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Scrap-Busting Series / Introduction
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Scrap-Busting Series / Introduction

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Today on the blog, we are starting a new series about scrap busting! I'll be sharing various projects from the issues that are small and perfect for using up some of those precious scraps. But first, a little introduction to the topic. 

In my early sewing days, I'd go over to my grandma's house to cut out my garment pattern and prepare for a new project. At that time, there was usually extra fabric since I often chose material without knowing how I was going to use it. First, we'd iron the fabric, then iron the pattern, and lay everything out on my grandma's dining table. During this time, my grandma taught me how to fold the fabric and move around pattern pieces so the least amount of material was used. Sometimes we'd even push the seam allowance into the selvage, which she explained wouldn't be noticeable. Though I was often in a hurry to start sewing, saving fabric was always a priority for my grandma. Even though I wasn't much concerned with the leftover fabric, she was, and always saved it; she's good like that. In addition to being good at saving fabric, my grandma is also good at finding a use for scraps. She often makes them into lovely pieced-together aprons and tote bags that are gifted to friends and family and which are cherished by all. These days I mostly sew at home in my sewing room, prepping and cutting fabric on the floor. But I still find myself moving around pattern pieces and ignoring fabric placement guides to save as much material as possible just like my grandma taught me. 

I don't know about you, but when it comes to accumulating scraps from my sewing projects, I can get pretty overwhelmed sometimes. I've often wondered which pieces to keep, which to release, and what can be done with the ones that are saved. Some sewists keep nearly all their scraps, like my grandma, and some don't keep any. These days, I'm somewhere in between, saving some things and recycling others. The type of scraps I save is primarily determined by the kind of fabric, how and where I will store it, and if I think I will use it in the future. We all treasure the fabrics we use, so sometimes it can be hard to let go of even the tiniest pieces, a dilemma I often face. But since I don't have the space to store bags and bags of scraps, I've come up with a system that works for me. Figuring out what works for you individually is what I'd encourage because determining which scraps to keep is a personal choice. For me, sewing is art. I'm working on finding a balance between being that artist and allowing myself to freely create while also being responsible with the materials I consume and those that are leftover.

 

Since much of what I tend to sew is clothing, I often consider scraps to be more substantial, ones that can be sewn into tank tops or bags. To my grandma and quilter friends, however, "scraps" means something completely different, which I've found very inspiring. So I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to start using up my scraps stash and see what kind of little treasures can be made from it. The Scrap Busting Series will be an ongoing project that uses scraps from other makes on this blog for sewing projects found within the pages of Making. Read here for our first project, the Native Coasters from Making No. 1 / FLORA! - Emily