Scrap Busting: My new co-ordintating door stop
I recently heard a stat via Patrick Grant on the Great British Sewing Bee that home sewers waste 30% of their fabric. That astounded me. I understood that as a general rule of thumb RTW clothing production wastes around 15%, and so how can home sewers waste so much more.
I stopped and thought about this and how often pattern layouts are spacious, and how I never use them as I always seem to be able to lay things out better, creating less waste.. And for a minute I could see how this number might be true.
For me sewing is about making my clothes more sustainable. When I started that was mostly about fabric choice but as time has gone on it’s just as much about my production. I am a hoarder, always have been and so to be it is natural to not throw things away just in case they are useful and I have applied this way of being whole heartedly to my sewing.
This does however mean I have a fairly large supply of small pieces of fabric and an even larger supply of tiny scraps. Things that couldn’t be used for anything, and a lot of serger shreds and thread cuttings.
I was getting a bit over-run with a big bag of shreds and as I lay in bed yesterday having a very unusual lie in, I was struck with inspiration.
I live in a 1 storey house. We have a huge ranch slider in our bedroom which is often open and that means the door always needs to be propped open because of the breeze. For the last year, I have been using a spare pillow, sometimes a laundry basket for this job
Anyone else hoarding fabric packaging?
About 6 months ago, I upgraded our tired bedding to some new, 100% linen bedding. As many packs of bedding now do, they came in some fabric packets made from the same linen. (yay for less plastic).
The hoarder in me kept them… but also not knowing what to do, they have been in the bottom of a basket ever since. And then the inspiration struck from I don’t know where… they could be a co-ordinating door stop. Stuffed full of my serger threads… bingo. Two problems solved in one go.
Making My New Doorstop!
I got to work unpicking the seams and also salvaged 6 awesome buttons and a length of drawstring (bonus!). I had to sew a couple of pieces together to get the shape I needed but you don’t see that, and it wouldn’t matter if you did.
To make the pieces I measured out my triangles – making sure they were straight and even. My triangles were 25cm high, not quite equilateral as the bottom width was 21. This linen is a soft washed style and so I used my pinking shears to cut all the edges, meaning I also wouldn’t need to finish the seams.
Once I had my 4 triangles, I measured out a square that matched the bottom edge of the triangle pieces – so 21 x 21cm.
Ready To Sew
I pieced all the triangle pieces together, right sides together. I alternated my yellow and teal colour and sewed the long edges to the point together. I sewed with a 1cm seam allowance which I had taken into account when measuring out my pieces.
I then took a long rectangular piece of the linen, folded in half right sides together and sewed one short edge and the long edge together to make the handle. I pulled this out the right way and finished up the last short edge before folding it under and attaching to my triangles.
I must be honest, this handle was an after thought and so not the best, but it does the job completely well.
I think decided I wanted a little bit of decoration and so picked out a decorative vine stitch on my machine and ‘edge’ stitched this along each side of the seams. This also held my seam allowance in place on the inside.
Fill ‘er up!
To install the zipper, I cut a slice diagonally in my square matching the length of my zip. I folded back the sliced to create a window and installed my zipper. Leaving the zipper open so I could turn it all inside out, I matched the edges of the square piece to the edges of the triangles (which is still inside out). Using a 1cm seam allowance I sewed all the way round, pivoting at the corners. I pulled the point of the triangles out through the zipper opening to turn it all right sound out and bingo!
Last thing was just to stuff it with shreds and scraps. Because of the point stuff some smaller pieces, serger shreds of thread cuttings first. You will really need to pack the door stop out, it takes a surprising about of scraps. Once it’s stuffed full and solid, zip up and that using your hands pad it all into shape.
Voila… a co-ordinating door stop. Zero waste sewing at its best!