Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scrappy Bag



2012 Sew Scraps Along


By The Pleasant Times' Sewing Editor, Miss Thread
I was inspired by seeing some of the "Sew Scraps Along" posts on the Pleasant Home, and decided that maybe I should get some of my stash of scraps out and make a little project.
I just happened to need an extra bag to hold another project I am working on, so that is what I chose to do. I have a LOT of scraps, and thought this was a good, small start to reducing them-- this would only take an evening, surely!

I took a few scraps, maybe about a fist-full's worth, in various colors, but mainly aqua blues. I wanted this to be fun and not stressful, so I did not plan an intricate design or count how many squares of each color I'd need, etc. My only "rules" were that no two of the same print should touch, and that I would try to get it as "random" and scrappy as I could! 

It was rather a relief to just cut squares and not worry about trying to squeeze so much out of so little fabric-- if I had an odd 1/2 inch left, I could throw it away and not try to scoot things around so that I would have exactly 20 of blue, 20 of pink, and the like.

Several hours later, that small bit of fabric turned into a LOT of squares and little triangles. I was starting to wear out! I quit about 11 o'clock-- so much for a one-evening project. It took one more evening to sew it all together. 
This is the "fabric" I ended up with. I folded it up and made a bag, with a pieced-muslin lining from bigger scraps. I didn't use a pattern or anything for the bag, but there is a very easy tutorial here for anyone who is interested in making their own.

My new bag is cheery and houses my project just right, and I get to enjoy all the fabric prints again, in one place!

And now a bit about how I organize my scraps-- they really are organized, I tell you! They just get a little jumbled and rumpled now and then. 

I love the big, clear zippered bags that bedspreads and comforters come in, They have handles and usually a pocket on the front for a label to slip in. One bag holds all the little scraps (less than 8" square) and the other one holds long, wide scraps. Since I sew clothing, I usually do not end up with nice big squarish-pieces as scraps, but just some odd pieces from the side of a skirt, or pieces with funny curves from cutting out sleeves, etc. Any other leftover yardage gets folded up and put in boxes. 
If you don't think that looks like a lot of scraps, remember they are compressed in those bags-- when I put new scraps in I make sure there is little air space in there! I estimate that if I went at the "handful" rate and just made something like my scrappy bag project every few days, I'd have over 100 bags! I know, I know, I should just make a quilt.

For the smaller scraps, I took some time last year to try and get them organized by color. I got a box of cheap zipper-top bags from the dollar store, and pressed and sorted the scraps by colors or coordinating prints and colors. Yellows, reds, hot pinks, dark pinks, light pinks, medium blues, light blues, and the like. So far, these little bags have stayed pretty well organized. It is time to add some more to them, as I have yet another bag (not pictured) of scraps that hasn't been sorted yet.

I am contemplating a scrappy sewing machine cover next, but it may have to wait for a while, as I have other pending projects. I have a feeling these scraps will be with me a long time yet:)
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