Decorating the BugCycle Garden with Gudrun Sjödén

BugCycle garden Willow Dome, decorated with Gudrun Sjödén

Worthing's BugCycle community garden has just become even more colourful thanks to a generous donation from Gudrun Sjödén, Swedish designer of sustainable fashion and champion of environmentally conscious design. Gudrun kindly sent us a bundle of eco-cotton fabrics and home furnishings to use in our burgeoning wildlife garden.

Gudrun Sjödén eco fabrics

BugCycle was set up by community arts producers Creative Waves in partnership with Worthing Wildlife to regenerate an area in one of the town's central parks. Since February this year, we and a team of volunteers have transformed a disused part of Beach House Park using largely found, recycled and donated materials into a living, educational, sensory garden for all to enjoy.

BugCycle wildflower meadow
Our happy gardeners wearing Gudrun Sjödén hats and aprons

Gudrun Sjödén sent us a selection of Långrand striped organic cottons in delicious shades of guava/turquoise, lavendula/sky, asparagus/pineapple and peony. I decided to make gardening hats and aprons for our volunteers to wear, as well as some cushions and bright bunting to decorate and furnish the garden. I used these fabulous fabrics together with some Gudrun Sjödén material left over from previous projects.

Aprons, hats, cushions and bunting made by Ivy Arch using Gudrun Sjödén fabrics

The aprons are based on Gudrun's perfectly practical Nyttan gardening apron with one large divided wrap around pocket and long fastening ties (I'm wearing a ruby red Nyttan apron in these photos). The hats are made using Etsy shop WorthyGoods super Over The Top sun hat sewing pattern. I sewed simple envelope back cushion covers from the Långrand cotton to complement two of Gudrun's Melissa and Flox print cushions. All left over pieces of fabric were cut into triangles of different sizes and sewn into colourful bunting. Not a scrap of material was wasted!

BugCycle gardeners wearing Gudrun Sjödén
Crafting in the BugCycle garden

These photos were taken at a Creative Waves BugCycle Art in the Park workshop, but on another day you could see the Worthing Wildlife Team at work here, one of the town's community groups or up to 120 local school children using the garden as an outdoor learning space.

The willow dome decorated Gudrun Sjödén style!
Creative Waves women in the willow dome

We'd like to thank Gudrun Sjödén for bringing her Swedish design with a green soul to our own very green and thriving community garden!

Happy BugCycle tree

Gudrun's eco-cotton fabrics and home furnishings are available from her web shop.

A second year of sewing my own clothes

It's time I documented my second year of making my own clothes. This year there was no outright self-imposed ban on buying new or second hand clothes, so I have been lucky to acquire a few more beautiful Gudrun Sjödén pieces, as well as purchasing some needed socks and knickers.

The original year-long-experiment which began in May 2013 has remained habit changing and sewing my own is a regular part of my weekly routine. Between 17th May 2014 and 31st May 2015 I sewed a lot of dresses, a few tops, had a summertime flurry of trouser making, and made three beautiful coats.

Clothes made by Ivy Arch between May 2014 and May 2015

The Wiksten Tova was my 'discovery' staple sewing pattern this year, and the one I've made most of (current Tova count is six). My second favourite repeatedly sewn pattern is the Lisette Portfolio dress Kerry Green most generously sent me in January (I made three). I must also mention its sister-pattern the lovely Liesl & Co Cappuccino dress (four more of these now hanging in my wardrobe). The 'outsider lovely surprise pattern' was Scarlet et Marguerite's Baba Yaga dress.

The Ivy Arch garment of the year: Burda 7072 Quilted Coat
Garment Of The Sewing Year: Burda 7072 Quilted Coat
My favourite garment of the year is the one that took the most work, a quilted Burda 7072 coat. Worth every frustrating second of fiddling to get the under-arm seams right!

The round-up photo above doesn't include everything I made, and not all of it was blogged – there are at least three more holiday dresses and six pairs of baggy trousers not included here. I may try to slow down production in the coming year, but can't see myself stopping as I love the act of sewing and the self expression of wearing handmade clothes. I wear something I've made myself every day of the year.

I am however, a little less keen to continue photographing and blogging my makes (and my gurning face) so am not sure if there'll be a third year with a round-up like this. In part I think joining Instagram has removed some of the urge to blog. So much social media, so little time.

For now though, it is a pleasure to present the line up of clothes sewn in my second sew-my-own year.

Baggy trousers made by Ivy Arch
Trouserathon, July 2014