Scrap Busting Projects

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While I don’t keep 100% of my sewing waste out of the landfill, I try to use up leftover fabric in fun ways. Here are a few of my favorite scrap busting projects.

Quilted Blankets & Garments

I sew with a lot of wovens, so naturally piecing together fabric is a great way to use even the smallest scraps. I am currently making a 9-patch quilt using 2″ x 2″ squares. Every time I cut out a new woven garment project, I also cut out as many squares as I can from the leftovers. I’ll save really large pieces for other projects, but I can really get a lot of squares out of those weird leftover pieces. I’m not sure what size this quilt will be, but my goal is to make at least 100 blocks and then assess. So far, I’ve made about 50.

I’m also making a quilted coat. I’m unifying all of the different textures and colors of scrap fabric with black and a consistent block pattern. I modified the Seamwork Easton pattern to be longer and to have hidden pockets.

Napkins & Bandanas

If I have a decent amount fabric leftover and I really love the fabric, I’ll make a bandana / square scarf. If the fabric feels pretty absorbent, napkins and tea towels are great options too. Each of the bandanas pictured (right) has a flat felled seam somewhere on it to make it big enough. Both the napkins and bandanas are finished with mitered corners. For napkins or tea towels, I try to make them 12″ x 12″ to 16″ x 16″. For bandana scarves, at least 20″ by 20″ and above.

Headbands & Scrunchies

Hair things are super fun to make and they’re helping me feel better about my quarantine hair. I love the Seamwork Drew headband, which can be made out of knits or wovens. When making a woven Drew, I’ll finish all of the edges with my serger before starting construction. For scrunchies I follow this tutorial.

Beanies & Head Wraps

Both of these patterns require very little fabric. I block printed the knit fabric of the hat on the left. I used a free pattern for it, but can’t remember its name. The Mahogany Turban (right) is a new pattern by Fibr & Cloth Studio. It can be unlined or lined and it’s a really quick sew!

Small Bags & Cases

I really love the Creative Maker Supply Case and it uses a really small amount of fabric. Each panel could be a different fabric. The scrappy zippered bag (right) is made out of some improv piecing and I really love it. The fabric was teeny tiny too!

Rope Bowl Pizzazz

I love throwing some fabric scraps on a rope bowl. I think this is a super fun way to use the tiniest bits of fabric.

Quilted Slippers & Pillow Covers

Sew DIY’s Quilted Slippers is a great scrap busting project. I used three different fabrics in my scrap stash to make the lining, sole, and the exterior. They’re a surprisingly fast sew too and make a great gifts!

I’ve made three quilted pillow covers now and I’m not gonna stop!

Underthings & Outerthings

I can’t wait for the time when one of these things is unnecessary. Anyway, I love using leftover jersey knits for underpants and bras. I actually hate this mask pattern, it’s the only photo I’ve taken of masks. I prefer a 3D mask with a big loop of elastic to go around my head.

Ornaments & Wall Art

The square ornaments are stuffed with fabric mulch (left) and the circular vinyl ornaments use serger off cuts and scrap yarn.

This squishy statement necklace is made exactly like a scrunchie, but instead of inserting elastic, it’s stuffed with polyfill. I think it’s a fun way to turn those precious scraps into something wearable.

What are your favorite scrap busting projects?

2020 Holiday Gifts

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December is usually the time of year I get to see my parents. I skipped the trip home in 2019 because I had recently flown home to attend a funeral and had just moved. In hindsight, I sure wish I’d gone home.

I’m not usually a handmade gift giver, but 2020 felt very different, so I decided to make some small gifts for my parents, brother, and husband.

For my dad, I made a pair of Sew DIY Quilted Slippers. I used leftover Big Sur canvas for the sole, IKEA fabric for the exterior, and some leftover sorta quilted fabric for the lining.

I also made him an oven mitt. After a very small first attempt, I re-printed the pattern at 115% and made a second one. I had hoped to send a blue pair, but I didn’t have anymore fabric, so he’s getting one black and white mitt. My cousin has claimed the mini mitt.

My brother is a hard person to shop for, so I made him two napkins and one tea towel. This fabric is… interesting. Even after washing, there was quite a smell when ironed. I soaked them overnight in some white vinegar water, which helped. I’m hoping it softens with use because they are a bit crunchy.

I made a Fairfield button-up for my husband. I waited until the absolute last minute to start this project and it took a very long time to complete. I also bought the wrong snap setting tool, so he got the shirt xmas afternoon and the snaps as a “bonus gift” December 30th.

I’m really proud of the plaid matching!

I made my mom a Seamwork Drew headband. I didn’t snap a pic of the one I made her before wrapping it, but here’s one I made for myself. It’s a great, quick pattern and I plan to make more.

I’m also making her the Buckthorn backpack. Here it is in progress because I just started it last night. Yes, I started this 2020 gift in February of 2021.

In progress exterior. Needs lining and zipper.

I’m super curious if I’ll want to make handmade gifts next December, or if I’ll be able to get them done one time, or if travel will even be possible. I plan to cut out my husband’s gifts soon so they’re ready to go!