Quilt a sustainable Christmas stocking with fabric scraps
Looking for a sustainable DIY holiday gift or decoration? Consider quilting leftover scrap fabric into a christmas stocking for a sustainable (and easy!) holiday delight!
Homemade garments may not carry the weight of inhumane assembly, but we cannot absolve every home-sewn piece of ethical and environmental concern. Textiles produced for home sewists may also employ the inhumane and environmentally damaging practices that finished fashion does. To combat this reality, I try to be mindful of the fabric I buy and minimize waste by repurposing scrap fabric. For the past couple of years, I’ve saved and organized every piece of scrap fabric leftover from sewing projects. I now have a jam-packed bureau of small assorted scraps, in a wide variety of colors and patterns that all align with my aesthetic. These would-be-trash pieces have a lot of creative potential!
Sorting fabric scraps
I organize my scrap fabric into several categories:
- Larger than ¼ yard: these pieces have the most possibilities. They could easily be used for pocket linkings, sleeves, numerous other design details, and even small tanks.
- Between ¼ yard and a few square inches: the difference between this category and the next is somewhat nebulous and more about shape than size. These pieces are at lease a few inches wide so that they could be used for quilting pieces, small design details, or scrunchies and other tiny projects.
- Strips: mindful cutting often leaves long strips of narrow fabric. These are too narrow for seam allowance for sewing but can be used for braiding. Braided strips can be sewn into a thick, stiff fabric perfect for baskets.
- Tiniest: the tiniest scraps can’t be sewn or braided but can be used as stuffing in poofs or pillows.
For this Christmas stocking, I quilted pieces from the second category. I used three different colors: a striped cotton from the first dress I designed (below left), a white linen from one of my most worn blouses (below right), and a pretty but itchy fabric of unknown content I purchased early in my sewing that has been used primarily for testing fit.
Looking forward to giving this sustainable, one-of-a-kind Christmas stocking to my grandmother.