Wednesday Craft: Making new “fabric” from scraps

FabMo 2009

My table at last year's FabMo TAB

The second annual FabMo Textile Art Boutique is coming up in just under two months. When I did last year’s show it was my first foray into selling crafts, and I was very nervous about the whole thing. I wasn’t sure about the quality of my work, the types of items I was making, and so forth. But the event was incredibly fun and the crowd tremendously supportive, and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.

Most of what I remember from the month preceding the show, and the month preceding the Craft Happy show I did in March, is just craziness. Think about it: if I’m to have thirty items to sell (which isn’t even a lot), I need to make one thing a day for a month, or some permutation of that. Eye pillows go quickly — I can make several of those in an afternoon — but bigger items take much longer, and daily crafting wears me out in any case. On top of that, there’s display planning and pricing and packaging, and the rest of my life, which in the case of both these shows, I pretty much ignored for the month and a half beforehand.

Scrap bag

Pencil pouch from scraps

This time, I’ve decided not to worry about quantity at all. I’m just going to play with my FabMo materials, and things can flow from there. Today I experimented with making my own “fabric” from scraps of FabMo cloth. I think I was inspired by seeing these vertical-striped plant pots at the Ferry Building yesterday! I stitched squarish scraps together, adding pintucks (sewn-down bitty pleats) for texture, until I had two rough rectangles of patchworked “fabric” about the same size. I totally forgot to take any photos while I was doing this, but these raw scrappy rectangles didn’t look like much. I wasn’t sure I could make anything of them, so I quickly mocked up a pencil case to see how they’d look. Basically, I made a simple lined zip pouch without the zipper.

Scrap pencil case

Sewn-together scraps

I’m quite happy with how the pouch looks! And I’m pleasantly surprised that it only took me about an hour to make. Now that I know it works, I’ll try this technique to make other items. I was originally thinking clutches, but I wonder if there’s any way I can do sashes/belts, or even wallets. I could make bigger things too, but I like that the patchwork effect only runs in one direction (a single row of rectangles rather than multiple rows stacked atop each other). I suppose I could use a large piece of fabric and then add this patchwork thing as a trim. And I could add embellishments to a small piece like the pouch above — maybe some beads or a yo-yo. So many possibilities!

Tomorrow: I realize that I need to reprioritize my writing yet again. See you then!