Saturday, September 25, 2010

What do you do with yours?

CarlaF in Atlanta asked that question in the comments section several posts back.  She was referring to her fabric scraps.  I wrote a post about this in March 2008 and have linked to it here.  But I have to tell you that was two years ago and in the meantime I've managed to accumulate two shopping bags of scraps that I just didn't have the heart to throw away.

There's a 1/2 yard of the Liberty of London print in there...some vanilla silk crepe scraps...and other pieces of fabric that are 1/2 yard to almost a yard of fabric that I just couldn't bring myself to throw out.  I know that it's two shopping bags full because during the great closet changeover, I found the first bag and added the second bag to the top of it.  Thinking to myself, that I would handle that during the next fabric changeover! *LOL*  Yeah right ~ there will probably be a third bag by then!

So the question of the day is, "What do you do with your scraps?"  Even though there were several great answers two years ago, I'm asking the question again because maybe like me your answer has changed.  Tell me what do you do with yours?

...more later!

46 comments:

  1. They get sorted by color, and then they wait, increase in volume, and they wait...for someone to suggest a good idea of what to do with them. :-)

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  2. I still have a lot of mine - I usually throw out the stringy pieces, keep the bigger pieces, even if it's a squarish small piece. I am transferring my cotton scraps now into sterilite drawer bins - I also make quilted things and use cottons for the girls sometimes.

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  3. For a while, I threw them away when I was finished with a project. But then, I'd come across a situation where I really wished I still had a little scrap of something cute. For example, making pockets or facings. So now I am back to keeping them. I am with you - how can you throw away a half yard of Liberty? But I am taking some time off next week to organize, so maybe I will come up with a better solution.

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  4. Its really hard to throw them out! You become so attached to some... especially if it's a print you really love or was expensive! Sometimes though if you've worked on a project long enough even the scraps make you mad to look at! haha

    If it is a really great print, that I haven't grown sick of, I like to buy canvases on sale at Michael's or AC Moore and modge podge the fabric into a kind of collage. Then I have new art for my sewing room! I also have used scraps to do the same type of technique for gifts. I made my friend a tree and embroidered her and her husbands initials in it for a wedding gift, and for another friend who is obsessed with her dog, I made 'pet portraits' using basic silhouettes of her breed of dogs. To get a better understanding of what in the world I'm talking about and for a great tutorial check out this like on Martha's site: http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.3a0656639de62ad593598e10d373a0a0/?vgnextoid=f501d3358fe36110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&autonomy_kw=anna%20maria%20horner&rsc=ns2006_pic_m2

    The tutorial was even done by the fabric goddesss Anna Maria Horner!

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  5. I have bins of fabrics that I use for bindings, Hong Kong finishes, facings, etc. I won't call them scraps because they are usually at least 1/2 yard pieces. Small scraps are thrown out and larger ones go to my friend's shop for testing machines. I sew so much that I couldn't possibly save all my scraps! And, if I did, what in the world would I do with them?

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  6. My nice scraps go into quilts for the nieces and nephews. Kate and Ana actually really enjoy laying out on their quilts and pointing to fabrics they recognize. "That's from my birthday dress, that's from my blue dress, that's from my mom's skirt, that's from my doll dress" etc. It's pretty adorable.

    Some scraps I save to make colorful facings in skirts & pants. I'm a big fan of bright insides as long as it won't show on the outside & mess up the garment. :)

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  7. Some of my scraps I use to make doll clothes for the grandaughters. The others go to a hospital aux.that makes quilts for the patients. And like some of the other answers use them for bindings and such

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  8. 2 bags?!?!? Seriously?! In the 13 months I have been sewing for myself I have accumulated 6 or 7 grocery bags of scraps. My plan is to go through them and to create a very large bag of them to freecycle. I wold love to get it down to a mere bag or two. :)

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  9. I currently am amassing a little scrap collection on my fall wardrobe - I'm keeping around for facings, etc., but will probably toss evenutally. Like everyone else, I originally kept scraps, got sick of how much room they take up (and if I can't organize, I won't use) and tossed them.

    I also had nice, organized by color and sitting on the shelf, piles of scraps left over from my quilting days. We just had a garage sale and I stuffed into ziplocks and sold a bunch of grab bags. They were almost the first to go, which made me realize that they do have appeal - maybe freecycling would be a good idea! I hate waste, but don't have a lot of space, either!

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  10. oh! and was it on the earlier post here that someone mentioned making dog beds? That would be a cool use of scraps!

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  11. I am going to be reading the answers to this question with great interest. I now have a couple of bags full of scraps that I can't bring myself to throw away. I keep thinking they will come in useful for things like pocket linings .... or something.

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  12. I give my large scraps to the Goodwill or other thrift shops. Just returning the favor since a large part of my stash came from Goodwill and other second-hand shops (where I've found yards of silk, cashmere, wool,etc., plus tons of vintage patterns). It's truly a test of will power since I'm genetically programmed to collect fabric.

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  13. My quilting cotton scraps are actually color sorted and saved in those little plastic drawer units from Target. The apparel scraps are actually in dire need of corralling at the moment since they're in little piles everywhere. They come in handing for the reasons others have mentioned, and also for testing buttonholes, serger stitching, etc.

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  14. I give them to my kids to play with. They become doll clothes, collages, stuffed animal capes, etc. They are especially useful when they have friends over to play. Most kids these days do not have access to fabric scraps, and they love it. Don't you know any little girls, or boys, who need some craft supplies?

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  15. Usually I don't have enough scraps to salvage since I usually buy only enough fabric for certain projects. But when I do have 1/2yd or more, I keep it to make something for my 3 y.o. or I save it to be used for a future embellishment---fabric flower, binding, bows, etc.

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  16. I am going to use a bunch of knit scraps for our ASG Toys for Tots project: clothing for 18" dolls. I keep lining and cotton scraps (that are big enough) for facings/pockets. I keep larger scraps too but I'm not exactly sure why. Every few years I purge the scraps. If the garment has gone, then the scraps go too.

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  17. I use them to teach folks how to quilt. People know that I know how to quilt (although they don't really accept that I don't like to) and they always wanna try, but never bring their own stuff.

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  18. Crazy quilting! Great way to use great material, but even in CQ you do need some balance like any quilt - light to dark, small print to large, some solids for calm, etc. So sharing is also a good way to go.
    I love the person who uses them for inside finishes- brilliant!

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  19. I need a good answer too. The small scraps I toss, but the larger scraps are sitting in an overflowing basket in a corner of the studio. I have another bin in the fabric closet. The silks I save to be Hong Kong finishes, the knits I always think I'll trim some t shirt with. I did that once. Ok, now I'll read through all the comments and see if someone else has a good idea.

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  20. I've been using my larger scraps to test out patterns. I have only one or two TNT patterns and want to have several so I am going through the process of creating them by fitting muslins. My smaller scraps are used for pockets and trim. If I'm lucky I can sometimes use two coordinating fabrics and make one garment. Sleep shorts anyone? Theresa in Tucson

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  21. Sometimes I make another garment, e.g. a skirt, if there is enough over, but mostly they are smaller (woven) scraps and I regularly use them for fun facings inside trousers, jeans and skirts, HK seam finishes or even the occasional contrasting feature (such as a blocked inset or gathered shoulder strap). If its a lightweight woven I may use it for pocket linings too. I also plan to mix'n match a few of my knit scraps into a t-shirt, say with a plain bodice and patterned or mesh sleeves (a la Marcy Tilton and some I've seen on Anthropologie and in local stores).

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  22. Thanks for this post, it's been very interesting reading everyone's input. Like others I cannot throw away any leftover fabric, so I use them in two ways, either as facing, pockets, piping etc., or I make shopping totes. You know, for groceries. Usually I combine 2 colors and add some piping to make it fun, line it with some happy pattern fabric.
    I must say someone always snatches them from me, so I have yet to make one and actually get to keep it too. But oh well, it always makes someone happy and that's a good way of putting scraps to good use.

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  23. I quilt, and know other quilters, so scraps never go to waste. If I don't use them, I can always give them away.

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  24. Like many others, it depends. Since I buy fabric at Fabric Mart sometimes I have plenty that it's not scraps but a real useful piece. Then I take it to our ASG group fabric exchange so it can find a good home as someone's top or skirt. Some knits I keep so I can make undies. A lot of thin silks and rayons I use for making pieced scarves. I have also offered bags full of scraps on freecycle, warning people that they are not quilting fabrics but wold be good for people learning to sew on different fabrics. Otherwise I don't feel badly about tossing it and moving on...

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  25. I have two little kids, so my scraps, even the teeniest tiniest shreds of fabric get stored in a big bin and saved for future projects...applique, baby quilts, toys, fabric wallets, teddy bear clothes, test pieces, etc.

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  26. i don't keep any scraps, at all, when I'm done with a piece of fabric, I'm done with it

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  27. I keep a large piece for my sewing notebook (to match w/ other fabrics when shopping. If I have any other significant scraps, they go in my scrap bin, which is used by my 5-year old for whatever. Little scraps go in the trash.

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  28. They get shoved in a box label "scraps". Ok, 2 boxes. One labeled "Cotton Scraps" for the quilt I'm going make someday (I swear!).

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  29. Like everyone else, the larger pieces I keep, the ratty ones I toss.

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  30. I throw them away. If there isn't enough to make another garment, they go with no regrets.

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  31. I keep the larger pieces and toss the small ones. I eliminated the entire backlog except for a few special pieces last year. It seems like a really imperfect system but I haven't worked out anything better yet.

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  32. Fun prints I generally save to make facings, appliques, etc. Any baby-appropriate fabric around a half yard or more gets saved to make clothes for my little niece. Anything else, I collect in a box until said box is full, then I put it up on Freecycle. There are always so many people who want scrap fabric, whether it be for doll clothes, teaching children to sew, etc, that it's always gone within a day or two.

    -Marianne

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  33. I do whatever I can to not throw away my scraps - guess that's the result of having Depression-era parents. Options:
    1. If large enough and appropriate for my GD, I save the scraps.

    2. If the scrap is of a size and could compliment a future garment, it goes into the scrap box.

    3. For most others, I put them in 2 gallon zip-lock bags and give the the neighborhood second hand store in the hope that someone wants to make doll clothes.

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  34. There is one open fabric cube under the cutting table & all scraps & remnants (anything under 30" - the minimum I need for a skirt or tee) are dropped in there as I work.
    There are 3 lidded copy paper boxes in my fabric closet labeled "scraps", "silk scraps & remnants", & "remnants - fat quarter or larger". When the scrap bin gets too full to fit its slot, out come the boxes & everything gets sorted. Anything I don't think I'll ever use, plus anything I really don't like, gets stuffed in boxes for my nieces who are k-3 teachers & day care providers.
    I use the bits in the boxes, as others have said, for facings, pockets, bias binding...
    One use I haven't seen mentioned is walker, wheelchair & bedside bags for folks in the local nursing home & assisted living residence.
    My (adult) kids regularly raid my boxes for patching materials, small pet bedding, & projects of their own. Some of my own scraps have come back to me as hot pads, lids on homemade goodies, and little gift bags!
    Sue in MN

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  35. I keep big pieces and some small of unique fabrics. But I try to throw as many away as I can make myself. It's hard since I sew for the nine grandkids and can ofter make something our of the scraps and do. I try know to cut something out of them right away so they don't get put back in the stash.

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  36. Lately, I've been using scraps for facings and pocketing. One year, I made a boat load of lavender sachets as stocking stuffers for everyone in my family out of scraps. Still, the scraps are accumulating faster than I can use them.

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  37. I have a Rubbermaid and a half full of large scrap pieces. I say I am going to make scrappy quilts so I can donate them to the homeless shelters, but I have yet to do this. It is my intent though. One day I will get to it.

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  38. I have a friend who has very young daughters, 2 and 4.
    I give them to her to make skirts for them.

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  39. In the past I've sold them on ebay, but it just became too cumbersome with the shipping rates going up. Now, I clean out every couple of months, so it doesn't pile up because what will happen is I wills top myself and start picking through it and taking pieces out and then I'll be back to square one! LOL

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  40. What a perfect question for today... Due to a home repair "Opportunity", I've had to take my entire sewing room apart. I decided I had to touch everything before putting it back. Good GRIEF! What do I save these things for!

    New rule. Cottons 12 x 12 or larger get sorted into light/mid/dark value bins for the day I decide to quilt or donate it to my friend who does charity quilting. Luxery fabrics 6 x 6 or larger go into the crazy quilt bin. Anything smaller gets tossed. Fashion fabrics? 1 yd minimum. Unless it's a good fabric for trim or contrast. Wow, that's wishy washy!

    And seriously, if it's not children's fabric and I haven't sewn it in 5 years and it's not a classic fabric, it's going People, it's going... I gotta have some RULES!!!

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  41. I do as many as your posters do...save them for a rainy day. I still have organza from my wedding dress I made 24 years ago! Yikes!!!

    ...as a matter of fact I just utilized some crepe-back satin that I used to make a formal gown for a wedding at the St. Regis in NYC eight years ago. It was the perfect color for the lining of the felted purse I just knit.

    You just never know when you might need that perfect piece...so we end up saving them all. ;-)

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  42. I use larger scraps to make tote bags; cotton scraps to make aprons, potholders and quilts. Some scraps (at least 12" square) go to
    www.scrap-sf.org/ in San Francisco. The rest I put out for our recycling pickup, which will take most fibers.

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  43. Last year for Christmas I made long scarves using luxury fabrics from my scrap bin. The recipients really loved them! I save a lot of scraps because I also quilt...lately I've been piecing (doing reverse applique) squares for a very luxe quilt using hand dyed silk scraps and velvets.

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  44. I keep the scraps that's large enough to make hats, especially the knit scraps. I also like to make fabric belts. Since I want to make quilts I've started holding on to selected scraps for that too.

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  45. since I have small children (3 and 2) and grandchildren (1.5 and new born) to sew for, my "scraps" are WAY smaller than yours! I use knit scraps for appliques, underpants, embellishments, etc, and my wovens...bah...what to do with those? I also have a gigantic box of wool scraps, too. I have ideas for those, tho, if I could only find the time!

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  46. I use my scraps for pocket linings, inside of pants waistband, fabric flowers, contrast trim/waist on PJ pants, stabilsing knit shoulder seams and sometimes doll clothes for little nieces.

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