Sustainable Sewing is Where it’s At!

Have you ever thought about how you can use your creative side for the good of the planet? Today I want to talk a little about sustainable sewing. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s defined as sewing in a way that leaves a minimal impact on the planet. A few examples include using eco friendly materials, reusing old textiles, and doing projects designed to be scrappy, thus using up extra scraps and reducing the amount of fabric wasted. Basically, reuse, recycle, and use what you’ve already got in your stash instead of buying more.

Personally, I like to flex my sustainable sewing skills with projects for reusable items, designed to replace things we would normally use once and then throw away. Recently, I discovered a fabulous article in a back issue of my favorite Better Homes & Gardens publication, American Patchwork & Quilting MagazineApril 2022 – Issue 175 that had some great ideas on this exact topic. The article features several different project ideas for products that you can make at home rather than having to buy them from the store. For example – makeup removers! I don’t know about you but I go through sometimes two and three a day depending on what’s going on. You can easily replace the store bought version of these by using soft flannel and minky to create washable, reusable pads. Not only do they help reduce waste but they also save you money. I love win-win situations!

Another handy project designed to replace a common household throw-away item is reusable “paper” towels. Most of us are guilty of overusing paper towels in our homes – especially considering that according to, over 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the U.S. alone every day… And when you really stop and think about how much goes into making a product like that (natural resources, habitat, man hours, etc.), only for us to use it for literally seconds before throwing it to the landfill, sustainable sewing becomes all that much more appealing. Just like the makeup removers, these stylish towels are super easy to make and convenient to use. Soft and absorbent, simply throw them in the washing machine to use them over and over again!

You can find FREE patterns for both the makeup remover pads and reusable towels, PLUS items like cloth napkins, utensil rolls, totes, sandwich and snack bags, reusable gift bags, t-shirt quilts, and more on the American Patchwork & Quilting website by clicking the link below! If you’re planning to dive into these sustainable sewing projects you’re probably going to need some super nice flannel to get the job done. For mine I’m using my latest flannel collection, Lakeside Gatherings.” This line of super soft flannels is a refreshing collection of blues, tans, and creams that are sure to fit the bill for winter and summer projects alike.Love it? If the answer is yes you’ll be excited to know that Lakeside Gatheringspre-cuts, project kits, and project book are all available to pre-order now until March 19th, 2023! Not only will you be one of the first to get your hands on this coveted new collection when it arrives, but if you pre-order by March 19th, 2023 you’ll get 20% OFF pre-cuts (sorry, this offer does NOT include yardage)!!!

Our final order for Lakeside Gatherings inventory is due into Moda by the end of the day on March 19th, 2023 so if you’re thinking about stocking up, don’t wait! After that, the ship will have sailed and we will not be able to discount the line any longer.

For those of you who are interested in making these sustainable sewing projects but think you may need a little guidance when it comes to finishing the edges, heads up! My friend Bernina Barb and I put together a little tutorial video on how easy it is to complete the edges on both the makeup remover pads and the reusable towels using your serger. Or, if you don’t have your own serger but are thinking of purchasing one, she gives you a little sneak peek at the coveted Bernina L 890 – Bernina’s premier serging machine. Barb will show you just how easy it is to use this fantastic and magical machine to get the perfect edges we all want. Watch it by clicking HERE!

If you haven’t heard about the Bernina L 890, let me tell you just how great it is. First of all, the L 890 is the first Bernina overlocker to come with a color computerized touch screen navigation system, complete with a super slick feature that teaches you how to use it with helpful built-in tutorials and animations. This “Combo Machine” can create three unique stitch groups including all your standard serger stitches, combo stitches, and cover stitches. It includes 27 built-in pre-programmed stitches, and room for 100 custom stitch designs in the “Personal Memory” feature for you to create and save your own stitch settings. How cool!

The Bernina L 890 is perfectly suited for working with all types of fabrics, including knits as well as wovens. It comes with many features designed to make your sewing experience as easy and painless as possible, like the exclusive Bernina one-step Air Threader for instance. This feature helps you to thread your machine in one simple step by magically moving it through the machine using the foot control, allowing both hands to remain free. The L 890 automatically sets the loopers in the correct position for the air threader – no turning the hand wheel or searching for the right position needed. Simply press the foot control and you’re off! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I also love the way that by pressing the foot control with your heel, you can effortlessly raise or lower the needle by a half stitch. The Bernina Free Hand System lets you raise and lower the presser foot with your knee, leaving both your hands free to guide the fabric.

I really can’t say enough great things about the Bernina L 890. I mean, you can read all the articles and five star reviews you want, but in order to really get a feel for what this machine can do, you’re better off taking one for a “test drive” in person rather solely going off the opinions of others. In fact, if you’re seriously curious about the L 890 and close enough to pay us a visit, I invite you to stop by our new Bernina storefront here at Primitive Gatherings, where Luke and crew have many machines for you to try before you buy. Not to mention, now is a great time to be shopping for a new Bernina because now through March 31st, 2023 Bernina is offering 20% OFF all Bernina machines including sewing, embroidery, quilting, and sergers! As if that wasn’t a sweet enough deal, Bernina is also offering 0% interest for 60 months on in-store purchases of $3,000 or more March 10th – 14th, 2023 (terms and conditions apply – please call Luke at 920.778.8035 for more information)!

Boy, there are always so many great things going on here at PG it’s hard to keep it all straight sometimes. That’s why I really enjoy it when my crew joins me LIVE during STITCH with Lisa Bongean It’s just so much easier to let them do the talking when it comes to the things they specialize in. Tune in tomorrow to hear Luke talk more about all the exciting things happening in our Bernina department, along with our weekly chat with Vickie from the shop, upcoming events at The Gathering from Gloria, and an update on the latest from Shelley. Set your reminder now for 1:00 p.m. CST so you don’t miss it. Have a wonderful evening everyone. See you tomorrow at 1:00! ~Lisa

P.S. Have any questions for Luke about Bernina or the L 890? Hop on early and post them in the LIVE chat before the show. We will do our best to answer them on air!

13 responses to “Sustainable Sewing is Where it’s At!”

  1. Lisa Smith Avatar
    Lisa Smith

    I can’t find the reusable towels pattern.

    1. lisabongean Avatar

      Hi Lisa! Apparently, the American Patchwork & Quilting online article doesn’t include them. No worries, they’re easy enough. All it takes is a Layer Cake! I explain two ways of going about making them in the video you can watch by clicking here!

  2. Shari S Avatar
    Shari S

    I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at the next Sit & Stitch!

  3. Pat Widmaier Avatar
    Pat Widmaier

    Going to miss the Live tomorrow, but saying prayers daily for Shelley! I’ll have to catch up with the replay. Have a great rest of week!

  4. Gail Sowin Avatar
    Gail Sowin

    I had heard about reusable towels and make-up wipes, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. After checking the link for the sustainable sewing projects, I found a few more I would like to try. Thanks.

  5. Charlene Morris Avatar
    Charlene Morris

    I watched the serger tutorial when it came out. I was amazed because I have not used my serger for so many years I do not know if it still works.
    I made the cloth towels many years ago and used them- need to make more but I just turned them and topstitched/some I put a x across. It was years before I bought paper towels. Thanks for the push to make more.

  6. Amy Pingot Avatar
    Amy Pingot

    What a great idea to incorporate sustainable sewing into my love of crafting. My son is an environmental studies and sustainability major at Northern Michigan University and will be proud to hear I am doing my part for the good of the planet. Thanks for the great ideas Lisa!

  7. DoloresRoberts Avatar

    I grew up when, “make do with what you have”, was the norm. While raising my children I used cloth napkins, cloth diapers and cloth towels, etc. Time goes on and you get away from these ways. So now, even though my children are all grown up, it’s time for me to get back to sustainable sewing. I remember my mom telling us what FDR said, “use it up, make it do or do without”. Using your Lakeside Flannel fabric is perfect for sewing these sustainable items. Thank you Barb and Lisa!

  8. Sharlene Andoe Avatar

    I am very interested in the Sustainable Sewing Projects! I like the idea of the Reusable Towels! I have some flannel in my stash, but I could always use some more! I really love your PG Lakeside Gathering fabric line too! Thank you, Lisa for keeping us Quilter’s and Fabric Artists thinking about using more sustainable products for our homes and the planet for sure! Looking forward to the LIVE on Thursday! Have a WONDERFUL day!

  9. Denise Schmitz-Enking Avatar
    Denise Schmitz-Enking

    Always looking for projects to recycle what we already have. Been making reusable bags from empty sunflower bird seed bags. They turn out so pretty with the colorful birds on the bags and the material is very durable

  10. Diane M. Poirier Avatar
    Diane M. Poirier

    Great ideas!

  11. usairdoll Jodi Avatar
    usairdoll Jodi

    Thanks for the link for the projects to help recycle and reuse. We need to take care of Mother Earth for us, our grandkids and future generations. Thanks Lisa !

  12. Pam Avatar

    Love the idea of sustainable sewing. I will have to read about it the issue of American patchwork. Love the lakeside gatherings flannel line. ❤️

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