Empowering Sustainability: How ‘Overdressed’ Transformed My Relationship With Sewing

March 8, 2024

In a recent conversation with one of my after-school sewing students, a question emerged: “What’s your favorite book?” This student is an inquisitive 11-year-old reader who passionately delves into new literary worlds every week. Being someone who struggles to maintain focus while reading due to ADHD, I haven’t finished reading a ton of books so I pondered this question, eventually settling on a pivotal book that shaped my perspective and steered my life towards a more sustainable path.

The Game-Changer: “Overdressed” by Elizabeth L. Cline

Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline is a book I read in highschool as I was writing a persuasive essay in AP Literature.

While it isn’t the most exciting book, it really gave me the information to inspire me to sew sustainably and also teach people how to sew. Cline talks about how fast fashion is polluting our earth, how cheap clothes hurt us financially, all while underpaying, overworking, and forcing seamstresses to work in horrible conditions. It is a really comprehensive book that details all the ways fast fashion affects us.

I read this book at a really critical time during my developmental years and I think it has changed the path I chose to take with my life. It’s the reason I think it is so important to learn the skills to sew. No matter who it is, I think knowing how your clothes are made and knowing how to repair your clothes is vital in creating a more sustainable future.

In general I really love sewing books. I think they are a great resource to learn more sewing skills and we have tons here available in person to look through at the sewing studio. They are also pretty easy to find at the thrift store ( I have a little collection of thrifted books at home) ! 

If you would like to learn more about this book you can find it at your local library.

Vancouver public library currently has 3 copies available! 


If you want a copy for yourself I urge you to support one of your local bookstores. My favorite is Massy books and you can special order it here!


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