Don’t Save It, Just Sew It!

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0000:40:25 Don’t Save It, Just Sew It!


Episode Summary

Lisa shares a few ideas for sewing your stash even when the fabrics are really special. Tune in to get ideas about ways to appreciate and cherish your fabric while freeing it from storage. Listen to how she managed to make a complete party dress–from pattern to fabrics to notions–from her stash. She was still on theme for the party AND matched her husband’s outfit too. Other “Don’t Save It, Just Sew It!” Projects include putting fabric in embroidery hoops, making picture frames, stitching commemorative quilt blocks, keeping the selvages of fabric for a larger future project (selvages are much easier to store than fabric yardage) and more.

Episode Notes

Mentioned on the podcast

January Sew Your View, Simplicity 8532 sewing room accessories are a fun way to show off special fabrics

Amy Butler’s book In Stitches with patterns for the Document Duvet and Photo File.

Sew Much Talent Stashed Gems Challenge on Facebook. Here are a few of the challenge rules: For more details visit the group


1. No buying patterns.+
2. No buying fabric.*
3.80% of your project MUST come from fabric in your stash, which can be anything in your house you can use for fabric.
*20% of purchases can be for additional fabric, notions, etc.
+ Your patterns CAN be self-directed, but you CANNOT download new PDF patterns ( including free patterns).

Support the Stitch Please podcast and Black Women Stitch.

For a limited time, you can get a box of MYSTERY FABRIC from Lisa’s extensive fabric collection. For $30, you can get a medium USPS flat rate box stuffed with fabric. Chevron, Black+White, and Nature fabric boxes available. Shipping/tracking/insurance included 🙂   DM blackwomenstitch on Instagram  or email for more info.

You can get an adorable enamel pin by sending $15 to Paypal or Cash App.

Or you can support at the following:




Cash App

Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa wool fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.
[00:00:39] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, everybody. Today's topic is don't save it. Just sew it. And this came to me from a friend. Uh, she and I were talking about all the fabric we have, which is quite a lot. She has a lot, I have a lot. And, um, we were talking about why we end up holding on to all this [00:01:00] fabric and that. And like what the point of holding onto it is. And I think that there's a lot of reasons that I know I hold onto fabric. I develop attachments to it. Like when remember when I bought this, or I remember when I, um, was, was, was given this, um, I have actually some fabrics. And my stash that are from my grandmother and they are like Disney prince from 1973 or 1976, when all the characters look really different. And so I'm like, this is historical. I certainly can't. I can't use this.
[00:01:36] Lisa Woolfork: This is from my grandmother. I need to hold onto this forever. And, um, so I haven't used anything with that, but. For the other things that I have things that I bought myself eight years ago, or 10 years ago, or 12 years ago, or 11 years ago, or five years ago, all of these are fabrics that represented something that I thought I was going to do when I bought it at the [00:02:00] time.
[00:02:00] Lisa Woolfork: So we were talking about this and about what it means to hold on to special fabrics. And then she just said, don't save it. Just sew it. And it was such a beautiful phrase and so simple, and it really did inspire me to start using some of the stuff that I had. So I wanted to talk today about don't save it, just sew it and using rare fabrics and using fabrics that are rare or precious.
[00:02:28] Lisa Woolfork: But also using them in such a way that preserves them or allows you to really enjoy them. And that was something that I came to understand in my own process, was that the fabrics, as I had them in a drawer folded very neatly and very beautifully with my fabric stash cards that I have my wonderful index of cards, um, with fabric, swatches and intentions for the fabrics and the measurements.
[00:02:55] Lisa Woolfork: And when I bought them, I keep that in my, um, It's like a card catalog for [00:03:00] fabrics that I've created, but it's not doing anything just sitting there. And so I can't talk about this in the context of Marie condo's, um, sparking joy because I started the book, but didn't finish it. And I have yet to see the show on Netflix.
[00:03:18] Lisa Woolfork: But from what I gather is that sparking joy is one of the, um, one of the paradigms or one of the triggers for deciding, should you keep something or not keep it? And so, and again, this was just a terrible, I, I, I am embarrassed to even admit this, like, to even kind of quote the work that she's doing. Cause I think the work that she's doing is very particular and very helpful to many people, but I haven't, like, I don't know enough about it to talk about it intelligently, but my only.
[00:03:49] Lisa Woolfork: um, understanding is from that spark joy. And so I'm just gonna go with that. And I was thinking about ways that I could use [00:04:00] fabrics that I have that would still spark joy, allow me to use them and then release. The rest of the fabrics and that's something I know I've mentioned in, um, previous episodes, we had these limited edition fabric boxes.
[00:04:13] Lisa Woolfork: These are fabrics that, um, that I bought and really loved, but haven't done anything with, so I have them, you know, boxed up to, um, be, um, dispersed to people on a donation basis, you know, kind of thing. But I did wanna talk about. Um, don't save it, just sew it and to talk about this in the context of what it means to be deliberate in our sewing practice, what does it mean to kind of think through all of the, um, emotional and psychological issues that sometimes get bound up when, when we buy something?
[00:04:46] Lisa Woolfork: I think this is one of the reasons that I have a very difficult time. Getting rid of the clothes that I make, because I remember buying this fabric. I remember going to the store and getting it. I remember all the hours that it took to make [00:05:00] this garment and sure. I haven't worn it in eight years, but that doesn't mean anything does it.
[00:05:04] Lisa Woolfork: It absolutely does. It absolutely means that I'm not wearing anymore. And it's time for someone else to enjoy the use of. So I think coming down from the holidays where I spent a lot of time with my sisters, purging my closet and doing all of that, it also made me think about my fabrics collection as well.
[00:05:22] Lisa Woolfork: And so this is why I wanted to share with y'all some ideas about. Don't save it, just sew it. And so I wanted to get started talking about a really great challenge that I've noticed, um, on the, um, um, Athia Hudson. She was on an episode a few months back and her group, uh, so much talent on Facebook is a really big Facebook group.
[00:05:44] Lisa Woolfork: And she has a challenge every month for the year 2020. And this year's challenge. I'm sorry, this month's challenge. Is a stash reduction challenge and it's called stashed gems, G [00:06:00] E M like stashed gems. And I really liked it because it's, um, really about finding, um, the hidden gems of fabrics and patterns and the stash that you already have.
[00:06:12] Lisa Woolfork: Um, and thinking very deliberately about, you know, how do you choose and select what to keep and what to use. And it has a long list of rules. Now you can always go to the Facebook group, a Alicia's Facebook group, again, so much talent S E w much talent on Facebook. And you can see some of these rules, but I will just share a few of them with you now.
[00:06:34] Lisa Woolfork: And to share that I myself have had a bit of success in this area. So the rules are no buying patterns. No buying fabric, 80% of your project has to come from fabric in your stash. 20% of purchases can be for additional patterns and fabric, not, not patterns, but fabric in notions. Um, you cannot download new PDF patterns.
[00:06:59] Lisa Woolfork: [00:07:00] You have to, um, sew the garments during the time of the challenge. And I mean, so just those kind of rules. And so now. I was under the impression that I had not gone to Joanne fabrics in the month of January, I was quite proud of myself. I was like, oh, I have not been to Joanne's. This is really fantastic. And then I happened to look down on the floor where there was a bag full of stuff from Joanne fabric. That I had purchased. And a lot of this was like notebooks and clearance stuff that they had. But also I had boughts, I'd bought some buttons, which I needed, but it was just so funny. I was like, oh my goodness.
[00:07:39] Lisa Woolfork: I go to Joanne so often that I don't even remember going there. I had completely convinced myself that I had not been to Joanne's when I had absolutely been to Joanne's, but that's not the victory I wanna share with you today. The victory I wanna share you today is that there was, I was invited to a party.
[00:07:56] Lisa Woolfork: And the theme was denim and [00:08:00] diamonds. I have very few diamonds as in one on my wedding ring. So I don't have the capacity to wear like a whole lot of diamonds to this diamond and denim party, but I got a ton of denim, so much denim. And so I decided to pull out some of the denim that I'd bought. Well, a couple years ago, I believe I bought some checkerboard multicolored squared denim from Joanne's.
[00:08:29] Lisa Woolfork: This was like a patchwork type denim where the squares alternated in color, like light and dark and light and dark at a regular pattern. And I bought three or four yards of it in two separate pieces. Um, and I'm not sure why that happens. I think it's because I liked it. And then I bought it. And then I liked it.
[00:08:50] Lisa Woolfork: I saw it again and bought it again because I still liked it. And then by the end, I was like, oh, wait a minute. I have three of these. And two of them were irregular patterns and one wasn't an irregular one. [00:09:00] And so I was able to take this pattern as well as another scrap piece of fabric and make, um, a party dress out denim.
[00:09:09] Lisa Woolfork: It was a MCCA pattern that I already had, and it was this off the shoulder. I think I could post the picture of it. It was an off the shoulder. With a ruffle and the ruffle was a
[00:09:20] Lisa Woolfork: piece of fabric
[00:09:22] Lisa Woolfork: that I had saved. in my collection of neatly folded like fat quarter size fabrics. So some of them are a little bit smart, a little bit bigger than a fat quarter, but I fold all my apparel fabrics into a four inch wide square.
[00:09:38] Lisa Woolfork: And then I stack them or very neatly layer them into these drawers so that I can look at all them at the same time. And I just happened to pull out this denim one that was sparkly on one side and regular dark denim on the other. And so. It was really exciting because I used that same fabric to make my husband a [00:10:00] 1968 vintage bell bottom wide collar suit.
[00:10:06] Lisa Woolfork: For like a Halloween costume from years ago, years ago. And I just
[00:10:11] Lisa Woolfork: happened to have that scrap of fabric.
[00:10:14] Lisa Woolfork: And I was like, I'm going to use this now. And so I was able to use it all up finally, after all these years, and our outfits were able to match because the ruffle on my dress was the same as some of the fabrics in his bell bottoms.
[00:10:28] Lisa Woolfork: And I was able to make this outfit. Using something that I already had now, I kept thinking like, why are you saving this fabric? This fabric is really nice. I really like it. I don't know what I'm gonna do with it. I had planned actually to make a Zady jumpsuit. I'm not really a big jumpsuit fan, but my friends have really converted me into jumpsuits.
[00:10:52] Lisa Woolfork: Uh, jumpsuits. How about this is the thing I like jumpsuits, but my bladder is a hat. [00:11:00] And my bladder does not want me to be great. So I personally like jumpsuits, but my bladder does not want me to be happy and fly. And so that's why we have compromised and I don't make or wear jumpsuits. However, I've been converted to the Zady, which is really a nice jumpsuit.
[00:11:20] Lisa Woolfork: And so I was thinking, oh, I should save this from my Zady. I'm like, well, you could save this for another summer. Or you could wear this to this denim and diamond party that you have actually been invited to. And you know, how you like to. So I went ahead and made the dress and it was such a success. It turned out really, really cute.
[00:11:42] Lisa Woolfork: And I felt it was, it felt really good to make it because it felt like this fabric that had just been sitting in my collection for more than a year, at least, um, Could finally see the light a day. And so that did make me feel pretty good. It made me feel like I [00:12:00] was using the stashed di the stashed gym challenge that, um, so much talent is talking about.
[00:12:06] Lisa Woolfork: And then thinking about the principle of the challenge itself, that I have a lot of patterns and I have a lot of fabric and it's not really doing me or anybody else, any. Just to sit on it. It's not gonna increase in value because I don't use it. And so when we come back, I'm gonna talk a bit more about other ways to use fabrics that are precious and special and can still retain that special and precious feeling for you.
[00:12:33] Lisa Woolfork: Stay tuned.
[00:12:43] Lisa Woolfork: Here at stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch. We talk a lot about sewing, but if you want to see and not just hear about some of the things we've been discussing, feel free to join us on the socials. You
[00:12:57] Lisa Woolfork: can find us.
[00:12:59] Lisa Woolfork: [00:13:00] Stitch please on Facebook. And you can also find us on Instagram at black women's stitch.
[00:13:06] Lisa Woolfork: You can find photos of projects that we've been working on. Really interesting social commentary and on Thursdays. At 3:00 PM Eastern standard time, you can join black women's stitch for a live Instagram chat. Again, that's every Thursday at 3:00 PM. So find us on the socials. Follow up with us. We are happy to hear your direct messages. You can reach out to us at the black women's stitch page on Instagram. It will help you get your stitch together.
[00:13:45] Lisa Woolfork: Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the don't. Save it. Just so it, episode of the stitch please podcast. I'm gonna talk now about ways that you can take your fabrics that you think are precious and special and preserve them [00:14:00] by using them. And so this is something that I was able to do, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.
[00:14:07] Lisa Woolfork: And so I've divided the projects into two categories. The first category. More like a home deck kind of category. And I call it a home deck category because what it's actually doing is it's taking the fabrics that you appreciate and that are special to you. And it's putting them around your space, your home, your, um, you're living room, bedroom, even your office in ways that remind you.
[00:14:39] Lisa Woolfork: Of the memory that that fabric was from. So my first example of this kind of project is to make a picture frame. You can take your fabric and you can make a picture frame out of it. And there's two ways to do it one way. It's to buy a picture frame from the store and then use [00:15:00] decoupage techniques. Like you take, basically you take the picture frame, you cut it in a square, you cut your fabric in a square, then you cut a rectangular shape out of it.
[00:15:11] Lisa Woolfork: And then you wrap it almost like you're wrapping a gift and you use mod podge to hold it down. Then you put the back of the picture frame on before you put the picture on you, put the wrap the frame, let it dry. Put the photo in there, put the back of the picture frame on, and now you have fabric that is, you have the picture frame that is wrapped in the fabric and that's a, and you can put it somewhere in your space where you can see it and you can look at it.
[00:15:39] Lisa Woolfork: And it's this it's really an enjoyable. An enjoyable thing. I've done this in two ways, with stuff that I made for my, my youngest kid, my youngest child is now a teenager, but when he was a baby or maybe he was a toddler, cuz he could walk. There's two picture frames that I still have right now. And whenever I [00:16:00] look at those frames, I remember the project.
[00:16:03] Lisa Woolfork: I made for him because I took that exact project and turned it into a picture frame. The first picture, the first project was a, he had this cute little quilted denim outfit. I made him a little jacket and little pants and he had little boots and a little hat that went with it. And it was just the cutest thing ever.
[00:16:24] Lisa Woolfork: I think I still have the little hat, I think someplace, but the rest of those things are long gone. But what I did was I took that quilted fabric and I made a picture frame out of the fabric. I did this using almost like a pillow turn technique where I put the fabric's right sides together. I sewed around the edge.
[00:16:46] Lisa Woolfork: I turned it right side out, and then I was able to slide the picture in. And so I know this sounds kind of, I'm making it sound. Confusing. And I don't mean to, I think maybe I could try, I think I have photos of this. I can show [00:17:00] you, but, um, and this is why I think YouTube videos are such a good idea for selling things.
[00:17:05] Lisa Woolfork: because I, you know, you could show somebody, but instead I will just tell you. But, um, I used, um, I took that basically. It's really simple to do the, the, the top layer of the photo of the picture frame is a square that I then traced a rectangle out of, in the size of the photo. I cut out the rectangle in the middle, turned under those raw edges and stitched them.
[00:17:31] Lisa Woolfork: That left me with an opening of about three by five or two and three quarters by four and, uh, and four and three quarters, which was a little bit smaller than a three by five photo. Right. So then I took, I think maybe a piece of, um, lining fabric or something and put that behind. and stitched that down to make a pocket.
[00:17:58] Lisa Woolfork: Then I put [00:18:00] the, another piece of the fashion fabric on the back and then installed like ribbons at the top to hang it up. And so now I have a picture of him in this outfit as a baby wearing or toddler as a toddler. Wearing the fabric that he is, that he has on in the photograph. I did a similar thing with his Halloween costume that year.
[00:18:23] Lisa Woolfork: He was the frog prince and then this cute little frog outfit and it had like gold lame, um, Gold a gold lamb made collar with little bells on the end of all, the little tought. It was just the cutest little thing. And so I was like, well, he's not gonna be using that costume again. And we don't have any kids in our family that are about his age.
[00:18:45] Lisa Woolfork: So I just deconstructed the costume. Took the little, um, bells and that were attached to the, the trim around the neckline for the costume and put that into the picture frame. So I have, now I have a picture of him [00:19:00] and his toddler frog costume wearing, wearing the exact fabric. That the picture frame is made of.
[00:19:08] Lisa Woolfork: So I'm happy to talk more about this on the IG live on Thursday. If people have questions and I can post photos, um, on my Instagram channel, on my Instagram page as well about this, but that's just one example of fabric that was special and precious to me. At the time and I still have it in my office.
[00:19:28] Lisa Woolfork: What now? 14 years later. Um, and so that's pretty, that's a, that's a really nice thing. Another recommendation I had for taking fabric that's really special and precious and preserving it by using it is to make throw pillows. These are really simple projects. Um, you can use the whole cloth. Piece or you can use just part of it and make a throw pillow.
[00:19:50] Lisa Woolfork: And I would say make a cover, um, because with the, you could always take the cover off and wash it if you need to, and then put it back on if you [00:20:00] want, if the, if the pillow gets compressed over time and the, the filling inside breaks down and you wanna switch that out, you can do that. So a throw pillow is another, I think really good idea.
[00:20:11] Lisa Woolfork: Um, that way you can have the, you can have the throw pillow in your. In your living room or on your bed or whatever, and then you get to see it a lot. And that's, I think that's one of the great things about the picture frames and the throw pillows that these are things that you can look at and still have the reminders of that fabric that you had and might not wanna let go of, but you're also, but you're using it.
[00:20:33] Lisa Woolfork: And so I think that's a great idea. The last one I had on this, on this particular, um, Mode of using precious fabrics was to make a tough fit. Have you seen these? These are a home deck, foot stool. Um, lots of people are offering them, um, offering classes on them. I've seen people make them out of PLE. I've seen them make them out of denim.
[00:20:57] Lisa Woolfork: I'm actually interested in a denim one, actually, that would be really [00:21:00] good. Um, but there's lots of different patterns that you can buy, um, to make those and that I thought would be another good example because it's. Statement piece for a room. I think almost any room could benefit from like a little stool, a foot stool, or sometimes people can just sit on them.
[00:21:15] Lisa Woolfork: And so that could be another, um, example and I can provide links in the show notes to that pattern that at least the one that I have, or do I have it? No, I have, I have two patterns to make a rug. Out of fabric strips, and that's what I'm confusing with my tough it pattern that I actually do not have, but, um, I can still provide that in the show notes so you can check it out, but it's, it's a nice way to kind of look at your fabric and, you know, feel like it's, I don't know.
[00:21:47] Lisa Woolfork: I dunno, that's something that I really enjoy. For example, about the picture frames. I have one of those picture frames downstairs in our downstairs family room, and then I have one in my office and I really love going into my office and [00:22:00] looking over there and seeing that pic, that picture frame made from that fabric that would've been just long forgotten about.
[00:22:07] Lisa Woolfork: And so I was able to use it and to remind myself of experience. Um, so the next thing that I think is also really cool, um, is to think about ways that you can carry your fabrics with you. Um, what if you think about like, if, for example, you are a planner, you have a, a planner or two that you carry, you can make a planner cover.
[00:22:33] Lisa Woolfork: Out of fabric, carry that with you. Um, something that I like to do is to make, um, binder covers. I love like hardcover notebooks. You can make binder covers out of fabric as well as notebook covers. Another thing is a project I used to make a lot of, and it's called a document duvet. Document duvet, D U V E T.
[00:22:56] Lisa Woolfork: And I first discovered it in a book by Amy [00:23:00] Butler called in stitches. Now some of y'all might still have this book and you can find the project described on page 124. It's called a document duvet and photo file. And basically you take your fabric. You stiffen it with, um, craft fuse PE by Pelon, which is a fusible interfacing.
[00:23:23] Lisa Woolfork: And then you sew it together in such a way, and you stabilize it by sliding either cardboard or some like, um, foam core board in between the layers of the fabric. And it basically makes a really nice sturdy. File folder cover it's about nine by 11, I believe. So you can put like larger sheets of paper in there, like full sheets.
[00:23:48] Lisa Woolfork: You can make it whatever size you want actually, but it's just a really cool project. And it's a nice way to use up fabric, especially heavier weight, home deck, fabrics, or denim, and just carry them around [00:24:00] with you. You could also change the shape of it to have it, um, be like a passport cover. You could do it to do other documents, other.
[00:24:09] Lisa Woolfork: Um, full paper size documents. And so that's what, that's something that I've done. And I used to make a lot of those, but I wanted to recommend that because I do think it's a nice way to take fabrics. That again, that you have, and that you want, you really like them. You wanna do something with them and you can keep them near you.
[00:24:26] Lisa Woolfork: Or if you're going to a meeting or a workshop or something like that. You can grab that, um, that document duvet and put your papers in there and your account. And it's a really unique way. No one else will have one just like your. Finally, one thing I wanted to add about this before I close out this segment of the suggestions was bookmarks and reading accessories.
[00:24:48] Lisa Woolfork: I really love making bookmarks. And, um, I think that that's another way of using pieces of fabric and, you know, and making a bunch of these, giving them as gifts you could [00:25:00] embellish them. You could use embroidery on them, either machine embroidery or hand embroidery, you could do, um, Heat, press vinyl on them, heat transfer vinyl.
[00:25:10] Lisa Woolfork: There's lots of things that you could do with bookmarks. But I do like that as a way to remind yourself of a particular, you know, fabric and that's something I've been doing as well, as well as making these things with rubber bands. Um, and like I make a little pocket and I could put pins or highlighters in it.
[00:25:29] Lisa Woolfork: And then I also attach the, the elastic through that little pocket and wrap it around the whole book. And because I'm a professor and I, I do, I do hate to admit this, but I do write in the books that I read. Not library books, my own personal books. I do write in them and make notes and highlighters and stuff.
[00:25:49] Lisa Woolfork: So it's always nice to have a highlighter or a pen or pencil close by. And if I make this little pencil pouch, then I can do that and I can move it from one book to another. And that's another way to [00:26:00] use special fabrics. When we come back, we'll talk more about some ways that you can enhance your sew. and use fabrics that you love. Stay tuned.
[00:26:21] Lisa Woolfork: Hello stitchers. We have a limited edition opportunity for you to support the stitch please podcast and the black woman's stitch project as a whole and get some more fabric in your collection. These are mystery fabric boxes of fabrics that have been divided into woven and knit there's boxes that would, that are stuffed with black and white fabrics.
[00:26:41] Lisa Woolfork: There's boxes of Chevron fabrics. There's boxes of fabrics called I think. Adventure or nature or something like that. Um, and these are completely full of fabrics. These are medium flat rate us PS boxes that can be sent directly to you for $30. And that shipping is [00:27:00] included.
[00:27:00] Lisa Woolfork: So if you're interested in building your stash or, um, taking a chance on some really cool fabrics, Let me know you can DM me on Instagram at black womens stitch, or you can send me an And we will send you a mystery box of very cool fabrics, $30 shipping and insurance included. And that'll help you get your stitch together too. Thanks.
[00:27:34] Lisa Woolfork: Hello everybody. And welcome back to today's episode of the stitch please podcast. We are talking about don't save it, just sew it. And I wanted to share with you in this last segment a bit about some of the things that I have made for my sewing room out of. That I considered special and precious. The purpose of today's episode is to talk about ways to preserve fabrics that we [00:28:00] think are special or that are meaningful to us and use them at the same time.
[00:28:04] Lisa Woolfork: That for me, my goal is to help these fabrics see the light of day. To get them out of the drawers and closets in which I have them stored so that
[00:28:14] Lisa Woolfork: I can enjoy them in that way. And so one of the first things I wanted to share is a very, very simple way to do this is to take a piece of that very special fabric that you have and cut it into a 4, 5, 6 inch circle and put it in a hand embroidery.
[00:28:36] Lisa Woolfork: that's it. That's the tweet. You take that piece of fabric, you put it in embroidery hoop, and then you hang that embroidery hoop somewhere in your sewing room. And one of the things I like about that is that it's a way to preserve whichever's. Size of fabric that you want. You could have it be small. You could kind of trace out a particular motif on the fabric that you want it to keep.
[00:28:58] Lisa Woolfork: And it doesn't really matter because you're doing it [00:29:00] for your own memory, your own edification, your own pleasure. It doesn't have to appeal to anybody else. It just speaks to you. And so that's something I really like about if you've had fabrics that you, um, really care about and you want to do something with.
[00:29:18] Lisa Woolfork: this is a nice little memory technique to do, and it doesn't require any sewing at all. It does require cutting that fabric, which can sometimes be a big leap. But once you've done that, you can put it on your wall. And whenever you walk into your sewing space, you get to see it and appreciate it. And that's the purpose of this whole episode is that you can take these fabrics.
[00:29:41] Lisa Woolfork: You don't have to save it. You can sew it. You can do something with it in a way. Furthers your appreciation. So that's one simple idea. Another idea that's like way more complicated because I am the, uh, captain of team do [00:30:00] too much is that you can take your fabrics and your scraps, which is something I have been working on for quite a while and make little tiny.
[00:30:11] Lisa Woolfork: I'm not sure what to even call it, but what I have done. Is, I have done two things that help me refer to, or remember projects that I've made that I really like the first thing I've done is that I have preserved the salvages from some of the woven fabrics that I've used for apparel and quilt projects.
[00:30:36] Lisa Woolfork: So I cut the salvages off the fabric, especially if they're really cool salvages. You know, I think, um, Rashida Coleman hae has some really great salvages. Um, a lot of these, um, really cool high end, uh, quilt fabrics have really pretty salvages that have different colors that have different [00:31:00] messages. And so I cut all those off and I put them all in a bag and they are hanging in a.
[00:31:08] Lisa Woolfork: Two gallon clear Ziploc bag on a wall in my sewing room. And so whenever I have a woven project that has a cool salvage, I put it in there. Now what I'm going to do with these salvages one day is that I'm going to either sew them all together. And make a bag or a chair cover or a jacket. Probably not a jacket, but I've seen people make jackets.
[00:31:33] Lisa Woolfork: Um, but each of the salvages is a remnant that reminds me of the fabric itself. And so that's something that I was really thinking about. I was thinking like, well, what if I took it and did it. Per year, like, okay, these are all the fabric pieces that I use in, you know, 2017. And I have put 'em all together to make, I don't know.
[00:31:59] Lisa Woolfork: I have no idea, [00:32:00] but you said, I don't know a pin cushion who knows, but right now all those little salvages are in that bag. And, um, I think they would make a really cool project at. Point. Hopefully I don't have them in there so long, but I totally forget that I was even saving them because I know that I know that some places now, um, I believe I forgot which company, but one of the companies actually sells yardage of fabric that looks like salvages because people are so interested in keeping their salvages for cool projects.
[00:32:33] Lisa Woolfork: Another far more elaborate project that I'm doing is something that I really am in love with. And maybe this will be the picture that I use for the episode is that when I make a dress or a shirt for my husband or for my kids, I save a piece of the fabric. So I can then make a paper pieced quilt. Of a shirt or a blouse or a dress.
[00:32:59] Lisa Woolfork: And so, so [00:33:00] far I haven't, I, I have not been able to keep up with the number of dresses that I've made and have them match the number of Quill blocks. Some of the quilt blocks. Some of them won't be suitable for qu for a quilt block because I do a lot of apparel sewing out of knits and synthetic knit fabrics.
[00:33:18] Lisa Woolfork: But for those pieces that I make out of woven, I definitely plan to keep going with the quilt blocks that I've been making. So I purchased, um, some really cool paper, pieced vintage style dress patterns, as well as some cool men's shirts pattern. Short sleeved only is the only ones I've been able to find so far.
[00:33:39] Lisa Woolfork: And when I make my husband a shirt, I save the fabric. So I can then make him a quilt block, make a quilt block of a shirt. And so I'm hoping at some point, maybe long after those garments have gone off to Goodwill or we've, we've given them out through, um, another kind of giving [00:34:00] program. And I could talk a bit about those in a second, but what we do to give away things here, um, I'll still have that memory.
[00:34:07] Lisa Woolfork: I'll still have that quilt, you know, and I can say, oh, I remember that shirt I made for you. Funny side note is that my husband does a really great job of holding on to things that I've made. So like he has this shirt that I made when the kids were like dog on babies. And of course the things still fits, but mine is long gone.
[00:34:25] Lisa Woolfork: I have no idea where it is, but he still has his, and I'm like, that's amazing. Um, I think just recently he threw away some pajamas that I made for him. When we first got married and that was like over 20 years ago and he's wearing these like poor, like, you know, the seams are all coming apart, you know, from all the washing and the laundering and stuff.
[00:34:47] Lisa Woolfork: So he does a good job of holding onto his things. Me, I'm more of a. that's enough. Let's go on to the next thing. Um, but yes, so that's just an, I'm really excited about that quilt coming together. [00:35:00] And again, there's no deadline on the project, but it's a nice bit of documentary evidence. Um, and I really do like that as a, like a nice little I, a little memory marker.
[00:35:11] Lisa Woolfork: um, the last couple things are about the sewing room itself and here's two things that I've done that I also really, like one of them is to make a, you can make a little, you can make baskets out of fabric and these baskets you can use to put, um, little notions in little pins and things like that. To decorate your sewing space.
[00:35:31] Lisa Woolfork: And then there's also something that I've made that I absolutely love and use every single time I sit down to sew, I use this it's. I call it a sewing machine apron. I don't know if it's actually called that, but this is a thing that goes under your sewing machine. I made mine to fit my sewing machine, which is a baby lock unity, which is a pretty big machine.
[00:35:54] Lisa Woolfork: And it has all these pockets that I put on. I also put on some clear [00:36:00] parts, so I could kind of see things it's, um, it has double layers of pockets, but all it's like basically like a sewing notions caddy or a sewing machine Cady. And I, I mentioned this because I've seen a pattern for it. I believe it's simplicity that so Monica is doing this month in January of 2020 for the, um, the project.
[00:36:22] Lisa Woolfork: What's her project called. Uh, so your view, the, so your view project for January is making this, um, project. And so I wanted to mention that because. You know, I'll put that in the show notes in case you wanted a pattern to make one. But I made mine myself just kind of designed like what I wanted. I made some thin to put like pencils in, I have it to put a whole bunch of other sewing notions and they're basically all absolutely on board.
[00:36:49] Lisa Woolfork: So when I am sewing and I need some tweezers, it's there. I need some chapstick it's there. Um, I need a, I need a pencil sharpener it's on there. All of the things that I would. Sewing, you know, a [00:37:00] point Turner thread snips, all of those things live right there, hand lotion, all of them live right there in the sewing machine caddy.
[00:37:08] Lisa Woolfork: And I use this fabric that I absolutely loved is sewing machine themed. I have not. It's red and white. I have not been able to find it since, and this is another great example I thought of using what I loved. And not just saving it because I loved it. So hopefully y'all have gotten a few good ideas about how you can use the fabrics that you love, so that you don't have to save it.
[00:37:32] Lisa Woolfork: You can just sew it and you can still show your love for that fabric. I'm happy to talk more about this on the live this Thursday at 3:00 PM on black women's ditch.
[00:37:44] Lisa Woolfork: Thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the stitch, please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter.
[00:37:54] Lisa Woolfork: There are a variety of ways that you can support the program and you're doing it right now. By [00:38:00] listening to the pro, by listening to the podcast, it does help us grow. Another way to do that is to rate the podcast, review it, subscribe to it. All of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all.
[00:38:16] Lisa Woolfork: If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well. You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions as well as one time contributions to PayPal cash app or Venmo. And finally, we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the black women's stitch project.
[00:38:36] Lisa Woolfork: It's a pin, a P I N. And mamm. Lapel pin. That's very cute. It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall. And it's of the black women's stitch logo. And that is $15 with free shipping to the us. And so if you drop $15 in the, a PayPal, Venmo or cash app account, [00:39:00] And then send me your email. No, not your email. If you send me your mailing address to my email, either at black women's or you send me a direct message on the black women's stitch instagram page, we will put the pin in the mail to you. Um, again, free shipping, $15 for the pen, and all of this goes to support the black women's stitch project. Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together.[00:40:00]

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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