Creating Lovely For Less

fabric scrap creations





Sewing machine 

Cutting surface 

Dressmaker’s chalk 

Pins and needles 

Fusible web or temporary fabric adhesive

Thimble (Optional - it helps to protect fingertips in hand-sewing) 

Matching or contrasting thread (Embroidery or thick thread for highlighting edges) 


Cut out the desired motif with a scant ¼” seam allowance

Position cut out shape on background fabric and glue or pin in place.

Thread a needle and tie a knot at end of the thread

To hide knot, place between both layers of fabric and bring the needle up through, to 1/8” inside of motif edge.

Hold layers in place with a firm hand and push the needle down through the base fabric. Bring it up again through both layers near the previous entry point. This is your anchor stitch; apply a gentle tug to ensure it’s fastened. 

Continue sewing around the entire base of the design using small even stitches about 1/8” apart. From time to time, pull lightly on the thread to remove any loose stitches. 

To finish, push the needle through to the wrong side of the base fabric. Loop thread around a stitch; push the needle through the same loop and make a knot. To conceal thread ends, poke the needle between the top and bottom layers. Bring the needle up through the wrong side. Tug on the thread a bit and cut it off.   

Note Variation in thread and fabric thickness may leave some raw edges visible. If you prefer complete edge coverage, repeat the sewing process. Make sure to stitch into the exposed areas. In the same way, if you're using a sewing machine, repeat zigzag stitches.

Differences in measurements between inside and outside edges will cause stitches to rotate. That means, they will form slanted or fan-shaped patterns; that’s acceptable.


Pull A Hat Trick

Babies hats are quick and easy ways to use up knit fabric scraps and give thoughtful handmade gifts.


making bows with fabric scraps is pretty easy

Making bows with your fabric scraps offer an advantage. They are on hand and you don’t have to make a trip to the store. Aside from a couple of supplies, the only thing you might need to know is: How to make a bow with fabric scraps.


Above: Unearthed from the scrap stash, the hot pink knit waistband and the bow trim on the hat adds a pop of color and some little-girl charm to the outfit upcycled from a discarded sweater.


scrap fabric creations - easy access to supplies

For the most part, a bow is a decorative knot tied with 2 loops and 2 hanging ends. As children, we associated them mostly with our hair. But sometimes it included our shoelaces and the waist ties at the back of our gathered dresses.

Today, bows have evolved. They are available in all ranges, colors, sizes, and patterns. One of the most popular choices for making bows is ribbons. Their finished woven edges make them convenient, quick and an easy option.

Guess what? Your fabric scraps are also readily available. So, head into your sewing area and discover your scrap pile. You might find enough to make a variety of things with small pieces of fabric.

How to make a bow with fabric scraps

Uses and methods of attachment

The bow's structure makes it multi-purpose. The center loop permits sliding ribbons, string, and other materials through the back. So, you can use it for hair ties, belts, sashes, bow ties, and closures. Besides garments, necklaces, gift toppers, and napkin ties are great ways to use it. Methods to attach it to other surfaces include double-sided tape, hot glue and more.


q&a making Bows with fabric scraps

Before we start, you might have some questions

What type of fabric scraps do I use to make a bow?

Short answer Because a bow is mainly a decorative feature, you may use any fabric you have on hand.

What are some ways I can use fabric scrap bows? 

Answer Use bows as accents on clothing and accessories. Hats, gloves, bags and hair ties are good places to start. Decorate cards, journals, book covers and use as gift toppers.

Note In all instances, keep a bow's end-use in mind. So, if you're making items for hair, choose fabrics that are smooth and wouldn’t snag or pull on contact. 

For smaller bows, use softer, lighter fabrics. Consider sewing them by hand. It will allow you to maneuver the tiny elements better than a sewing machine.

Heavier fabrics are better suited to larger bows. Again, if you're making a smaller bow with thicker fabric, you’ll get better results with hand sewing.

Keep in mind If you're using a sewing machine and making bows with knit fabrics, use a slight zigzag stitch. Knits have a natural stretch. So, this will allow you to turn over smaller tubes without breaking stitches.


No-sew fabric scrap bows on the bias

Not all fabric scrap bows need to be sewn. You can create an array of bows using minimal or no stitching. Explore fraying fabric edges and cutting materials on the bias grain.  

Natural fabrics are more prone to fraying and some synthetics will not unravel. Both features bring unique qualities to the creative process. 

Cutting woven fabrics on the bias causes fraying to stop and adds an element of stretch to the fabric. As a result, bows made of fabric cut on the bias have a less tailored look with a softer drape.

To locate the bias grain in fabrics hold a corner and fold it over diagonally. And line up the raw cut edge with the selvage. The folded fabric will create a triangle. Along the line where the fold has formed is the true bias.  

If you’re not familiar with fabric grains, imagine a square of paper folded to form a triangle. Along the fold or the longest side of the triangle, is where you’ll find the bias grain. It works the same way in fabrics.


Make a bow with fabric scraps step by step

Step 1.  Cut a rectangular strip of fabric consistent with the size of bow you want. I used 6 ½” x 5 ½” scrap.

Step 2. Cut another small rectangle for the middle of the bow tab. I used 3” x 2” piece.

Step 3. Lengthwise, with right sides together, fold the fabric in half.

Step 4. For both strips, stitch a ½” seam along length leaving the short ends open. 

Step 5. Trim the seams, turn the loop right side out and press or finger press depending on the fabric.

Step 6. To make a loop, sew by hand or machine stitch the short ends of the larger strip with the right sides together. Turn over.

Step 7. Center the seam in the back of loop and hand tack it at the top and bottom

Step 8. Determine the final size of the smaller loop. To do that, gather the center of the larger loop and wrap the smaller one around it. Use a pin to secure it. Adjust the gathers, leaving enough room to slide the loop through. 

Step 10. Remove small the loop from around the larger one. And use a pin as a seam allowance guide. Stitch in place, trim and turn over.

Step 11. To finish, push and pull the larger loop through the small loop. Adjust the gathers and center the small loop in the middle of the larger one. Hand-tack in place. 

Note The small center loop has a two-fold purpose. At the front, it gathers the middle of the larger loop and creates the bow. And at the back, it’s designed to allow various types of fastenings to slide through.  With that in mind, avoid hand-tacking directly in the middle of the small loop.


scrap fabric creations that reach for the edge

Selvage is the tight weave at edges of woven fabrics to prevent unraveling. By the time fabric reaches the consumer, it’s usually, the first part that's cut off and tossed. 

Above The entire outer shell and the shoulder strap of the handbag is made from selvage. I cut it off from an earlier curtain project. 

Making bags of any type is another great way to use even the smallest fabric scraps. 


don’t be afraid to use contrasting bits of material in your scrap fabric creations

Above: At left, is a photo of the original pinstripe trousers.  Middle and right, shorts made with leftover fabric scraps from the first garment. Notice the white lace waistband; it is another scrap of fabric, used as a result of the main material shortageIn the end, it was a more creative choice than matching horizontal stripes at the waistline. When working with stripes, it is necessary to match them for a visually pleasing look. Well-matched stripes often mean a better quality garment. In most instances, that requires using more fabric.


Short of The Slipcover

This romper came together using 3 different fabric scraps. The over blouse is made with scraps from a previous top; while another white fabric scrap filled in for the underneath-tube-top; the shorts are made with leftover fabric from a slipcover project.


What's the size of a fabric scrap?  

The remainder of a larger fabric project. It is often insufficient to be used on its own.

To be clear, what’s a scrap for me, might be a remnant for you.  I’m almost 6’ tall. And most RTW garments are too short for me, including coat sleeves. For that reason, I must buy more fabric. And it’s partly why my scraps are larger. Here's my rationale. If I wanted to make a complete garment for myself with one piece of my scrap fabric, I’ll only be able to make an accessory. To me, that makes it a fabric scrap. 

Organizing your scrap fabric

There are numerous ways to organize fabric scraps. But in the end,  your decorating style and available space will likely dictate your choice. Storing scraps in plain sight, within reach is a great convenience. And a cabinet with doors to keep them out of sight works well too. 

Sorting your scraps by type, colors, textures, and sizes is a great place to start.

not-so-obvious scrap fabric creations

There are many things to make with scrap fabric. But since they’re scraps, you'll likely need more than one piece for a full-size project. So, your best bet might be to piece them together. If you are looking to create patchwork style items, get a head start by sorting your scraps. Store complementary and contrasting colors together. And keep fabrics’ compatibility in mind. Be sure the materials you’re stitching together can be cleaned and pressed in the same way

Below  Examples of using different pieces of material to develop undetectable scrap fabric creations.


What to do with strips of scrap fabric

Review your scrap fabric stash with an asymmetric eye. All design lines don’t have to be parallel. Think variation in trims; use striped accents; make flowers and rosettes. Appliqué pillows; cut out letters and monogram pencil cases, makeup bags and clutches. 

Weave, braid and wrap fabric to make napkin rings. Make a load of scrunchies, bracelets, and necklaces. Create decorative fabric tassels. Make handbag handles; decorate cards; sew a few travel pouches. Cut and stack up on bindings, waistbands, collars, cuffs, and facings. Sew strips of fabric together to create new textures. And make contrasting linings, striped shorts, and cropped tops for starters.

Try selective scrap fabric combinations; as you would use a mood board. It’s how I arrive at a lot of my scrap fabric creations.


Above Three different fabric scraps turned out another pleasing romper. Leftover crinkle cotton from the curtains, lends an airy summer feel to the shorts. And I used a lightweight knit scrap was for the under blouse. For the over-top, I decided on a remnant of mesh from another project.

Scrap fabric creations on the bias

I cut the majority of my clothes on the bias. Because I get a comfortable fit and my clothing drapes beautifully without hugging. Another bonus is there’s always lots of leftover material from bias-cut garments. And for that reason, my daughter gets surplus clothing every time.

About cutting fabric on the Bias 

Question What exactly is bias cut?

Answer A garment is bias-cut when it’s cut on an angle. To find the bias grain in fabrics, hold a corner of the fabric and fold it over toward the selvage. Along the folded line, is the true bias.

Or imagine a sheet of 8”x11” paper in hand; hold a corner, bring the 8” side over to the 11” edge or vice versa. Smooth it out and make a crease. Where the fold on the triangle forms, is your bias grain. 

Use bias off-cuts for fab scrap fabric creations

Below The red top at the center and the camisole at right are both bias cut pieces. The fabric came from the dress pictured at left. The best thing about bias cut clothing is you can achieve a beautiful fit -without sewing a single dart. And your clothes won’t hug either. In brief, it frames the body in a flattering way.


I hope you've found something to send you on your way to creating your best scrap fabric projects.

As always, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. I will answer as soon as I can.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.

If the LORD will, see you next time.