maker: judith from rusty cuts

I found my mom’s stash of fabrics when I was in high school. There were yards and yards of fabrics that she had bought years earlier with the good intention of making stuff….but had never gotten around to it. I asked for a piece of greenish striped velour to use because I wanted to attempt to make a tank top. It was probably not the best choice in fabric, since wearing it made me sweat even more then I usually did, which made high school summer co-ed hangouts even more stressful. But I was proud of that tank top. Every crooked hem and wobbly seam was something that I had done…by myself. I’m still proud of my first (and only) handmade tank top…but definitely humbled when I see what Judith does with her vintage finds.


please introduce yourself!

I’m Judith – I grew up in San Diego, used to live in San Francisco, and recently moved to Los Angeles.  So I’m pretty sure I’ll be in California for life.  And I love Twin Peaks, Black Sabbath and Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous.

what do you make or do?

I make clothes out of vintage fabric and other things like tapestries, needlepoints, tea towels and old velvet paintings.  Pretty much anything soft enough to go through a sewing machine is at risk.

where can we find your creations?

I have an etsy store called Rusty Cuts, Facebook page, Tumblr  and also sell at my little sister’s store in Baltimore called Bottle of Bread.

is there an interesting story behind the name of your business? how did the name come about?

When I was trying to think of a name, I had been dressing in only black, grey, and white for a year so I wanted to call it greyscale, but my friends convinced me out of that. Since everything is made of vintage fabric, I figured rusty cuts would work well.  But, nobody ever understands the name when I say it, ha! (So think about that if you’re trying to name a business!!!) Also, my dad’s name is rusty and my mom is convinced I named it after him, but that’s just not true.  Sorry, mom.

how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?

I’ve been sewing since I was about 9, and used to make the UGLIEST STUFF EVER.  Man, the 90’s were rough sometimes.  But I think at some point I acquired ‘taste’ (maybe bad taste, maybe good taste)  and now sewing is my full-time job, and I’m VERY happy about that.  I had been working at a vintage clothing store and doing etsy full-time for a couple years so I was able to save up some $$ and then quit the job.  I think that’s the best way to do it, even though I was really busy, it was worth it in the end.

when you’re not making things, what do you do?

I like to play pool, watch horror movies and eat fries!

where do you find inspiration?

Exene from the band X is definitely my number 1 inspiration.  She rules and has the best style of all time.  And Nudie Cohn who made all the embroidered and bedazzled suits for country stars back in the day is way too cool.  Look him up – he owned a Cadillac that was upholstered in tooled leather and had guns for handles!! I love vintage western stuff.

who are the makers that inspire you?

All my friends are insanely creative and talented and inspire me every day, especially my friend Tati who is an amazing artist. Trinity from Field Day is awesome and has always been really encouraging to me even when I was just starting out doing craft fairs in SF. She just opened a store in Oakland too so if you’re around there check it out!







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