Scrap-Busting Series / Petal Pouches / Making No. 1 / FLORA
Today I'm sharing another post in the Scrap-Busting series! I've been having fun thinking up projects to make from scraps, and this one was a breeze. If you're looking for another quick and easy weekend or evening project that's both satisfying to sew and makes a great gift, look no further than the Petal Pouch project by Anna Graham of Noodlehead from Making No. 1 / FLORA.
What I love about this project is how it allowed me to turn seemingly unusable pieces of treasured fabric into beautiful and functional items. If you've been following along here with the blog for a while, you might remember the fabric that was used for the bigger pouch; it's our Angry Flowers Linen available in the shop that I originally used for the Starry Sky Skirt. The tiny floral linen used for the smaller pouch was leftover from the Making Bag. For the linings, I used leftover cotton from other projects, as well as some muslin, which I happen to think is a really pretty fabric even though we typically use it for practicing.
Fabric as a whole is made up of hundreds of individual fibers, and I often find it sad that some of them get turned into great and beautiful things, while others either end up as waste or sit in a scrap pile. I have a great love of floral print fabrics, so it can be hard for me to part with them, but I'm so happy I was able to rescue a few of these scraps and turn them something beautiful.
A few Tips -
Don't forget to use a zipper foot! I know I always say this, but since this project has a unique curved shape, there was a slight challenge in attaching the zipper, so using the zipper foot helped me with this part.
When it comes to sewing zippers and sandwiching them between two pieces of fabric like in this project with the exterior and lining pieces, I find that doing extra basting always helps my zippers to look nicer in the end. When I attached the zipper on these pouches, I followed the instructions for first basting the exterior fabric to the zipper. When it came to attaching the lining, I also decided to baste it into place and then go back and sew it with the correct 1/4" seam allowance as directed. For me, it's easier to get a nice straight seam when I'm not having to fiddle around with keeping several layers of fabric in place.
Tips For Smaller Scraps
My best tip for getting the most out of your scraps is to play around with positioning pattern pieces and not worry about following the grainline. Depending on what you're making, being misaligned with the grainline might not make a big difference. Small projects like the Petal Pouches are perfect for this; I've even gotten away with it on clothing pieces before. Just take into account the item you're making and consider if following the grainline is essential, as with some clothing, or if you can get away with being slightly off. When it comes to using scraps, I sort of hold to the mindset that all rules are off, and anything goes! I mean, you are using a scrap, so there isn't much to lose, giving you extra freedom for experimenting.
I don't know about you, but I don't typically think much of scrap interfacing. Like with fabric, I do my best to position pattern pieces in a way where the largest piece of interfacing is left so that it has a better chance of finding use in the future. And even though I do save most of my interfacing scraps, the tiniest ones can come in handy for mending, I haven't often found a use for them because they're typically too small and oddly shaped for actual projects. One idea is to overlap and piece together the scraps, which can work well for some projects. I prefer to use one continuous piece with interfacing, but as I mentioned in the last section, when it comes to using scraps, all rules are off! Luckily, however, I was excited about finding a scrap that was just big enough to use for the larger pouch pieces.
Reusing the Paper Pattern
This pattern has adorable little darts at the bottom. To mark the darts on your fabric, you're instructed to cut them out on the printed pattern and then trace along the edge. Because I see myself making more of these sweet little pouches in the future and would prefer not to have to print the pattern each time, I wanted to be able to reuse it. So instead of cutting out the dart, I used my marking pen to punch holes through the paper all along the dart line so that I could mark directly onto the fabric. Eventually, the paper pieces will wear out, but I thought this was a good option. Another would be to make two patterns, one with the dart cut out, and one with it left in. A third option is to create a permanent pattern out of lightweight plastic or cardboard, and my recommendation would be to repurpose the material from packaging or another source.
Take Time to Appreciate the In-Between Moments
This isn't a tip so much as it's an encouragement to slow down your sewing practice so that you can enjoy every moment of it. When I was working on these pouches, at one point after the zippers had been attached to the main fabric pieces and I was doing some pressing, I realized they looked like giant floral butterflies and just had to snap a photo. This in-between moment of making felt just as beautiful to me as when the pouches were finished, and I'm thankful I didn't miss it.
Happy making! Stay tuned for more posts in the Scrap-Busting series coming next month. - Emily