Making clothes fun. Making ‘making’ clothes accessible. And raising awareness on the throwaway culture so closely intertwined with the fashion industry. These are the foundations on which Fæbrik is built – an Oslo-based sewing collective creating innovative clothes designs, and sharing the designs and the techniques for others to make them themselves.
Fæbrik is the creation of four friends, Jenny Skavlan, Ingrid Bergtun, Mari Norden, and Ingrid Vik Lysne – inspiring and creative individuals with a shared passion for sewing.
With a devoted and fast-growing following, we visited Fæbrik to find out more about the passion behind the projects, and see the way they work from their city centre workspace.
Hi! So tell us, in your own words – what is Fæbrik?
Hi! So, Fæbrik is a sewing collective that wants to inspire people to slow the pace of the clothing industry by taking matters into their own hands. We teach people to sew clothes, mostly out of old textiles, with our designed patterns. We teach them how to hack and change the design and make it fit perfectly so that people can make their unique dream garments with good conscience.
Our vision is to open people’s eyes to the massive clothes consumption happening globally. It can’t go on like this, so we want to inspire them to still have fun and express their personality with clothes, but to create them themselves. By creating content and digital tools that hold your hand all the way to a self-made garment, we want to make it accessible and fun.
Hacking clothes! That sounds interesting - what does it mean though?
Hacking means you change the main pattern, which is quite basic, and create your own design to make it fit your body perfectly. You can, for example, open a normal sleeve, expand it and then wrinkle it up and make a puff sleeve. Or open the dress in the middle, expand or make it smaller so it fits your waist.
This opens the possibilities with a pattern and makes it more fun and creative. We think it’s boring if there are too many rules and “right and wrongs.”
With the four of you working together, with no one the boss, how do you find you get along?
We all have the same core values when it comes to how to run a business and to the environment, and we share this passion for sewing. We are hardworking and have big ambitions. We really felt an overwhelming force when we got together, and we push and support each other like family.
We love your studio space! Tell our readers a bit about where we are, and what makes this the perfect space for you?
So where we are is an old gunpowder factory located downtown in Oslo. It’s connected to Kroloftet - a collective of designers and artists working with metal, wood, ceramics, and textile. We love to be a part of this creative atmosphere where we can learn from the other artists and perhaps start experimenting with textile in combination with the other materials.
We have a very big workspace because we want to have sewing and textile printing classes, parties, and a lot of fun. We love to gather and seek inspiration from others.
So what’s a usual day in the Fæbrik office like?
No day is standard at Fæbrik, but a day we have had a few times consists of us coming in in the morning. Both dogs and us happy to see each other. Then typically two of us are sewing, either testing a new pattern or making step-by-step videos on how to sew them.
Mari might be doing some changes on a pattern or making some graphic stuff and the other is editing a video or in a meeting. We never sit down in one place during a day at work.
After a day, we all have visited each area of the workspace at least once! Having a meeting, sewing on different machines, ironing, writing, making. Our chairs get rolled around a lot, and we have a few more placed around so we always have somewhere to sit. We get up and down, up and down all day, but during a day, our bums have spent a few hours on our HÅG chairs
You all use the HÅG Capisco chair throughout your studio. How is it for you?
Sewing is very physical and we need a dynamic chair. It’s super comfortable in all the different settings we need it for; The sewing machine, working on the computer and sitting high for designing and cutting fabrics. It's a fun and solid chair that fits us perfectly.
We love that the fabric is a natural material locally produced in Norway and it’s a quality chair that we can have for years and years. We have chosen personal colours that match our space.
You're very creative on social media, how do you come up with all the ideas with the content?
We are very spontaneous and publish what we think is fun, in combination with more planned and "professional" stuff. But we want to spread joy and not take ourselves too seriously.
If anyone reading is keen to start sewing, what advice can you offer them?
Learn the basic skills!
Practice sewing straight, remember to iron when you sew, and start with a super easy pattern. “Isipisipants” for example, the world's easiest pants. You can follow the videos on how to make this, and other simple designs, on our Instagram @jointhefaebrik.
And finally, why should people “Join the Fæbrik”?
Because you can make your own dream garments without harming people or the environment, and it’s a great activity for the brain.
For more information on the HÅG Capisco, including our online tool to custom design one for yourself, click here.
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