Make your own fabric from scraps

Making your own decorative fabric is a wonderful way to use up left over material, and one of my absolute favourite scrap-buster projects. There are infinite possibilities of colour combinations and, best of all, tonnes of creative and relaxing free motion embroidery. You can’t get this wrong, you can do whatever you fancy. In short, this is a lot of fun. Read on to find out what you need to do.

You will need:

  • A base fabric (don’t make it too large for a first attempt)
  • Fusible interfacing, cut to the same size as your base fabric
  • Soluble interfacing, cut to the same size as your base fabric
  • A collection of fabric scraps
  • Sewing machine
  • Darning foot
  • Different coloured sewing threads
  • Pins (its a good idea to use coloured glass-headed pins so they are easy to spot)
  • Iron and ironing board

Attach the fusible interfacing to the back of your base fabric following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Turn your base-fabric over and cover with pieces of scrap materials. Anything goes here, I included a few sweet wrappers too…

Cover your piece with water soluble interfacing and pin in place.

Free motion embroider over the entirety of your work. Think about your choice of thread, and sew freely all over the fabric. Anything goes, but make sure you watch out for the pins! Remove them as you sew each part of the fabric.

Repeat this process with different coloured thread; I used green to begin, then some orange, then some purple. This project is great for using up left-over threads as well as fabric scraps, a great way to empty those half used bobbins.

When you are happy you have covered all of the fabric scraps, trim away any access adhesive interfacing and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove it (this usually involves soaking in warm water then rinsing in cold). Hang out to dry and then press.

Your finished fabric piece should be fairly robust, very colourful and full of completely unique quirks. Use this to your advantage in whatever you choose to make with it; coasters, brooches, zip pouches or applique details are just some examples. I turned this piece into some Scrappy Gift Tags which are great for adding a special touch to presents.

If you are looking for new ideas for your sewing, try signing up to my Creative Sewing Challenge. You get a new prompt each month, as well as ideas and free patterns to help inspire your sewing (this tutorial was inspired by the prompt ‘tutti frutti’). Find out more here, or sign up below.

And here is a handy pin to save for later!