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Conversational Threads

Ethical and green sewing

kittycat | Posted in General Sewing Info on

In the 21st century consideration should be given to not use animal by products in sewing. Feathers come from birds horrendously killed in slaughterhouses a by-product is the feathers obviously. Fur should be a thing of the past and only Faux should be used. Trim can come from slaughtered cats and dogs in the horrible fur trade in China. Talk green, Think fashion which is wonderful and consider for a peaceful new year to not use harmed creatures in what we sew for ourselves. I love to sew and I always consider using items that are sustainable and cruelty-free.

Edited 11/19/2008 4:53 pm ET by kittycat


  1. damascusannie | | #1

    Just wondering if you also sew green, that is, without electricity. Just curious, because I have for nearly 20 years now and I've noticed that there's a lot more interest in it in the last year.

    1. TerryWink | | #2

      How do you sew without electricity? Don't tell me you have a treadle? I'm impressed!

      1. TerryWink | | #3

        I take it back. I'm not impressed. I'm astounded. Astonished. Dumbfounded. I went to your website. Holy Cow! You restored all those machines? And taught yourself how to use them? And use them exclusively?  You bring "reuse & recycle" to new heights! Good work!

        1. damascusannie | | #6

          I belong to a couple of treadle sewing machine forums and because I talk to others like me every day, I think I lose sight of odd/unusual/impressive it is to those who sew in more conventional ways. Thanks for the really nice comments!

    2. kittycat | | #4


      Yes, I do sew without electric many times. I sew by hand many times. I do use the machine also. I do use a car and gas, etc.  and do not live in a cave. LOL.

      My belief is to be a considerate as possible to the world and the creation in it. Nothing is perfect. I am 51 years old and yes green is become a more intensive topic but it has always been an active topic for discussion for many generations.

      Anyway back to sewing

      I believe in what I call slow sewing. Why not by hand? I do love my sewing machine because it is a wonderful tool and appreciate that. 

      I do believe with sewing is should be more thoughtful. Creating one thing wonderfully instead of many without consideration and with such speed. As an example I like hand basting some of my sewing and it does take much longer.

      Beautiful photos of the sewing machines wow : ) on website. Was delighted to see them.

      Sincerely Kittycat

      Edited 11/19/2008 9:08 pm ET by kittycat

      1. damascusannie | | #5

        I like the fact that I can sew fast when I need to with my treadles, but I like handwork, too. I knit a lot and I love hand applique. I've been doing a lot of hand-guided freemotion quilting but want to start handquilting again, too. I've missed it while I've had a custom quilting business--and yes, all done on a treadle sewing machine.

        1. kittycat | | #11

          What you do is fabulous. Super wonderful inspiration. My Mother has a singer machine with treadle in the garage, which was my Step-father's mother. My step-dad is 82. The machine he told me is in perfect condition, but it weights a ton. I never really gave it a good examination. My Husband said he would transport to our home eventually. Now I feel inspired to go get it. Thanks for being awesome.

          Best wishes during Holiday season.



          1. damascusannie | | #12

            If and when you do get it home, feel free to ask me anything you need to know to get it up and running. I can even tell you when it was commissioned.

          2. kittycat | | #13

            Awesome. Thanks. That will help motivate me.



  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #7

    I do not want to go head to head with you in an arguement over green practises, as I agree with you that as much as possible, recycle, reuse, and do no harm is the best possible policy in a perfect world. 

    I would beg to differ in one point however.  In the matter of feathers, they are a byproduct of an existing agricultural industry.  Poultry from egg hatcheries, and for the meat markets, end up in the food chain.  The feathers end up in the fashion and bedding markets.  I guarantee the birds are NOT killed horrendously.  There are strict laws on that.  And the meat would not be any good if they were.  I have personally toured several slaughterhouses, large and small.  I have raised birds myself.  I am a farmer myself.  It is always in the farmer's best interest to make sure that an animal's wellbeing is looked after from beginning to end.  Any place that does not is shunned and soon shut down.   Cathy

    1. katina | | #8

      Thanks for your input, Cathy. Alas, it's not a perfect world. I'm glad to see that recycling of materials is gaining popularity - it's very satisfying to repurpose something, and very 'green'


      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #9

        I really dislike wastage.  We have only had garbage pickup in our area for a few years.  Dump runs are not fun, and were kept to a minimum.  I figured a long time ago that the less I have to throw away, the fewer runs I have to make.  Dumps are nasty toxic places.  I don't want to add to them any more than I have to.  So I do not bring home anything more than I really have to.  Cathy

        1. katina | | #14

          Packaging creates so much garbage, don't you find? In Austria, recycling's a fine art - there are special containers for coloured glass, and separate ones for clear glass; paper, plastic.  Once a month on your specific day you may put out a special yellow bag with items which don't fit any of the categories - you pay extra for those bags though.  We who sew and knit can use up/recycle just about every scrap, fortunately. I toss teensy yarn scraps outside for the birds - gives me a great thrill to see them woven into their nests.


          1. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #15

            My DH is an archer. After struggling for many years to find good material with which to make targets that couldn't "shoot out" (meaning to have large holes completely through in the middle where most of the arrows hit rendering it unusable)) in a short period of time, he hit upon the idea of filling burlap bags with plastic. He started using plastic he'd get from dumpsters at furniture stores and the like. I began saving all my shopping bags. We were both amazed at how quickly we were getting enough bags to stuff, quite compactly I might add, into the burlap bag. He uses these targets until they are beyond salvage and we put those shredded up pieces in a salvage bag. By the way, he shoots a lot. Probably 200 shots a day, so he goes through a lot of targets, so we were looking for an inexpensive alternative to purchased targets.But to your original statement, packaging does cause a lot of waste. Bot plastic and paper. For many years I worked at a printing plant. We baled and sold the packaging waste. Boxcar loads of it and 40' trailer truck loads of it.

          2. katina | | #16

            What a good idea for the targets. Packaging is of course necessary - if only we could recycle all of it. Sweaters are recycled in some countries and the resulting material is used to spin (commercially) a new yarn, often called Ragg wool


          3. damascusannie | | #17

            One thing I'm trying without much success is to use cloth bags when we go shopping. The big problem is that even though I keep the bags in the car, it's not habit to grab them so I still end up using the bags from the grocery store. We do have one little store that still saves their boxes and in the winter I always go for boxes instead of the bags because we can use them for starting the wood fires that we heat our home with. The bags don't go to waste either, though. They are just the right size for lining the little waste baskets in my bathroom and bedroom.As a collector of old sewing machines, it's been fun for me to see the sort of things that were "repurposed" in by-gone times and kept in the sewing machine drawers. I often find used buttons, hooks-and-eyes, and zippers. Razor blades were used for cutting buttonholes and ripping out seams. Dull needles were saved and re-sharpened to be used again. I've found cards of darning thread in various colors. We can learn a lot about conservation from our frugal grandmothers.

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #19

            I still cut the buttons off of unwearable garments!  I hate to buy buttons to replace the missing ones off of DH's work shirts.  Even his good shirts.  The ones I cut off are often an exact match anyway.  And the odd ones are used to back the buttons on jackets and coats.  They look nice and amuse small children who notice things like that.  Cathy

          5. damascusannie | | #20

            I have jars and jars of old buttons, most sorted by color, but a lot of them still just dumped willy-nilly into a big glass jar. Sorting the rest of them is on my winter to-do list.

          6. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #21

            My granddaughter likes to sort my buttons, so I cheerfully leave that chore to her and just dump, willy-nilly, all the (old)new buttons in one jar. I loved playing with Mother's buttons. Mother kept not only buttons, but the occasional small trinket she wanted to save, and know where it was, with her buttons. So it was often a treasure hunt, too. It kept me occupied many hours, and I absorbed her sewing habits, if not her enormous skills. Often I will buy clothes at the thrift store just to retrieve the buttoms. I also salvage the zippers, interesting embellishment, and shoulder pads, as well as the fabric.

          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            I do the same.  Jars of buttons (and beads) line my shelf.  I put matching ones I cut off garments onto safety pins now so I don't have to sort them later.  When trying to find matching ones for a project, I safety pin matching ones together then.  Stitch keepers work well for the really big buttons.  Slowly they are getting sorted out.  The best part is they add a jolt of colour that constantly changes as I move them around.  I get some of my best colour combo ideas from there as I see odd combinations I never would have thought of!  Cathy

          8. MaryinColorado | | #44

            Cathy, thanks for the safety pin idea!  I'll definitely use that one.  I hope to inherit my mother's button collection to add to my own, she has some real gems.  When I lose an earring, I save the odd one and try to find ways to repurpose them as embellishments, keyrings, etc.. 

            I once used my grandmother's intertwined pearl earrings on the tabs of a velvet dress I made for Homecoming, it made it so much more special. 

            When I go to the bookstore or library, I'm always looking at books that tell how to repurpose things too.  I've made alot of ornaments, wreathes, dolls, and things out of shells and buttons through the years. 


          9. jjgg | | #23

            I am going to be a little nit picky here, Do you wear ANYTHING with leather? Silk? non organic cotton? and are you vegetarian? vegan? or is it just feathers and fur that you have a problem with?polyester and other man made fabrics all come from this wonderful expensive oil that is dredged up out of the ground, the same stuff they make gasoline from, and by the way, many many food products - yup half of the ingredients in the processed foods people eat are made from crude oil!now, as for cotton, it is one of the most chemically intensive crops grown. More pesticides and water is used in cotton that any other crop. Not only that, but then they use a defoliant on it so they can harvest it easier. Organic cotton is by far the better product.I am no saint, I wear leather and silk (yum)and I have a mink coat (that was my mothers) I don't eat meat or fish, I try to buy local foods and organic foods. I think bamboo and hemp ought to be the top fibers as they are fast growing plants, take little to no chemcials and are easily sustainable. The biggest problem with bamboo is it all comes form china. It is not the same bamboo that the pandas need so it's OK in that aspect, but Shina doesn't have the greates work ethics. BTW, I also will NOT shop at WallMart.

          10. kittycat | | #27


            I am actually an animal rights activist, I do not eat them I do not wear them but I am

            also someone who loves to sew so I want to be considerate of my choices.

            Example I do not eat my dog and I do not wear my dog or cat for that matter.

            Explore different options of choice. Education is the key. Educate yourself

            Why do you wear fur, how do you eat, how do you sew.

            Interesting isn't it.

            This is my way. Fur to me is murder. I am not a saint, there is no such thing as

            perfection in human beings. We will not be perfect as human beings but we should

            decide how and what we will do.

            I do not want to inflict murder on animals.

            Cars kill millions of animals a year. Fur kills millions of animals a year. Meat Kills

            millions of animals of year. Humans kill millions of humans a year, etc.

            My feeling is to walk the walk not talk, the talk.

            Try to understand your choices and your


            Hemp is a great material. Hemp was banned by the U.S. government in the 1940's.

            Hemp is low cost  good for paper and fabric.

            Best wishes for a beautiful holiday and

            happy wonderful sewing.

            I am starting a blouse soon from an 18th century pattern should be exciting. 



            Edited 11/21/2008 5:46 pm ET by kittycat

          11. damascusannie | | #29

            Did you design the pattern yourself, or find it somewhere? I do some historical costuming and I'm always interested in authentic patterns.

          12. kittycat | | #30

            I did find it online. Goodness, I am actually at work responding to you so I shall

            send you the name of the  company who makes the patterns when home.

            I love the vintage tops with a pair of blue jeans. Very pretty, I like combining

            comfortable with a bit of old fashion prettiness. Have a super weekend.




          13. MaryinColorado | | #45

            I've been boycotting Wallmart for years, especially since my daughter worked there and we found out about their unfair labor practices.  They also are the major money behind putting micro chips in all of us people so we all have a number and they can track us instead of social security numbers, scary huh?  They actually did this on a "test group" of guinie pigs for nightclub regulars in Fla.  Watch out, bit brother is watching and it reeks of Armageddon too with everyone having a number.  Just some food for thought here.  I'm not saying I believe one way or the other. 

          14. sewelegant | | #56

            I keep hearing about people boycotting WalMart... unfair labor practices... I do not really understand.  On one side I hear that the reason so many do not want a WM in their neighborhood is because of the congestion it will cause or that it is the Labor Unions behind the bad press because WM will not belong to the labor unions, etc. etc.   It is my opinion that the average American consumer is going to seek out the lowest possible price for anything he wants to buy and if that is WM that is where he will go.  No one is forcing anyone to work at WM are they?  I have paid more attention to politics in the last 20 years than when I was younger (I think that is typical) and I'm still middle of the road but lean toward the conservative... I like Barack Obama but do not think he will change the way Washington works any more than any other president has.  It would be nice if we could live in a perfect world, but when one reads an article like the one I read this morning about women in Pakistan, there is a lot more to worry about than just if we've eaten bacon for breakfast.

          15. KharminJ | | #57

            Ohh! Ohh! WalMart presents a great example of "it's waaaaay more complicated than a couple of sound-bites can cover"!The issues cross many many disciplines: town planning (traffic, zoning and aesthetics); local economics (small businesses that can't compete on price); wages and unions (both at stores and at suppliers); global economics (demanding ever-lower costs from suppliers; imported vs. domestic production); and Lowest-Common-Denominator product selection (they need fast stock turnover in order to maintain low-low prices, so they don't/won't carry "niche" products and/or brands - Metrosene thread, for example). Plus, there is the balancing of personal values (including, but not just, your own budget) involved - and that brings up a whole 'nother kettle of worms. There are so many "On the one hand, on the other hand, on the other-other hand" issues that need to be balanced that it's mind boggling!While it's true that "no-one is forced to work there", if one's perception is that there are no other options, that is your reality.I hope this doesn't read like a lecture or a screed! It's just that one of my core values is to "see" and "weigh" as many sides of a story as possible ~ "my hed hurtz" a lot!Over the river and through the woods to MIL's we go, now ... Happy Turkey Day to you all! And Happy Thursday if you're not celebrating US Thanksgiving today!


          16. MaryinColorado | | #58

            Thanks for your input.  Happy Thanksgiving!  We are blessed to have food on the table, our health, home,  and our families though they may be far away.  I am thankful for those serving our country and their families who sacrifice so much.

            I enjoyed sausage, eggs, and whole wheat toast with real butter.  (Born in the Dairy state of Wisconsin and never have liked margarine.)  Yum!  Wonder how many calories I'll chalk up by the end of the day?  Whew, let's not think about that one.

            I've known several people who worked for WM, my daughter included, so between that and WM heading up putting microchips in all people, and living within 3 miles of 3 of their stores, plus all the imports they sell, I detest what Wallmart represents to me.  I do not treat those who shop or work there any differently than I do others though.  Each to his/her own. 

            I look forward to having new blood in Washington and have high hopes for improvement in our economy and a more just humane government.

            I also pray for humane treatment for all human beings, food, shelter, medical care and justice. 

            As an RN, I cared for many mistreated, abused, mutilated, and emotionally scarred for life women from several  cultures (including our own).  Hopefully we all do what we can to be kind and compassionate to everyone we encounter. 

            I'm sorry if I offended anyone, I get going sometimes and just can't stop myself from speaking my mind.  Mary




            Edited 11/27/2008 1:55 pm by MaryinColorado

          17. starzoe | | #60

            About WallMart and implanting chips in people - actually, if you look into one of the hoax sites, you will find that this is not the case. Some non-existent entity came up with the micro-chip thing and was pretending to be from (is it Bentonville? or something like that), the home town of WallMart. The whole thing had nothing to do with WM except for the same address. I'll try to find the site and post it here for you.

          18. MaryinColorado | | #61

            There may have been a hoax too.  But there is more info out there.  If I can find it I'll let you know.  They test marketed it in Fla. in some nightclubs too, some young people thought it was "cool".  It has also been on a PBS radio station here and online several times. 

          19. starzoe | | #62

            I do agree that there has been talk of embedded chips, and I know all about that. It's just that the Wallmart people wanting to do it to all of us to track customers is the "not true/urban myth". Sooner or later we will all be tracked, whether it is by eye-recognition or imbedded chips or our walking gait.

            Edited 11/27/2008 5:38 pm ET by starzoe

          20. MaryinColorado | | #63

            It's a scary world, isn't it? 

          21. sewelegant | | #64

            Where do "they" imbed this chip?  Since it is not recommended to use our SS# or even our drivers license for all ID purposes, I think we do need some sort of national identification system.  Those who do not want one must have a reason, but I have not heard a good one yet.  Identity theft is becoming a real problem.  We had to change all our bank data after someone tried to transfer money from our account into a new one and that was Wells Fargo, an account we'd had since the early 70's.  All in all... imbedding a chip?  you mean like tracking wildlife?  Oh my!


          22. starzoe | | #65

            There's a lot of information on the internet about identification chips but don't believe everything you read, there's also a lot of hoaxy postings too.

          23. MaryinColorado | | #66

            As long as we have freedom of choice, I don't see how they would be able to accomplish it.  In America, they aren't supposed to do anything "invasive" without our written permission.  We can't trust the FDA to keep us safe anymore either so who knows?  The chips are implanted under the skin, I think in the hand or forearm.  Sounds like Science Fiction doesn't it?   But then, so did cloning and stem cells! 

          24. Josefly | | #71

            I'm just catching up on this thread, so the discussion has floated around a bit. But the talk of imbedded microchips made me think of that excellent PBS program that showed in our area last month, called "The Last Enemy". Did you see it - a series of 5 or maybe 6 shows?

          25. MaryinColorado | | #72

            Ooooooooo, I wish I had seen that!  I will try to find out how to watch tv shows online to watch that!  Thanks so much!  Mary

          26. damascusannie | | #73

            We saw all of it except the last episode! It was excellent and now I'm going to have to see if they put it on on DVD so we can find out how it ends!

          27. Josefly | | #74

            Yes, it was well-done. Very frightening. I missed one episode myself, but caught the last one - it's hard to catch all episodes over a period of 5 weeks. I just checked at pbs.org, and they are not free-streaming episodes any longer. It is out on DVD, but individual episodes can be bought at iTunes. I wonder if PBS will re-air it later on. They don't say so on the web page, though.

          28. katina | | #34

            Hi Annie

            Somehow I've managed to create a new thread - I thought I was posting the following link in this discussion.  Maybe one of you computer-savvy Gatherers can tell me what I've done wrong; should I delete my newly created discussion?  Anyway, the article is interesting. I wonder how much energy is saved by your Green sewing?



            Update: I deleted the accidentally created new thread; guess I'm learning

            Edited 11/23/2008 6:17 am ET by Katina

          29. damascusannie | | #35

            I have no idea how much energy is saved by my using my treadles--quite a bit, I imagine, given how much sewing I do. Here in the U.S., NBC is promoting "Green Week" and running ads on how to conserve energy in simple ways. One is to unplug any appliance that you aren't actively using, because they continue to draw power even when they are shut off. The biggest culprits are easily identified by the lights or clocks that are still on even when they are not in use: newer TVs, computers, printers, coffee makers, etc. We switched our whole house to compact fluorescent bulbs about a year ago, too. A little thing that I've done is to unscrew a couple of the bulbs in the three-bulb fixture over my kitchen island. I can reach these easily from the floor and I use only one of them most of the time, but can screw in the other two when I really need better lighting (like when I'm chopping veggies.) Ditto for the fixture over the dining room table. It really only needs all the bulbs lit when we are actually sitting at it to eat. I'm also trying to be more proactive about shutting off lights when I leave a room. The next thing is to save our plastic water bottles and refill them instead of buying new. I have my own bottle, but my DH buys bottled water for work in the winter because his big 3 gallon water cooler just freezes up in the back of the truck. I have to admit that I'm not particularly pc when it comes to this sort of thing, but it just makes common sense to me to try to stop being so wasteful.

          30. Josefly | | #36

            This is a wonderfully written article. This kind of information is very hard to read - it's so overwhelming, and sometimes frightening - so the humor sprinkled in is appreciated. This article balances the warnings and guilt about energy consumption with some realistic and still hopeful information. Still, I'm very conflicted about this issue. The figures on average per/person US consumption of energy compared to other people, in England, Europe, etc., are shocking.

          31. katina | | #37

            I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is a subject that's always hotly debated


          32. Josefly | | #38

            Yes, always a debate on every point, it seems. And the debate goes on in my own head. I feel very strongly that we as individuals need to do more to protect our planet, but I do resist - I've become accustomed to an easy lifestyle.

            Edited 11/24/2008 10:30 am ET by Josefly

          33. katina | | #39

            No question that we are wasteful with our resources, and we must be vigilant; there is also some hype, however.


          34. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #50

            Annie, I just obtained a "White" vibrating shuttle machine. I have a Singer model 27 and have bought bobbins from ebay, but this White has a pin in the middle of the boat shuttle. Any idea what I can use for a bobbin? I was thinking plastic lollipop sticks with the hole in the middle. I also can't find any info on it. The cabinet was trashed and the lady wanted the cast iron legs for her new kitchen bar. Biggest beafiest legs I've ever seen on a treadle. I've got a newer White Family Rotary cabinet that I'm going to put this vibrating shuttle machine in. Val

          35. damascusannie | | #51

            I took a look in my old Boye needle and shuttle case I think I have the bobbins you need. The ones I have are about an eight of an inch long; will they work for you?

          36. User avater
            CostumerVal | | #52

            Yes, there was one bobbin in the shuttle, it measures exactly 1 1/8" long and 3/8" diameter at the ends, with a 3/32" hole in the tube. The end caps are round not flat like a Singer.ValI took a photo but the "attach file" button on this site is not working.

          37. damascusannie | | #53

            Here's my e-mail addy: [email protected]. Send the pix directly to me and I'll see if mine look the same.

          38. sewelegant | | #54

            I've often wondered what RAGG wool was!

          39. katina | | #55

            The term 'shoddy' is also used to refer to yarn which is not new or virgin. I imagine that's where we get the expression 'shoddy' to describe poor quality. Ragg wool, though not as soft as pure new wool, or virgin wool, is sturdy and hard wearing. Shoddy yarns are used to weave cloth as well. There, I'm sure you weren't asking for a lecture!


          40. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            I buy bulk as much as possible, and paper packaging rather than plastic.  My pet peeve is large boxes around teeny tiny things, and those impossible plastic bubble packages that you cannot open.  I realize that they are mostly anti-theft devices, but still.......the amount of waste!  If stores reuse hangers, can't they come up with reusable anti-theft devices for small stuff?  Our hardware store uses locking bank bags to take to the cash.  I think that is the greatest idea!  Cathy

    2. kittycat | | #10

      Yes, that's very good, and nice, interesting definitely. I am an animal rescue person. I have rehabbed crows, pigeons, seagulls, quails and yes chickens for real, also horses. No fake baloney, there. Lets get real here and if you want an education go to United Poultry Concerns Run by Karen Davis. A terrific woman. An educator and Ph.D.. I know her. She took one of my rescued chickens from the Slaughter house. Google her and see what I mean.

      With all due respect I appreciate different opinions there is no head to head here

      its a sewing forum. I only wish to let it me known that feathers and fur should be considered as NOT TO BE USED and the source it comes from. Educate yourself in the ways you see fit. Find answers your own way. That's what is all about...............and now folks back to sewing......

      I am working on a terrific jacket and I am using decorative braid as a trim. What fun.

      I combined a funny cotton camouflage material with items from home decorating with a faux fur lining. Looks very cool and fab vintage buttons.




      1. MaryinColorado | | #43

        There are also puppy mills and inhumane breeders of horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, lizards, fish, etc.  also illegal, that doesn't mean we shouldn't have pets!  I agree that we should try to know the source of our consumer products too, as much as is possible in this world.  But I disagree with not using animal products at all.  I have a leather couch that holds up much better than the fiber ones I've owned in the past. 

        1. kittycat | | #47

          Naturally, the couch holds up its made of flesh which is very sturdy. Domestic

          animals are created by an interdependence with humans from many generations ago.

          I think animals in peoples lives are important, we need this connection with animals.

          Again ethics puppy mills are a nightmare.

          Rabbits and other delicate animals unless it is known how to care for them is harmful.

          Picking up a rabbit wrong can break its back. Again consideration for another being

          whether human or animal. I do not want to sit on a dead animals body, but the

          choice is yours. That's how I see it. Again Interesting dialogue.

          Back to sewing

          still struggling with vintage blouse.




    3. MaryinColorado | | #42

      You said it very eloquently!  Mary

  3. Ralphetta | | #24

    Did anyone watch this segment of 60 minutes? Companies that we pay to dispose of materials safely, are instead sending them to China.http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n

    1. starzoe | | #25

      Right now in the news we hear that recycling has backed up so much that most of what we recycle can no longer be picked up. Plastic, paper, metals are stockpiled and as there is no market for them it is no longer possible to recycle it. Don't forget that recycling is/was profitable to those who could find a good use for the stuff. With the economy on such a downturn this is no longer the case. In fact, in some places people are asked to just hold onto the stuff and store it if possible for the time being.At least our telephone, hydro wires will no longer be stolen for the copper and other metals. Here in B.C. thieves have been electrocuted while attempting to make off with what used to be valuable metals.

        1. starzoe | | #32

          Thanks for sending that along. I hope that everyone reads it.

          1. katina | | #33

            It's certainly food for thought.


    2. jjgg | | #26

      Wow, thank you for this link. It makes me feel so - I'm not sure what the word is I want, perhaps helpless, I certainly never really trust big business to do the right thing, but I do try to do my own tiny little bit and hope it makes some difference. But then, all the people dropping off their computers at that place thought they were doing the right thing too.

      1. Ralphetta | | #28

        It's especially upsetting because people are making an extra effort to do the right thing. In my city, not only do we drive to a special location but we have to pay for them to take those things. As someone pointed out to me, in a few years countries will be blaming the U.S. for all the illness and problems resulting from what's happening.

  4. kittycat | | #40
    1. damascusannie | | #48

      Pretty! I think it will need to be lined, though. I wear period costumes when I demonstrate and this would make a nice costume to make for next year.

      1. kittycat | | #49

        Yep I think a lining would do. Period clothing is so much fun. I can imagine you demonstrating sewing with a period costume so very wonderful. I've been wanting to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Historial dress/Costume gallery, NYC, but work often keeps me too busy. I would have to go early in the morning.

        Hope to accomplish that during the holiday season very soon.



      2. kittycat | | #67


        Hope Holidays were a wonderful time for you and family.

        I was wondering....I did see family and the sewing machine I earlier described looks

        pretty good. In my mom's house. Early Singer. Looks like it still works. Is a treadle machine. Number on plate screwed to machine is B1327903. Needs some tlc, but after checking it out, it is not a wreck. It would be usable. Wow...you have certainly, lighted my fire for that all machine.

        So any idea how old etc, how to fix get parts etc etc. : )

        Best wishes



        1. damascusannie | | #68

          According to Singer's records, it's a model 15, commissioned on September 5, 1905. I personally like the 15 better than any other model Singer ever made and do all my machine quilting on a Japanese copy of this model. The machine I use for demonstrations is a real Singer 15 from 1932. The great thing about this model is that bobbins and needles are still used in modern machines, so they are easy to come by. A new treadle belt and a manual can be gotten from Cindy Peters at [email protected]. For more information on cleaning, installing a new belt, learning to treadle, etc go to http://www.treadleon.netAnnie in Wisconsin, USA
          ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
          ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
          See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

          Edited 12/2/2008 9:35 am by damascusannie

          1. kittycat | | #69

            Hi and

            Wow, thanks. You are wonderful treasure. I am so happy about finding out about the machine with your terrific help. See the jumping up and down. : )

            I'll be checking out all the links also.

            S00000000000000000ooooooooooooo Awesome. My Husband said he would get

            a truck to get it back home. My mother hates it. : ) and has no interest in it because it belonged to her now 2nd ex-husband's mother. Ha, go figure. Oh wellll.



          2. damascusannie | | #70

            Glad I could help. I learned to sew on an electric Singer 15.

  5. MaryinColorado | | #41

    I try very hard not to purchase items from countries that have slave labor and other inhumane practices anyway and China is known for sending lots of poisons into their products, including baby formula.  It's getting more difficult to tell when items are imported at all, let alone where they are coming from. 

    I love to wear leather shoes and coats.  Many people in my family farm, hunt, and fish.  They are humane kind people.  Many of the replacements for animal products are produced in a much less humane way to people and the invironment.  We all do what we can to be ethical considerate people in this world. 

    Let's all be as sensitive to each other as we are to the environment.  Celebrate our differences! 

    1. kittycat | | #46

      Ethical consideration is important. As stated nothing is perfect in an imperfect world.

      I have rehabbed crows, seagulls, quail, chickens and other domestic animals etc. The crows ate meat and so do my cats. etc. I believe in ethical hunting, the means you kill it you eat it. Ending the life of an animal is painful. Although ethics in hunting is a strange can of worms. Sport hunting is murder. If you need to eat so be it. Human are allowed to be humans. Although humans should strive for less impact of harm and more humanity please. I am sure you are a kind person as is your family. Most people strive to be good. The most important things a human needs is to love and give love.

      I am not looking to undo the nature of humans, it is good to have interesting dialogue.

      Back to sewing working on vintage shirt, with lace and tucks and its getting very

      complicated. I think I need to put in lining. Anyway Peace.



      Edited 11/24/2008 9:00 pm ET by kittycat

  6. LarkWren | | #59

    I could not agree more. I was so interested in the latest winner of Project Runway and her use of Green materials in her beautiful line. Thanks for the good info. My four cats are looking at me right now wondering why anyone would want to sew with their fur.

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