Friday, October 9, 2009
The Nonsensical Love of Scraps.....
Now, I do know that I am not alone in this crazy obsession for fabric scraps! And the more I read, the more I am finding my "OWN KIND" I am finding that there are others of you who actually think scraps are better than money, others who would love to open up a gift and find a box full of scraps or who would rather get a pound of scraps than go to the fabric store to get a yard of fabric of the bolt! I am with you completely! After nearly 20 years of sewing and collecting and creating and many years of running my own unique form of a fabric store online, I have come to have quite the stash. Those silly dreams as a young girl that I had of literally wishing I could live in the fabric store, have in one way actually come true. I worked in fabric stores from the time I was 16 until my first child was born. I had the challenge of being on the management team at one of them after I was married. I thought it would be amazing to wake up amongst fabric and all the possibilities it held. Don't get me wrong, I do laugh about that and find humor in the thought especially when I think about it from another person's perspective. But the fact of it is that I do now have a sort of fabric store in my own home. You know the old saying amongst fabric collectors-"The one who dies with the most fabric wins"- Well, I am off to a great start-but I do not intend to die with it-I do actually intend to use it or pass it on to my customers! Hopefully one of my girls will acquire a similar love because if they don't, this will be one area that will make them crazy when I die.
Back to scraps though, I am wandering here in my thoughts. They are endless, aren't they. Especially if you sew all the time. And for me, creating is only half of my job, so I do not unfortunately have the time to use all of them myself. I always have more ideas than I have time. But I have really enjoyed the oppratunity I have to pass those scraps on to other creatives. As a matter of fact there are many creatives out there that make their living off of using scraps for there creations. The ability to take a scrap piece of fabric, something so tiny and tempting to some to throw away, and turn it into a useful or beautiful item is really quite fantastic! Whether you look at it from an artistic point of view, a thrifty point of view, or an eco friendly point of view, it is a wonderful way to reuse or use everything at our fingertips.
After about a year into selling fabrics and my own creations on line, I found that it was becoming more and more difficult to store all of it and to keep it organized. While I do keep quite a large amount on hand for myself and the things that I design, the amount that was accumulating that I did not see myself getting to was in need of a purpose. So last February I began with a new addition to the shop, something that my customers could get use to finding available. I began doing a 1 pound scrap pack of the day. The scrap pack is always $5.00, but on the day it is listed, it is 50% off making it $2.50. It has gone well and I usually do not ever have more than a crates worth of them in the shop at a time. Meaning that they sell quite frequently. I know some love to just add it to there order as the cherry on top, some love to come in and buy up a whole bunch of them, and some will come in just for that day's bundle. I always look at those scrap bundles as I package them up for their new owner and love to think about what they may become. While I still have my own ideas for much of the fabrics, like I mentioned earlier, time just prohibits me from getting to them.
I have certainly missed days, sometimes weeks, depending on my own family life or what else is going on in the shop behind the scenes, but my customers are always welcome to request the bundle of the day, if I have not gotten one in the shop that day. Some days I have even listed 2 if I have missed days before it. One customer wrote me one day and said "Do you realize you will have sold over 300 pounds of fabric in one year! And that is just scraps! Pretty crazy thought, and although it may not come out to that amount exactly, it will be pretty close.
So, for those of you who love working with scraps, these are what the bundles look like. They are made up of a very wide variety of fabrics, from wool, cotton, polyester, silk, fleece, corduroy, etc. The sizes of the scraps are anywhere from a 2 inch strip to just under a fat quarter in size. I do actually take pictures of the exact fabric you will be getting. That way you can buy what you need and not end up with fabrics that are useless to you.
And I have put in some photos of things that I use scraps for around the house and in my designs for the shop.
I have used my scraps for covering buttons in which I use for bookmarks, hairpins, magnets, and push pins.
I use scraps for making all of my zune, iphone, camera, or ipod cozies.
I use scraps many times for making crayon rolls or crayon pouches.
The scraps are wonderful for making patchwork bibs as well.
Or for patches that can be used on clothing, blankets, totes, in picture frames, etc.
Or for sachets, bean bags, rice packs, etc.
And of course there are headbands too!