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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Getting the most from my fabric.

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Where it all begins
As anyone could tell from looking into my wardrobe room, I'm a bit of a hoarder. Even when it doesn't really fit me anymore, or I haven't worn it for ten years or so, I really do struggle to throw things out.

The Mr is always laughing at me for saving things like cereal packets, saving stamps, reusing tissue paper and packaging from parcels I receive, and most recently for giving some old road atlases we'd been thinking of throwing out when I moved offices a new lease of life by turning them into wrapping paper and envelopes, using Sarah's fab instructions.

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The finished dress
So, with all of the sewing I've been doing lately, I've been trying to think of something to do with all of my leftover fabric.I started making a list and decided that, quite frankly, the possibilities are endless.

Last week, I out-sorted any pieces which were smaller than half a metre, and bagged them up to take with me, along with some old t-shirts and dresses, to Rangers for an evening of reworking challenges, inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee. The girls spent a couple of hours having fun with the sewing machine and some added collar details to their t-shirts, some cut up dresses and added different bodices to them. Overall I was really impressed with some of the ideas they came up with.

So, that left me with a lot less scraps, but still some off-cut sections of fabric which have been left over from the dresses I've made. What do you other sewing folk do with your leftovers? I've been scouring the internet for some ideas and decided to have a go at some Kindle cases. I used tips from a couple of different tutorials and this is what I came up with, below. I sort of love that they are really easy to make and have been using up some of my collection of buttons and ribbons as well.

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My first attempt at Kindle cases
So, what else to make? Well, I've got bunting down to a tee, so much so that I'm sure everyone who knows me is getting bored of homemade bunting in their birthday parcels. I did a little searching and found this envelope cushion tutorial, which I decided to have a go at to make a new cover for one of my old cushions which had ended up with a big pen stain on it which would not wash out.



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Envelope cushion

I found this a really easy tutorial to follow and would definitely recommend it. It maybe took me half an hour from start to finish. I used some lace which has been in my sewing box for goodness-knows-how-long to finish off the edges, and it now takes pride of place on the chaise in the living room.

What do you do with your off-cuts? I've been experimenting with hair bows, after wearing one at the weekend and remembering how much I like them, and also plan to have a go at Tilly and the Buttons' bow belt tutorial.

14 comments:

  1. Bunting in birthday parcels is such a cute idea. Hair bows are a really good idea, and you could always make a patchwork quilt... xxx

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    1. Oh gosh, I've never done quilting but I see some of the amazing creations on IG and am in awe. I'd love to learn.

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  2. I was going to suggest patchwork too, either as quilts or cushions. My friend is currently making a hexagon patchwork cushion which looks really cute and is using up a lot of her scraps. You could also make fabric brooches which are brilliant for using up tiny scraps. I've used Gem's tutorial a few times: http://littlegems-world.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/flower-brooch-tutorial.html

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    1. Ooh, thank you very much, that tutorial looks great!

      Also, I wasn't sure how to reply to you about the camera fabric: Camera print fabric was bought from the Sewing for Pleasure show, selvage says "times of you me life" designed by Maria Kalinowski. I've not heard of the brand before though.

      I like the idea of a quilt as I think it would be lovely to make one up from the scraps of old garments I've made.

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  3. I absolutely love that bookworm case, you're so talented :)

    I'm hoping once me and Charlie get our place sorted I can move my sewing machine in and start making things too, you and Sarah are so inspiring! xx

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    1. Aww, I'm excited to see what you make!

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  4. What good ideas!!!! I was so annoyed as I had that huge road atlas I'd made envelopes and cards out if and when I moved houses, it got wet somehow and ruined the lot-such a waste!

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    1. Oh, yes, that's super annoying!

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  5. Brilliant! Yeah a patchwork quilt would be good and keep you busy. My Mum makes them for my cousins when they get married, but as she buys new fabric each time (in the colour scheme they like), she's got loads left over, so was thinking of putting them all into one quilt.

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    1. Oh, I love the idea of a wedding present quilt. I will have to dig out my quilting book.

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  6. I was going to suggest bunting! I love the idea of it. x

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    1. I love making bunting - I think I'm going to pop up a tutorial post, pretty soon.

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  7. What about making little fabric flowers? There are loads of different tutorials all over the net - you could then make them into corsages for a jacket, pink them to a clutch, glue them to a cushion, make a headband. Basically just stick a fabric flower on anything and everything lol

    Jen x

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    1. Haha, I would totally stick them on everything!

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