Scraps Into Yardage Into Hand-bags

2011 was my year of sewing with fabric scraps. It wasn't really a resolution, but I had eight big plastic tubs of fabric scraps, and only four tubs of fabric yardage. I ended the year with five tubs of scraps, partly because it's trimmed up and better organized, and partly because I decided to turn scraps into yardage using my serger. The serger's great feature for this purpose is the way trims and finishes the raw edges, so I don't need to cut the scraps to fit one another. I just place two pieces right-sides together, eyeball a straight stitching line, and sew. After I turned some of my denim bits into crazy patchwork hunks of fabric--incorporating a few other heavy-weight scraps for contrast--I cut the "new" fabric into hand-bag pattern pieces.

I've been carrying this bag around with me for a few months. I didn't line it, because it seemed stiff enough as is, and the serged seams inside have not frayed or become untidy. That bit of red on the outside pocket is a remnant of a Guatemalan hand-woven shirt I bought in Costa Rica.

I sewed these bags in the spring, but they seem a little plain and lack-luster. I'm waiting for embellishment inspiration.


Rebecca Clayton

Pocahontas County, West Virginia

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