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A Year of “Re”: Rehabilitate Forgotten Treasures

The Year of “Re” continues with a garment that has been 28 years in the making. People who are unfamiliar with the idea of a fabric stash may find that surprising. Anyone who sews, however, knows that fabric can marinate for decades, awaiting the perfect project. In this case, it is almost three decades.

Time to rehabilitate indigo scraps

My husband made a trip to Japan in 1995. While there, he asked one of his Japanese work colleagues where he might find something to take home to his wife who sews. In no time, he was wandering around the fabric districts among the indigo stalls and collected a lovely assortment of bits and pieces that would fit in his small suitcase. He knows me well and was sure I would be delighted with these wonderful scraps. And I was. That was 28 years ago, and I finally dug them out and decided to “rehabilitate” them for my May “re” project.

Rehabilitate written on paper and lying on blue fabric swatches with motifs

Building a top from fragments

When I chose the word “rehabilitate” from my stack of “Re” words, I knew I was looking for something that had been loved at some point and needed a bit of TLC (tender loving care). Unearthing the almost forgotten indigo pieces was just the inspiration I was looking for. Because they were literally scraps, I would need additional scraps to end up with a full-size garment. I dug deeper and collected all the indigo-ish fragments I could find. There was nothing much bigger than a fat quarter and most of the pieces were much smaller than that. Rehabilitating this pile was going to be a challenge.

Scraps of fabric lying next to and on top of each other, with half a cup of tea sitting on top

My first order of business was to make some fabric. I had chosen a pattern I like to cut on the bias. So I started piecing together my bits and bobs hoping…

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  1. [email protected] | | #1

    That is a lovely piece. Great inspiration - especially the idea to make it on the bias. You are fearless! Is the pattern your own design or is it a commercial pattern?

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #3

      This one is one that I did. I have been honing it for a while now. I really like working with bias.

  2. dannylo | | #2

    This is so cool and you look so great. I envy your creativity and eye for what will work. Mine always seems to look like a bad art project. Tips?

    1. User avater
      beckyf | | #4

      I try to be mindful of how many different elements I’m combining. I find that I have to be more creative with what I have if there are limits. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Sometimes less really is more!

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