Waste not, want not…

I never cease to be amazed by the thrift and ingenuity of the Indian people.

As part of our Basic Tailoring Course our Master Tailor asked me to demonstrate how we make garments in the UK. In front of 22 sets of interested eyes I laid out the pattern pieces, lined them up with the fabric grain, secured with pins, tailor’s tacked the markings, cut them out and proceeded to make a simple tunic on my new sewing machine. All as per the instructions, all as per my GCE Textile Classes circa 1980.

Our trainees were kindly complimentary of my finishing skills – but commented on the amount of wasted fabric.  This gave me pause for thought. I had noted that when they measured, chalked out, cut and stitched for a kurti – every bit of fabric was used.

Red garmentsThis wastage was also remarked upon by Patrick Grant during the ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle‘ episode on BBC 2’s (most brilliant) Great British Sewing Bee. He said that when we make up a garment in the UK we waste 30% of the fabric.

I gave Tahira the left over fabric from my tunic – and with this she created a made-to-measure child’s kurti.

Last week I made cotton palazzo pants – as I have found these are the coolest things to wear during the summer. I used the measure, chalk, cut and stitch method taught by Master Ji. And with the surplus, I adapted the same simple tunic pattern to make a blouse. Two garments from 2.5 metres of 111cm wide white cotton broderie anglaise fabric. Bonus!!
Broderie Anglaise

We learn so much from our host country. I learn sew much.