ScrapHappy February 2022 plus one

It’s really all been about scrap this month, so here is a third ScrapHappy make to share with you… finally the rag rug is finished, with the back possibly more interesting than the front:

Every bit of fabric except the hessian backing was scrap – bits left over from projects or worn out clothes (two whole dresses in there, amongst other things), so I think this may be my most scrappy project ever – it certainly is weight-wise. It’s really thick and heavy, and will be lovely and warm under the feet. The edges are curling under a bit, so I might have to add something to hold them flat (thick felt perhaps – ideas welcome), but at least the hard work is done now

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy February 2022

With the opening of the shop getting closer, I have been concentrating my creativity on making examples of what it’s possible to do with scraps. As I’ve mentioned previously, our first window display is going to be “ScrapHappy”. One of my aims is to demonstrate how beautiful the things we make from scraps can be – even if our starting point is less than inspiring.

When we moved into the shop we found three plastic packets, each containing a polycotton pillow case. Two were cream coloured and one was an uninspiring brown. In all cases, the fabric did not feel very nice and so I had no desire to use them as pillow cases, and the brown one had a frill around it, which did absolutely nothing to make is any less unattractive. I spent quite some time, therefore, deconstructing all three and this yielded quite a lot of fabric. I had a plan for the cream material (that’s coming in a later post), but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that inspiration struck about the brown. You may remember that some time ago I made a wreath from scraps, which was mounted on a polystyrene ring that I had been given. Having just acquired a lovely book by Kate Eastwood about crocheting garlands and wreaths, I was in the mood for another wreath. However, I was determined to make the base from something better than polystyrene. I hate weaving willow, so that was out and so I turned to that brown pillowcase. I made three long sausages, which I stuffed with tiny scraps of yarn and fabric that I had put aside for just such a purpose. I experimented with plaiting these and found that they made a very acceptable, but floppy ring. So, I started again and intertwined the plait around a metal hoop that I had salvaged from a lampshade that my mum was throwing out. The result was absolutely perfect.

Then, I fished around for some suitable yarn scraps and set about making a toadstool wreath because I had suitable colours. In the book, the author suggests attaching the crocheted leaves, acorns and toadstools onto a willow wreath base using a hot glue gun, but because my base was stuffed fabric, I was able to stitch them on.

Apart from the thread, this creation is 100% scrap, and I am very happy with the result. It’s not quite the season for it right now, but I don’t think that matters.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy January 2022

This month I have been concentrating very hard on my rag rug… to the exclusion of pretty much all other evening craft activities. I was really hoping that it would be finished by now, but alas there is still some way to go. The picture on the right (which is the back of the rug) gives a good idea of how far I still have to go.

A large amount of scrap fabric and unmendable clothes have gone into this project and it’s really very heavy (as Sue warned me!). Every time I think I might have cut enough rags, it turns out I am wrong and my bags end up needing to be replenished. I am glad that I didn’t try to make a specific pattern, because I would probably have seriously underestimated the amount of fabric of each colour that was required. Fortunately my random assortment has worked out ok and I don’t mind that the mix changes across the rug.

I consider this to be a very successful way of using up scraps, particularly ones from worn or damaged fabric, but it’s not a quick win and I can imagine that many people who start give up because it really does take many, many hours to produce anything of any size. Still, it won’t be my last rag rug and it’s certainly something we’ll be selling tools for and running classes on in the shop.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy December 2021

The arrival of Sammy means that we’ve been rather busy for much of the past month, so there has been little crafting going on. However, one of the games that the dog trainer has suggested that we play with Sammy involves a “toy” on a length of cord; the toy being some soft or fleecy fabric. Apparently you can buy such things, but I was sure that my scrappy stash would yield something suitable…

First, I fished out the piece of cord and wrist strap that I removed of the horrible broken bodyboard that featured in July’s ScrapHappy. After that, it was just a case of finding some fabric that might appeal to him. Since he’d already pinched a piece of red woollen cloth left over from my ‘little red riding hood coat‘, I decided to go for that. A few knots later and we had a toy that can be flicked about to gain his attention. It’s probably the simplest ScrapHappy ever, but Sammy likes it.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk s often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Noreen, Preeti, Edith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy November 2021

The rag rug is coming on since last month, but it really isn’t interesting enough to feature on every ScrapHappy (which is supposed to inspire, not send you to sleep). However, it does produce scraps of its own – offcuts too small to use in the rug or, indeed, almost anywhere else:

Scraplets

Since I’m running short of greetings cards, I decided to use a few of these tiny scraps to experiment. I started with a small piece of an old sheet as the base and then just laid some of the tiny bits of fabric on top. Some random sewing with the machine fixed them in place and then I stitched each finished piece onto a card blank – no glue required.

Since I didn’t fix the pieces before sewing, they moved about a little, but this didn’t matter. I did discover that I needed more scraps than I originally thought because quite a bit of overlap is required to stop the base fabric showing through. Anyway, I’m content with these two as first attempts and I still have plenty fabric to make lots more and refine my technique.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk s often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti, Edith, Jule and Esther

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy October 2021

Some months ago, you may recall, I started making a rag rug. The idea is to use up all sorts of fabric scraps without having to co-ordinate colours or worry about odd shapes. Back in May I had got this far:

Progress in May

I haven’t wanted to bore you every month with a picture of progress, as it isn’t very exciting and there have been some periods when I haven’t worked on it much. However, as autumn is now upon us, I have been a bit more focused on it. As well as scraps left over from making, I’ve also started incorporating fabric from old clothes. Once I have cut useable cloths from old t-shirts, for example, there are usually some bits left over, and these are going into the rug. I’ve dismantled several garments and been able to retrieve fabric from the waistbands that has been suitable too, even it it’s a bit worn. So, this is progress so far.

As you can see, my tester seems to approve.

It is very time-consuming, but I do like the fact that fabric I would otherwise struggle to find a use for can be incorporated. It’s going to be a while before it’s finished, but, the scrap bag will certainly be much emptier once it is.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk s often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti, Edith, Jule and Esther

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy June 2021

Apologies for my absence, but for the first time in about 18 months I’ve been away from home. I wish I could tell you it was because I’ve been on a lovely holiday, but in fact I was in Shropshire, caring for my mum after a hip replacement. It was odd to be elsewhere and to begin with there were lots of caring responsibilities, but these declined gradually and I have been able to come home and hand over to Alex, one of my nieces, for a while. Hopefully, all will be well when Alex leaves and mum will be able to cope, but if not I will go back. My change of location and all it entailed seemed to completely drain my creativity, so for the past few weeks I’ve only managed some knitting and a tiny bit of crochet. My return home and the incentive of ScrapHappy has, however, encouraged me to think about making again.

Wanting a quick project to get me started, I had a rummage through my fabric scraps to see if there was any inspiration to be had. I pulled out a few woven cotton scraps, but they did not speak to me, and then I came across a bit of jersey with some funky squirrels, just asking to be used for something. Each squirrel is just the right size for a greeting card, so I thought that I would experiment. To make sure the fabric didn’t stretch too much, I attached it to a scrap from an old sheet, stitching along some of the lines in the design. Next I made a frame from an old square of handmade paper and machine stitched the squirrel panel onto this before trimming off the excess. I then stitched the whole thing onto card and glued a tiny leaf motif from the squirrel fabric over the knot inside to finish it off.

I could have done a better job with the stitching and next time I’ll use some thin wadding or felt to achieve a quilted effect, but overall I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out… plus it is good to make something original and feel that my creative juices are flowing again.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folk s often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti and Edith

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy May 2021

For a while now I’ve been pondering what to do with my expanding heap of fabric scraps. I don’t feel particularly excited about quilting, you can only use so many small bits of fabric on greetings cards and there’s only a limited number of things that I want to stuff, so the pieces have been building up. However, I have been toying with the idea of a rag rug and so a few weeks ago I did a bit of research into my options and decided to take the plunge. My initial thought was a hooked rug made using a latch-hook, but then I came across an old-fashioned spring tool and immediately decided that this was something I’d like to try. I also came across a simple gauge for cutting the strips and this seemed like something that would make the job much easier, so I placed an order with Ragged Life.

There are lots of ideas on the internet for designs, but I wanted something truly scraphappy, which meant it would have to be random. This being the case, I cut out lots of strips and got started. It’s not going to be a quick make, so it will certainly be appearing in scraphappy posts for some time to come. I’m not quite sure how much fabric it will use up, but it’s already quite heavy and I’ve only done half a dozen rows. The hessian base started off about 1m x 75cm, but it will end up smaller than this as the rags draw the threads up and together. The best thing is that I can use any fabric in this project – I’m just cutting thinner strips of heavier fabric.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti and Edith

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

ScrapHappy April 2021

It’s a year since I made my first face masks (featured in the April 2020 ScrapHappy post), and over the months we’ve learned lots about wearing them and how they could be improved. So, we have progressed from shaped ones, to pleated ones with nose wires and finally to a combined version – pleated with a curved top and wire to assist with wearing them with glasses. They are a great ScrapHappy make since they don’t require a lot of fabric. Our latest ones co-ordinate with various garments I’ve made over recent months and the inner is some lovely soft cotton from a pillowcase that had started to disintegrate, but which still had lots of salvageable material. As always, I use iron-on interfacing to provide a third layer giving extra filtering capacity. This latest lot were supervised by Daisy and Mr Snail agree to model his co-ordinated ensemble as long as he could shamelessly show off one of the books he’s written and which just happens to match the outfit!.

-oOo-

I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan (me), Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2 , Nancy, Bear, Carol, Noreen, Preeti and Edith

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Cutting my cloth

Some time last year – I forget when – I bought some wool fabric. It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill stuff, it was deadstock; this means it was left over from a textile or garment making factory. Deadstock has become big business and there are clothing brands that base their eco-credentials on using deadstock. I’m not convinced about this because if they have access to loads of this cheap fabric, the textile manufacturer must surely have factored selling it into their production run calculations so it’s not really waste. However, small quantities that are simply left over after garment runs must exist and seem like an interesting way to access new fabric. In fact, some deadstock is old and must have been hanging around in a warehouse for years. Whatever its origin, deadstock is usually marketed on the basis that you are saving it from going to landfill, but I’m not entirely convinced how “green” it really is. Anyway, that debate aside, I did buy a couple of pieces – one of which was a two metres or so and was all the company had available so it clearly was, if nothing else, a remnant.

Of course, buying a remnant means that you have to chose to make something that you have enough fabric for. I had something in mind for this particular piece of fabric, but according to the pattern, not enough. Well, not quite anyway. Not deterred, we laid it out and Mr Snail and I played around until we got it to fit, photographing it along the way so that we didn’t forget where everything went.

And that was the most difficult bit. After that, the construction and sewing was easy. It is an unlined jacket, but all the seams are bound, so that it’s very tidy inside.

In fact, this was a bit of a test piece because I’d like to make a waterproof version. I find it very difficult to get jackets to fit me. They tend to be straight up and down rather than shaped, so it they they fit my hips, they tend to be enormous across the shoulders. The joy of this particular jacket (The Hove Jacket by In The Folds) is that it has pleats at the top of the back, thus creating an ideal shape for someone like me. I plan to make version #2 (probably) in a Flax/Cotton dry oilskin, with cotton facings… I just need to work out how much fabric I need to buy, so we’ll be back to laying out pieces on the floor again because the pattern layout only takes account of using a single type of fabric, not combining two.

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