The Cutting Room Floor

At the end of every project I am left with offcuts of fabric, threads and other assorted bits and pieces.  I have often wondered what to do with all the scraps I have been collecting.  Of course the larger pieces are perfect for patchwork and appliqué, but what about the really small pieces and thin offcuts that are too small to sew together?  And let’s not forget all the little strands of thread that are cut away during and after sewing . . .

Having no idea what I could do with them other than perhaps use them as stuffing for something, I continued to horde these tiny scraps. Then . . . I saw a group of ladies on YouTube putting all their scraps to good use.

They sandwich all their scraps between unwanted or plain fabric on the bottom (a chance to use up fabric that has been hanging about in your stash for a long time and is unlikely to be used for a project) and organza on the top.  As soon as you have the fabric set up as you want it, it is time to play around with all the lovely embroidery stitches that are on your sewing machine .. yes all those stitches that you have probably never used – well now is your chance.  Using lots of different coloured threads (again here is a chance to use up threads that are not the most popular colours) start to sew random lines of embroidery across your ‘sandwich’ until you have firmly secured all areas of the ‘sandwich’ together.

There is some very beautiful organza available and using metallic threads as well as cotton threads gives some lovely shimmery effects when creating this fabric.

This was my first attempt and as you can see I even managed to use up the wool scraps my mum has been collecting.  I am looking forward to playing around with this technique to see what results I can get.  And I will be back with more pictures and a step-by-step guide for anyone interested in trying this out.

My next step will be to feature some of these newly created fabric pieces in the things I am making – maybe as a feature pocket on a bag, as a fabric book cover or even by patching them together to make larger items like bags and cushions etc.  I think once I am better at creating fabrics in this way there will be endless ways to incorporate it into my projects.

Best of all, it means that there really is NO wastage in my sewing room and I can even use up other peoples offcuts that they may have been about to send out with the rubbish. Plus it is fun to learn new things and be creative, so its a WIN-WIN!!