an experience she always wanted to have.

Any of our sewing classes can be gifted in the form of a voucher. Pick your desired class and we will create a personalized Voucher with your message.

GET THE VOUCHER

E-mail us your desired class, together with your message at wiederundwider@gmail.com. 

Here you can find more info about each class.

Who is training you?

Cristina Tatar, Tailor & Sewing Trainer

cristinica

Cristina was trained as a women’s tailor at Salomeia Truta Fashion Institute in Bucharest and has been offering ever since custom tailoring, adjustments & upcycling services. During the last year, she has been working in Berlin as a project-based assistant for KUOTURE.

Before getting into sewing, Cristina has worked in advertising – this experience shifted her perspective towards sustainability in fashion and life in general. Another big influence to Cristina was her friend, Cristina Z., with whom Cristina co-founded the former brand CristinaCristina.

At the moment, Cristina is based in Berlin, where she is dedicating her time to the Wieder& Wider sustainable sewing classes, while also offering adjustments & upcycling services. Besides that, a first line of sustainable clothing is slowly but surely developing.

Basic Sewing Terms

Because English is the official language of the internet and The Internet is a place full of resources which can always help us advance with our project, today we are going to go through the basic sewing vocabulary. So next time we need to look for something online, we’ll know how it’s called.

Sewing Machine Tools.png

Terms for the sewing machine components

Bobbin

Bobbin

 

You wind thread around the bobbin, which is then used to create the lower part of the sewing machine stitches.

 

 

Bobbin case

Bobbin Case

 

A bobbin case holds the bobbin in place. The bobbin case in this picture is a removable side load bobbin case. There are also drop in bobbin cases, which are usually built into the machine and cannot be taken out.

 

 

Bobbin winder

Bobbin Winder

The bobbin winder is a small cylindrical metal piece where you place your bobbin when you want to wind on it the yarn needed to create the lower part of your stitch. Newer sewing machines have the bobbin winder on top, older ones have it on the right side, below the hand wheel (like in the picture).

 

Feed Dog

Feed Dog.png

 

The toothed metal piece which moves back and forth in slots in a sewing machine’s needle plate. Its purpose is to pull (“feed”) the fabric through the machine, in discrete steps, in-between stitches. Good boy!

Foot Pedal

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It’s a plastic thing that looks like any other pedal, which you must step on in order to put your machine in motion. Hands off the wheel on this vehicle!

 

Hand Wheel

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It’s a rounded wheel found on the right side of your sewing machine. You move it (always) towards you, any time you want to adjust the needle height.

 

 

Presser Foot

Presser Foot.png

It may seem connected to the Foot Pedal, but it’s not. This is the metal part of the sewing machine surrounding the needle. Its role is to hold the fabric steady during stitching. It can be pulled up and down to secure and release the fabric, using a lever found behind the foot or by pushing a button found in the front.

 

Reverse dial/button

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It’s a button that changes the direction of your stitching. You use it in the beginning or in the end of your sewing process, to prevent your stitch from unwinding.

 

Seam guides

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The guides are found on the metal plate of your sewing machine. They are markings representing different measurements supposed to help you keep the fabric straight, while also helping you make the stitch at a certain distance from the side of the fabric.

 

Spool Pin

Spool Pin.png

 

 

It’s a cylindrical plastic or metal piece, placed either vertically or horizontally, on the upper part of your sewing machine. Here is where your spool of yarn should be placed.

 

 

 

Stitch length

To put it simply, the stitch is that dotted line made of thread which you see on the fabric after you used your sewing machine. The stitch length is how long or short the lines from your dotted line are. It’s all influenced by how much fabric is transported by the feed dog between the stitches: shortening the stitch length reduces the amount of fabric that goes under the needle before it comes down, while lengthening the stitch increases the amount of fabric that goes under the needle before it comes down.

Take up lever

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The take up lever is found behind the presser foot and its role is to lift the presser foot or to make it go down.

 

 

 

 

Thread Cutter

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A cutter which is placed strategically on the machine to help you cut the thread after you finished sewing. (If you are looking for it on yours and you can’t find it, don’t despair – it’s a more recent feature and not all machines have it. And you can totally live without it.)

Thread Guides

Thread Guides.png

 

 

The thread guides are those metal pieces on your sewing machine, with little holes through which the tread must pass before reaching the needle, in order to form the stitch.

 

 

 

Tension

To put it as roughly as possible, tension influences how tight your two pieces of fabric are being stitched together. Tension can be adjusted for the upper thread, as well  as for the lower thread.

Tension Dial

Tension Dial.png

 

 

It’s the little wheel with numbers ranging from 0 to sometimes even 9, which determines how tight the upper stitch will be. The smaller the number, the looser the tension.

 

 

 

 

General sewing terms

Belt loop

Belt Loop.png

 

It’s that strip of fabric placed perpendicular to the cord of your pants, through which belts are supposed to be inserted for a better stability of the pants on the waist (or sometimes just for the sake of fashion).

 

Bodice

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In tailoring, the bodice is the upper part of the woman’s dress, from shoulders and neckline going down until the waist.

 

 

 

Dart

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The perfect explanation comes from Cambridge Dictionary: “a dart is
a small fold, becoming narrower towards one end, that is sewn into a piece of clothing to make it fit better.” Case closed.

Ease

Ease is what you add to a pattern in order to have a garment that is comfortable to move in. For example, when you hold your arm straight, the sleeve seems to need just the same amount of fabric as your arm’s circumference. But when you bend the arm, you realize that you actually need a larger sleeve width to allow the movement. That extra measurement called “ease”.

Hem

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“The edge of a piece of fabric, such as the bottom edge of a skirt or dress, that is folded over and sewn so that it does not develop loose threads”, says Cambridge Dictionary.

 

 

Hook & Loop

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It’s one of the most common closing systems consisting of a hook that goes into a loop. Fun fact: in Romania the hook and loop is called ”old man and old woman”. God knows why.

 

 

Interfacing

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According to Sewing.org, interfacing is a support fabric used in areas that need more stability than just the fabric weight. Interfacing can be thinner, like a smooth net or considerably stronger, like a piece of paper. The interfacing is usually fused (glued) to the wrong side of the fabric using an iron or steamer.

 

Interlining

As the name implies, the interlining is a piece of fabric added between the outer layer of the garment and the lining. It’s most commonly used in winter jackets, consisting of either fleece, feathers or batting fabric.

Lining

Lining.png

Lining is a layer of fabric used to hide the construction details found on the inside of a garment. Linings are usually silky and smooth and not only they give a nice finish to a piece of clothing, but they sometimes also make it easier or more comfortable to dress – ex. when there is a thick wool fabric it may tickle the wearer if worn without a lining.

Notch

A notch is a V-shaped cut in a hard surface. There are notches in patterns, which indicate that little cuts should be made in the fabric to help while sewing. There are also notches in presser feet – for example, the blind hem presser foot has two notches – little tunnels through which the zipper passes.

Pattern

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The patter is the technical drawing on paper that shows how the fabric should be cut in order to create a garment. Patterns are the basis of sewing, as they can indicate with precision how a piece of clothing should be created in order to fit a certain size and design.

 

 

 

Seam allowance

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The seam allowance is the distance between your stitch and the side of the fabric. In any sewing project, a seam allowance is necessary – otherwise, the stitch is to close to the sides and can easily be loosened.

 

Seam line

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The line formed by joining two pieces of fabric together.

Serge/Overlock

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Is the action of using a serger or overlocker – a sewing machine used for finishing the raw edges of the fabric. A serger/overlocker trims and encloses the edge of the fabric (seam allowance) inside a thread casing, all in one step.

Slit

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A slit is a cut or an opening in a garment. You have a slit in the front of the pants or in the back of a dress.

 

 

Sloper

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We call a “sloper” a basic fitting shell – a pattern that shows a fitted shape of your body. Patter slopers are used as a basis for creating more complex patterns.

 

 

 

Spool

Spool.png

 

 

 

A cardboard or plastic cylinder on which yarn is wound.

 

 

Stitch

To quote the Cambridge Dictionary, the stitch is “a piece of thread sewn in cloth, or the single movement of a needle and thread into and out of the cloth that produces this”. To put it simply, the stitch is that dotted line of thread which you can create on the fabric either by hand or with a sewing machine.

Zipper coil

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The zipper’s coil is the metal or plastic part of the zipper where the teeth are laid.

 

 

 

Zipper tape

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The zipper’s tape is the strip of fabric found on the sides of the zipper, right next to the coil.

 

 

 

Yarn

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Thread. The long continuous thread of interlocked fibers, which is used for sewing.

 

 

 

 

Types of stitching

Anchoring stitch

As the name suggests it, the anchoring stitch’s role is to make sure the stitch doesn’t pull out right when it begins or it finishes. With the sewing machine the anchoring stitch is done by going back and forth 2-3 times in the beginning and end of your stitch.

 

Back stitch

Reverse dial button

Your machine has a button (the Reverse Dial Button) which changes the direction of the stitch when pressed. Usually, the fabric is pulled in the opposite direction from you while the needle comes towards you, forming the stitch. The back stitch is done by commanding the needle to go in the opposite \direction from you.

 

Basting stitch

The basting stitch is a long, loose stitch created to help you keep the fabric in place. It can be done by hand or with the sewing machine. Because it is so loose and easy to pull out, it’s perfect to use when you are not sure about a certain cut or when you want to just secure a part that is harder to sew.\

 

Looper stitches

Serge overlock

 

 

The stitches formed by a serger or overlock machine that get tangled in loops, covering the fabric.

 

 

 

Straight Stitch

The regular, most common stitch with which two pieces of fabric are usually sewn together. As the name implies, it goes straight, creating a dotted line of bigger or smaller lines.

Hidden Stitch

As the name implies, the hidden stitch is any type of stitch which is not visible on one or both sides of the fabric.

Blind Hem Stitch

Hidden Stitch

It is a type of hidden stitch used for finishing hems. In woolen garments, for example, it is common that the hem’s seam line is not visible on the outer side of the fabric.

Top stitch

A stitch applied to the top of the garment either for stabilizing a piece (like in necklines) or just for decorative reasons. As opposed to the hidden stitch, the top stitch is intentionally visible on the outer side of the fabric.

Zigzag Stitch

Zig Zag Stitch.png

 

It is a type of stitch that goes in a zigzag shape instead of straight. The zigzag stitch is used when working with knitted fabrics. It is also used to finish fabric edges, instead of a serger/overlocker.

 

Decorative stitch

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Decorative stitches come in many shapes and types and their sole purpose is aesthetic. Most probably, besides straight stitch, buttonhole stitch, hidden stitch and zigzag stitch, all other types of stitches found on your sewing machine are decorative.

 

 

 

Fabric terms

Warp & Weft

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To turn yarn into fabric through weaving, one needs the threads to come somehow in a cross. The longitudinal threads are held in place by the loom, while the transverse threads are drawn through and inserted over and under the longitudinal threads. This two directions of the yarn are called warp (longitudinal) and weft (transverse).

Straight-Grain

The straight-grain is parallel to the warp of the fabric. Many garments are cut with the straight-grain going from top to bottom, because this direction of the fabric falls straight on the body, as opposed to the cross-grain which moves easily and can distort the intended shape.

Cross-grain

The grain refers to the orientation of the warp and weft in a piece of fabric. The cross-grain is parallel to the weft of the fabric and to the selvedge. Cross-grain usually has more stretch than the straight-grain, offering better movement, which is why clothes are cut with the cross-grain covering the body transverse.

Bias

The bias is the direction of the fabric found in between straight-grain and cross-grain. When looking at a piece of fabric cut in a square, the bias goes from one corner of the square to its opposite corner, forming a 45 degree angle with the warp or the weft. Dresses and skirts that need a wavy look are usually cut on bias, as this direction of the fabric is stretchy and flexible.

Selvedge

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The word selvedge comes from “self-finished edge” and refers to the sides of the fabric, parallel to the weft which come with a finished edge from the factory.

 

Fabric fold

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This term refers exactly to what you think: the fold of the fabric. It is used in the cutting process, when some patterns are placed on the fabric after it is folded in twice.

Raw edge

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The raw edge is the edge of the fabric that hasn’t been serged/overlocked or hemmed and which can easily develop loose ends through pulling.

 

Right side

The right side of the fabric is the side that will be seen in the exterior of the garment. Some fabrics look differently on the inside and the outside, that is why, when offering sewing instructions, one must specify how to place the fabric: on the right side or on the wrong side.

Wrong side

The wrong side of the fabric is the side which will be seen in the interior of a garment.

Right sides together

Right Sides Together

 

 

Usually , when sewing two pieces together, they are both placed facing each other’s right sides (right sides together).

 

 

 

 

Sewing operations

Threading

Threading.png

Threading refers to the process of running the yarn from the spool through all the orifices found on the sewing machine up until the needle, in order to prepare the thread for the process of stitching. But threading is not done only on the upper part of the machine, but also on the lower part, involving the bobbin and the bobbin case.

Adjusting tension

Tension Dial

 

 

 

 

Adjusting the tension dial/wheel to make sure the upper thread is released with a certain pressure

 

 

 

 

Adjusting stitch length

Adjusting Stitch Length.png

 

 

Adjusting the stitch length wheel in order to have longer stitches.

 

 

 

Finger pressing

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Ex. You just folded the fabric and you would like it to take the shape of the fold – the first instinct is to press with your finger to keep the fabric in place. And the fact is, the heath from your body will give the fabric a shape just by finger pressing.

 

 

Gathering the fabric

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Giving the fabric a series of creases by stitching it and then pulling the stitch tight.

 

 

 

Guiding the fabric

Helping the fabric take the direction you want while sewing. Many beginners tend to pull and push the fabric, when, in fact, there is no need: the fabric is transported by the presser foot and you just have to guide it to follow the desired seam guide.

Hemming

Finishing the side of a fabric to prevent it from developing loose threads, by folding it.

Pinning

Inserting pins into the fabric in order to fix it before sewing.

Fusing

Applying interfacing (a glued layer of fabric destined to add more stability to the initial fabric) by ironing it.

Overlocking

Finishing the raw edges of a fabric by using a serger/overlocker machine.

Bringing Your Own Fabrics

If you are like most humans, you probably have at home at least one box with things you don’t use anymore, but which YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU MIGHT. Well, the time has come to bring the box up from the basement and look for clothes, household items or fabrics which you can use during our classes:

Accessories Class

During this class we will learn to make a bag and/or a pouch. Here are the recommended fabrics/clothes:

FOR THE POUCH – clothes/thicker fabrics that can be worn outdoors like jeans, workers’ jumpsuits, non-stretchy pants; For fanny pack customization we would also need a buckle.

FOR THE BAG- waterproof jackets, denim jackets, thicker drapery, tablecloths or bed covers or at least 50 x 100 cm of canvas, denim or cotton woven fabric. For the bagpack customization we would also need around 10 cm velcro.

All products require lining . Recommended for lining: old bed sheets, shirts, T-Shirts, or any piece of thinner fabric that is the same size as the outer part of your product.

Skirt Class

Bring any curtain, blanket, bed cover, poncho, a fabric you inherited from your grandmother or any interesting piece of not see-through fabric. The ideal dimension should be at least 150 cm long for a short/midi skirt. IT SHOULD BE WOVEN FABRIC (NOT-STRETCHY).

Kimono Blouse

Bring any piece of thinner fabric, that falls on the body: it can be a bed sheet you don’t use anymore, a piece of thin cotton or a fabric with a more silky feel. It should be at least 150 cm long for a blouse length. For a classic kimono/dress kimono a 200 cm would be recommended.
IT SHOULD BE WOVEN FABRIC (NOT-STRETCHY).

If you prefer to upcycle and create a patch-work kimono, an idea is to use shirts or thin blouses with similar fabrics. We will need to have enough clothes to cut 16 A4 pieces – so you can test at home with a piece of paper. This may change, though, the duration of the project.

Pants Class

Bring a piece of fabric of at least 250 x 130 cm. If you are tall and want to make long pants, it would be recommend that the length of the fabric is 300 x 100 cm. IT SHOULD BE A KNITTED FABRIC (STRETCHY). A non see-through jersey would be the best option.

Dress Class

For this project we can use any fabric that is not see-through and which is comfortable enough to the touch that it doesn’t require lining. STRETCHY KNITTED FABRICS make it easier to obtain the right fit, so we recommend you to bring a jersey or anything that stretches easily. Bring a fabric of at least 150 x 130 cm for midi dresses in small sizes and at least 200 x 130 for long dresses. If you have a bigger size (XXXL) a recommended fabric size would be 250 x 130.

Not sure if what you are bringing is suitable for the project? Take some pictures and e-mail them to us. We’ll guide you in choosing the right option: wiederundwider [at] gmail.com