the process from start to finish

eleanor stieva is all about reusing secondhand materials to create high quality and unique products. Everything is handmade by me with a lot of time and dedication. Here is the breakdown of my creative process:

step 1: design

It starts with filling a gap in my wardrobe. The products I have designed are my versions of the solutions I found. I start by making paper patterns, sewing a sample, then dissecting the fit and feel of the garment. From there I make the necessary changes to the pattern, sew a new sample, and repeat this cycle until I'm happy with the final design. 

step 2: fabric sourcing

Once the pattern is final and complete, I source fabrics. I source a majority of fabric secondhand at thrift stores or online thrift sites in and around The Netherlands. I look for bold colours and prints that make a statement. These fabrics are usually old table cloths, duvet covers, curtains, or even just scrap fabric that hasn't found a use. These types of products allow me to make a full garments. The only fabric that is not secondhand is the interior lining in the jackets which is sourced locally.

step 3: washing

All thrifted fabrics are washed in cold and hung to dry. This ensures the fabric is clean and preshrunk before being sewn.

step 4: cutting & sewing

Every product is strategically cut from the fabric then sewn by me in my studio. I do my best to keep the pattern on the fabric continuous so the pockets blend in, or the stripes match at your shoulder. These are small details but they make all the difference! All fabric scraps leftover are collected and separated between small and large pieces. The small fabric scraps are donated to local crafts people and the larger fabric scraps are kept in studio for future upcycling projects.

step 5: packaging

Once a product is sold, it is neatly package with recyclable materials (even the brand stickers are fully compostable!) and put in reused e-commerce boxes. I use discarded fast fashion brand boxes because I like the juxtaposition and irony of a slow fashion item in a fast fashion box. It's also another way to be reusing the boxes after what is mostly, a one time use. I hope you can find a use for the boxes as well! If not, they can be properly recycled. 

step 6: home with you

Best of all, the products are given a new home and enjoyed by you. 

If you're interested to see more behind the scenes, and what it's like for me to run my brand, I post on my Youtube channel every Wednesday!