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Jersey scrap busting and making kids' clothes.

Last autumn I made myself several t-shirts to wear on a casual day with a pair of jeans or shorts. I like to work with jersey so my garments have some stretch when I move and it is easier to make them fit to my shape. But when the patterns asks for 1.5m I'm always left with some smaller pieces.

One of the things I often sew with jersey scraps are gifts for newborn baby's, gifts for a baby shower, or even use them to sew up clothes for a doll to gift to a little girl or boy. So I wanted to give you some ideas to use up those smaller pieces of jersey. I gathered my basket of scraps and just started sewing to make as many children's clothes with my scraps.

One of the problems I come across with trying to use up these scraps is that they are a weird shape and often only 20-25 cm long, so it takes some thinking and trying to choose patterns that would fit these odd shaped scraps. While searching through different baby and children patterns I also found a pattern for a baby headband and that made me think of matching scrunchies and why not try to make a tulband style headband for yourself. But that might be something for next month.

The first step for me when sewing with scraps is always to layout the pattern pieces on different scraps to see what works best. Of course make sure you have the fabric positioned the right way with the grain of the fabric going the correct way. I always lay out all the fabric pieces before cutting, to make sure that it will fit and that I won't end up with 1 pattern pieces that doesn't fit.

For example the pair of baby leggings I made from this blue fabric I needed 4 pieces. So I folded the fabric double 2 times, to see if I had enough fabric.

One of my favourite tricks is to use different prints for the back or front of a pattern. For example to use a print for the front of a set of baby leggings and to use a solid or matching print for the back.

You could also use two different prints for the front legs. This also works great for a T-shirt, use 1 print for the front and back and another one for the arms, or mix it up. Especially when sewing for (smaller) children you can get really creative by mixing up different prints. Just make sure you use the same type of fabric and when sewing with jersey that they have about the same amount of stretch.

Another great tip is to use a different piece of jersey fabric or ribbing to create the cuffs of a pair of leggings or a shirt. You can add a few extra inches or centimetres this way to have enough length to finish a pattern. This also looks really fun and cute.

Another big favourite of mine is to sew simple straight skirts for little girls, you don't need that much of fabric to make skirt. Here you can also use two different prints, or add a waistband with ribbing, another piece of jersey. The two skirts at the bottom are made from a front and a back piece. So I could really use up my last pieces of scraps.

The final thing I love to do is use up smaller pieces of fabric to make a pocket or to add a fun little appliqué. Very often I struggle to throw out that last bit of scraps because of a cute or fun print, for example these panda's. So i decided to make two back pockets on a baby legging, it ads extra cuteness and you can even use up those little scraps, or you can add some appliqué to change up a garment you think could use a little bit of extra.

I did this with the simple A-line dress I made for a 3 year old, I liked the polka dots, but thought the dress could use a bit more. So I searched through my scrap basked and found a red jersey with flowers. I cut out 3 red hearts on used a zigzag stitch to appliqué it on the bottom of the dress. I choose a zigzag stitch because the dress is made from a stretch material to not risk breaking the thread. This might happen when you use a straight stitch. Make sure you sew slowly to be able to follow the outline of the hearts.

I hope this has given you some inspiration on sewing with jersey scraps, there are so many options and possibilities. Good luck!

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