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Making Bookmarks with Selvage Fabric
Sewing with Selvages -- Make a Bookmark
If you sew or collect fabric (and mean to sew with it!), you know what selvage is. If you don't sew, let me explain.
Selvage is the finished edge of fabric; it's finished so that edge of the fabric won't fray. Only one edge of the fabric has a selvage edge. It is nice and straight, and often it has words and symbols or pictures printed on the very edge that denotes the manufacturer, name of the fabric, circles with colors used in the fabric, and other information.
I'm a selvage lover from way back. I started saving the selvage edge of fabric years ago, and my daughter saves her selvage for me, too.
I started seeing crafts and sewing projects made from these fabric edges. I decided to do some sewing with selvages. For my first project, I made some selvage bookmarks.
Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood
Selvage Fabric - The Finished Edge
Like I mentioned, the selvage on fabric is the edge that is finished so it won't fray or unravel.
This photo shows examples of strips of selvage fabric. I just love the writing on fabric selvages; I think they're beautiful! Do you?
Fabric by the Yard - Start with Beautiful Fabric for Lovely Selvage
These fabrics are available on Amazon. Think of the beautiful pillows or curtains or any number of other projects you could make with the fabric. Then think of the great selvage bookmarks or other projects you could make with the selvage!
Strips of Selvage - Prepare Your Materials
To make a selvage bookmark, start with at least three or four strips of selvage. The exact amount you'll need will depend on how wide your strips are and how wide you want your bookmark to be.
I started with these strips (shown on the left) and a piece of fabric for the back (shown on the right).
Iron the strips. This strips of selvage fabric tends to curl and twist so ironing is helpful to straighten them out and be ready to sew the bookmark.
Sewing the Bookmarks
This photo shows my trusty old Kenmore sewing machine in action. I placed the wrong sides of the selvage to the wrong side of the base fabric and pinned them together. In other words, I had the front side (or the right side or "pretty" side) of the fabric facing out for both sides.
The back piece of fabric offers support so your bookmark is sturdier.
I used a decorative zigzag stitch (about all my old machine will do) to sew a top stitch to attach the selvage strips to the backing fabric. Note: Top stitching shows as opposed to a hidden seam stitch, which is hidden! Surprise, surprise.
Sew the length of each strip attaching one to the next.
Rust-Dyed Fabric for the Backing
Selvage bookmarks are like little quilts for your books.
Finish the Bookmarks
When I had finished sewing the strips of selvage to the backing fabric, I realized that was one wide bookmark!
No problem. I cut them in two to make two bookmarks. I finished the edges around each bookmark using a zigzag stitch. The edges have some loose threads but I kind of like that look.
If you're pickier than me (and you probably are since I love the rustic, primitive look), you can hand finish the edges or use a fancy stitch or even go whole hog and add bias tape around the edge. Fancy!
Do You Like Selvage - Will You Save Your Selvage for Me?
Seriously, if you look at selvage and say "eh," I'll pay the postage for you to ship your selvage strips to me. Seriously.
Are you a fan of selvages?
Use Selvage to Make a Tissue Holder - Little Strips of Fabric
I made this tissue case using some selvage (and other) strips of fabric. The words don't show on this one but they appear on the back in the white portion.
Save the Selvages and Other Great Scrap Quilting Books - Books to Inspire Selvage Fabric Projects
If you sew you know that sewing can leave behind lots of scraps of fabric. And if you're like me, you don't want to throw these scraps away. Making these cute little bookmarks is a great way to use up scraps in a quick and easy project.
I just made four selvage bookmarks in less than an hour. They're quick and fun to make!
I think this book looks like it has so many fun projects using just the selvage. Love that look!
Use up little scraps of fabric (and some selvage if you want) with these projects.
Quilting with selvage. Now you're talking!