How to Get the Most out of your Fabric

Or, how to get three projects out of one duvet cover.

Fabric is expensive. I think I’ve mentioned that a few times on here by now. But it doesn’t have to be; you don’t have to buy all of the ‘It’ fabrics plastered over Instagram. And if you’re still a beginner, you don’t want to be using these expensive fabrics anyway. You’re likely to ruin more projects than not. Harsh, but true.

Instead, consider alternative fabrics like bedding and tablecloths. Or have a rummage around your local charity/thrift shop for second hand fabrics. I get a lot of my cotton fabric from IKEA’s bargain corner. This is where they sell of returns, damaged packaging, showroom items etc for a fraction of the price. I often get 4+ metres of fabric for between £5-10.

This is how I got three projects out of one piece of fabric. This particular duvet cover was at least a double, as it came with two pillowcases (even more fabric!), but wasn’t in it’s original packaging. It very much could have been this one, but who knows!

My intended project for this fabric was the Peppermint X In the Folds Robe Jacket, which I actually made out of about 2m in the end due to it being quite oversized and having large, oddly shaped pattern pieces.

I then had another 2m of fabric, plus pillowcases, remaining (the other half of the duvet). With this, as it was still summer at the time, I decided on another True Bias Ogden Cami, as I know it doesn’t take much fabric. I made the outer fabric from about 1M, and then used a pillowcase for the lining pieces.

Finally, with most of my remaining fabric, I decided to make a Helen’s Closet Tote. This used about a metre of fabric for the outer bag and pocket, and a pillowcase for the lining.

I wasn’t super thrifty with my cutting out with these projects. I probably could have gotten another small project out of it if I had played pattern Tetris. I’d advise to always ignore the pattern layout suggestions, and play a bit of Tetris with your pattern pieces; you’ll likely get enough scraps to make at least a small project.

I do, however, still have about 0.5m remaining of this fabric, which I think is going to be a face mask and probably go towards the Closet Core Scrap Pouff I’m intending to make with all of my other scraps and unusable offcuts.

Of course, there are plenty of other projects you could make with small amounts of fabric. Check out my post about what to do with fabric remnants and offcuts here.

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