Friday, January 18, 2019

Sew Chaotically! ~ SCRAP (not stash) busting!!!

Lot's of sewists are wisely and ethically talking about and acting on "Stash Busting" ~ the process of using their current "stash" to make beautiful things rather than purchase more and more.  For the uninitiated, a "stash" may refer to fabric purchased and stashed for future use, but can also include patterns, ribbons, buttons, and other bits and bobs.  I used buttons I already had in MY stash (recycled from shirts that had gone the way of the dodo) in my recent makes for my boys.  I applaud those goals and work to keep my stash small and used as well.

But, this post is about what to do with the little scraps leftover from your making!  If you sew often, the quantity of these bits can really add up.  Sadly, I would end up throwing lots of these remnants away!  Or box them in a closet never to be seen or heard from again! As one who recycles and composts, this was not okay!!!  Obviously, I use pieces that are sufficiently large to make facings, line pockets, and even piece together garments.  Some patterns really lend themselves to that!  Here are a few I've used:

The Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studio is a great way to use remnants!  You can make it long or short and even piece the front and back as needed, based on the size of your scraps!

The Polly Top (a FREE download from By Hand London) is another great scrap buster.  This one was made using a gingham remnant and fabric from a knit top that was never worn!  The one below was created from a scarf Roo didn't use and a bit of left over yellow cotton gauze!  

I've lost count of the Sorbetto Tops (a FREE pattern from Colette!!) I've made!  The back can be cut on the fold (or not) and the length and utilization of the front pleat is up to you.

This little top (M7093) is also useful for scrap busting and lends itself to lots of different looks!       

V1440 creates a pretty top, which allows you to use bits of your stash in the contrast pieces.
I've made several workout tops using M7610!  A fun make and another great way to use up those random bits leftover from knit projects!!! 
 Another way I use my larger scraps is in making bias binding:

It's actually fun to make!
When you use it, the results are so cute and profesh!!!
But what about those smaller bits...that really can't be used for pattern pieces or binding????  SADLY,  I was tossing those!!  No more!  I have embarked on two new projects that will let me find a useful, pretty outcome for them as well!!!

Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Chain Quilt.  Deets here and here!!!

Now, before completing a project, I am cutting scraps into 2 inch wide strips.  Once I have enough in color groups I like, I will start piecing them!!!
For the bits that are too small for even that????  Got plans for those, too!!!  As filler for a POUF for B to rest his leggies on!!!  (There are lots of options out there, but Closet Case Patterns has a free pattern available.)

I've put together an AMAZING system for collecting these scraps!  
A shopping bag hanging near my sewing area makes gathering them easy!!!
Time will tell how these last two projects turn out.  So far, I think I'm set to collect the building blocks for both of them!!!  Here's to "stash" and "scrap" busting!!!  Sew Chaotically!!! - les


  1. Great ideas! I can't wait to try out my binding tool (Hopefully I will have time to get back to some sewing soon). Years ago, Frank was with me in Hancock's and we saw a sign that said, "The one who dies with the most fabric wins!" Frank still often cheerfully tells me that I am winning... :P

  2. Bahahahaha!!! We gotta win what we can!!! I'm pretty stoked about the "idea" of my quilt! Who knows when I will actually piece it. But...2 inch strips are my start!