If you were to type “scrap busting ideas” into Google or Pinterest, you’d likely get plenty of great ideas for quilting fabrics and cottons. But what are you supposed to do with those leftover bits of rayons, linens and knits? If you do a lot of garment sewing, you may find those scraps harder to find uses for, but I have a list of good ideas for you today and they’re all about stash busting those fashion fabric scraps!
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Scrap busting ideas for clothing fabrics:
Search for patterns that use very little fabric.
Pajama shorts are a great way to use up scraps. I made a pair of PJ shorts for Natalie with only about half a yard to work with. I used the Lexi Chick Boxers pattern (adding a waistband per her preference). I’ve made myself several pair of pajama shorts using this pattern because it’s so great for scraps! Large enough scraps can also be turned into camisoles or tank tops. This easy rectangle top is a great option if your scrap is around a yard. Alternatively, those scraps that aren’t quite big enough to make yourself something out of may be just large enough to sew something for the kids in your life. I sewed my daughter a bunch of Jalie tanks out of leftover knits one year when she was younger and they really filled a gap in her Summer wardrobe that year.
Scraps are so perfect for sewing bras and underwear. I’ve made lounge bras with this pattern out of all kinds of knit scraps, even a piece of soft stretch lace. For truly beautiful underwear patterns, check out Evie La Luve she has such gorgeous designs and most require very little fabric. If you’ve never sewn delicates before, those silky or knit scraps offer a great opportunity to try something new!
Use scraps for linings or facings, or other small bits
I love to add a contrasting facing or binding to my handmade garments. There have been times when I haven’t had quite enough fabric to cut certain pieces and have had to sub in some scraps. That was the case with the cami pictured below and the contrasting binding and straps ended up being what I love most about this little top! Other uses for your scraps are pocket bags, Hong Kong seam finishes, cuffs, neckbands, waistband or neckband facings, patch pockets, casings, tie belts, lining pieces, straps, button plackets, hem bands or embellishments such as ruffles or bias strips.
Plan garments with mixed fabrics.
I once made a raglan woven top pattern using a lace for the sleeves and a solid rayon for the front and back pieces. It was so much prettier than it would have been with just the solid! Raglan sleeves are the perfect opportunity to use two different fabrics. Using contrasting panels in a dress with interesting lines is another option. Often, running short of fabric forces some creative thinking, so those scraps might come in handy!
Use scraps for bags and other small projects.
We tend to gravitate toward cottons for most small sewing projects like bags, wallets, or sleep masks, but your garment fabric scraps can add so much interest and texture to these ideas! Silky sleep masks, rayon bag linings, denim wallets, linen clutch purses, the possibilities are endless if you think outside the box. Those knit scraps are perfect for a batch of baby hats!
Use garment scraps for quilting fabrics!
I made a baby quilt to gift a friend several months ago and included some garment scraps mixed in with my cute cottons. Can you spot both the fabric from the shorts and the fabric from the camisole binding?? The results were beautiful, the shirtings, cotton voiles, and linens added so much texture and made for a more modern finished product!
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to use up those fashion fabric scraps! If you have any ideas to add, I’d love to hear them :)