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Scrap happy
March 3, 2014 5:00 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with a ton of dressmaking scraps?

My sister-in-law got me two huge bags full of fabric scraps from a dressmaker/designer she knows. In the mix are some beautiful wool plaids, bouclé, lace, satin, velvet, stretchy knits and other types of fashion fabric I don't know the names of. Some of the scraps are the size of fat quarters, some are tiny, but all are irregularly shaped. Here is a picture of the whole lot dumped out on my puzzle table. I would like to make something or various somethings with them.

I've already seen this question, but most of the answers are more suitable for 100% cotton fabric, and I am also not really interested in making lots of little craft items. Ideally I could use half or more of the scraps in one project

I am a pretty experienced quilter and I have made clothes before, but I have only ever worked with quilting cottons and denim. I have a good sewing machine and I'm willing to buy any other material I might need. I'm also not afraid of advanced techniques or fiddly, tedious detail work!

Sewists of metafilter, what should I do with these scraps?
posted by lollymccatburglar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd do a retro, quilted maxi-skirt. Given the different fabrics, perhaps make a backing of muslin or poplin.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:09 AM on March 3


I love a good crazy quilt. As long as the back is cotton, it's great when the top is all different fabrics.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:10 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I also thought of a patchwork skirt, so seconding Ruthless Bunny. I have one my mum made me in the mid-80s and it is still one of my most treasured items of clothing.
posted by goo at 5:15 AM on March 3


I'd say sort the fabrics by type and then create a few things:

-the wooly/tweedy/textured/plaid fabrics could be used to make an a-line gored skirt like this one from the book Twinkle Sews

-the floaty/silky fabrics could be pieced together for a dress like these asymmetric kimono dresses

-sheers and floaty fabrics would also look neat as reversible Korean patchwork
posted by avidreader at 6:06 AM on March 3


How about something different like a rag rug? My grandmother used to make these with all the scraps she had from sewing.
posted by xingcat at 6:58 AM on March 3


If some of the fabrics are reasonably strong, I'd do something like these crazy patchwork chairs.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:45 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Agree with the patchwork skirt, but if you wanted something a little funkier you could do a bigger project (I'm picturing poplin dress but then I am super duper ready for spring already) and turn the scraps into a patchwork applique, so they'd be the central decoration/centerpiece of the dress. In technique, something like this, but I'm imagining a freeform pattern more like this or this. You could use as many of them as you wanted and not have to worry about filling out a certain shape/pattern.
posted by theweasel at 7:51 AM on March 3


I would be super tempted to use bits of the richly colored and textured fabrics to make a stained-glass style wall hanging or quilt.

I made a quilt for myself in college out of whatever fabric I had lying around (cotton, old silk scarves, corduroy, velvet...anything). I had no idea what I was doing. I loved that dang quilt but it fell apart after just a few years - the weaker fabrics broke down and tore, the stronger fabrics pulled at the weaker ones, it was a mess. I'd advise you to find a way to strengthen some of the weaker fabrics if you're going to patch them together. Even hanging them on a wall would create pull on weaker fabrics over time.
posted by Elly Vortex at 8:40 AM on March 3


mini purses would be neat.
posted by stormpooper at 9:23 AM on March 3


Thanks everyone, these are all great answers! I think I might start with the mini purses, since I have a lot of weddings to go to this summer and I hate spending money on things like clutches.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 4:48 AM on March 5


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