Category Archives: Sewing

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.

 

Gypsy Belle Jacket

This is just a little project/prototype I made for myself, and I wanted to share it…it was somewhat inspired by the lovely jacket Belle (Emma Watson) wears in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.  (#nerdalert)

This was my first version of the jacket from the pattern I came up with.  There are quite a few things I will change when I make it in the future, most notably the style of peplum, but this particular garment is still special to me for a couple reasons.

As you can see, it has a super patchy, ragamuffin vibe, which, incidentally, is totally fine with me.  The yellow linen outside and the blue plaid lining are both repurposed fabrics taken from old garments.  The darker beige/green lustrous fabric you see in places on the outside are silk remnants.

I’m really pleased with the texture of the fabric and I’m glad I took the time to do some hand stitching around the edges…I always forget how much I love hand sewing like this.  I really love the buttons as well.  This was a fun exercise and inspired me to focus even more on repurposing/upcycling of garments and fabric in the future…