After last week's discussion about green sewing and refashioning, I've been thinking a lot about salvaging materials. And I realized that one of the things that has always bothered me about sewing is all the leftover scraps.
Did you know that in the U.S. during World War II, it was actually a federal offense to throw out waste paper? I wonder if the same rules applied to waste fabric. There are so many interesting parallels between the U.S. of the 40's and today, considering that at both times our nation has been at war and there are new movements to conserve. The "Make Do and Mend" of the 40's has become the "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle" of the new millennium. But for all the similarities, there are just as many differences. With a nation so politically divided, the idea of rationing to support the war efforts seems unlikely.
As a modern gal, sometimes I think the biggest waste product in my life is fabric scraps! When I first started sewing, I read in a beginner's book that you should always save your scraps, since they might come in handy for other projects and for testing out techniques and such. I dutifully followed this advice, filling bins and bins full of odd-shaped remnants. And then I stashed them away and promptly forgot about them.
The real problem, though, is that I don't have room to store all these scraps. So now I've just started throwing scraps away after each project. I hate how this feels, though. It's so awful and depressing to see nice fabric scraps in the trash can along with grody old food scraps. Ugh.
I know there are about a gazillion small projects to make with scraps like quilts and pin cushions and necklaces and brooches and etc, etc, etc. I even found a tutorial for making thumbtacks from scraps and another for a beautiful butterfly mobile. But that's not really what I want to spend my precious sewing time on, and again, it feels like refashioning just for refashioning's sake. Another option is to try to make money off your scraps: fabric Designer Anna Maria Horner sells her scraps for $10 a bag!
So I'm coming to you for advice. What do you do with your scraps?
Gracey on Riding in Skirts
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