Friday, November 14, 2014


Last week I mentioned having gone to a FabMo selection event recently. It was something else! FabMo accepts fabric (and mo'!) from companies that would otherwise be tossed out, and makes them available to others for free. You can sign up to attend a selection event, and pay a donation to pick out whatever you want.

The majority of the materials available were upholstery samples, but at the one I went to, there were carpet samples, wallpaper, rugs, tiles, tassels, ribbons, and probably other things I didn't even see. The pieces range from fairly small (around 5" square) to very large–the biggest piece I brought home is taller than me!

Most of the materials are designer fabrics. I picked up a couple of large Ralph Lauren fabric swatches, which will make some great bags.

I also got this Sunbrella sample book, which I proceeded to take apart when I got home.

I had no idea how many staples were used to keep something like this together. And there were TONS of these books!

Most of the pieces in the book are pretty small swatches, around 2" wide. They're grouped together in colour coordinated bunches, though.

I made some small pencil pouches with the smaller squares. These started out around 6" square.

Then I was experimenting with two squares together to make a larger bag. This gorgeous chevron pattern is actually a Sunbrella swatch, though not from the book I took apart.

This was one of the first panels I put together from the Sunbrella book swatches. This one is about 14"x8". I started out by just serging the seam allowances together.

Each of the swatches has some sticky paper backing, listing the fabric name and colourway. You can see some it left over; some textures were far more willing to have a label stuck on them, and it wasn't really worth fighting too much.

There were several that I put together with my sewing machine and not my serger, and did a little bit of topstitching to keep the seam allowances down. They were pretty thick, since they're all medium- to heavyweight textiles.

This one needs a bit of ironing! The lighter brown stripes were smooth and satiny.

This was one of my favourites. I really liked the way the brown and the cream match the smaller stripes. I think if I were needing to upholster something, I'd gravitate straight to this grouping. :P

Most of my upholstery log cabin panels were pretty small, but this one was the largest at 14"x11". It's actually big enough I think I could probably use it as a front panel for one of my Divided Shoulder Bags.

For this panel, I used a triple cover stitch to attach the pieces. It was a little more complicated to do, and I'm not a big fan of the way the underside turned out, but I think I just need more practice with my coverstitch.

Overlapping them meant no bulky seam allowances to deal with, though, and the most efficient use of the smaller pieces of fabric. I stuck a zipper onto this one and closed up the ends to make this super cute zip pouch, which measures flat at 8.5"x4". Definitely big enough to be a pencil case, or to hold some makeup.

Here's an inside shot, where you can see a bit of my crooked cover stitching. While I was doing it, I wasn't sure the finicky positioning would be worth it, but having the edges finished so they won't fray might make up for it. Definitely not having to deal with the thick seam allowances and all those layers is a big plus.

I have a LOT of much larger "samples" that I haven't done anything with, yet! More to come!