Fabric shopping

I took a good look at my t-shirts last week. The truth? I started to wish I had done that a week earlier so I would have been able to run to the store and stock up… But no, that would have been cheating. I need new t-shirts, unsurprisingly my cheap “Made in Bangladesh” shirts have lasted for one summer and have no life left.

So today I stopped at my friendly neighbourhood (well, downtown) fabric shop Dressew. I picked up some jersey knits. The lady who was cutting my fabric asked me what I was making. T-shirts? Great, they’ll last so much longer than the store bough ones, she said. So I told her about my project, and she was excited. She had done a similar one a few years ago, for six months, and said it’s surprisingly hard. We talked for a while about the garment industry, then about reliable fabric sources. They’re all machine made, she said. But someone uses those machines. Someone takes the bolts and packs them up. There’s labour involved. She nodded, and said there are so many facets to this. What about fabric dyes? Sure, I bough organic cotton blend for my t-shirts, but where do the dyes come from? So many things to consider.

Baby steps. I’ll make some t-shirts first. I got enough fabric for two or three shirts, depending on what I’ll make. The price for the two pieces of fabric was $16 – I don’t think I’d get an organic cotton t-shirt anywhere for that price.

4 thoughts on “Fabric shopping

  1. I like the idea of your challenge, and am interested to see how it goes. We are currently living on the other side of the world to my sewing machine, otherwise I would be tempted to join you. Next year!

  2. I’m with you on all the components that go into one simple ethical tee. The way I see it though, is that sewing is also slower. You’ll consume less fabric not only because the T-shirts last longer but also because they take longer to acquire. Am I making any sense?

    • Perfectly. 🙂 That way, the price doesn’t really match either since I’m only calculating the fabric, not the work that goes into it.

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