Fabric Scrapping: Book Review

See what’s in my sewing lineup: Waist-Defining Knit Dress

I dunno about you, but I’ve got some fabric scraps. I’m mostly a garment sewer, so I manage to get rid of most scraps I won’t use. For garment sewing, you really need lengths of fabric from selvedge to selvedge. But I’m not perfect at the purging. My father used to say, “Waste  not, want not.” That sticks in my mind, and the fabric sometimes sticks around in my sewing room as a result.

So here’s a review of Fabric Scrapping, by Katie Ebben, which has beautiful photographs and many green, thrifty and just plain charming and useful ideas for scraps. The book has the usual lineup of clothespin bags, aprons, and hand-sewing techniques such as cross-stitch. There were several projects that I thought worth considering. First, the party bunting would be fun and easy and put a number of scraps into reuse to boot.

A bunting is a “swag” of pennant-shaped flags that hang horizontally across string or rope, or in this case, twill tape. The flags only require a number of scraps at least 8 inches (20 cm) square and to hang them requires about five yards (5 meters) of twill tape, binding or fabric strips that the triangle pennant-shapes will be sewn onto. I’m thinking of making one for my kid’s room.

In Fabric Scrapping the Large-Scale Applique Chair Cover. Have you seen the furniture catalogs with (relatively) low cost armchairs that have plain twill covers or slipcovers? Of course, you’re also supposed to go in for the pricey upholstery options. Instead, you can make a great custom cover by cutting out large-scale patterns in your taste then attaching them with iron-on adhesive and needle and thread. (Tip: If you iron on a patch, use a press cloth to avoid burning or creating a shine on your applique and chair fabric.) Fabric Scrapping’s photographs show naturalistic and geometric designs — very modern and calming. (Ask an local upholstery shop if they have old samples they want to give away. They will likely be big enough to cut out the designs and might be free!) If you locate a well-constructed chair and it has a plain cover, using the instructions you can create a pricey-looking chair that would warrant the purchase of this book! (Amazon.com also has used copies.)

Finally, the coffee-pot sleeve. Everyone has seen the tea-pot cozy, and this book has one of those too, but if you have a four- or other-cup pot for coffee or a French press, this is the ticket. Only six strips of fabric are needed for the cover; a similar total amount length is needed for the lining and batting. This would make a great gift; you only need to know the height and circumference of the pot.

So that’s Fabric Scrapping, by Katie Ebben, Sterling Publishing. Bye-bye scraps!

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