Go to your crafting area, whether that’s a room or a section in your house, and take a quick look around. If you were to play a little game of iSpy, would you find bins of scraps and notions from previous projects or even shelves of fabric you fell in love with at the store, but haven’t had the chance to make anything out of yet? While it’s easy to make small projects out of fat quarters or similarly sized amounts of fabric, I’m here to provide some tips for garments and accessories that you’ll reach for often.
It’s easy to envision basic garments like tanks and skirts made from fabrics in our stash, but not as easy to picture our scraps and runoff into clothing that takes a lot more time and commitment. Think about the details— That’s where your stash will shine!
Use scraps to sew your prototypes. While muslin is inexpensive, you can’t beat free. Search through your scraps to find fabric that mimics the same weight and final fabric you’ll use for your project. It’s okay to piece things together for your muslin, so take advantage of long scraps by utilizing those pieces as panels, sleeves, or pants legs.
Yeah, I know this one seems a bit crazy, but think of all the working pieces that go into making outerwear, like the Ivy Trench. Use your stash for the accents like linings, bias bindings, spared buttons, belt loops, collars, cuffs and more.
Ruffles of Fun
Make ruffles for any project, including home decor or garments. Long scrap pieces can live their best life as ruffles. The Heather Dress is full of ruffly goodness and can easily be altered to have ruffles that sit on the more petite side of the fence. Bonus— It’s easy to make ruffles out of selvage! You don’t need a lot of fabric, and it’s great for repurposing the smallest of scraps
Tidbits on Trousers
Pants, like outerwear, have a lot of details, so why not use those bits to your advantage. Scrap fabric can add a pop of fun color to your design and can be added to various areas in pants or jeans. Excellent places to use scraps of fabric from your stash are pocket bags (use any type of similar weight fabric here) and pockets, fly and pocket facings, waistbands, back yokes, striped panels— you name it, and it can come straight from your stash. Welt pockets like those in the Primrose Pants are the perfect place for some contrasting fun.
Fabric from your stash will serve your project well as a waistband for sweatshirts, sleeve cuffs, or necklines. The same principle applies here, add a contrasting print or switch up the fabric type for a notable difference in texture if you’re feeling adventurous.
I wanted to include some quick projects that will quickly bust your stash, but these items have been carefully selected and are some that I reach for every day— especially in our new normal day-to-day lives.
Face Mask Frenzy
Enough time has passed for us all to cope with our new reality that includes wearing masks for our health and safety. Dive into your stash and continue making masks for you and your friends.
Holy Grail Hand Sanitizer Holder
Hand Sanitizer holders go hand in hand with the face masks. If you weren’t carrying hand sanitizer before COVID-19 made its mark, then you probably are now, so why not make it as accessible as possible? Create a holder for your travel sanitizer by having it hanging from your backpack, handbag, or keys. Add a key ring, buttons, velcro, zipper or whatever you have in your stash to customize your holder. Along the same lines, chapstick holders, coin holders, cardholders, etc. are just as simple and useful to make.
Reusable Grocery Bag
If you’re anything like me, you love a quick project. A grocery bag made from fabric(s) and notions in your stash is not only easy to make but a staple in your day-to-day life. I carry my totes in my car, backpack, and purse so that I’m cutting back on my plastic bag usage and I have peace of mind knowing I can sanitize and wash my totes as frequently as I please. Notions like spare buttons or even thread in a contrasting color will look great with your tote— anything goes!
Small trinket bags are a lifesaver— use them for snacks, accessories, even make them into diaper holders or wet wipe bags. Add different scraps together or sew different pieces to make shapes that can be sewn right into your bag. Appliques are another great way to personalize bags, although you may have to hash through the stash to find those, it’s a touch that kids especially will love!
Minimizing your stash is easier than you think, and using it to its fullest potential has never been easier. The possibilities are endless, no matter the size of your fabric, it’s easy to give it a second chance. I know I love my scrappy hand sanitizer holder and my reusable bags, and you can make your favorite daily essentials with items from your loot, too.
Drop a comment below with projects you’ve completed using your stash!