Zero Waste Sewing

It’s Fashion Revolution Week!

There are many things happening around reducing waste, recycling, reusing, repairing… and a lot of it in the crafting world. I thought about how to reduce my own „waste production“ while crafting and put together some people and projects that inspire me. There are so many ideas out there! From actual Zero-Waste sewing patterns, to a million ways to use your scraps and tiny leftover fabric pieces.

So before I will talk about my own practice, here are some ideas I like:

For my own practice, I implemented a little recycling system, and I hope it will help me to actually stop creating any waste:

For the tiniest scraps, like cut thread, serger waste, etc. I set aside a paper bag to eventually use them as stuffing for a pillow, or if I will ever get to it, handmade toys.

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A tote bag holds all my small fabric scraps. They are too small to use for clothing, but could still become quilts, patches for holes in other clothes, or letters on a handmade banner.

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A small box holds the scraps that are big enough to be used for clothes, pouches, etc. This is actually my favorite treasure box! It holds cut off sleeves from gorgeous 80s silk shirts, pieces of great fabric that I used for other projects… And it is an immense source of inspiration for me! I go to it from time to time and make a patchwork top from silks, or leftover jersey. Making patchwork tops or pillowcases allows me to let my creativity go free, to play with colors and textures. The other day when I bought some beautiful new fabrics, one of my first thoughts was „I will have great scraps again!“.

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Sorting the scraps by size helps me to access the ones I am looking for faster. It would probably make sense to sort them by material as well, but I don’t have enough shelf space for that.

How do you reduce waste while creating? Do you have some great ideas on how to use those small scraps?

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Handmade banner for the pride this year, made of recycled fabric and scraps!
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