Category Archives: Create

Slow Fashion Revolution // Part 2 of 3

After exploring the definition of slow fashion in Monday’s post, let’s take a closer look at its three elements that I mentioned:  care, quality, and cultivation.

First, let’s talk about Cultivation (or, if you prefer, curation.)  This refers to the way you build your wardrobe.  How are you obtaining your clothes–are you buying new, hitting up the thrift shops, swapping with friends, or creating your own?

Thrifting or swapping is often seen as the most responsible, eco-friendly way to get “new” clothes.  These clothes have already been purchased (or made), but are no longer wanted by their original wearers.  Passing them onto someone else keeps them from the landfill.  But whether you’re thrifting; buying new; or planning to sew, weave, crochet, or knit your own; you’ll want to think about quality.

Quality refers to the materials used, the way the garment is constructed, and even the design or style.  (Is it something trendy that’ll grow stale quickly, or a classic you can wear for years to come?)  Are the materials used natural, like cotton, wool, linen, hemp?  Or are they derived from petroleum?  Plastic microfibers, like those from polyester, can cause big trouble.  

Another important aspect of quality to think about refers to the life and working conditions of the people who make your clothes (this is relevant mostly to those who are buying new items.)  Are they paid fairly?  Are they working in safe factories?  The answer is often a resounding “NO,” but transparency in the fashion industry is so infamously non-existent that it’s difficult to know exactly what is going on.  Organizations like Fashion Revolution are investigating so that we can be better informed about the choices we make and brands we support, but there is still a long way to go.

Care is fairly self-explanatory, but certainly worth mentioning: how do you treat the garments you have?  This includes wearing, washing, storing, mending.  Are you washing your clothes in the recommended way?  Are you keeping the moths from getting to your wool sweaters?  When a button pops off or a seam begins to fray, what do you do?  A little sewing know-how can go a long way!

If you get a chance, glance through your wardrobe tonight.  If you’re like many, you’ll find a full closet but nothing to wear.  Think about what pieces you love and wear often.  Are there certain characteristics common to those garments?  Now look at the pieces you bought and wore once, or maybe haven’t worn at all.   What is it that you don’t like about those pieces you aren’t wearing?  Think about what gaps need to be filled in, and what you might pass on to others.

Later in the week, I’ll conclude this series with part 3, in which I’ll explain in more detail how to implement these concepts, share some of my favorite resources, and talk about how you can get involved in the slow revolution.

Craftacular Vendor Application: POSTED!

Are you a maker in the Wichita area (or beyond?) who wants to be part of the 2018 Craftacular Handmade Market?  Then get excited, because registration is now open!

This Craft Show is exactly that: a shopping experience full of wonderful, handmade goods.  No resale items or MLMs.  The vendors not merely salespeople; they are representing their own work.  They take their time, talent, and hands to create soulful items that are beautiful and unique.  (If you’re reading this, you probably already understand why handmade is so important.)  But that’s why I am so proud to be able to organize this show.

You can view the Craftacular page here, which is where the downloadable pdf application can be found.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about anything!  You can email me here.

Totes Totes: Free Market Bag Tutorials & Patterns

Farmer’s Market season is nearly upon us!  This is something I just realized the other day…I also realized that I’ve been really bad about remembering to bring my totes to the grocery store.  Market totes are the kind of thing you can’t have too many of….(especially when you’re forgetful.)

I thought this might be a good time to offer a tutorial on totes, but I’ve got so many unfinished projects going on right now that I figured it may be better to simply share some of the great free tutorials that are already out there!  Check out these free patterns and instructions and make some today…

Folding Grocery Tote instructions by Yarn Geek:

(Adorable!) Paws and All Cat Tote Sewing Pattern by Orange Betty

Fold-Up Market Tote how-to by Purl Soho:

Also by Purl Soho, The Twenty Minute Tote tutorial:

Reversible tote how-to by Skip to my Lou:

And I nearly forgot this little illustration I made years ago…see it here.

This is also a lovely pattern for those who crochet; the French Market Bag Pattern by Two of Wands:

And for the knitters…the Eastern Market Tote Pattern by Tanis Gray

Do you have a favorite tote or favorite pattern?  What features do you like or need when bagging up your goods?

You Can Art: Opinions from a Non-Expert (Mini Zine!)

One of my goals for this year is to try and create a zine each month…or at least, every other month…(I mean, let’s not get carried away!)  But I’m happy to say that so far, I’m on track.  This month’s zine features some mixed media/collage work and my thoughts on creating art.  It measures 2.75″ x 4.25″ and is 16 pages (not including covers).  This is a very limited edition zine, with only 12 available, in three cover style choices.  You can purchase it over at the Etsy shop.

Tribal Stripe Coasters (Free Knitting Pattern!)

{Originally published September 2012 on Prairiesque}

I published this free pattern long ago on my old blog, and thought it was time to post again…this is a simple yet fabulous stitch pattern, (if I do say so!)   Like zipper pouches and coffee mugs, you just can’t have too many coasters.  Make these in some bright colors for a fresh & breezy feel, or maybe try them in a lovely subdued wool for something a little more hygge…

Tribal Stripes Linen Stich Coasters

Materials:

  • 2 Balls (each a different color) of Sugar’n Cream yarn (or any worsted weight cotton)
  • US 5  (3.75 mm) straight needles
  • tapestry needle

Abbreviations:
CO = Cast on
st(s) = stitch(es)
MC = main color
CC = contrasting color
k = knit
p = purl
sl = slip stitch

Instructions:

Using MC, CO 20 sts.

Row 1: k1, bring yarn to the front, sl 1, bring yarn to back, repeat.
Row 2:  p1, bring yarn to the back, sl 1, bring yarn to front, repeat.
Row 3:  k1, bring yarn to the front, sl 1, bring yarn to back, repeat.
Row 4:  p1, bring yarn to the back, sl 1, bring yarn to front, repeat.

*Attach CC.  Using CC, repeat rows 1 and 2 once.

Using MC, repeat rows  1, 2, 3, and 4 once.

Repeat from * four times.  Bind off loosely, weave in ends.  Enjoy!

 

Scrapper’s Delight

As you may know, I often offer curated scrap kits over at my Etsy shop, because after 15 years or so of sewing, I have accumulated a whole lotta scrap.  If I am unable to use them (or am just tired of looking at a particular fabric!) I sell them because I know there’s someone out there who will give them the love they deserve.  Also…it’s the responsible thing to do!  The EPA estimates that the average American trashes about 70-80 pounds of textiles a year.   (YIKES.)  That is an absurd amount of waste that can be easily prevented by wise purchasing, careful use, and reclaiming/recycling.

Needless to say, I am so excited when I see other scrap kits popping up on the web!  Recently, the non-profit FABSCRAP in New York City launched their online store featuring mixes of fabrics recovered from high end designers, which you can visit here.

Also, the London-based artist Flextiles, who specializes in indigo shibori and ecoprints is now offering kits in her shop, which you can see here.

Really, you can find a wide variety of scrap bundles available on Etsy with a quick search.

One of my goals for this year is to put together a little inspiration booklet of projects that would work well for the scraps of all sizes…we’ll see when that gets done!

But in the meantime, as I was doing a bit of searching, I stumbled upon this fantastic directory of Scrapstores, as they’re called here.  Is there one near you?  Click here to check it out!

Mermaid’s Tale Scrap Kit from Moth & Rust
Unicorn Parade Scrap Kit from Moth & Rust

Breton / French Sailor Top! (Free Sewing Pattern.)

{This pattern was originally published July 2016 on my now defunct blog, Prairiesque.}

I’ve been wanting to make my own striped blouse/Breton top/French sailor shirt for a long time.   I had made the pattern, but it was surprisingly difficult to find just the right fabric.  I finally found a great fabric at Needle Nook Fabrics here in Wichita.  (One of my favorite shops, by the way.  Check them out!!)

sailor top fabric

This is my original pattern, which I’m offering for free–please use as you wish!   (If you plan to sell a finished product based on the pattern, it would be much appreciated if you would mention Moth & Rust as the source of your pattern. Thank you!)

This particular pattern only covers a small range of sizes; however, it is a fairly basic two-piece pattern, which can be easily adjusted at the sides and in the middle or hem.  Also, it may fit differently depending on how stretchy your knit fabric is.   The best thing to do is experiment with some comparable but inexpensive fabric before making the final piece!  Instructions are as follows:

  1.  Print all pages (in the gallery below) and piece together with tape, using the picture below and alignment bars as a guide.
  2. The front and back of the bodice are the same, except for the neckline.  Place on fold to cut.  The sleeve is also placed on the fold when cutting.
  3.  With right sides together, stitch at shoulders.  You can use a 1/2″ or 5/8″ seam allowance.  I would also suggest stitching some non-stretch lace or ribbon along the shoulder seems to keep them from stretching.
  4. Pin armhole side of sleeve to bodice armhole, right sides together, and stitch.   Make sure your stripes align, at least close to the armpit/bottom of the armhole.
  5. With right sides together, pin garment so that sleeve edges and side edges are together (again, aligning stripes) and stitch up sides.  Be especially careful when matching up the stripes on the bodice!!  I learned the hard way that stripes may be together, but if you don’t match the corresponding stripes, you will end up essentially with a spiral going around the body, which makes getting a straight hem impossible.
  6. Hem arm holes, bottom, and neckline. You may also want to use ribbon or a running stitch in your neckline to prevent stretching.

sailortop5

sailortop3

The chart here shows how the sections will print and how they are pieced together:breton pattern layout

To print the pattern pieces, click on each thumbnail below and print directly from that page, or save to your computer.