Thursday, November 3, 2011

A brilliant idea...

My fabric stash is made up of a mixture of fabrics I've bought for clothes that I've never made, patchwork fabric I've deliberately bought as a stash, and then leftovers from completed projects.  These leftovers are often too big to throw away but not big enough to do much with.  I tend not to throw them out 'just in case', and because they've cost me money.  They often stay in the cupboard for years though, taking up space before I either ditch them or find a project for them (hence the 20 year old satin lining this bag).  

I saw a great idea on someone's blog, and have modified it slightly for my own purposes.

I purchased 3m of 137cm single pass curtain lining (the original used vinyl which the author kept rolled up, however I thought that lining would be lighter and therefore easier to deal with.  I also plan to fold it rather than roll it up).  I then 'borrowed' some textas off the Schoolboy and marked the length of the fabric with:
  • The centreline (using a dotted line)
  • A 114cm wide section (using a solid line and different colour), plus its centreline (using a dotted line)
  • A 75cm wide section (ie. half of a 150cm wide section)
I then folded the fabric at just over 80cm from the end, marked this line, thereby getting a line which was perpendicular to the selvedges.  Finally, I measured in each direction, marking every 10cm (I haven't bothered with a 10cm or 30cm line at this point, if it becomes an issue I'll mark it in later).

The idea is that, because I usually buy a pattern separately to (ok, years before) the fabric I'm going to use it with, I will lay out my pattern pieces on the relevant section of the lining and work out how much fabric I actually need to make up a garment, rather than relying on the metreage shown on the pattern.  Once I'm happy with the layout, I'll take a photo and save/print it for future reference, and then go shopping.  Marking the centreline for each pattern width allows you to take account of a fold in the fabric.  Hopefully this will reduce the amount of miscellaneous scraps in my stash, and the additional cost associated with over-purchasing.

I spent a fair bit of time over the long weekend scouring the net for the original post, but to no avail - if this was your idea please let me know and I'll link to you and give you the credit!

Now I've finished it, and after looking at way too many pictures of projects from Japanese sewing books today, I really want to break out the patterns and start a new project.  Better finish a couple of things first though I guess (sigh).  Off to check out other creative spaces instead.


  1. I have amassed a lot of little scraps over the past year and have been using a few of them lately. I hope your idea works well and saves you scraps and money!

  2. An idea I heard for patchwork scraps is to cut any small but salvageable left overs into 2 1/2 inch squares and anything smaller than that can be thrown away. Eventually you'll have enough 2 1/2 squares to make up some quilt blocks with no scrappy leftovers that are just taking up space.

  3. What a fantastic idea...whoever's it was thanks for sharing. Thanks also for stopping by my little part of the world too.

  4. It's always good to have inspiration for using up those little scraps that you love and can't part with


Thanks for commenting - I love comments!


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