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How small (or big) scraps do you save?
California USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 3/3/12 0:31 AM

Hey there!

I'm wondering how small (or big) are pieces of fabric that you save?

I have started to pile up A LOT of scraps from nearly every project I've done. They start to add up after awhile and I'm not sure that I'll ever use them.

I figured I'd ask what the normal size is that you save and what do you typically do with them? Sometimes they come in handy for trying out new stitches, etc., esp on my serger, but often the fabric doesn't match my current project and I'm really starting to run out of room to store these pieces.

Any advice/guidance is appreciated!

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lareine  Friend of PR
Member since 11/10/06
Posts: 1070
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 3/3/12 0:47 AM

I wouldn't save any lining fabric that's too small to make the front and back of an in-seam pocket, at the very least. And I don't save fashion fabric scraps in a print or colour that I'm unlikely to use again, particularly if it's very distinctive. Most of the time I toss any remnants once I've completed whatever I was making in that fabric. I used to hoard just about anything that could conceiveably be used, but the hassle of finding storage outweighed the slim chance that I'd ever sew with it again.

Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 3/3/12 1:22 AM

A yard is the least I save. The rest I put in a box and give them away.

Oregon USA
Member since 12/10/11
Posts: 145
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 3/3/12 1:25 AM

My intention is to only keep scraps that I'm quite likely to reuse in a wearable garment and that I think will _improve_ the garment, and even then only keep the good expensive stuff, and even then I won't keep every little scrap.

So if I'm _excited_ about the idea of using a gorgeous gaudy silk print or intensely-colored handkerchief linen or silk brocade as a contrast facing or collar or cuff or piping or bias binding, I'll keep uncut yardage and, if there's little or no uncut yardage, the larger scraps. If my feeling is more, "Meh. If I were frugal I''d make some kind of pieced garment out of that," then I'll toss or give away the scraps and uncut yardage.

I used to think that I might do patchwork or crazy-quilt patchwork, but I've concluded that I'll survive if my first patchwork project is from fabrics purchased for the purpose, and until I do make that first project I shouldn't be saving fabrics on the apparently mistaken assumption that I'll do patchwork.

"Notion" fabric is a bit different - I keep scraps of silk organza larger than a collar because it's my preferred interfacing. I just bought five yards of black Bemberg lining; I'll probably keep scraps larger than a sleeve. If I start, say, making blouses out of silk chiffon or some other fabric suitable for seam binding, I'll probably keep the larger scraps for that purpose. But if this all starts to pile up, I'll start tossing.


Member since 7/3/10
Posts: 1101
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 3/3/12 5:00 AM

it's useful to have a certain amount of scrap fabric to practice on, for things like different types of seams, making button holes etc. I ended up with about 4 carrier bags of scraps in various sizes before getting fed up with storing them.

I put them on freecycle and found it really satisfying to both get more space and see the enjoyment people had in taking it away and USING it! of course this does encourage you to shop for more fabric to fill the empty space but thats another story...

Marie367  Friend of PR
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 3939
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 3/3/12 10:03 AM

I primarily sew garments and tend to be creative in cutting out patterns so I usually have very little left. I toss them.

schmammy  Friend of PR
Texas USA
Member since 12/5/06
Posts: 1034
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Date: 3/3/12 10:12 AM

What a great question! Great responses, too. So far, no one mentioned keeping scraps to use for applique, which is my stumbling block. Somehow, I need to come up with a rule on just how small a piece of fabric I "might" need someday. Any ideas out there?

Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

clothingengineer  Friend of PR
Member since 5/7/10
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Date: 3/3/12 10:28 AM

Depends on what it is! My mom is a quilter so I give her all my cotton scraps. I keep anything more than a yard. For knits, I keep anything more than half a yard. Anything more than 1/8 of a yard and less than half a yard gets put in the ragbag for my boyfriend, who works on cars a lot. (He hasn't had to buy shop towels in a long, long time!) Some stuff, like ITY jersey, isn't really absorbent and thus not suitable for rags so I will usually just throw the extra out. I love using my scraps of silk and lighter weight cottons for bindings and pocket/waistband linings.
-- Edited on 3/3/12 10:32 AM --

ConnieBJ  Friend of PR
Contest Committee
Ontario Canada
Member since 12/31/03
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Date: 3/3/12 10:58 AM

I don't usually save anything that is too small to use for another sewing project- 1/2 yard or so.
Having said that, I just started a Textile Art course and am awed at the scrap bag that a friend brings- she saves everything and right now I'm grateful for that!
As well, now that I am making doll clothes for our two year old granddaughter who called me up to request some clothes for her dollies, I am rethinking my "scrapbag" rules!

Connie Bontje
Twitter: Couturesmith
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Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!


Member since 7/12/06
Posts: 1945
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Date: 3/3/12 12:21 PM

I usually keep scraps to do a muslin of a pattern I'm not sure if I'm commited to. If I like the scrap for the inside of jeans or bias strips.
(adding) When I'm doing a scrap muslin, I just get pieces of leftover fabric that will fit the pattern piece and it looks like a horrible patchy outfit. It may even be too short, but it does give me an idea.

I've got some larger pieces I'm thinking of doing some blocked skirts and I just made some featherweight corduroy and flannel shirts with some leftovers. I made a bunch of KS underwear from leftover knits. But I've also been going through and tossing a lot of fabric and things I had leftover.
-- Edited on 3/3/12 12:35 PM --

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