What do you do with your scraps???

My collection of bias binding.

The thing about dressmaking is you end up with scraps, lots of them.

For me I think of anything around 50 cm a scrap. I, as a general rule, only sew for myself and there are only a couple of patterns in my arsenal that takes a metre or less.

Contrasting bias binding on the hem

The thought of throwing the scraps out seems like such a waste. We don’t have a textile recycling drop off point anywhere near my hometown so I have started to get creative to use them up.

Contrasting bias binding on my Cashmerette Springfield

The most common thing I do with larger pieces is turning it into bias binding. I prefer to use a contrasting or coordinating bias to finish my garments and it has slowly become my go to finish with hems and necklines. I also found it great to finish the neckline on my Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress which I made in a ponte.

Contrasting bias binding on my Grainline Farrow Dress

I haven’t taught myself the seamless bias technique and I usually have lots of odd shaped pieces so I join my pieces all together. This works really well with thinner fabrics like lawn or a poplin. I’ve also tried with a drill and cotton sateen and they are best with a wider binding. It gives a quirky touch to your garments which I love.

The best tips I have is to use a bias binding tool (I got mine off ebay) and iron it with the fold side facing the ironing board.  I roll mine up as I iron which helps keep it neat and tidy.

Contrasting Bias hem on a dress

There are several great tutorials around but a couple can be found here:



Like a lot of people I have a pocket obsession I put them in all my dresses and I prefer to use a contrasting fabric for pockets and facings. I have recently used scrap fabric to line the bibs of my Pippi Pinafore and my Jenny Overalls.

Coordinated contrasting lining on my Closet Case Jenny Overalls


Scrap lining on my Pippi Pinafore

I have been meaning to cut a whole heap of pockets out to have a pocket stash. Then I can have very different pockets in my dresses.

I have also used scraps to make some clothes for nephew. Tiny human clothes take a lot less and it makes for a nice gift.

My nephews Christmas present 2017

But the biggest use of my scrap fabric has been my quilt project. I started it in October 2017 and do a bit each Tuesday at a Quilting class. Every now and then I do a bit at home.

It will be double sided and the back is being pieced using the jelly roll race technique.

A jelly roll race quilt I made for a colleague

Putting it all together is like having a momento of all the different projects I’ve worked on. It will probably take me another year to quilt it.

Its king size and perfect to prevent the great evening blanket war that occurs when you have two side sleepers.

Anyway these are some of the things I do to use my scraps. Sadly it hasn’t really made a great dent but it does make me feel like I am getting the best out of my fabric.

The Love to Sew Podcast have mentioned what to do with scraps on a few episodes so thats a great resource.

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