Friday, January 05, 2007

Scrap Happy...

Am I the only one who purchases more fabric than they need for a project and then when the garment is finished, there are loads of scraps left over?

So my new dilemmia becomes, "What do I do with the remaining scraps?" Now if there is a yard or more left that's easy...just refold and re-label and back into the fabric closet it goes to wait for another garment opportunity. But it's those 1/4 yard pieces or really long and narrow two yard pieces that cause me the most anguish.

I know that I should throw them out but just as my hand is hovering over the garbage can, something makes me pull it back! I start imaging all the possibilities ~ piecing them together to make a funky *fill in the blank* piece that will make everyone ooohhh and aaahhh! Or an interesting piece of piping or embellishment, shoulder pad covers, applique...the possibilities seem endless. So I draw my hand back and leave the scraps in a heap at the bottom of my cutting table to be dealt with later.

Now you would think that I would use the tightest cutting layout possible to avoid these situations. But noooooo, why would I do that when I have yards and yards of fabric, and I can use the extra to make sure the grain is straight, that the plaids match or the pattern repeats are just the way that I want them! Not at any point when I am cutting out the garment do I consider what am I going to do with the scraps!!!

So at the end of making a garment, I am left facing the scraps....yet again. What do you do? How do you handle excess scraps? Do you store them or do you toss them? If you save them, how much do you save? And what do you do with them later? Or are you one of *those* people who only purchase enough fabric to make the garment?

Are you scrap happy?

13 comments:

  1. I always buy more than I need *just in case*! I donate all of my scraps to my friend's sewing machine shop where they are cut up for testing and demonstrating machines.

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  2. Oh, I do what you do, Carolyn. I end up with pretty good sized scraps, and nothing to do with them really. Too good to throw, and they pile up. I'm going to take some to one of the high schools here for their sewing classes. They are desperate for anything, apparently, and some of the teeny-tinies should be able to do quite a bit with some of it. I'm always afraid I'm not going to have quite enough to do whatever interesting thing comes to mind, so I usually buy more than I need just in case.

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  3. My sewing teacher (I am pretty new to sewing clothing) makes hobo quilts and donates them once a year to the homeless shelter. I saw one once and it was nothing specail just all the fabric sewn together. She made her own binding out of cheap fabric or more left overs and that was it. Good idea. She only worries about it around the holidays, until then I think she just stores them.
    Shorty

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  4. My thoughts exactly... I share the same dilemma!

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  5. Carolyn - I hear ya! Anything of a reasonable size (1/4 m or more)gets put in the scrap box (a paper box I got at work, the kind that holds 5000 sheets of paper). All scraps go in the scrap box until it's full, then all future scraps either get tossed or replace something in the box. This way, I'm at least choosy about what scraps I keep - not that I ever end up actually using them ;)

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  6. Yes, I'm scrap happy! I tend to save all sorts of sizes, especially if the fabric is extremely unique or is a novelty print.

    I've been reading several books that give the reader patterns and ideas on how to use up the scraps, so I've been building on those. I've been making small items like coin puses, 'cozies' for all sorts of items, pincushions, dolls, etc. I even read one book when she was using the fabric to make beads!

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  7. I saved them for years and years, and finally last year filled some trash receptacles with them and kissed them goodbye.
    Now I'm finding that I'm able to use a few that I've saved from recently made projects as contrasts for piping or bindings for other current projects. I'm making some Claude Montana pants right now, that have an inset in the yoke that is a contrast - and I'm loving being able to use 1/4 yd scraps for them.

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  8. I save my really nice scraps for doll clothes I one day hope to make. I bought myself a Gene doll for my 50th birthday with the intention of sewing up all those Vogue patterns made for her. Of course, I have been savings these scraps and patterns for several years and have yet to make a single item, so my bag of scraps continues to grow. If I were as creative as Marci Tilton, then I would know what to do with them.

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  9. Depends on what it is. If it's a fancy fabric, I'll save anything larger than 6" square. If not and there's less than 1/4 yard left, it has to go.

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  10. Carolyn, I definitely don't purchase just enough. You know that! :D I keep the scraps. Some I use for linings on handbags, and others I give to the high school drama department. They are so grateful to get them - they use everything!

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  11. Hey I've got a great idea for those pesky scraps - ya'll can just bag 'em up for me. I never have enough scraps and dd (4yo) and I would have a blast sorting through all those bags of wonderful scraps. I tend to be more of a crafter than a clothier so I have endless uses for them. DD likes to wrap scraps around her stuffed animals and dolls to "dress" them. It's so cute - and she comes up with some creative ways of wrapping and tieing.

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  12. You know what happens as soon as I get ruthless and toss those scraps? I need them to repair/patch/embellish/replace something on the garment I made. Or I need a scrap to take with me to the store so I can find accessories to coordinate. So now I save them (at least a small scrap) as insurance, because as long as I have more of that fabric, nothing will happen to the thing I made - no coffee stains, no little snags from cat claws, etc.

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  13. I gave a lot of my scraps to a girl doing a fashion design course where she had to do lots of mock designs in her folders, saved her buying stuff for the little boards. Obviously for the full garments she still needed to buy the yardage. She did not have a fabric background herself and had no scraps!

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