All posts by katie

Tutorial #02 – Elbow Patches

Happy New Year!

Around this time of year, many of us like to do a big Spring Clean – including sorting through your wardrobe. You’ll fill a bag of clothes, clearing out any items that have gone a little too worn out or a little too boring & are abandoned in your wardrobe for months on end. All you want to do is head for the January sales! It’s the normal attitude in our Fast Fashion culture. Unfortunately the sad fact is that in Ireland alone, over 225,000 tonnes of textile waste goes straight to landfill every year. And as seen in The True Cost movie, the USA throws out 11 MILLION Tons of textile waste every year. Every year!

There are many ways you can add life to your existing wardrobe, to help reduce your shopping list for January & also reduce the pile going to the rubbish bin. Adding elbow patches is a great way to hold onto some of  those pieces of clothing just a little longer. With some basic sewing skills you can personalise & modify the clothes that you’ve grown bored of, or update items that need a little fixing. I have a lovely Mantaray cardigan which has a pretty sizeable rip in the sleeve – I’ve been wearing it & trying to hide it for about a month at this stage! So last week I finally ticked this little task off my list.

  • Tutorial #02 – Adding elbow patches!


What you need:

Your piece of clothing, Rectangle of fabric for the patches (approx. 10″ x 5″), scissors, thread, needle (or sewing machine), iron. If you haven’t sewed by hand before check out this handy Instructables turorial for basic tips

Step 1 – Put on the jumper/cardigan/blazer & mark the elbow point with a penRip, Elbow X

Step 2 – Cut out a template shape for your elbow patches out of paper. Then cut 2 x elbow patches from your fabric. The colour, size & shape,  can be as plain or as crazy as you like! Elbow Patch Template

Step 3 – Iron in the edges of the patches so that the edges won’t be exposed. Ironing it in advance makes it much easier to sew it correctly.

Iron Patch Edges

Step 4 – Pin the patches in position on the cardigan sleeves.

Pin in place

Step 5 – Sew in place. Make sure to double knot at both ends to keep it secure.

Finished (back)    (View from back)

Step 6 – Pop on your newly upgraded piece of clothing & show off to all your friends! Yves St Laurent ain’t got nothing on me…


If you want to know more about where your clothes come from, check out this great little website, Project Just (best viewed on a computer)

And from Jigsaw’s latest ad campaign – Remember, your clothes are for life, not landfill!! 

Happy 2016 Project Planning! x


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Activist Spotlight #1 – Malala Turns 18

Earlier this month, Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 18th birthday.

You might be thinking, sure I knew that already! Or maybe you’re thinking… who the heck is Malala?!

Malala Yousafzai is the girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, as she set off home from school one day in 2012. She was just 15 years old.

At that age she had already become an international activist & campaigner for children’s right to education. Writing an anonymous blog for the BBC, starring in a New York Times documentary, and appearing in schools & communities across Pakistan encouraging girls to go to school – defying Taliban Law in the region. The Taliban recognised the influence Malala & her father were having in Pakistan, and sought to brutally shut them up. As she boarded her school bus one day, a man jumped on requesting Malala – and shot her 3 times.

Fortunately the 3 bullets failed to do their job, and Malala was transferred to the UK for intensive rehabilitation. She has since grown to become an international inspiration. Last year she became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize, symbolically sharing the Peace Prize with Kailash Satyarthi, an activist from India.

Malala - Extremists

Her biography, I Am Malala, is available online and in all good bookstores. It is well worth a read! You would almost forget that this is a teenage girl, as she speaks with a wisdom of someone many times her age. She is quietly determined in everything that she does, with a vision that reaches far beyond the narrow minded chaos that has racked her country.

She continues to tirelessly campaign for human rights, in the hope that one day all children across the globe can achieve 12 years of education. Her current campaign is titled #BooksNotBullets, encouraging global leaders & governments to spend less on war campaigns & divert more funds into education.

You can get involved by taking a selfie with your favourite book & posting it to social media with the hashtag #BooksNotBullets.



Follow us on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss the next post! Project #1 – Superheroes UPDATE

We had our first workshop yesterday in Limerick – thanks to everyone who took part! We had great fun getting crafty & creative , it was great to see the variety of everyone’s final design.

Please get in touch if you’d like to make your own cape to donate to the Children’s Ark in Limerick Regional Hospital!

Craft Supplies at Superhero Workshop image        

 Project #1 – Superheroes

Here at we are ready to kick off our first project!

Later this month we’re teaming up with Serve The City Limerick  – crafting up some DIY superhero capes. We will donate the finished capes to the mini superheroes in Limerick regional hospital.

We will have a workshop on Saturday 28th March in Limerick city, in The Red Hen bar (Google map directions). At the workshop we will make no-sew capes from a t-shirt (Tutorial 1 below). All you need to bring is yourself and a large plain adult t-shirt. All other bits & bobs will be provided on the day, as well as some friendly helpful advisers 🙂

If you would prefer to create one at home, you can donate a completed cape at any time between now & 30th April. Please get in touch by email ( or through facebook to arrange drop-off / collection.

If you need inspiration, check out these tutorials!

1. Superhero Cape from an adult t-shirt, by Cut The Craft.

Cut The Craft
Cut The Craft

2. No-Sew Superhero Cape from A handy tutorial video

3. No-Sew Superhero Cape (made from a pillowcase) by How Wee Learn. Very quick & easy to make

How Wee Learn
How Wee Learn

4. No-sew Superhero Cape tutorial from Little Pink Monster

Little Pink Monster
Little Pink Monster

5. If you are already able to sew, check out this Elsa tutorial from Juggling Act Mama. It can also be tweaked to create a superhero cape.

Juggling Act Mama
Juggling Act Mama

Looking forward to organising our first workshop! Please feel free to get in touch through Facebook or leave a comment below if you have any other questions or feedback.

To infinity & beyond!!


About – Craftivism

What is Craftivism?
Craftivism is using craft, creating, sharing skills & knowledge to raise awareness of topical issues & improve livelihoods. Craft and Activism can come together to create a new generation of quiet, gentle activism.
If you want to get involved have a look at through the blog, check out Sarah Corbett’s Craftivist Collective, and Betsy Greer’s