Summer Projects - sewing

During the height of summer - still to come - the weather gets so hot we are unable to do any work outside after lunch until about 8 or 9 o'clock at night.  What to do during the hottest part of the day?  Last year we watched a lot of tv and recorded films and caught up with reading.  This year I am determined to get some sewing projects done.

Firstly I have gifts to make.  So.... today I am going to show you a book I made.

The fabric cover is the ultimate in recycling.  You know all those teeny tiny scraps of fabric that get cut off the edges of things while you are making them?  Oh yes and the threads that generally go to waste.  Well I save all of them.  I keep a plastic bag attached to the sewing table.  I used to selotape it to the edge of the table in front of the sewing machine and I would simply drop all the scraps into it.  I used to throw these away until I discovered that I could re-use even the tiniest bit of waste thread.

I cannot claim to have invented this myself.  I was wombling around the web as you do when I came across these ladies .  It's worthwhile looking at the tutorials that they do as there are some very good ideas that might appeal to you.

I started with a plain piece of fabric on to which I piled randomly the threads and scraps of fabric that I have been saving.  I tried to spread them out evenly.  I covered it with a piece of old mosquito netting and then put some pins in to anchor it down.

Taking it over to the sewing machine I then sewed around the fabric with a straight stitch to trap the scraps inside the netting.

While keeping the scrap contents fairly evenly distributed I then used each of my automatic embroidery stitches one after the other to randomly stitch across the fabric.  I couched some fluffy knitting wool on top with a zig zag stitch and changed thread colour randomly.

You can see the stitching clearly underneath.  On top it starts to merge into a very interesting, tactile, new fabric - a bit like a brocade.

I picked a plain fabric to line it with and inserted some cardboard since this fabric is to make a book cover.  But you could turn the finished fabric into a bag or purse or use it to decorate cards... whatever your imagination would suggest.

It's not as full of paper as I would like but that was all I had of the special hand made paper that I wanted to use.  I think it will make a nice gift for someone who perhaps would want to write some poetry in it or something like that.

Oh and I sewed a silver poodle charm on to the front... just for fun.


  1. Hi Jane, I have seen something like that in a tutorial video. Are you supposed to cut the netting up and down between the lines, to expose the colours inside? It adds to the texture of the piece. Maybe I saw a different video from you.

    1. I saw that one too... I think its the same people... there are various techniques based on the same principle... I chose the most basic and simple to do. x


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