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Renew, Reuse, Re-Purpose and Recycle with Fabric

Updated on June 17, 2014

Renew, Reuse, Repurpse and Recycle with Fabrics

Recycling is not a new word or a new concept, it has been around for years and years and there are uncountable varieties of ways to recycle, reuse, repurpose and renew.

Recycling is something we practice in our home and we teach our children the value of it, just as it was taught to me.

This lens will cover one of the ways I practice recycling, renewing, re-purposing and reusing using fabrics.

Having been in the sewing trade all my life a lot of scrap fabrics passes through my hands and I have a hard time throwing any of it away.

So instead of the trash scrap fabric ends up in bins and I create items out of these many scrap fabrics.

These creations renew and reuse theses scrap fabrics that were destine for the landfill.

Follow along and see some of my creations...........renewed, reused, recycled and re-purposed fabrics.

If you see something that interest you click a picture to take you to my ETSY shop and see what may be available.

Square Handbag

Square Handbag
Square Handbag
etsy store
etsy store

Repurposing with a Passion

Creative Recycling

I have always been an avid crafter. All of my life I have always looked at some things but see something else.

I hear this little voice in my head saying 'you can make (fill in the blank) out of that'.

I'm never sure if it's a blessing or a curse.

I tend to collect and keep lots of stuff and I do reach points of feeling overwhelmed.

Am I alone or do you feel that way yourself at times?

See more selection in my ETSY shop.

Casual Hobo Tote

Casual Hobo Tote
Casual Hobo Tote

What To Do With All Of These Fabric Scraps - Be Inspired By What Others Are Doing...

There are two steps to using fabric scraps; first is to have the fabric scraps the second is to figure out what to do with them.

Books are always great idea starters. See what others are doing is an excellent way to get your own creative juices flowing.

Let's see what comes out of it.

Sewing Bits and Pieces: 35 Projects Using Fabric Scraps
Sewing Bits and Pieces: 35 Projects Using Fabric Scraps

Here is a helpful book to give you an assortment of other ideas of what you can do with fabric scraps. I always find others ideas get my own ideas flowing.


Fabric Donations

So Much Fabric So Little Time

I have been known to give many things away or pass it along to another creative friend just from being overwhelmed with too many scraps.

Boxes and boxes of fabrics have been donated to schools for their use just because I was exhausted and frustrated from hitting a brick wall with my creativity or just too busy sewing for others.

If you find yourself in the same situation please don't throw the fabric out. Find places to donate. Schools, especially middle or high schools are always looking for fabric scraps to use for production costumes or decorating sets.

Look for sewing clubs in your area that may be able to use your scraps as well. Even thrift stores are always open to fabric scraps.

As the saying goes 'One (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure'.

See more selection in my ETSY shop.

Handquilted Evening Bag - Perfect Accessory for the Little Black Dress

Handquited Evening Bag
Handquited Evening Bag

Fabric Creations Alert

Inspiration Abound

But I am now at a point where inspiration has blossomed and creating handbags and other accessories from scraps of fabrics is my current passion.

I look at certain pieces of fabrics and see what they are supposed to be.

Of course there is always more creations then there is time.

See more selection in my ETSY shop.

Diaper Duffle Bag

Diaper Duffle Bag
Diaper Duffle Bag

Patchwork Pieces

stitch with love

Some of these fabric scraps are too small for anything else and these pieces get sewn together to create patchwork creations.

Here is an example of such beauties as this Christmas Stocking for the mantel.

Items like these and others can be found in my Etsy Shop. If you see something on this page you like but are not finding it in my shop then feel free to contact me to inquire.

I rotate out merchandise to keep inventory fresh. Take a look at other items in my shop by clicking the picture.

See more selection in my ETSY shop.

Christmas Mantel Stockings

Christmas Mantel Stockings
Christmas Mantel Stockings

Fabric Scraps Anyone - Where for Art Thou?

Having scraps on hand is an easy task if you are an avid seamstress and constantly working on projects, but what if you are looking for more where else can you get these little scraps of treasures.

You can always try one of your local sewing shops, although they probably keep all their own scraps for their own projects or they be looking for someone just like you to help them recycle and reuse what they can not.

The other option is to buy them off of ebay from those that are trying to give fabric scraps more purpose and keep them out of the landfills.

Either way it's as fun looking for scraps as it is to creating something new with them.

How do you find fabric scraps for your projects.

Fabric Sample Books

there's gold in them thar' books

In addition to scraps left over from sewing jobs there are also books of fabric samples.

When fabrics are discontinued there is nothing to do with these books of fabric samples but to eliminate them.

So I take the books apart, upcycle and reuse every part of the book I can.

The fabrics are sewn into new items, like these cosmetic bags shown here.

The heavy chipboard backings of the books are cut down to create purse bottoms.

I try to use every part of the book that I can. These are like pieces of gold for me.

As I piece these scraps together I hear them talking to me that they want to become.......well each one wants to be something


See more selection in my ETSY shop.

Cosmetic Bags

Cosmetic Bags
Cosmetic Bags

Thx for Visiting

back to creating more

I hope you have found inspiration here in my little corner of the world.

I invite you to see more selection in my ETSY shop.

If you see items on this page but do not find in my shop then please inquire. I rotate out items periodically and reduce pricing to keep it fresh and inventory moving.

All items are one of a kind and can only be emulated never duplicated. That's what makes them so unique.

Listed here are also some resources and other recycling ideas. I hope you find them helpful.

Reuse, Recycling, Reuse and Re-Purpose Fabric - Resources

To find new uses when recycling fabrics sometimes we need a little help and inspiration. Here are a few additional resources to help.

Gallery of Creations - many creations, many designs

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Hobo Totes

Hobo Totes
Hobo Totes

How I Got Started In Fabrics

My Story

My mother operated her own full service home dcor sewing business at home and her mother operated her own upholstery shop at her home and I followed in their footsteps and have been operating my own custom home dcor business for the past 20 years as well. I'm certainly glad I paid attention it has served me and my family well.

All of this rich background of talent holds treasures of lots of memories and a few mementos from my grandmother's shop. I do, fortunately, still have my mother, we just don't live in the same state right now but we do share lots of stories of our ventures in the trade and sometimes we trade our sewing machines. Sounds funny I know but....

So much knowledge I wish I could bottle. Mother turned 83 this year and she still takes in an occasional sewing job. I say 'you go girl'!

So you see I grew up in the custom home décor sewing trade and have always been surrounded by fabrics.

Fabric scraps left from jobs too small to do anything with, books of fabric sample swatches, pieces of fabric from friends.

I have never NOT been around fabric that I can remember.

I have shared with you here my showcase of recycled fabric items with you. Thanks for following along and peeking at some of the creations coming from my sewing machine.

I always enjoy hearing from those that have visited so please sign in below.

Please feel free to visit my ETSY shop to see different styles and other items I have created. I add new selections and reduce prices to clear out old inventory periodically so be sure to visit often.

After all there are more things to create than there is time.

Above is a picture of me with my mother and brothers at my grandmother's farm. Notice the matching tops? Mother made them.

Read more about 'mommy and me' fashion outfits. .

Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know you've been by for a visit.

Do you have something on your mind? Please sign in and leave your comments here I always like knowing when guest have been by to visit for a while.

Share stories or just let me know you have been here so that I may visit you.

Please Stop and Say... - What's On Your Mind?

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    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      You seem to be very creative. Good ideas here.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 6 years ago from USA

      My mother loves to sew using remnants. You have lots of creative ideas here.

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 6 years ago

      Great ideas for Christmas presents.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Feels great to be able to use up and recycle doesn't it? Your bags are beautiful, and loving your tips. My favourite type of lens... Blessed *

    • Beaddoodler profile image

      Jennie Hennesay 6 years ago from Lubbock TX

      Your handbags are beautiful. Thanks for yet another idea for recycling!

    • globedancer profile image

      globedancer 7 years ago

      Pretty bags you have here! Recycling is practical and also environment friendly. Nice lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Those are beautiful bags! Thanks for the feature. :)