Wednesday 9 November 2011

What do you do with your leftovers?

Leftover fabric that is.

I'll be the first to admit that I am a compulsive over-buyer of fabric. I just can't help it. When i was just starting out, before i fully appreciated the amount of fabric required to make a garment, I had the awful experience of finding out I didn't have enough of my beautiful, carefully chosen fabric. The next weekend I hurried back to the market to pick up another metre...only to find there was none left. This has happened to me twice since, and the result is that I now buy far more fabric than I could ever need....just in case. Far far more. The pattern says 2 metres? Let's round it up to 4 just to make sure! The situation is made worse by the fact that I habitually shorten shirts on patterns (despite being tall!), meaning I use even less fabric.

The consequence of this is that I now have quite a few lengths of fabric in my stash which I now identify with a certain garment, for example 'crescent skirt fabric', 'New Look dress fabric' etc. It wouldn't be so bad if they were plain fabrics, but i have a tendency towards prints, which makes them instantly recognisable.

Personally, I am of the view that one can never have too much fabric. I am hopeful that I will find a use for every piece of fabric in my stash eventually, whether it be garments or smaller items such as bags. However, I am a little bit hesitant to use fabric that has already been used for one garment for another. Each fabric was carefully chosen to use for a particular pattern, and it would feel slightly wrong to now use it for something else. Also, there is a risk that my wardrobe would become very matchy-matchy! Perhaps I'm thinking about it too much, but I'm not sure it would feel right.

My question to you is, what do you do with the fabric remaining after making a garment? And let's be clear, I'm not talking about scraps here, I'm talking about metres. I would be interested to hear your thoughts! Once option which occurred to me was a fabric swap, so if anyone would be interested in getting involved and swapping some of their leftover fabric with mine, just let me know by commenting below and I'll dig through my stash and see what i have to offer.

In other news, i have finished my Crepe muslin! I am pleased to report it is a good fit (the joys of a wrap dress!), so hopefully I'll be able to get on with the real deal very soon. Pictures coming soon if you're lucky ;)

K xx


  1. I have been known to go back and buy more of a fabric simply so I could make a second garment from it! I just finished a dress in the same fabric as a skirt I made last year, in fact. I've also wanted to try to make more things using multiple fabrics: blouses or dresses with an inset panel, contrasting sleeves with coordinating collar ... that kind of thing. I wouldn't want to do that with two patterns, but perhaps you could purchase some solid fabric that coordinates with a print you want to use up?

  2. I'm a squeeze it out of less fabric kinda girl, so I don't tend to over-buy one particular type. Don't get me wrong, I over-buy generally, but smaller amounts of different fabrics.

    I'm always up for a fabric swap though ;o)

  3. How about hair things? Or make a little bag or garment for another person? A bag lining? You could still make something different but give it away/sell it? I have the same problem with cakes, I don't want to ever make the same thing again! x

  4. I hoard it. Or sometimes sell it on Etsy or eBay. More recently though I've been swapping and that seems to be working quite well... I have plans for what's in my stash at the moment though and am planning my sewing carefully to create a coherent wardrobe (well, trying to....)!



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