Natural + Eco-Friendly Fabric and Hardware Options - Rainhaven Sew-Along

At Twig + Tale we strongly support fabric choices that are gentler on the planet. The Rainhaven collection might be a little more challenging to choose natural or upcycled materials for, but our testers showed us that it can be done!


An adult’s rain coat or jacket could be used to make smaller children’s pants and hats, or could possibly be used for the knee and seat patches on larger pants and overalls.

If you happen to have a tent (or stumble upon one second hand) that is no longer fit for purpose, you can harvest a lot of fabric and make the entire collection. Both of these pairs of Rainhaven Overalls were made from nylon tents, but old canvas awnings or tents could also be used.

You can also make the patterns from any number of upcycled materials if you don’t need them to be waterproof. These examples won’t keep the wearers dry, but they will keep their underclothes clean.

A range of hardware can be harvested from bags and other items. An old backpack could have a set of buckles for overalls, an alternative strapping option and may even be able to be cut up for smaller pant/overall patches too.

Using Natural Materials

Many of us try to use natural materials and avoid bringing more synthetics into our lives.  

If you would like to avoid plastic buckles, the pattern gives instructions for using metal D rings for the overalls.

It is easy to make any of the Rainhaven patterns from heavy cotton canvases or duck materials. Some of our testers used cotton materials to create great tough (but not waterproof) workwear.

And others took things one step further and made their Rainhaven gear from cotton and then waterproofed it themselves!


Waterproofing your own material

If you would like to use a heavy cotton material and waterproof the fabric yourself, we have a blog post to help you with that. Take a look to find out how to waterproof your item with a purchased waterproofing bar melted beeswax or your own homemade waterproofing balm (the recipe for making that is there too!).

How to make waxed fabric for a waterproof garment.


Scrap busting

When you cut your pattern from your fabric, you will end up with a pile of fabric scraps. Why not reduce your environmental impact by using those scraps for one of these small project ideas instead of throwing them in the bin?

  • Rainhaven Sou’wester hats
    • If you are making pants or overalls, you will probably have enough scraps to make a matching hat
  • Drawstring bags
    • Make simple bags for children to collect treasures in when they are out exploring, or use them for transporting things like cloth nappies or wet clothes.
  • Lunch/snack pouches
    • Some waterproof fabrics (eg. PUL) make the perfect material to make pouches for sandwiches or snacks to reduce your use of plastic wrap/bags
  • Modern cloth nappies or Cloth menstrual pads
    • Depending on your fabric, you may be able to use it as the waterproof layer in absorbent items such as modern cloth nappies or menstrual pads.

We hope you have found these ideas for making your Rainhaven patterns more eco-friendly inspiring. We would love to hear your ideas and see your upcycled creations in our Facebook Group.