Sewing With Zero-Waste: Got Scraps?

Hi Everyone! In Part 4, we wrap up the zero-waste topic with a look at creatively using our scraps. I know I generate a lot of scraps with each and every project and am left with the decision, "keep it, or toss it?" each time. I'm excited to share one scrap-busting idea with you using scraps from up-cycled denim. I hope this inspires you to creatively use your scraps too!

How To Create Custom Patchwork Fabric

In this video I’m going to show you how to make your own fabric using scraps. There are many ways to do this, and many fabric and color combinations you could choose to use. For this demonstration I’m going to use a variety of up-cycled denim to recreate fabric inspired by the Dolce and Gabbana Spring/Summer 2021 collection.


To get started, you just need a few supplies:

  • Fusible Interfacing 
  • Iron
  • Pressing mat
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter/mat
  • And of course scraps!


Step 1: Determine the amount of fabric you’ll need to create based on the pattern you’d like to make. We’re going to make a blazer for an 18” doll using the Sofia Blazer pattern, so we need enough to cut out these pieces. Keep in mind that for this project you will likely cut each "Cut 2" piece on a single layer, so estimate enough space to place each pattern piece twice.

Step 2: Cut the fusible interfacing the desired size. You can also make this in sections, but you’ll probably end up with more scraps at the end!

Step 3: For my project, I’d like to have small squares of different shades of denim. Cut 1” to 2" strips using a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and mat,. Stack the strips and cut into 1”  or larger squares or rectangles. If desired, cut into several odd sizes if you want your fabric to look a bit more mismatched.

Step 4: Set the fusible interfacing rough (sticky) side up on your pressing mat. Place the fabric pieces, right side up, onto the fusible interfacing. Arrange them until you have a look that works. There’s no right or wrong way to do this - that’s the best part!

Step 5: Press, press, and continue passing the entire surface until all the pieces are secured to the interfacing. In the featured example, I am using a medium weight interfacing and a wool pressing mat. Pressing with a bit of steam, and the steam created by the wool mat really make all the difference!  Flip and press from the back side as well. Allow it to cool.

Step 6: Take this “fabric” over to your sewing machine and carefully sew around all the fabric edges. You can do this with a thread that matches or has a contrast -the choice is yours! Sew them precisely or with a random free form motion. I straight stitched along most of the straight edge lines, then (after cutting out each pattern piece) decided to go back over each overlapping edge with a zigzag stitch to crate a more flush uniform surface.

Step 7: Once the fabric is created, you can place your pattern pieces on it strategically and cut out all the pieces. I suggest basting around the edges of the cut piece, or finishing with a serger to keep everything in place as you construct your garment.

And voila! Your custom creation is finished and ready to display!




September 06, 2021

In love with this patchwork idea. Who doesn’t have old denim laying around? Little late to the August class but can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the awesome tutorial Cinnamon!

Cathy P
Cathy P

August 25, 2021

This is such a wonderful idea for scraps! Doing a pattern this way gives you a one of a kind outfit and adding some fun accent pieces of fabric would really make it pop. I will need to try this idea!


August 25, 2021

It is a great look. However, I too am wondering about the time involved to create the material.

Lisa A
Lisa A

August 24, 2021

I absolutely love this, but am curious if the bulk of the denim made the jacket stiff? Do you need to be careful not to overlap the fabric much? (And stitching around all those edges must have taken forever!)

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