Reuse, Recycle

We live in such a throwaway society these days, pretty much everything we buy comes wrapped either wrapped in plastic or contains plastic. If you didn’t get a chance to see the BBC1 program War on Plastic, its well worth a watch (I am pretty sure its available to download on the iPlayer).

So if you are looking to make a change, here are a six little things that you can do to help reduce the amount of plastic you use in your home.

Ditch the Makeup Remover Wipes and Baby Wipes!

Whilst the majority of makeup remover wipes and baby wipes are made so they are biodegradable, they still come in plastic packaging. Buying (or making) reusable wipes is far more cost effective, environmentally friendly and you can choose bright and funky prints to fit your personality (or the decor in your bathroom!). Generally reusable wipes are made with a cotton top, and either a flannel or a bamboo underside. Wipes can be washed again and again (and you can just pop them in with your normal wash).

Ditch the Shower Gel!

We ditched our shower gel last year, and have now swapped to bars of soap (we have also replaced the bottles handwashes at our sinks in favour of bars of soap too). We have had to watch which brands of soap we buy as some of the big brand names package their soap in plastic, but there are the odd few that don’t. There are lots of small businesses who make handmade soap and wrap them in eco friendly packaging. I am sure the bars of soap last longer than the bottles too.

Ditch the Cling Film!

We have gone from cling filming our sandwiches to putting them in reusable sandwich bags or sandwiches boxes. There are sandwich boxes you can buy which are made from bamboo, once these have reached the end of their life there are compostable (I have a bamboo hot drinks cup which I have had for three years, and I use it several times a week and its still going strong!). Reusable sandwich bags are lined with food grade PUL which makes them super easy to clean (either wipe after use or wash in the washing machine), and they can be made from any fun fabric you like! (why not also consider using reusable food coverings too instead of using cling film on your bowls in the fridge).

Ditch the Plastic Produce Bags!

Instead of using the plastic bags that the supermarkets provide for your fruit and veg, use a reusable cotton bag instead. Once you are back from the supermarket, take your fruit and veg out and then wash and reuse! These could even be made in food related fabric too! (if you do you shopping online opt out of them bringing your shopping in plastic bags, and use your own bags to transfer your shopping into when your food shop arrives).

Ditch the Plastic Straws!

Switch to metal or paper straws instead of the plastic ones. Metal straws can be reused over and over again, and are perfect for use in the home, or out and about (why not have a funky fabric case to pop them in for when you are out and about).

Ditch the Disposable Facemasks!

Don’t buy the disposable facemasks! With so many supermarkets and local makers selling reusable facemasks in bright and funky fabrics, that you can wash and reuse, they are far more environmentally friendly and cost effective. Whilst facemasks are not something I make to sell, I will be doing a live tutorial showing you how to make a well fitted, triple layer facemask.

Of course these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reusing, recycling and upcycling. Have you seen our Pinterest Board which is filled with upcycling ideas?

Top Stitch Wales reusable products

Reusable, eco friendly products are available to order from as Top Stitch Wales, click here to contact us for more information.

Happy 2nd Birthday to us!

A whole two years has passed since Hayley took the plunge on 4 June 2018 to create Top Stitch Wales.

What initially started as a hobby has rapidly grown into a business. One sewing machine has now expanded to five sewing machines, and the business will move in the next few months from the upstairs landing of Hayley’s house to a downstairs room which will allow the business to expand further, and will also allow for evening sewing to work on product development.

Over the last two years the business has handmade and sold over 485 bespoke products and attended seven craft fairs. Craft fairs are always lovely events to attend, as Hayley loves to chat face to face with her customers.

Recent customer orders ….. peg bag, zip ‘boob print’ bag, reusable facewipes, glasses case, scrunchie and pencil case

In the last year the business has collaborated with a subscription box, and a local vegan shop to supply handmade products. Future collaborations are in the pipeline and once these come into fruition we will be able to announce further details.

The business already offers three reusable and vegan friendly products (reusable facewipes, reusable produce bags and reusable sandwich bags), reusable sanitary products will be available to order soon.

Reusable sanitary product

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Hayley has been doing weekly lives demonstrating upcycling items around the home to give them a new purpose and a new lease of life. If you would like a link to any of these videos please contact us. Lives are every Friday on our Facebook page.

Facebook lives …….. no sew sock projects, VE Day headband, scrunchies, reusable facewipes, bean bags, jeans upcyle and t-shirt upcycle

Hayley is currently working on developing clothing for children, and it is hoped that by next year a range of clothing will be available to order. The clothing will be made using bright fabrics and exciting prints.

Hayley’s sons modelling their bespoke train t-shirts

We would like thank all of our customers for their support, orders and lovely reviews over the last two years. Its been an absolute pleasure to work with you all, we have loved sourcing just the right fabric for you, handmaking your bespoke creations and then sending them to you. We are very excited to see what the next year brings.

‘Cheers, and here’s to the next year, thank you to my amazing family and friends for their love and support, and more importantly thank you to my customers’
Hayley, Creator of Top Stitch Wales

Crafting for Mindfulness

Crafting is good for your mental health! It can help to alleviate anxiety, depression, loneliness and even dementia according to research.

Textile crafts such as embroidery, crocheting and knitting have the highest participation rates of all the arts according to the governments Taking Part survey.

Craft has been helping soldiers recover from stress for over 100 years, and there have also been positive links made between craft and the cognitive skills of stroke and dementia patients.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about taking your attention away from the world around you, and focusing on the here and now. Getting crafty naturally shifts your attention away from all of life’s problems, and while you focus on your craft your mind becomes centred, focused and relaxed. Crafting helps to create a space to reorganise your thoughts, rebalance emotionally and recharge your mental and physical batteries.

Our favourite crafty activities for mindfulness ……..

Sewing

This activity will come as no surprise to our followers given this is the focus of the business!

There is something extremely satisfying sitting working on the sewing machine, listening to the hum from the machine as you work.

If you are looking to get your first sewing machine, the Independent have written this article on ‘7 best sewing machines for beginners’, whilst you can buy a new machine, there are lots of preloved machines for sale on local selling pages – our first machine was a 1980’s NewHome machine, absolute beauty of a machine that’s still going strong today.

We have published a number of live videos on our Facebook page of some really easy sewing projects you can do from home either with or without a sewing machine.

Cross Stitch

We love cross stitching! Using stitches made from crosses you can make some beautiful pictures, designs or letterings. These can be either turned into greetings cards, key rings, or even framed and put on your wall!

We have been loving the cross stitch kits that you can find in your local craft shop. Each kit contains everything you will need to get started ……… a needle, thread, aida, hoop and a plan showing what coloured stitch goes where.

There are some fantastic YouTube tutorials showing you how to get started if you fancied giving it a go.

Knitting

Yes we like to knit, no we are not too old! Knitting is a method by which yarn is manipulated to create a textile or fabric.

There are so many items you can knit …… hats, scarfs, jumpers, cardigans, blankets to name a few.

Knitting supplies can be bought from you local wool shop, and most shops offer advice on how to get started, and some offer lessons.

Pinterest is full of patterns and tutorials on how to get started too.

We hope that we have inspired you to craft for mindfulness, these are just our favourite crafty activities, there are so many crafty activities out there such as ….. pottery, crochet, photography, upcycling, weaving, card making to just name some.

Fathers Day Gifts

Fathers Day is almost here (Sunday 21 June 2020), and we thought we would share with you just some of Top Stitch Wales’ products that would make a fantastic gift for dad this Fathers Day.

As always each item we make is hand crafted, and customers are able to choose from a wide selection of fabric that we hold in house, or if there is something specific a customer requires then we will endeavour to source fabric to follow a specific colour, pattern or theme.

Reversible Bucket Hat

Reversible Bucket Hat (£16 to £19)

These bucket hats can be made from any fabric, choose from bright funky prints (as pictured) or a solid colour fabric. Each side can be made different, or you can opt to have both sides the same.

The hat pictured has a superhero fabric one side and a denim fabric on the other side.

Tablet/Mobile Phone Stand

Mobile Phone Stand (£4)

Mobile phone stand and tablet stands are filled with weighted beads and soft stuffing, with a little lip to sit a mobile phone or a tablet in. They can be made in fabric to coordinate a mobile phone or tablet cover, or the colour scheme of a room in your house.

Tablet stands are priced at £8 each

Glasses Case

Glasses case (£6)

A padded, lined glasses case, with a popper top fastening perfect for reading glasses or sun glasses.

Pencil Case

Pencil Case (£6)

These zipped pencil cases are fully lined, and are a great gift to accompany a mindful colouring book with pencils. Colouring is well known to be an excellent mindful activity, which is an excellent way for dad to unwind.

Cable Buddy

Cable Buddy (£2 or 3 for £5)

Cable buddies are a perfect way to help dad tidy his mobile phone/tablet charger cables away, and can be made from fabric to coordinate a mobile phone or tablet cover or the colour scheme of a room in your house.

Please note that the prices shown above do not included UK P&P

To order or make an enquiry please click here.