I have been sewing since my Aunt Harriet taught me how to make an apron at the age of seven. She let me choose what I wanted from her special stash of fabric and I was off and running. She taught me how to purchase and read patterns, and how to cut corners. I was taught to purchase my fabric at the same time I purchased my .75 cent pattern. At least that’s what Aunt Harriet would tell me to do!
When I found a pattern that I liked and that fit well, I would reuse it. Once I made a pattern and knew the yardage required I could buy something I liked on impulse. When I spotted a bargain or some calico that would make a great peasant blouse I would buy it. But what if I changed my mind and wanted to make a dress or a matching bag? I’d always add just a bit more yardage while watching the salesperson at the cutting table, of course the rest is history.
I tried to keep up with my stash, but it would just keep growing. Once in awhile someone would be downsizing or organizing their fabric, of course the plastic bags or pillow cases of material would end up in my car. Granted, I’ve seen stashes worse than mine and I will not WIN by dying with the most fabric, but I am a fabric junkie. The only down side for me is: what I once loved and could not live without sometimes no longer inspires me.
Unfortunately a large fabric stash is not my only guilty pleasure. I save scraps of all kinds, threads, buttons that come with new garments in those plastic bags, teeny tiny fabric scraps from cut patterns, and the leftover hems that have been cut off from pants, dresses and skirts. My scraps are in one of those set of plastic drawers separated by color. I’m talking about those big drawers that are the size of unpainted furniture highboys.
What to do with it all?
One of our Tweets asked what to do with scraps rather than quilts…
Here are a few ideas:
Below I refer to remnants as under one yard, scraps are odd shaped or small pieces.
Handbags of all shapes and sizes or
Linings for bags and vests
Scarves are also a nice way to use remnant
add a trim or sew odd pieces together.
Whether for school books or journals
add a personal touch to your books
Bean Bags, Ice Bags
Flags and streamers for party decorations
Wrap cans and waxed cartons to create vases
Cover lamp shades
Small bags of all kinds, change purse,
makeup bag, ipod holder…
Liven up an old pair of sandals
Applique designs on solid fabrics or t-shirts, design a scene or new fabric!
Extend the life of pant legs the kids have grown too tall for or give cropped pants an extra flair.
Make your own bias tape