Rag textiles : Use Fabric Scraps to make your own Fabric : 3 methods

Create interesting looking fabric with small fabric pieces leftover from other sewing projects.
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Do you hoard all the small fabric scraps which are leftover from sewing projects for that day when you would do something with them? And now that you have time, you are wondering what to do with them. You can create completely unique and original fabric with your fabric scraps. Here are the simple ways to make use of fabric scraps to make interesting looking fabric you can use to make other sewing projects.

Most sewing projects will leave a lot of fabric scraps. If you are not in the habit of storing at least some of them, start. And then sort in color schemes of your choice and start making your own fabric with your brand of creativity

Make your own Rag Textile

Patchwork – Join Fabric pieces together

make fabric with fabric scraps

This is the obvious choice when you have big remnants from your sewing projects.

For patchwork, you need fabric pieces that have shrunk to their original size, devoid of sizing etc. The sizing which is present in most store bought fabric will wash away and leave your seams puckered. Prewash to remove all these extras; press and keep.

cut fabric pieces from rags

Decide on the dimension of the fabric you want.

Mark the fabric you have in the shape of your choice. I have cut long strips of fabric. Do add about 1/4 inch on either side as seam allowance. Read the post on joining fabric pieces in Patchwork here.

join the rag fabric pieces with strong seam

Do you know that in India, women used to hoard all their old sarees and then sew up the pieces together, layer many sarees and then quilt them together very prettily with running stitches (Kantha work) to form blankets. It used to keep the cold away for the whole family. 

kantha work quilt made with rag fabrics

Join small Fabric pieces with insertion stitches

make fabric from fabric pieces by joining them with zig zag stitches

Gather all those fabric scraps together in a color scheme you want. Take some pins as well.

Cut pieces of fabric with straight edges – they need not be square or of any exact shape. They need not be of the same size – but they should have a synchronization – the colors should go well with each other.

The arrangement should not have gaps showing the base fabric through.

use fabric scrap pieces one over the other and sew them on to a base fabric

Take a base fabric – any prewashed cotton fabric would do. Arrange the fabric pieces on top, with the small pieces overlapping over each other.

If you like the arrangement, pin them there or baste stitch. One way is to arrange the fabric pieces on top of an interfacing piece with the glue side up. Iron in place after arranging the whole mosaic. This will adhere the fabric pieces on the interfacing. Or use paper glue stick to keep them in place.

Now you can start sewing the fabric pieces. Use a zig zag stitch foot and a satin stitch to do this. You can also use any of the decorative stitches or a simple wide zig zag stitch to join the edges of the fabric pieces. You can use a suitable colored thread to sew this stitch.

Remember that there will be stitches visible at the back, so choose bobbin thread matching the base fabric, if you do not want it to stand out.

Use the Smallest fabric Scraps

DIY fabric from fabric scraps by using small scraps and using decorative stitches

Arrange small pieces of fabric pieces on a base fabric – you can add small ribbon and yarn on top for an interesting effect in between. You can line them up and sew them one by one, side by side and add extra layers as you want. 

gather scraps on a base fabric

Use decorative stitches on your sewing machine to stitch the fabric pieces on to the base fabric.

sew them one by one with the decorative stitches on the sewing machine

Here is a coaster made with this fabric.

make simple coasters

Related posts : Make your own fabric with a handmade handweaving loom; 50 techniques to create texture on Fabric with manipulations and embellishmentsTextile Texture ; 30 fabrics with great texture; 100+ Fabric Patterns and prints ; How is fabric made? ; Fabric pattern design repeat; Make yarn from old-tshirts.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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