Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sewing with Scraps & Upholstery Samples ... & other super cheap deals!!!

On Sunday I went to the latest Our Social Fabric sale and I overheard this woman saying she likes the upholstery fabric samples but wouldn't have a clue what to do with them.  Well, have I got ideas for her!!!

If there's one thing I'm good at, it's being creative about how to use up scraps and odds and ends.  That's what I get the most satisfaction out of.  It's easy to go out and spend a fortune on gorgeous fabrics and create something, but it's far more challenging and fun to make something from nothing.

Here are a few of my latest projects using scraps and upholstery samples I got for free at a little Mom & Pop  furniture upholstering store on Main Street (near 6th Street), Vancouver months ago.  

Now, I want to make it clear I do not consider myself a great sewer at all. I'm very experienced but also very impatient so tend to rush thru things and take shortcuts.  I spend more time on gifts, but none of these are gifts, they're just for me.  

Here's a kitchen mat which is all from the fabric sample book I got for free except for the backing fabric which is a painters drop cloth I bought from hardware store.  It's great hardy fabric for projects like this ... and it's super cheap!  

This is, again, from the samples except the backing which is from ugly old curtains I made about 25 years ago and kept just for backing fabric.  The memory foam filling is from Jysk as they had a damaged single mattress topper that they sold for just $10.  I used most of it doubled up for dog beds and this office chair was just the scraps.

These were from old curtains I bought at thrift store.  Used curtains are great as have little wear and tons of fabric.  Remember to wash used stuff 2-3 times before using.  Love the retro colours which work really well together.  Made pillows for the living room out of these fabrics too.

Same as the yellow fabric above but used the wrong side for the main part of this travel kleenex holder.

I went thru a massive coffee cozy phase for awhile there.  Put them in Xmas crackers, gave them to friends, etc.  The brown was from a fabric sample, other is a scrap from some fabric I bought to make kids' items (see Etsy).  The patch where I put my business name is from the above painters dropcloth.

This is my makeup bag I carry in my purse.  Used the dropcloth, an old burlap coffee bean sack and leftover fabric I bought for some wallets I made (see Etsy shop).

This purse I made from this really heavy corduroy fabric I found at a thrift store.  Thought it would come in handy for bags as it's super thick and sturdy, not appropriate for clothing at all.  The d-rings I used for the straps were super cheap for a big bag of them at Dressew (don't us Vancouver-ites loooooove that place!).  The button is just used as an accent as used velcro inside as closure.  This is one of hundreds of buttons I bought at Our Social Fabric sale.  They're leather and absolutely gorgeous.  I even did the water test to make sure they're real leather, soaked them overnight in water.  I put them on Etsy and if they sell I'll probably use that money to donate to one of my causes (don't even get me started on those!).

Love wrist pin cushions but, the one I've been using forever had was one of those plastic grips which always irritated my skin.  Finally made myself this super comfortable one ... all scraps.  Even the stuffing was from an old pillow.  Oh yeah, the velcro was a purchase, but found that at thrift store, a whole bag of different coloured velcro strips for $4!!!  BTW, don't use self-adhesive velcro unless you want a sticky needle, and could even affect your bobbin ... yuck.

Here's my latest Our Social Fabric haul.  3 huge rolls of elastic for $5 each!!!  The top one is for lingerie.  I used to make a lot of undies for my daughter and I out of old t-shirts so will get busy making more now that I have this huge roll.  Although she's 18 now so doubt she'll want to wear my homemade undies anymore, LOL.  Will find many other uses too.  It's all more than I can use of course so will give some away BUT I'm planning on using a lot of the bottom stuff to help use up more scraps of fabric.  Here's how:  I'm going to sew a ton of my samples and other fabrics together like patchwork and make kids pants out of them.  Will donate them to a charity.

I just threw this one in.  I had this old t-shirt I never wore so cut off the neckline and used scraps from an old torn blouse to make a new neck feature.  I've worn it a few times and decided I don't like the colour on me, is why I never wore it in the first place.  Will donate it to thrift store but love the idea and plan on doing it with other shirts.

Please share your ideas, am sure you have way fancier ones than me and I'd love to see them.



  1. Replies
    1. Oh ... thanks Melanie. I didn't realize anyone read my little blog, LOL.

      Do you have a blog or Etsy shop I could check out?

  2. I am totally going to make the chair pad... I have been searching the internet for HOURS and finally found something I would actually use! I'm not really the clutch purse kind of girl) :) glad I found your blog ;)

  3. I'm glad you found inspiration. I love the challenge of upcycling, recycling, re-using. Please send pics of what you make :).

  4. Great ideas! I like to restyle as well and am getting more into sewing since I just got a new sewing/embroidery machine.

  5. Love all your ideas - just brillant!!

  6. Love all your ideas - just brillant!!

    1. Thanks Sewing Chick. I wish I had time to post my sewing stuff as always making something but never liked taking pics. What do you like to sew? Where can I follow you?

  7. I have an immense amount of upholstery fabric sample books and am wracking my brain what to make with it that is something different as what I see all over the internet. There are some beautiful very thick ones as well and I don't want to just waste them. Any idea would be more than welcome..

  8. I have an immense amount of upholstery fabric sample books and am wracking my brain what to make with it that is something different as what I see all over the internet. There are some beautiful very thick ones as well and I don't want to just waste them. Any idea would be more than welcome..

  9. Hi this is a new Venture for me can anyone tell me where to purchase this type of fabric