How’s Zero Waste Week going for you?
Today on the blog I’m using up some of those pesky fabric scraps that emerge from sewing projects. Sometimes these are the few centimetres that get chopped off the bottom of a dress to make it fit, and other times (especially for beginners like me) they can be the extra half metre bought in the hope that that little bit of surplus material will help you in correcting inevitable mistakes. I was once saved in just this way when I used a pattern that had four skirt options in it. I chose Option B (a maxi skirt) but I was accidently about to buy the amount of material required for Option A (a knee length skirt) when, on a whim at the counter, I asked for an extra metre of material to be added on. Boy, did that save my ass!
In today’s project, I’ve chosen to make a fabric heart. I’ve always loved these – I think they are gorgeous hanging from nails around the house Here’s one I received many years ago from a friend who was coming for lunch – we have it hanging on the edge of our open book cupboard:
I’ve used fabric today from the grey cotton used in my shirt to skirt project. I’ve also managed to reduce the volume of my scrap bag which is full of worn out clothes and tiny bits of scrap from sewing projects.
I’ll be honest at this point – my fabric heart went nothing like to plan! However it did all turn out well in the end 🙂
The first thing I did in my quest to make the perfect fabric heart was to find myself a template. I have one in a sewing book but if I also discovered that if you put ‘heart template’ into a search engine, you’ll get lots of printables which can be cut out and traced. You can also use heart-shaped objects that you have lying around the house. I’ve used my cookie cutters a lot in projects such as this hand sewn card (but I’ve yet to bake with them!)
So, the first thing I did to make my fabric heart was to trace around my template and cut it out – easy!
I then pinned it on to my fabric and cut that out (you can use tailors chalk or washable felt pens to draw the shape on to the fabric if you prefer).
So far so good. I did this twice and ended up with two hearts of pretty much the same size and shape.
I then sewed them together with my sewing machine, leaving a 1.5cm seam allowance. It’s a tricky shape to sew but I was reasonably pleased with my efforts…
…until I turned it inside out! It looked far too wonky to continue with my original idea.
On to Plan B – which would’ve been ok if I had a Plan B…
I decided that the heart looked sweet the way it had been sewn, so I hastily flipped it back the right way round to see how it could be salvaged. My main problem was, of course, that the edge of the material was going to fray if left unattended. I would therefore need to either use a zig zag stitch (which would look terrible), learn some kind of hand stitch that would deal with the edges (that wasn’t going to happen, I was going off this project with every minute that passed), or use pinking shears, which I’ve read should stop ‘the fray’. I decided to use the pinking scissors and forged ahead like the zero hero I am!
My next task was to select some suitable ‘stuffing’ from my bag of scrap material.
Ignoring the bag of toy stuffing sitting in my cupboard that would be perfect for this job, I selected an old pair of ripped tights and chopped them into small pieces. I also used some end pieces of wool and
shoved gently eased them in too.
My heart still looked heart-like, but the bulge from the stuffing needed a little something to show that it too was in the shape of a heart. I therefore got out some red embroidery thread and hand stitched around the heart. That also added a pleasing pop of colour.
Lastly I found a piece of red ribbon, which I hand sewed on to the heart. In the end, I had a zero waste heart I was be proud of!