Category: Basic Sewing Skills

How to Make a Quilted Potholder from Scraps

How to Make a Quilted Potholder from Scraps

You can make good use of your fabric scraps when you re-purpose them into something new. Here’s how to make a quilted fabric potholder with your quilting leftovers.

Scrappy Quilted Potholder|chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Quilted Potholders are easy to make from your fabric scraps!

 

 

I’ve been trying to re-use and up-cycle more of my fabric scraps for projects. I used to throw them away, but fabric is sooo expensive. Recently, I learned that fabric doesn’t decompose in the landfill and fabric waste is a growing global problem. Rest assured, I no longer want to waste anything that can be sewn into something useful! These adorable potholders are made from my most recent quilt project leftovers. You can learn about how I made the quilt blocks that I used here. It doesn’t matter what fabric scraps you use, pretty much any fabric will do for this project. Here are some recycling ideas:

Recycled Fabric Sources

left over quilting cotton

old t-shirts

men’s dress shirts

worn out jeans

kids shirts

old table cloths

thrifted fabrics or clothes with pretty patterns

flannel sheets or pillowcases

Worn out blankets

quilt batting pieces or leftover fiberfill stuffing from craft projects

There are lots of options for fabrics! I like to use a couple of left over quilt blocks and some quilting cotton scraps for this project. You will need fabric and batting about 9″ square. In addition, if your pieces are smaller, simply stitch them together until you have a 9″ square. This is a great way to learn to sew or quilt!

Woven pieces of fabric can be single needled stitched together until you have a large enough piece. You can even sew small pieces of quilt batting together with a zig-zag stitch (overlapping the pieces) to get a 9″ squares needed for this project.

Sew a Scrappy Potholder|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Leftover cotton quilting scraps

Potholder Supplies Needed:

•Two 9″ fabric squares for front and back of potholder (any fabric or pattern)

•10″ square of quilt batting

•Strip of binding fabric, 2 1/2″ by 44″ (can be pieces of other fabrics sewn together)

•Straight pins, safety pins

•fabric basting adhesive (optional)

•Sewing Machine, free motion quilting foot (optional)

Sew a Scrappy Potholder|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com
Sew fabric loops at the end for easy hanging.

Potholder Sewing Directions:

1. Layer backing fabric, quilt batting or a thin layer of fiberfill stuffing, and top fabrics together. You can use a spray basting adhesive to hold them in place or use a few safety pins to secure.

2. Using a free motion quilt foot, quilt as desired in a random pattern. You can quilt with straight rows stitches every few inches across the fabrics if you do not have a free motion foot. The quilting holds all of the layers together and makes the pot holder more durable.

3. Trim edges even.

4. Fold binding in half lengthwise, apply to front of potholder matching raw edges, folding the binding at corners to fit. Finally, pin in place with straight pins. Stitch around all sides with a 3.0 single needle stitch, leaving a 3″ tail of binding at the last corner.

5. Trim seams to 1/4″. Turn folded binding edge to back side of potholder, pin fold over first seam. Fold under excess fabric at corner to get a “almost” mitered fit. Top stitch 1/8″ away from inside edge, sewing all the way to the end of the fabric loop piece (encasing raw edges).

6. Finally, to make the hanging loop, fold back extra fabric and secure with 3-4 back and forth stitches.

Need help? Watch this video tutorial!

Scrappy Potholder|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambrayblues.com
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Here are some more fun relevant recycled projects:

Mens Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

Sew a Pocket Square in 3 Easy Steps

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

 

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Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

This simple skirt is made completely from scraps of thrifted cotton and an pair of old denim jeans. Here’s how you can save your scraps from the trash bin and create something fun and new to wear!

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Hi! I’m Jessica and I blog at Designers Sweet Spot.com. I also stitch up all sorts of fun things on my sewing blog Chambray Blues.com. I am so pleased to share this project with you all! Thanks to Deborah for having me guest post on her amazing blog!

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Why Recycle Fabrics?

I used to give away all my clothes that didn’t fit to the thrift store. That is, until I discovered that thrift stores only keep and sell 20% of the donations they receive, the rest are bundled and sold off to foreign countries or disposed of. Isn’t that sad? All that good stuff goes to waste! I now look for ways to reuse every bit of household fabric that I can especially if it is colorful and in good condition. This is especially true for denim items, Every old pair of jeans can find a new life in someway, this type of fabric iss so versatile and wears for such a long time.

There have been dozens of popular recycled jean skirt projects across the web, this one is an easy version and quick to make with a few basic sewing tools. My fabrics came from the thrift store (other than the jeans that I already owned), which is an added bonus. The local thrift store here sells their fabric scraps for $.50 a bundle. You can’t possibly get any cheaper and I often find great quality fabric there that I couldn’t afford to buy new if it was in a fabric store.

Pair this skirt with your favorite t-shirt and sandals for a quick shopping trip, date to the movies or walk on the beach. You can adjust the length by adding or subtracting rows of ruffles, it would also be an adorable maxi skirt with more rows of fabric. This adult (size 20) version falls just above the knee and finishes 23.5″ long. This would also work great for young girls who have out grown their jeans from last year!

Here’s what you will need:

Supplies:

• One pair of old jeans, any size

• 1/2 yards cut of 3 different patterned 45″ wide cotton fabrics (red, yellow, navy)

• Rotary cutter, 6″ wide quilting ruler and cutting mat (or fabric scissors, pencil and a ruler)

• Matching thread

• Sewing machine

•Ruffling Foot attachment (optional)

Directions:

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

  1. Fold jeans in half, matching side seams and crotch seams. Pin seams together, folding pockets out of the way so they won’t get cut in the next step.
  2. Measure 10 1/2″ down from top of waistband at side seam. Mark and cut across horizontally to the center front, remove the legs of the jeans and lower part of crotch as in photo. Set aside. Save pant legs for other projects.
  3. Lay cotton fabrics on cutting mat with fold near the zero cutting edge of the cutting mat (closest to you), and selvedges at the top of the mat (away from you). Using the quilting ruler, cut fabric into rows of 6″ wide strips.
  4. Turn cotton fabrics on the mat horizontally and cut again, into 11″ wide pieces. Cut pieces will measure 6″ x 11″. Cut 15 of each of the three printed fabrics for a total of 45 pieces.
  5. Stitch the short side of the cotton pieces together in rows of 15, using a 2.5 mm single needle stitch altering colors/prints at random. There is no need to cut the threads between each row, you can chain stitch them together for faster sewing. Continue as needed until all 15 pieces are stitched together.
  6. Gather top edges of each ruffle 1/2″ from top edge with a ruffling foot or by hand using two rows of 5.0mm basting stitch 1/8″ apart and pulling up the threads to gather. Sew ends of each row together to make three complete circles of ruffles.
  7. Pin one row of patterned ruffle to denim cut offs to check fit. Adjust gathers and stitch in place. You can add or remove sections of ruffle if it is too large or small to fit it to your jean cut offs. (For girls a row of 7 pieces of patterned fabrics may be enough)
  8. Continue with second and third rows of ruffles in similar fashion, checking the length and fit as you stitch each row on.
  9. Hem finished skirt with 1/4″ narrow rolled hem on bottom edge.
  10. Press seams to finish.

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If you enjoyed this project try some of these other recycled fabric ideas:

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

5 Step Easy Headband

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How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

Learning how to read a sewing pattern envelope is the first step in sewing a garment. Learn these tips for success!

Learn to read a pattern envelope|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com
Learning to read the pattern envelope is important for sewing success.

 

My first experience with sewing involved picking out patterns and proper fabric at our local fabric store when I was 7 years old. The woman who ran the small store was very experienced and she could answer any questions that you might have and steer you on the right path. Today, things are are very different. So many people are learning to sew for the very first time and have no one to ask for help. Even the employees in the fabric store (if you can find one!) don’t always know how to answer your questions.

Learn to read the pattern envelope before you choose your pattern and you will feel much more comfortable with the process. This post will help you know how difficult the pattern is, what fabric and notions to buy, what size pattern you need and give you an idea of what the garment will cost to make.

Reading a Sewing Pattern Envelope

1) Choose your style in the pattern style book. Pull out the desired pattern from the storage drawer in the store and view the back of the envelope. Not sure how to do this? Watch this FB Live video.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2016768785029847&id=1912224668817593&_rdr

How to read a sewing pattern envelope|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com
Most sewing patterns have the body measurements listed on the envelope flap.

2) Find the envelope flap. Most patterns have the body measurements listed here for each size. Compare your body measurements to find the size that is closest to your measurements. Ready to wear sizes are not the same as pattern sizes, so don’t buy a pattern based on your ready to wear size. It won’t work!

How to Read a Pattern Envelope|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Back of McCalls 7100 pattern

The Pattern Size Chart

3) Look at the description of the garment on the top of the rectangular chart on the envelope. This description tells you how many pattern pieces are included in this particular style. Easy patterns have fewer pieces, you can sew an entire dress with as little as 4 or 5 pattern pieces. More advanced patterns such as coats have lots of pieces, some coats have as many as 28! Different pattern companies have the sewing level clearly marked in the description as beginner, intermediate, advanced etc. Make note of what notions are required. Do you have the skill to sew them? Items like buttons and zippers require more skill to sew. If you are a beginner sewer, you may want to look for a pattern with draw string or elastic closures instead until you have more experience.

4) Recommended fabrics are included on the envelope for each style. Restrict your fabric purchases to only these fabric choices for that style. This is important for beginning sewers who often get misled when purchasing fabric for the first time. Woven fabrics and knits for example, require very different construction methods so they are not interchangeable. If you want your garment to turn out, you must choose the proper fabric for that style.

How to read a pattern envelope|ChambrayBluesBlog|www.chambrayblues.com
Some pattern envelopes have a knit fabric stretch chart.

5) Knit styles sometimes have stretch measurements on the back of the pattern envelope. Place your fabric on the fold over the black rectangle marking on the top of the envelope. Stretch the fabric across the chart to see if it will work for that style.

5) Choose which style view you want to make from the front of the envelope. You may want to circle view A, B, C on the envelope so it’s easy to remember.

6) Look at the “size” column, calculate how much fabric you will need by reading down the chart. Fabric comes in widths of 45″ (cottons or specialty fabrics generally) or 60″ (knits, wool, lace, rayon, fleece, crepe, satin). You will need to purchase extra fabric if you plan to make alterations. I routinely purchase 1/4-1/2 yard extra fabric for each style to be sure I have enough yardage. When I forget to do this, I usually end up having to run back to the store and sometimes the fabric isn’t there any more, or it won’t be off the same bolt which can be a slightly different color. Be sure to buy enough fabric for your project all at once, you can always make something else from the scraps!

The Yardage Chart

7) Extra fabric will be required for matching one way prints or fabrics that have a nap. Buy at least 1 extra yard per style to match plaids. In the photo above, separate yardages are given for fabrics with nap. Fabrics with nap include corduroy or velvet, use these yardages if you are sewing with those items.

8) Don’t forget to purchase interfacing, and lining if your pattern requires it. These are listed separately, below the other fabric and notion requirements. Also, be sure you have a selection of fresh sharp sewing machine needles at home in case one breaks while you are sewing! (Hint, buy needles that are designed for the type of fabric you choose. Different fabrics such as knits, satin or denim require special sewing machine needles.)

What if I make a mistake buying my Pattern?

What happens if you do your best to read the pattern envelope and make a mistake in your purchase? If you get home and realize you purchased the wrong type of fabric for your pattern, most stores will return it. The fabric must be uncut and unwashed. You must have your receipt, including the cutting slip to get proper credit. Sewing patterns can be returned only if they are unopened. Usually, I keep patterns and fabric if I decide not to use them right away. I prefer to have a stash of things in my closet for reference even if I haven’t sewn them. You will quickly become a collector if you aren’t already!

I like to keep track of what I spend on each garment for my own enjoyment. My custom designs are akin to designer brands, they are good quality and custom made to fit me perfectly. Do not compare your custom sewn clothing to things you would buy at a discount or department store, those garments are poor quality and not custom made.

Every time you make a new project you learn something else. Think of this sewing journey as one that will be on going. The time to start is now!

 

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Check out some of these other tutorials:

Sew Along 2018, the Year of the Blues!

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

 

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