Sunday, March 16, 2008

What do you do with your scraps?

I finally found some time to sew this afternoon...and no the item is not completed...just cut out and marked...as I told myself to enjoy the journey and not rush to finish it! However, as I was cleaning off my sewing table prior to cutting the fabric out, I ran across a pile of scraps. Well not really scraps but sizeable pieces of fabric from my last couple of outfits. Now these scraps were all more than 1/2 a yard of fabric which presented me with a real quandry...
"What to do with the scraps?"

In the past, I have used various methods of storing scraps. Mostly because I was not the owner of as big a fabric collection as I have now and every piece of fabric had to be used or reused as it was. At one point I used an old hamper and folded scraps inside of it...then when I needed a small piece or wanted to embellish something, or make a binding I would go to the scrap hamper. In my prior abode, I used a rattan trunk that now resides in my bathroom holding extra bathroom supplies.

Lately, though, I just don't want to hold onto them...but I don't want to be wasteful either! So what do you do with your 1/2 yard or more of scraps?

30 comments:

  1. I really have trouble throwing them away! My Mom used to keep scraps in a big wicker basket. Each one was tidily wrapped into a little bundle (like a burrito!) with a little blet tied around it.

    These pieces of fabric were my treasure trove and I outfitted my Barbie dolls with them. It puzzles me to this day that my own daughter never saw the magic in that.

    My scraps are in a plastic bin in the spare bedroom closet. I admit I seldom find use for them.

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  2. I have a friend who makes clothes for tiny dogs. I put sizeable scraps into a bag and when it's full I send it off to her. Also good for doll clothes which I know you occassionally make. g

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  3. Normally I make tanks and or covered head bands for my girls. They love it and it keeps me from waisting leftover fabric.

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  4. A week or so ago I sent a bag full of scraps with a friend who will give them to Bundles of Love - a volunteer organization that makes baby bags with t-shirts, quilts or blankets, and other baby related stuff. Aside from those, I have an Ikea "barrel" full of scraps in my sewing room. Eventually most of those scraps will also end up dontated - either to Bundles or the Textile Center Garage Sale...

    Lori in MN

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  5. I have a bag full. When you discover something useful, let us know! LOL

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  6. I use my scraps to test out new techniques on different fabrics. They are also good for testing embroidery designs and seeing if I like the way trim looks. I get a better idea of things when I see it sewn. Doll clothes are good for this, then I donate the clothes with a doll at Christmastime. Another good use for scraps is to test interfacings. Just some thoughts.

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  7. I donated my last excess to the kindergarten, but any school or kid's organisation might appreciate them for art & craft.

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  8. I have a suggestion (the school donation is great too): Find someone who makes crazy quilts. I am sure they would love you forever for your scraps.

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  9. I just thought of something: Craftster could be a good place to ask this question. I have seen lots of posts that purses were made from scraps. Who knows what else those crafty ladies may do with them!

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  10. I have a nice size stash, too; however, if the fabric is something that I especially like, I incorporate the scraps into tops...i.e., stitch/top stitch half or quarter yard pieces together and cut out a tank top. When the color/hand of the fabric is a fit, I sometimes use a scrap as a border piece for a skirt or top. Linda

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  11. freecycle.org. SO much easier than finding someone to donate them to.

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  12. I make bags and baby bibs and other small items. You could have a small bag to match each outfit! There are lots of tutorials on the web.

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  13. For a while now I've been telling myself that I want to start quilting, so I figured I'd hold on to the scraps... but have yet to make a quilt. I also purchased Clover Fusible Bias Tape Makers in different sizes... hopefuly I use scraps to make my own bias tape.

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  14. My mother always donates her scraps to the senior center in her town, and they use them to make quilts. These quilts are later sold as fundraisers. I figure this is what I will also do with my scraps.

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  15. I gave a bunch of my scraps away to a local church's children's ministry. Now I kind of wish I had kept them in case I ever take up quilting. Right now, I'll just keep my present scraps for future quilting or small projects like cosmetic bags.

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  16. I use to hang onto those scraps but they just became clutter. I ususally take it to Goodwill or another thrift type store. Some of them I give to some quilter friends but most of my scraps are not cotton quilting type material. Some I hold onto if I can make a tank top or something like that.

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  17. In the past, I saved them until I got mad at myself for saving them. Then I just threw them away. Recently, I started giving them to the art teacher at my school. If she ever turns them down, I'll throw them away again.

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  18. I used to donate them to the schools the girls were attending. One time I walked in and saw a hallway with paper dolls on the wall wearing my scraps! Pretty funny. Now that my mom lives close by, I give them to her. I'm always amazed (at the age of 88) at her creativity and interpretations.

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  19. I rarely have scraps that big. If it is over 1/2 yard I save it for trims or for parts of garments for my children or neice or nephew.

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  20. I give them to a friend who uses them to sew for her niece.

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  21. If they are beautiful, I save them for inspiration. If they are least 1/2 yard, I use several to make test muslins. Otherwise, they go in a shopping bag until I get enough sense to throw them out. Maybe I should look into Freecycle.

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  22. OMG I had no idea so many of you saved your scraps!! I save some of the larger pieces until my garment's done then it's off to the trash! The only time I save any leftover fabric is if it's at least one yard. (Not sure when I developed this detachment, because I know I used to save everything.) I have a hard enough time finding room for my fabric let alone all those little pieces that I'll a) never use, and b) never find the time/place to donate.

    I really admire those of you who have found someone to turn them into treasures, but in my house the scraps are trash!

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  23. LOL! One half yard is not a scrap! Quilters buy fabric in 22"x18" pieces. My scraps are less than 2 inches in any direction. For a while I saved them to stuff cloth dolls, but I had more scraps than dolls. I thought I would learn to make rag paper......but ran out of time so I threw them out.

    THREW THEM OUT? ...yesssss.....

    (and then....I started making a g-a-r-m-e-n-t)

    Now I've thought of something I need them for. I have some great canvas from Ivory Coast and I want to make an ottoman, but it needs weight. Maybe my scraps?

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  24. Ha Ha, I almost forgot! I made a queen size quilt out of two inch squares, but I used a lot of scraps that were so small I had to sew them together to make two inch squares! It was in Pacific International Quilt Festival, but didn't win anything.
    "Key Search" www.doublecatbatik.com for a picture.

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  25. I save a whole lot less then a 1/2 yard, lol. I have NO ideas what I am going to to with them...I promise myself I'll make little cosmetic bags or feminine products totes :-)

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  26. I hold on to my scraps for as long as I can! If I can make a hem band or even a dress bodice out of them, I don't give them away!

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  27. And I thought of something else: if the fabric is not to heavy you could make bias tape or piping. Heck even if it is heavy, it could be used for flat piping.

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  28. OMG I am dying laughing.. I must of somehow missed this post!! I AM sooooo glad I am not the only one saves their scraps!! I save them to test stitches or to try new techniques on. I am still laughing!

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  29. Oh my goodness. I have so many scraps, bins and bags of it. Things I use them to piece together muslins. Lately I have been searching through them looking for pieces large enough for accessories: hats, scarfs, and head wraps. I really need to get rid of much of it. So I can make move for more fabric. Tee Hee.

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  30. What a great question - what I don't do is to just throw them away. I have a number of options:
    1. Large enough to make something or my GD? Fold and save with the stash.

    2. Not large for a garment but could be used as a design feature or compliment to a future garment? Save in a box of similar scraps.

    3. Won't use again or large enough for doll clothes? Pack up in 2 gallon zip-lock bags and give to the local second-hand shop.

    So what do I throw away? Fabric that is saw awful that it has no other possible use.

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