Nice things to do with your fabric scraps

Dressmaking does rather leave one with a large amount of odd-shaped fabric leftovers.  I love using up as much of my fabric as humanly possible, and I am building up quite a nice little collection of patterns and templates for happy little projects.

Tote bags

Require roughly half a metre of fabric (assuming its the full width, from 110cm/45″ wide).  This bag below began life as leftovers from a pair of curtains (IKEA fabric) into a gift for my daughter’s teacher.


You can sew together smaller pieces to make two-tone totes.



At the sewing shop where I worked (Best job ever!) we made Morsbags out of fabric leftovers – a wonderful movement.  We sewed these and give them to customers, with the instructions inside so that they can then make one and pass it on to someone else who will make one, and on and on.  Marvellous.



This little monster used to be a charity shop jumper, an unloved cushion and leftover fabric scraps.  Now it is stealing my heart, and I have to part with it as I made it for my daughters friend (8th birthday).  To cope with the separation I will make more, I have a cupboard full of scraps, YAY.   Join me in the monster madness by following my tutorial here.

DIY toy scrap fabric handmade monster sustainable zero waste sewing

Fabric baskets

I bloomin love these.  I have made many many fabric baskets, they are super quick and easy, use up scraps, make lovely presents and look super cute around the house.  I like this tutorial on a YouTube channel called Treasurie.


Wash bags and make up bags



This one is for my husband, he keeps some of his many thousands of leads and chargers in it.  This pleases him immensely.


Pencil cases

A close relation of the make-up bag, but takes even less fabric, is the pencil case.  I’ve had a lot of fun personalising these as gifts for little people’s birthdays.


And last summer made a LOT to sell at the school summer fair, for crazy bargain prices, of course.  IMG_20170715_105706417.jpg

My favourite pencil case tutorial is Melanie Ham’s pencil pouches tutorial on YouTube.

Eye pillows

A bag of lavender + rice + fabric scraps = zzzzzzz!



Squeak!  So fun!  First there were the squashy pouffy ones…IMG_20170711_145131458.jpg

Me, my boss and my mam (mostly my mam) made a gazillion of these and sold them at the small person’s school summer fair.  Our smallest daughter was having a bit of separation anxiety in the mornings at school drop off.  She would wear a bow I’d made her, and when she was missing me, would take it off and cuddle it.  Adorable.


Small girls were very very happy.  Parents were dragged to our stall by one or two particularly ardent fans to purchase several at a time.  We sold out 🙂

The year after we were back, I am now the hairbow lady.




I have made many many of these.  They are so satisfying.  They use up scraps of jersey and stretchy knits, and are gratifyingly quick to whiz up.  And hello!  So cute!


I like this tutorial: Made Everyday Simple (stretchy) Headband YouTube Tutorial

You need pieces of jersey around 18″ x 6.5″ for children, and around 20″ x 6.5″ for adults.

Below is a collection I made for my mam, a tote bag, pencil case, and make-up brush roll.


The teeny weeny scraps?  I drive myself slightly mad saving up all the little weenies, convinced that one day they will magically transform into a rug or a quilt.  Elves will visit while I sleep.  Instead the iddy biddy scraps go to the charity shop (to be sold on as rags for recycling into building insulation).  They never ever go in the bin, never have, never will, not on my watch mister.

I hope these have given you some inspiration to use up your scraps.  I’d love to hear how you use yours.



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