Creating Lovely For Less

More scrap fabric creations



Materials and equipment you will need


Sewing machine

Cutting surface

Dressmaker’s chalk

Pins and needles

Fusible web or temporary fabric adhesive

Thimble (optional -helps to protect finger tips in hand-sewing)

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


Cut out 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 thread

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

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

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

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

Note: Variation in thread and fabric thickness may leave some raw edges visible. If you prefer complete edge coverage, repeat the sewing process; making sure to stitch directly into exposed areas.

Similarly, if using a sewing machine, repeat zigzag stitches.

Because of differences in measurements between inside and outside edges, some stitches will rotate and 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 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, shoe laces and the waist ties at the back of our gathered dresses.

Today, bows have evolved. They are now 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, expose the scrap pile and discover a variety of things to make with small pieces of fabric.

how to make a bow with fabric scraps

Uses and methods of attachment

This bow is constructed to be used in various ways. The center loop allows for sliding ribbons, string, cord and other materials through the back. With that option, you can use it for hair ties, belts and sashes, closures in garments, necklaces, bow ties, gift toppers and napkin ties to start. Apart from that, it can be attached to other fabric surfaces with a needle and thread. Also, double-sided tape, hot glue or other fabric adhesives are added options.


q&a making Bows with fabric scraps

Before you 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; e.g. hats, gloves, bags, hair ties; decorate cards, journals, book covers and as gift toppers.

Note: in all instances, keep bows end-use in mind; e.g. if 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 way better than a sewing machine.

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

Keep in mind: If using a sewing machine and knit fabrics to make bows, use a slight zigzag stitch. As knits stretch, 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 with scraps using minimal or no stitching. Explore fraying fabric edges and cutting materials on the bias grain.

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

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

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

If you’re not familiar with fabrics, imagine a paper square folded to form a triangle; along the fold/longest side of the triangle, is where you’ll find the bias grain. And it works the exact same way in fabrics.


Make a bow with fabric scraps step by step

Step 1. Cut a rectangular strip of fabric to accommodate bow size. (I used 6 ½” x 5 ½”)

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

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

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

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

Step 6. Hand-sew or machine stitch short ends of larger strip

–right sides together to make a loop; turn over

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

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

Step 10. Remove small loop from around larger one; use pin as seam allowance guide; stitch in place, trim and turn over.

Step 11. To finish, push and pull larger loop through small loop; adjust gathers, center small loop in middle of 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 small loop.


scrap fabric creations that reach for the edge

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

Above:The outer shell and the shoulder strap of the handbag is made entirely from selvage, cut off from a curtain project.

Making bags of any type is another great way to utilize 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 a main material shortage. In the end, it proved to be a more creative choice than corresponding horizontal stripes at the waistline. When working with stripes, it is necessary to match them for a visually pleasing/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 is considered scrap fabric in terms of size?

A remainder of a larger fabric project; 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; 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 a bit larger. A better way to understand my rationale why I think of my bigger-than-usual leftovers as scraps is: If I wanted to make a complete top, skirt or shorts for myself, using one piece of my scrap fabric, I’ll only be able to make an accessory.

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. Storing scraps in plain sight, within reach is a great convenience; a cabinet with doors to keep them out of sight works just as well.

Sorting your scraps by type, colors, textures and sizes is always 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, they are seldom large enough for a full-size project. In that case, the next best bet is to piece them together. If you are looking to create patchwork style items, get a head start by sorting your scraps in complementary or contrasting colors. Keep fabrics’ compatibility in mind; be sure the materials you’re sewing 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 fabrics, 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 and designs.


Above: Three different fabric scraps turned out another pleasing romper. Leftover crinkle cotton from the curtains, lends an airy summer feel to the shorts. A lightweight knit scrap was used for the under blouse; and the over-top is made with 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 clothing that drapes beautifully without hugging. One thing about cutting fabric on the bias is, there’s always some leftover material. As a result, my daughter gets surplus clothing every time.

about cutting fabric on the Bias

Question: What exactly is bias cut?

Answer: A garment is said to be bias cut, when it’s cut on an angle.

Simply put, to find the bias grain in fabrics, hold a corner of 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 formed, is your bias grain.

use bias off-cuts for fab scrap fabric creations

Below: The red top at center and the camisole at right are made with remnants of the bias cut dress pictured at left. The best thing about bias cut clothing is you can achieve beautiful fit -without sewing a single dart. And your clothes won’t hug either; it simply frames the body in a flattering way.


Do you believe we’re less than two weeks away from spring? Well I’m ready to welcome the weather change. How about you?

I hope you’re 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.