Patch + Piece is a sustainable clothing project that works to get more life out of existing fabric and items that would normally go to waste. I work in small run production batches, creating one of a kinds, using unique to each garment methods of dye, surface design, printing, and repurpose.
Patch + Piece started as a household declutter project, we literally “made space” for it. I usually dread going through our things, especially clothing because each piece belongs to a greater story or theme in our lives that represent the past, present, and future.
Everyday clothing is thought provoking. As a designer, I have long researched the meaning of clothing and how its different physiologies connect us to our story and experience. And clothing is specific to our identity as a person. This can be especially true with T-shirts…
Patch and Piece is a clothing project that incorporates thoughtful practices of recycling, sustainability, and surface design into one of a kind, lively graphic designs for expressive individuals.
Cloth has a lot of life in it.
T-shirts are the quintessential American classic- it is a staple in almost anyone’s wardrobe. We brand ourselves with our favorite people, phrases, bands, brands, and beliefs when we wear a printed T-shirt. But what happens to them when they no longer fit, or we move on to the next one?
Storing them takes up a lot of space, and you don’t really see them. Sometimes the cloth is still like new and can get more use. But donating them doesn't necessarily mean they will end up going to someone else, and we don't want to throw them away. Lots of time, these are sentimental items that meant something to us at one time, but not everyone wants or can use a t-shirt quilt. With that understanding I started Patch + Piece.
Patch + Piece uses materials that would normally go to waste to make new and intriguing garments. Our materials come to us through thrifting, donation, student sewing scraps, and sourcing designer deadstock or flawed cloth that you can cut around. When we use new cloth, it’s on purpose or is necessary to hold the construction. Read more below…
Designer deadstock is the extra material clothing companies purchase when producing large quantities of clothing in a factory setting. Lots of times, a whole roll of fabric, or 40 + yards can be left over. We try to source these materials when possible, as well as fabric that is considered flawed due damages caused in shipping. This fabric is normally not able to be sold and can go to waste without creative cutting around the damaged area.
I thrift and look for tossed aside tees whenever possible. This is one of my favorite ways to find our materials, as a lot of the time clothing in thrift stores still has a lot of of life in them, especially t-shirts. We are also lucky to receive donations and have benefited greatly from our neighbor’s decluttering projects. The tees still “spark joy” for us and become delightful new items of clothing.
Textile Scraps from Student Work
I’m a sewing teacher, and sewing your own clothing produces a lot of textile scraps. When our students sew knits and don’t want the scraps, they give them to me and I incorporate them into Patch + Piece garments.
When to Use New
I use new cloth when it’s essential to the construction, the longevity and durability, or when making expanded sizes that need a piece beyond the size of a part I can recycle.