Scrap-Busting sewing patterns

Since it’s the middle of November (and therefore practically Christmas), I’ve rounded up a few patterns for scrap-busting, many of which would make great gifts! Check out other scrap-busting patterns, free patterns, and patterns for gifting that I’ve rounded up previously.

Here are some things you can turn your scraps in to, or even stuff your scraps in to! Check out the roundup and then let me know if I’ve missed something or if you have a favourite way to scrapbust that isn’t covered here!

The Semi-Breve Quilted Pouch pattern bonus from Muna and Broad. Perfect for practicing your improv quilting!

A perfect use for leftover denim, this free tote pattern is the Madras Tote from Victory Patterns

This could be a great use for leftover denim from a project!

Whilbour the Waste Free Whale from Bekabeesews. This is a great pattern because you can make the outside from scraps, but also stuff it full of scraps!

Scrap-busting eye mask from Helen’s Closet

This Tailor’s Ham is a free pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

Jam your ham full of scraps, for a plump ham!

Zipper pouch dopp kit from Melly Sews

Make your own pattern weights with this tutorial from Raven Maureen

Undies for knit scraps!

Undies can be a great use for knit fabrics! Depending on your size (or the preferred size of your undies), you might be able to more easily use knit fabric scraps for your undies. I’ve been busting scraps with the Muna and Broad Kapunda Undies (View B), but if those aren’t your size (or you like a lower-cut brief) you can check out this Undies roundup from the Love To Sew Podcast!

I’ve been a bit obsessed with these boiled wool cushion covers, and I’m sure I have enough extra bits of boiled wool in my scrap stash to make myself a few throw cushion covers.

Here’s a great tutorial from

Half Square Triangle Pouch from Patterns by Kanako

Not a free pattern, but another excellent opportunity for some improv piecing and quilting!

Make a fabric scrap bowl with this free tutorial

Make a scrappy needlebook with this tutorial from Radiant Home Studio

Free Tailor’s Ham and Sausages from Tilly and the Buttons

Online Fabric Shops in New Zealand

Here’s a little roundup of NZ fabric stores where you can shop online to buy fabrics appropriate for garment sewing! I’m always trying to buy as locally as possible, and shipping from overseas can be agonising (both in terms of wait time and cost), so shopping close to home (and in your own currency) is a great alternative.

I’ve made my favourite shops bold! These are shops that I’ve shopped with and would wholeheartedly recommend!

Updated: 6/11/2020

Ackroyd & Adams (based in Auckland)

They have a selection of different fabrics including merino and cotton knits, denim, cottons and linens

Angel Fabrics (based in Auckland)

They have a selection of knit fabrics suitable for underwear, dance wear, and swimwear.

AS Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of fabrics (lot of polyester) which are leftovers from Annah Stretton’s factory. They actually charge more for postage the more fabric you order.

Backstreet Bargains (based in Hamilton)

They have a variety of fabrics at very decent prices. They have a system on their website for requesting samples, which you pay for, but I’ve also had luck getting free samples by emailing the store (either way, the samples are very small)

Continue reading “Online Fabric Shops in New Zealand”

Free Sewing Pattern Resources

Since it still feels like March, but it’s actually almost November, I wondered if it might be time to share the pattern roundups I’ve put together on the blog during the past wee-while. Whether you’re after free plus-size sewing pattern PDFs, free eco sewing pattern PDFs or free Christmas gift sewing ideas, I’ve probably got you sorted!

Free Christmas gift idea sewing patterns

9 free Christmas Gift Sewing Patterns, including a Christmas pickle sewing pattern and some great free tote bag sewing patterns.

20 free Sewing Patterns for Christmas Gifts, including bags, zipper pouches and pot holders.

18 free Sewing Patterns for Christmas Gifts you can sew, including gifts for men and plant lovers!

Free sewing patterns that make great gifts

16 free sewing patterns for wearable accessories like clutches, scarves, headbands, bags, etc.

19 free sewing patterns for kids gifts (or other people who like things (not for kids to make)).

14 free sewing patterns for your dad or brother or whoever

Free eco-minded sewing patterns

15 free ‘eco’ sewing patterns, including reusable paper towels, and lunch and sandwich bags.

20 free ‘eco’ sewing patterns, including reusable makeup wipes and reusable coffee filter patterns.

Free plus-size sewing patterns

Check out the blog posts to see more information about the patterns! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11,Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25,

Not free plus-size sewing patterns

I also have a weekly (off-and-on again) roundup of plus-size sewing patterns that I like. You can check out all of the posts that are part of that series here.

All about Ramie

Native to China, ramie is a linen-like fibre made from nettles and which is classified as a cellulose fiber, just like cotton, linen and rayon.

Ramie fibers comes from the stem of a nettle plant called China grass (Boehmeria nivea). It looks similar to European nettle but it does not have prickles.

What does Ramie feel like?

Ramie fibre is lustrous, looks like silk and sometimes mistaken for linen. It’s extremely absorbent, much more so than cotton, and also breathes well (much like linen), making it especially comfortable for warm and humid summers.

Left is a blouse of 100% ramie from SUKii

It’s known especially for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky lustre to the fabric’s appearance, Ramie is not as durable as other fibers and so is often blended with cotton or wool.

The blue top to the left is 100% Ramie from H.Lorenzo

Ramie fabric is easy care, increases in strength when wet, and does not shrink or lose its shape. It dries quickly and like linen becomes smoother and more lustrous with repeated washing.

Left is 100% ramie shirt EME from Modu Bat

Ramie has been grown in China for many centuries and it may have been used in cloth for wrapping mummies in Egypt. Read more about the history here.

Left is 100% ramie shirt from Dressart Paris

Naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew as well as light damage, rot and insect attack, Ramie is often touted as an eco fabric!

Left is 100% ramie shirt from BabaKud

Is Ramie a highly sustainable & eco-friendly fibre?

Ramie does not require pesticides or herbicides to grow and it can be harvested up to 6 times in a good year. It is very strong with some research suggesting that it is 8 times stronger than cotton.

It’s one of the oldest fiber crops, having been used for at least 6,000 years, but unlike other bast crops, ramie currently requires chemical processing to de-gum the fiber. That was surprising to find out, because it raises the question- how did they de-gum the fiber before harsh chemicals?

As with all fibres, you have to make a judgement call for yourself about what you’re most concerned about. The fibre is vegan (unlike silk or wool), it doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides (like cotton does), but it does use chemicals in the process (which your linen will too unless it is unbleached or processed in a closed-loop process), and if you’re buying ramie which is dyed (instead of unbleached and undyed fabric or bleached and dyed in a closed-loop process) then that could also be another environmental concern.

Where can you buy Ramie fabric?

Armed with that knowledge, if you’d like to give ramie a go, then here are a few places that currently have the fibre in stock

Mood Fabrics in the US stocks some, there’s quite a bit on Etsy, Minerva in the UK stocks this cotton/ramie blend, Metermeter in Europe has an amazing selection of colours, Textile Express in the UK has a selection, I bought mine from Backstreet Bargains in New Zealand, Drapers Fabric in NZ has this linen/ramie blend,
AS Fabrics from NZ has this cotton/ramie blend and the Fabric Store currently has this 90% cotton, 10% ramie pineapple print fabric

Do you have a great source for ramie, or other unusual natural fibres? I’d love to hear about it!