Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Using up your fabric scraps

If you are anything like me, you hate to throw out perfectly good fabric scraps! I make a lot of similar sized cuts for the projects I typically make, my soft baby toy Jumble Balls. Depending on the size of the fabric, I almost always have a strip of fabric left. I have been saving and using my scraps fairly regularly.

Lavender filled scrap sachet - measures about 4" square.

Recently I have created a few appliqued tree pillows. They have been my most popular items on Flickr and I donated one to my nephew Mitch's school fundraiser and it fetched a nice high price. These are fun to make and I learned about them from the Sew Mama Sew site, specifically from Cluck Cluck Sew.

So far, this autumn themed pillow is hands down my favorite! The colors are wonderful.

The same idea can be used to create other pillows as well, like these two featuring circles and squares.

Another scrap project I created is making these wee sized balsam (or lavender) filled sachets. I use a small ribbon or tiny rickrack for the hanging loop. They are fast and easy to sew up a bunch and would make a lovely wedding favor done all in similar or coordinating fabric.

 You can make all kinds of coasters with very small amounts of fabric. These start out at 5" squares. Of course the most logical thing to do with all my fabric scraps is make a quilt. I have felt intimidated about making a quilt for some time. Maybe because my mother is a fantastic quilt maker and she quilts the tops all by hand. Well, I haven't got the time or the patience for that!

I made this baby quilt for my friend Joanna.  I used a variety of scrap fabric, lots of polka-dots, and loads with little animals - owls, ducks, caterpillars, dogs, birds, etc. Each piece is 5" wide and the length varies - some are 2.5", some 3.5" and others just under 4". I sewed the pieces into 5 strips. The backing is a blue dot minky fleece, which is super soft. The quilt is top stitched and I choose not to put batting in the middle as I didn't want it to be too thick.


For this linen pillow, which was a birthday gift for my friend Mary, I made a bird pattern and a variety of blue and green fabrics.

I plan to make another one of these soon, as I still have a small basket filled with scraps!

What to make with fabric scraps:

fabric covered buttons (which can be made into jewelry, magnets, pushpins, hair ties, etc)
cell phone or ipod case
doll clothes

For very tiny scraps of fabric, button cover projects are great. You can purchase the button cover sets on Etsy and they come in a variety of sizes. They come with either a button backing, which you'd sewn onto clothes, or flat backs that are easy to adhere a variety of clips to. You can attach them to ring and bracelet blanks or adhere the button covers to magnets, paperclips, or hair clips. They are so pretty, I made pushpin and magnet sets for all my coworkers for Christmas this year.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Linen & Lace Shabby Chic home decor collection

Here are some of my latest creations. The little wee cottages are wonderful decorations nestled among vintage pieces or house plants.

Little Linen houses

Some other wonderful linen and lace items found browsing on Etsy

Sweet little linen baby shoes by BobkaBaby 

Linen storage bucket by Tuuni's Etsy Shop

 Nest in the Attic's Shop has this wee little pin cushion:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Before & After Projects

 Before: Inexpensive sweaters from the second hand store. Both of these sweaters are 100% wool and felted up very nicely. Curious how to felt sweaters? Check out my previous post.


The green one I have yet to do anything with. The pink one is from Old Navy, who seem to put out a batch of fun bright striped sweaters every year. I've bought a few and also some great ones made by The Gap.  The pink and brown one was so pretty that I decided it would make some nice spring stuffed bunnies. The pink and the brown are both soft subtle colors.  I have been putting little pockets on the front of all my stuffies for a while now and they have been a huge hit. All kids need a place to keep their secret treasures! I made these like siblings - similar but slightly different so they could be distinguished if bought together.  

After:  Sweet little spring bunny rabbits. Hand embroidered faces with felt scrap eyes.   Nice and plump and squishy soft.

Before: Some fantastic fabric I bought on a whim with no project in mind (shame on me, you should see all the fabric I have!!).  The woodgrain or Faux Bois (from the French for false wood) in bark brown by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabric.  

The other fabric is a fantastic print called Heath in chocolate brown by Alexander Henry. It has a hand printed look with just enough variation to make it interesting. It's even better up close. Just love it. Actually been looking for other projects to use it one.

A page for my most recent fabric baby book. These little books are all fabric so they are soft and quiet and great for those times when you need to keep baby entertained.

Here is one last project. I purchased a linen skirt at the 2nd hand store last summer. It was an Eileen Fisher so it was super long. I hemmed it to knee length and it fits great. I was left with a large scrap piece of linen which I have used in several different projects.

This wee little house is just tiny - about 4 1/2" tall and 2" wide. I hand sewed the entire thing, trimmed it with blanket stitch along the edges, used some scrap wool for the roof and bottom and then hand embroidered windows, a front door and tons of flowers. It was actually too sunny in my studio today when I took these. I haven't decided yet if this will go in my Etsy Shop or to work with me this week to sit with the array of little plants I have growing. I was actually considering making an entire little village.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Jennifer -