the fabric scrap tribe

i never go for new year’s resolutions, but if i were to have one this year, it would have been to use my “old” fabrics that have been sitting in my closet for years in my sewing projects rather than buying new ones. i’ve done quite good so far, and actually, i think i’ve gone further than i intended to, because i’m even starting to use the old scraps/leftovers of fabrics i’ve used before in my previous sewing projects.

suddenly, i feel like i’m a member of a tribe. the fabric scrap tribe.


self-made top & pleated skirt, Norlyn tights, Crocs ballerinas, Ted Baker Taffety purse, earrings from India, unbranded plastic bead necklace worn as bracelet.

some people go to the fabric store with a clear idea of what they’re looking for, and often they leave the store without finding that perfect fabric, exactly because they have that clear idea in the first place. let me tell you: it’s easier if you go fabric shopping without knowing what to look for. you’ll end up with more fun things that you had even imagined.

but how would you know how much you would need if you don’t know what you’re going to make from it? here’s another tip: always get a minimum of 1,5 m when you have no idea what to make (make it 2 m if the width of the fabric is less than 140 cm or if you normally wear larger sized clothes). if it’s something you’re not sure you can get more of in the future, then get an extra amount.

for me, since i always shop at the place where the fabrics are already in pieces, i always have to make do with what i find. if there’s a nice looking fabric but only 80 cm long, well, i’ll get it now and think about what to make of it later. tip #3: you can always mix and match fabrics, too.

and now… where have you seen those fabrics before that i used in this sewing project? you’ve seen the African wax cotton fabrics (i used 2 different ones) when i made this skirt, and the one i used for the “bib” is a Just Cavalli crepe fabric i used to make this t-shirt. and guess what? i originally only got 70 cm of that Just Cavalli fabric, and still i managed to make a t-shirt and now this top with that small scrap of fabric. 🙂

the pattern i used was from the May 2014 issue of Burda Style magazine, pattern no. 123.


picture borrowed from Burda Style website.

i wasn’t planning to use 3 different fabrics at first. but when i was tracing the pattern, i just realized that the 2 fabric scraps of the African wax cotton just weren’t big enough. when you’re already on fire to sew something like i was, you’ll learn to improvise as you go along!

i omitted the seams on the upper part of the top. instead of using piping, i used bias tape, sewn on top of the “bib” and neckline. i also omitted the batting originally used inside the sleeves part, to make them stiff. the African wax cotton fabrics are stiff already as they are, so what would be the point of the batting?


i made the hemline longer than the original by sewing it normally (instead of folding the bottom part upwards to act as a lining for the original hemline). and since i was already using a different fabric for the hem, i decided to make that bottom seam look more interesting by sewing the fabrics first wrong sides together, fold both fabrics’ seam allowances apart, turn them around and sew them down again.


nevermind, i guess you can’t really see it from the picture. but this technique is quite handy when you want to make something look neat from the outside and inside (not that i’ll be wearing this top inside out though…).


scraptop3so, anyone else wants to join the fabric scrap tribe? a lot of fun and creativity is 100% guaranteed. 🙂


7 thoughts on “the fabric scrap tribe

  1. Well, this shows it’s true that you are the designer in the family 😀 I am amazed that you can think of combining scraps.
    This style of combining reminds me of Paul Ropp’s clothing, such as this a.o.:
    (although not exactly what I mean, i can’t find the exact dress i wanted to show you, but I’m sure you get it 😀

  2. Pingback: Eating my words / a new crop top | crab & bee

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