I do a LOT of sewing! I also do a LOT of upcycling. I’m not a big fan of waste, if it can be reused, repurposed or recycled I keep it. This means selvage cuts, trimmings and pretty much any length and at least 1″ wide. My smaller trimmings usually go outside for the birdies to build colorful, well insulated nests with scraps! I have several scrap bins for sorting and for use in different projects. Today I’ll walk you through my bowls, baskets, coasters and hot pads tutorial. Later we can discuss other projects, because I like to do a “scrap day” at least once a month to help (kinda) manage my piles lol.
For these projects you’ll need to decide if it’s random or a theme Americana, Halloween, Sparkly, Glow in the dark, etc) and gather the scraps accordingly. For mine I usually try to just use each print once and I really don’t care what kind of material it is. I’ll mix flannel, fleece, lace, cotton, quilting cotton, upholstery fabric, t-shirt scraps and even denim. About the only planning I do is gathering materials and try to use the heavier fabrics for the base so as not weigh down the “walls”. Same goes with the thread and bobbins, I’ll use whatever I’ve got. I like to try and use up my bobbins and almost empty spools but , also, there are times I have purchased a really weird color of thread I’ll never use again so I’ll try to use it up on these. Again, I’ll mix denim thread, 100% cotton, polyester and blends. Solids and variegated, etc…
- Scraps! Width doesn’t matter, Length doesn’t matter. Smaller widths wrap easier so sometimes I’ll trim wider cuts to make it easier. I even use up selvage cuts, frays and all! You can sew them all together, and I’ve tried this, but it’s not recommended. Seems like a pain in the @$$ to constantly join but it’s so so sSO SEW much easier than untwisting, twisting and maneuvering a big ball of scraps.
- Thread and bobbins. The less in them, the better!
- Clothesline or rope. For this tutorial I used Clothesline purchased from Joann’s with a 60% off coupon but I’ve also used paracord scraps, rope, macramé leftovers and even twisted the fabric to make twine! This one bundle made 4 bowls and 4 coasters!
- A sewing machine capable of a zig zag stitch. I also use an open foot so I can adjust my stitches according to materials I’m using.
- Denim needles. This is a must MUST. Trust me (or don’t) you’re liable to even break and bend these. I’ve tried universal, leather and regular needles but the denim seem to do the best & are least likely to break…as often…
- Coffee, strong but not too much espresso in it and it’s difficult for me to say that. This is a tedious project so you don’t wanna be speed sewing!
Let’s dwindle down the scrap piles!
- This is pretty easy so more pictures than text. Starting is the hardest so I, essentially, Wrap some fabric at an angle around the beginning of the rope then I straight stitch it to hold it down.
- Start to wind the wrapped rope around itself to form a coil.
- Join when necessary. I like to wind the fabric around for a bit then sew. I use pins to help hold it together.
- Zig Zag stitch to hold in place then keep coiling, changing bobbins & top thread &n adding fabric as often as needed.
- Sometimes I see gaps so I randomly just sew to close them.
- For coasters and placemats/chargers just keep this up until it’s the desired size, snip and finish off!
- If you end here I then hold it up to the light and any gaps I just sew over some more. I also don’t trim any threads or anything, I just leave it the way it is, I like the look but if you are super anal trim and clean it up if needed.
- For bowls and baskets: To form the walls just tilt your base up. This sounds weird but the pictures will show it better. Just keep sewing around with it tilted at an angle until it is desired size then end it.
Ok now some finished pictures of what you can make!
…So thank you for reading, please comment if you’ve tried my tutorial or have any questions!!