The Etsy Blog

Noted: Creating a Zero-Waste Garment handmade and vintage goods


To see my own grandmother cook a chicken was a magical thing; she made use of every single scrap of the bird, knowing that the gizzards and bones were just as useful as the meat. That one chicken provided a week’s worth of meals, including a chicken soup made with the most flavorful stock I’ve ever tasted. Getting back to the “waste not, want not” mentality of our grandparents is a worthwhile challenge, because when it comes to being sustainable, our ancestors knew a thing or two. Such a resourceful way of thinking is returning to many industries, especially in fashion, where wasteful garment production is a major topic. In a stand against wastefulness, organic fashion brand Loomstate challenged students at Parsons to design a zero-waste garment, where every scrap of fabric is incorporated into the final product.

Andria Crescioni, the winner of the challenge, successfully maximized a single piece of cloth and created a durable, gray wool hoodie. Throughout the process, Crescioni discovered that her work benefited from such a specific restriction. “The width of the final fabric is one of the most important factors for proper execution,” she said in an interview with Co.Design. “It might sound really limiting, but for me, this process made the end result more unexpected and interesting.” Such a project is a strong example of how we can once again reclaim the values of the Greatest Generation. Before throwing out the last scraps, maybe we could all benefit from stepping back and realizing the potential of what we almost tossed in the garbage.

More Noted Posts | Clothing Category

Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.

3 Featured Comments

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  • CandyAppleCrafts

    CandyAppleCrafts from CandyAppleCrafts says: Featured

    I think we waste more because we didn't have to make the components that become the final product. "Back in the day," people had to make the fabric first, or raise, kill, and pluck the chicken first, and they didn't believe in wasted effort. I think it's a good thing to return to their mentality. It was wrong to have forgotten it in the first place. Thanks for this post!

    3 years ago

  • IvyVining

    Ivy Vining from IvyVining says: Featured

    I love this. Not only does it address wastefulness, but from a creative standpoint it approaches design from a whole new direction. As artists, I think we all relish the idea of being able to make whatever we want with no restrictions, but sometimes having certain limitations and guidelines forces us to stretch our imaginations even more, resulting in an even more unique finished product that we never would have conceived otherwise.

    3 years ago

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says: Featured

    A brilliant challenge - in these difficult economic times it's especially important to reuse, refashion, recycle and re-purpose as much as we can. I recycle all my silver scrap into new one-of-a-kind jewellery, but I have heaps of clothes that are past their best or no longer fit that I'm sure I could make something amazing with - thanks for inspiring me to do my bit!

    3 years ago

  • VintageEyeFashion

    VintageEyeFashion from VintageEyeFashion says:

    Such a fabulous project! I remember my mother using each & every scrap of food, cloth or whatever. There wasn't the money to live any other way.

    3 years ago

  • allthingswhite

    Kathi from allthingswhite says:

    love this project ! my grandma could make the most wonderful meals for the whole family from what seemed like not enough to feed one :D

    3 years ago

  • shootfromcanada

    Amy Kenny from shootfromcanada says:

    That is an awesome challenge. I wish there was a way to see a load of the submissions.

    3 years ago

  • meganbrown

    Megan Brown from meganbrown says:

    It would be nice to see the finished product! I love the idea of not wasting materials. I use scraps for all kinds of things around my house, as I am sure many others do as well. On another note, who sews from the opposite side of a machine while the garment is still being worn? Silly.

    3 years ago

  • warmnfuzzies

    warmnfuzzies from warmnfuzzies says:

    I grew up living next door to my grandmother, who had once owned a poultry market. Not only did we raise our own meat, but there were no scraps from any of them. Everything got used, right down to the feathers that she meticulously plucked, and eventually, used to make each grandchild their own feather pillow. One of the things that I like about quilting, is the ability to use all of my scraps to create another piece of artwork. Unfortunately, the scraps are winning over the pieces of artwork!

    3 years ago

  • silverlily786

    Fatema from SilverLilyJewelry says:

    Wow reading the article I did'nt expect such a sophisticaled design!.Growing up my grandmother would alway's be lecturing us on wastage ,hitting the 30 mark I think I have grown wiser! but everything she would tell us comes back to me I want to try to right it all down so I can pass it on!

    3 years ago

  • gemagenta

    Lorena from gemagenta says:

    love this article, the anorak is fantastic :)

    3 years ago

  • nadene

    Even Howard from nadene says:

    This reminds me of learning to sew Kimono in Japan... the width of the fabric kept, the length is kept, the few curved seams are gathered, not cut. There are multiple seaming techniques that create the tailoring. Lovely.

    3 years ago

  • econica

    Natallia from econica says:

    wow - fantastic article and great approach.

    3 years ago

  • Pinkilicious

    Pink Pitcher from Pinkilicious says:

    When you look at ancient clothing, items always maximized the labor intensive fabric. Even with highly tailored well shaped garments, no piece of the fabric went unused! As a limitation it creates pure functionality, which can be beautiful in a parsimonious way.

    3 years ago

  • KKSimpleRegalJewelry

    Krista from TheBeadtriss says:

    Interesting! ~Krista

    3 years ago

  • ComposurePhotography

    Jenny Trott from ComposurePhotography says:

    Love th hoodie the winner Andria created (click on the design a zero waste garment link). Inspired!

    3 years ago

  • KnittyTurks

    Alison from KnittyTurks says:

    That's a really creative challenge and the end product looks great too.

    3 years ago

  • anotherghostquilts

    Nancy from anotherghostquilts says:

    Great! Love the hoodie too.

    3 years ago

  • thedesertwillow

    Leslie Altman from TipsyGypsySlaton says:

    Great article!!! Let's be better citizens and protect the earth's resources by eliminating wastefulness! Our society is determined to consume consume consume, but if a few brave and focused individuals can make an effort to educate just one or two people on the importance of environmental stewardship and making use of what we already have, we can make a tremendous difference. Those one or two people will tell someone else and the ripple effect will be amazing! Thanks for posting this!!!

    3 years ago

  • HeatherLucille

    Heather Atkinson from HeatherLucille says:

    Cool challenge! It's nice that the wastefulness of the garment industry is finally being addressed and dealt with (in small ways, but it is a start). We could all learn a thing or ten from our "waste not, want not" great-grandparents lifestyle.

    3 years ago

  • CandyAppleCrafts

    CandyAppleCrafts from CandyAppleCrafts says: Featured

    I think we waste more because we didn't have to make the components that become the final product. "Back in the day," people had to make the fabric first, or raise, kill, and pluck the chicken first, and they didn't believe in wasted effort. I think it's a good thing to return to their mentality. It was wrong to have forgotten it in the first place. Thanks for this post!

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    I think it's really important to make the most of what you've got in life, food and other areas should be no exception!

    3 years ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux

    Hillary De Moineaux from VoleedeMoineaux says:

    the story of my life!

    3 years ago

  • saltcityspice

    Katrina from saltandginger says:

    More & more, I challenge myself to use my food "scraps" as I cook and was surprised to feel the same as the challenge winner - instead of limiting me, it's really pushed me to be more inventive with the dishes I create. In my business, I try to use every supply to cut costs without sacrificing on aesthetics - pretty bits of fabric & ribbon get reused as ties and paper & cardstock scraps are used for tags. Great idea behind this project - thanks for highlighting it here!

    3 years ago

  • NotSewIdle

    Not Sew Idle Vintage from NotSewIdle says:

    I do the food scraps thing and try to with fabric as I save small pieces for other projects. I find that quilt scraps can be used for Barbie doll clothing and doll quilts. It would be nice if the entire world recycled and limited waste so that we could empower more creativity in individuals and corporations.

    3 years ago

  • IvyVining

    Ivy Vining from IvyVining says: Featured

    I love this. Not only does it address wastefulness, but from a creative standpoint it approaches design from a whole new direction. As artists, I think we all relish the idea of being able to make whatever we want with no restrictions, but sometimes having certain limitations and guidelines forces us to stretch our imaginations even more, resulting in an even more unique finished product that we never would have conceived otherwise.

    3 years ago

  • TheWinglessDesigns

    The Wingless Bird from TheWinglessDesigns says:

    I have a zero *waist* lmao. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing. Favorited.

    3 years ago

  • holdfastcompany

    benton dubose from holdfastcompany says:

    Definitely a great concept to incorporate not only into clothing. Personal responsibility and awareness really go a long way. Great post.

    3 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush says:

    Great topic! I make all sorts of things using fabric from old clothing that can't be salvaged as a garment. it ends up as a banner for 4th of july, or a rosette for a headband.. reusing is cool!

    3 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    I love this! I was actually just watching a show about freegans. They never buy food but instead wait for the night to come and go through garbage bags and take out perfectly good food that was thrown away because of a slight imperfection. It was amazing to see what they were taking out of these bags. It was perfectly good food. This is a great post! It really does make you stop and think twice before throwing something out.

    3 years ago

  • RetroRevivalBoutique

    RetroRevivalBoutique from RetroRevivalBoutique says:

    Boo on wastefulness, yay for creativity! :)

    3 years ago

  • AlpineGypsy

    Heidi from AlpineGypsy says:

    Fabulous! I really try to practice this very thing regularly, especially with food. There is so much goodness to be extracted from what a lot of people would simply toss in the trash. I feel that it makes me more grateful for what richness we take for granted here in the West. As for fabric, it must have been a fun project to try...limitations are sometimes necessary for flight of inspiration. *smile* Very interesting article. Heidi

    3 years ago

  • cartelle

    Kris from cartelle says:

    I love this! I have a small obsession with efficiency and not wasting (and like heidi above me especially with food).

    3 years ago

  • ragdollrevolution

    Jennie Price Lyra from ragdollrevolution says:

    I also thought about Japanes Kimonos, they are so fun to make - you can even make them reversible if you like.

    3 years ago

  • PinesVintageClothing

    Pine from GoodOldVintageOnline says:

    Striving to make the most out of what we have is a great life philosophy! Awesome challenge

    3 years ago

  • ellavanilla

    Jennifer Schmitt from SiennaParkway says:

    every time I throw something away, I wonder how much bigger our landfills can get before we come up with a solution (it's possible i'm obsessing lol). as a result I have a scrap pile to end all scrap piles! LOL But I think it's wise to consider how much waste we're going to create before we create it. And as the designer pointed out, it changed everything about how she created the garment. Consideration has always been a part of art. This is just an additional element IMO.

    3 years ago

  • bohemiansway

    Maria Holt from bohemiansway says:

    The day myself my mother and 5 siblings moved in with my Mimmy (gramma) and Grampa's home in the country was the begining of my creativity in cooking, baking, sewing, laundry, and every aspect of homemaking, love of birds, and nature, selfless love and Nothing goes to waste, after she made me a beautiful hat and coat every last scrap was used to make my baby doll a matching hat, coat, and a pair of shoes with hard bottoms and then a skirt or gown for my Barbie. My grandpa took my 3 three brothers and taught them about building everything from a piece of furniture to a sewing room for my Mimmy, and what wood did'nt get used got carefully staked in the barn for the next project, and to care for the land that he was blessed with. Oh the wonderful lessons I learned from them. "Waste not want not"

    3 years ago

  • redyellowandblueink

    Bird Muse from RedYellowAndBlueInk says:

    Wow, your story about your Grandma and chicken and chicken soup could be straight from my memory of my Grandma. loved it. There are some companies using their fabric scraps to make the smaller garment pieces from, so all the cut away pieces are being utilized, seems like an obvious concept, but someone has to actually do it, nice that some companies are. Less waste, save resources save money.

    3 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage says:

    Love this article. Waste is one of my pet peeves!

    3 years ago

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC says:

    Great article. Being creative is wonderful.

    3 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    I think the move away from hand production during the Industrial Revolution is to blame for the idea that stuff you buy is somehow easy to come by. Back when the fabric you were making into a garment was linen made from flax that you grew, harvested, processed & spun yourself, folks would have been much more willing to make better use of every tiny piece. Now, when it runs out you just go to the store & buy some more, so the personal connection to your own hard work is lost. Interesting project though, & I'm glad the people involved realised that limitations aren't necessarily limiting, they're often challenging instead. The waste from the items I make consists mainly of sawdust, which I sweep up & add to the compost heap... to ultimately turn into food!

    3 years ago

  • EstyElle

    EstyElle from EstyElle says:

    What a lovely read, we all need to reduce out waste!

    3 years ago

  • SameheartDesigns

    Nadia Sameheart from SameheartDesigns says:

    Awesome article, gorgeous hoody!

    3 years ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign says:

    One of the very best books on this subject is called Cut My Cote by Dorothy K. Burnham. It contains FABULOUS illustrations and diagrams of traditional garments whose style was determined by the loom width, resulting in zero wasted fabric.

    3 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says:

    Food that could have been eaten but instead goes in the trash is a pet peeve of mine. You have to be creative to cook in a way that utilizes all your food. And while you may never be able to re-create certain dishes, it makes for fun and yummy food. But at work, I am more wasteful for some reason. I do use my scraps which in and of themselves have been great inspiration but the truth is, I have lots of scrap.

    3 years ago

  • Iknitoo

    Iknitoo says:

    One of the first purchases I made from an ETSY artist was a bag made from the selvedges of fabric. It was unique and beautiful. It takes appreciation of such "scrap art" to change the way we do things in our world, whether it is using the leftovers of a meal, using the WHOLE chicken or selvedges of fabric. I use scraps as a way of life. It is amazing what you can find to do with them. Vegetable scraps can be made into wonderful stock...fabric scraps turn into doll clothes, quilts or stuffing. It can be done...we just have to change our habits. I do agree with the comment about the Parson's jacket...wasting $345 for one of these "waste-free" items is insanity. How about GIVING them to the homeless? Inspiring article, nonetheless.

    3 years ago

  • grandmae1

    Ellen says:

    Good article! Try sorting leftover fabric by size of pieces,then color. Great for quilting and craft projects. If kept in clear bins or ziplocs they are easy to store, also! It is amazing how tiny scraps of felt or cotton can add a punch of color to simple designs! (~.~) Ellen

    3 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons from TigersandDragons says:

    We get our stainless steel from companies that make custom kitchen, the scrap strips that are too small for them to use. Otherwise these pieces would of gone straight to the metal recycler. My grandparents lived through the communist revolution, two world wars, and the great depression. They did their best to avoid wasting anything. Grandma would turn the left overs in great soups. Her children were always well dressed, and when clothes were outgrown, they were reworked for the next youngest child.

    3 years ago

  • MyGrandpasPen

    Jeanine from MyGrandpasPen says:

    I do love the challenge of zero waste - in the past I've created costumes for a dance theatre group and I really worked the design to not only minimize the waste but also simplify the design. I also turn all my paper scraps into tags and punch outs. My concern with 'waste not want not' is that it's very easy to slip into the trap of never making a decision about whether or not an item has a use. Definitely most items can be used for other things but I'm happy to move them along to other people who can do that (donate to thrift stores etc).

    3 years ago

  • HoneyBeeHolistics

    Melissa from HoneyBeeHolistics says:

    Remembering our roots & turning back to them will help us all become more appreciative of what we have! Just think if the bolt of fabric you have is all you could afford & you couldnt buy anymore! Creativeness comes from need.....Foster that creativity & help reduce YOUR waste on the planet!!

    3 years ago

  • delightfuldownsizing

    Maria from delightfuldownsizing says:

    Oh, this was right up my alley! I LOVE recycling,refashioning & repurposing as much as I can! Thanks for the read!

    3 years ago

  • ChanaBatGedaliah

    Chana R. says:

    So lovely!

    3 years ago

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop says:

    I remember my grandmother making beautiful quilts from fabric scraps from my mother's sewing projects! I can just imagine her going through my scraps and creating something fabulous! Thanks for the story!

    3 years ago

  • LilaJo

    Shana from LilaJo says:


    3 years ago

  • glusk

    Tara Galuska from GluskDesigns says:

    Zero waste and gorgeous. I love it!

    3 years ago

  • HandmadeIsAllAround
  • PolClary

    PolClary from PolClary says:

    That is a gorgeous design, and such a great concept. I do the same with my scraps of yarn. Even if I can't use it to make something small, such as stripes in some fingerless gloves or a little patch for a patchwork pillow or quilt, my daughter can use it in one of her projects, or we use it for wrapping.

    3 years ago

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says: Featured

    A brilliant challenge - in these difficult economic times it's especially important to reuse, refashion, recycle and re-purpose as much as we can. I recycle all my silver scrap into new one-of-a-kind jewellery, but I have heaps of clothes that are past their best or no longer fit that I'm sure I could make something amazing with - thanks for inspiring me to do my bit!

    3 years ago

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture says:

    The wastefulness of the fashion industry is one of the main concepts that drove Andrea & I to start designing and developing PopLove - we use exclusively recycled and discarded materials in all of our designs, and we're working on developing more accessories to utilize our scraps as well. Not only is it beneficial for the environment, but we also love the aesthetic of it! It's refreshing to know traditional designers are making an effort to make the most of their resources as well!

    3 years ago

  • EwingRussell

    Ewing Russell says:

    Hard story. Nice to share

    3 years ago

  • FlingaOnEtsy

    FLINGA from FlingaOnEtsy says:

    If you think about it, there's no such thing as waste, only material waiting to get used... (that's my philosophy behind the fish scales I use in my products, but I confess I don't do anything with the fish bones (yet - a challenge?))

    3 years ago

  • mikiheather

    Heather Butler from MikiandHeather says:

    I do try my best to not be wasteful but it is a challange in this throw away society, thanks for reminding us that our Grandma's knew best!

    3 years ago

  • thehappycouple

    Brianna from thehappycouple says:

    I've been doing my best to use every scrap. I've been turning my smallest scraps into cupcake flags which only ads another product to my shop!

    3 years ago

  • sandstormcreations
  • jmayoriginals

    jean from jmayoriginals says:

    i love this idea. i've been doing my part to reduce waste.

    3 years ago

  • Gennikin

    Genevieve Turner from Gennikin says:

    Working with yarn gives me ample chance to save up scraps and make something new... thanks for the reminder that there are ways to save and reuse in other ways, too!

    3 years ago

  • Fransik

    Franziska Zuber from Fransik says:

    my grandma was the same, I remember I was a 6 year old girl and I found a wing full of white feathers in the cellar. It was the rest of a goose we ate weeks ago. She used the wing to give the floor a sweep ;-)

    3 years ago

  • nicoahsmeem

    Valerie Augustine from PhatBabeeBlankets says:

    I love this idea of zero waste. Is she actually wearing the dress while she sewing the hem in the photo? Thats excellent. Thats talent right there.

    3 years ago

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth says:

    Great post. :)

    3 years ago

  • leslieholz

    Leslie Holz from leslieholz says:

    Loved this! As a quilter, it kills me to even throw away the tiniest scrap. I always envision a masterpiece that died with the toss of that scrap into the trash! After saving so many small pieces of fabric over the years it has finally come in handy as my 4 daughters all sew and used up quite a bit of those scraps while learning!

    3 years ago

  • LeatherheadOriginals

    LeatherheadOriginals from LeatherheadOriginals says:

    Love this article! I have a mountain of leather scraps in every concievable color leather comes in! I occasionally make a hat from some of the scraps when there's time to do it! I'm thinking of listing scraps on Etsy soon!

    3 years ago

  • claralieu

    Clara Lieu from Claradolly says:

    Its amazing how creatively liberating limitations can be!

    3 years ago

  • cosascosidas

    Tania Beagley-Brown from CosasCosidas says:

    Great post. I totally agree that limitations can be liberating. And one person's waste is another persons raw material! 'Rubbish' is an amazing resource and with a little creative thinking it's amazing what it can be transformed into.

    3 years ago

  • tiialin

    Tiia Lin from tiialin says:

    I have actually designing this way for years. Everything in my shop is designed specifically to not waste any of the materials I use, I love hear more about how others are applying this thought process, because it does present one of the best creative challenges I've ever come across. Not only is it ecological, but economical. Making the most of your supplies. Brilliant all around.

    3 years ago

  • joclarkdesign

    Jo Clark from joclarkdesign says:

    This is so lovely that so many creatives work in a similar way. I try to do the same with the paper i use to draw on, using all sorts of papers salvaged from packaging materials envelopes, gives some surprising results that you couldn't replicate with bought materials. If I can't draw on it I will try another technique and use collage. Hmm I'm feeling inspired to go use some of that stash of paper I have, thanks for the great article!

    3 years ago

  • KTcollections

    KTcollections from KTcollections says:

    Such a lovely story...great!! I'm now inspired...thanks for a great article :)

    3 years ago

  • dorsetclothing

    Mon from dorsetclothing says:

    I often challenge myself to use as much of the fabric I have as possible. I end up with some pretty creative pieces made up from the scraps, items that I wouldn't have thought of in the first place if I didn't force myself to think outside the square.

    3 years ago

  • MoMofStrick2

    Elizabeth Strickland from MoMofStrick2 says:

    Awesome article and the sweater turned out amazing!

    3 years ago

  • JenniLynnHill

    Jenni Hill from JenniLynnHill says:

    I remember as a little kid (back in the early 70's) watching an episode of Sesame Street. They took a little trip to a shop in a city that was full of hundreds of bins and barrels of scrap. Every kind you could imagine from leather, string, paper, cork, buttons, etc. Some came from taking apart and recyling things and some from factories that had scrap from production. People would buy the stuff to create new items. It was so awesome that I remember it clearly after 40 years. Imagine a Michael's but with recycled or scrap craft supplies instead of Chinese supplies!! My daughter and I found some shops kind of like it after searching online. With a lot of manufacturing out of the country now, that source of scrap is not easy to find. It's such a great idea to find usefulness for scrap instead of sending it to a landfill. My poor cluttered garage is testment of my desire to reuse, repurpose things :)

    3 years ago

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings says:

    Great article! Sometimes the best work comes from waste or left over materials !

    3 years ago

  • llfinan

    Lisa La Valle-Finan from CREATiVECONVERZeNS says:

    This is my motto at Waste not, want not. Old words, yes. But still wise for today's living

    3 years ago

  • DreamsInTexas

    Myranda Escamilla from MyrandaE says:

    This is a great challenge, thanks for the inspiration!

    3 years ago

  • Roancreekweaving

    Melissa Goodwin from Roancreekweaving says:

    "People in America waste more than most of the people in the world live on" a man once said to me. Not a new thought but if we all applied that principle of Waste not , Want not, to everything we do weather it is convenient or not we would solve some really BIG problems.... From over-full landfills to worn out farm land that produces food that barely nourishes us! I strive to show people what it might have been like before Wal-Mart, and even before the industrial revolution. By necessity, things took longer and our ancestors wasted little of the resources they were blessed with. My resources come from junk stores, yard sales, stuff around the house. Natural fibers that are sustainably grown or recycled. Alas, so many things to repurpose and so little time!!!!

    3 years ago

  • RainbowBabyTiedye

    RainbowBabyTiedye from RainbowBabyTiedye says:

    My Grandmother was one of the most frugal people I know. She once told me that to keep up with fashion she would re-do her 1 or 2 dresses that she had made. Any scraps that were left over she used for mending, quilts, you name it. I have one of her crazy quilts that she made using lots of scraps of leftover fabric. It is a great reminder that nothing should go to waste.

    3 years ago

  • kelly442

    kellybobbles says:

    Shop small, shop locally and support independent retailers. Best way to avoid this price fixing/bulkbuying/overconsuming way there is. Buy nothing you can't carry home in four bags. (paper naturally) and eat in season. Spend money of quality rather than fashion and upskill yourself to make the best of every occasion with what you have. Borrow lend and swap when you can, why buy new? Avoid Chains. Support smaller businesses.We're in this together. lets help each other out a bit to be and do better than we are.

    3 years ago

  • victoriandolls

    Jule from victoriandolls says:

    Great article. I too, was raised by my grandmother to use scraps of fabric, yarn and to conserve on food. I try to follow this motto in my every day living. Our culture today is so spoiled with everything pretty much done for them. I do not think a lot of people today could survive without modern technology. I try to pass on to my family to respect the earth and what has been given to us. Conserve energy and do not always look for the easiest alternative to every day living. I save scraps of food and feed it to the starving birds and critters that come to our back yard. It is a joy to me to help them. Wish I could do more :)

    3 years ago

  • ScottiaCreations

    Scottia Jordan from ScottiaCreations says:

    I find a lot of joy making something out of something else that would otherwise be thrown away. I live on a farm and I love sifting through the old junk piles and finding treasures to add to new things. There is nothing like making a new bag to take to market or anywhere really that is made from refurbished fabric and old antique pieces of metal found on an old piece of farm machinery. So much is out there to use. Take a look around and see past the mall. :)

    3 years ago

  • Fibrendesign

    Ana Pantelic from FibrenDesign says:

    I believe that Candy Apple crafts has it in a nutshell, or the greater part of it at least, and I believe that I'm the living proof. Because I hand spin the yarns I use to produce the garments and other items I knit, weave, and embellish, I can't bear to throw anything away, not because waste as such, is the very first thing that comes to mind, but because I can't bear the thought of throwing away all the hours spent producing those yarns, especially when I know it won't be long before I'd need to spend more time reproducing any little scrap I might have been silly enough to discard. The same sentiment holds true when I decide to weave a length to make a garnent. I weave the exact width I need for the widest part of the pattern, and the finished length is the sum of all the pattern parts, and since it's quicker to weave narrow lengths than wider widths, I save time as well as materials. I make my own buttons from whatever natural substances I can find, because I think they posess greater beauty and integrity, and aren't polutant. I try to follow grand-ma's wisdom as closely as I can, but when it comes to her beeswax and turpentine firniture polish................ well that just smells good, and takes me back to childhood.

    3 years ago

  • bellonart

    Marcus Bellon from bellonart says:

    Very interesting! It seems like such a no-brainer...

    3 years ago

  • AriaCouture

    Aria Clements from AriaCouture says:

    I draft my own patterns when I sew, and minimize waste as much as possible just to save money. The scraps are given away to people who want them to make quilts pieces as small as an inch and a half can be used - I just saw a Fons & Porter episode with a GORGEOUS quilt with many very small pieces). Only the smallest slivers are thrown away. Right now I'm saving up a box of pieces my mother-in-law wants. I think an interesting challenge would be to take a garment or two and remake then into something they weren't. Like not taking two shirts and swapping sleeves, but taking a pair of pants and making a top, or turning a shirt or two into a skirt. Also it used to be popular to use scraps and old items that were beyond use as even rags to make rugs. Oh, and I pity those who've never had homemade chicken stock using the carcass of the bird, giblets and all.

    3 years ago

  • whatdoyoucrave

    whatdoyoucrave from whatdoyoucrave says:

    The photo is weird.... the front of the machine is facing, but the lady is feeding the fabric through the back of the machine? What is this supposed to represent?

    3 years ago

  • ambraly

    ambraly says:

    @whatdoyoucrave: I was just about to say the same thing. As a sewer, it looks odd.

    3 years ago

  • homesewnbykate

    Katherine Reed from homesewnbykate says:

    Is anyone going to mention that there's no thread and she's sitting on the wrong side? Talk about zero waste.

    3 years ago

  • melagranita

    melagranita says:

    Yes, there's no thread in the wrong-side sewing machine. Gives me the sense that there's not a lot of content here

    3 years ago

  • JerryLeeSews

    JerryLeeSews from JerryLeeSews says:

    My intelligence has officially been insulted.

    3 years ago

  • GatheringMeVintage

    marnie from GatheringMeVintage says:

    Nice article but the image let's it down. I wish we could get back to reality...I just don't get whimsy. Sorry.

    3 years ago

  • lafemmenoir

    Jessica Stallings from lafemmenoir says:

    Sorry, I just really couldn't focus on the article. I was too focused on the absurdity of that photo. As a seamstress, that really grinds my gears. It's like how I see pictures of people "playing" the violin, and as a former violinist, I see the errors and I dwell on that. It's horrifying.

    3 years ago

  • PinkBunnySlippers82

    PinkBunnySlippers82 says:

    I like the waste not, want not philosophy, and it certainly applies to clothing and to food, to a large extent. That being said, some people have very weird ways of saving every little scrap, and I believe there's a fine line between being thrifty and being insane. Or a hoarder.

    3 years ago

  • kittenears

    kittenears from kittenears says:

    I am also confused by the image. I can forgive it being thread-less- but why the wrong side? I think keeping useful-sized scraps is one thing if you actually plan on using them in a reasonable amount of time, but if you're just keeping everything because it can one day possibly be of use for some obscure project.... that's a bit too hoarder-y for me.

    3 years ago

  • MamaDragonBreath

    MamaDragonBreath from MamaDragonBreath says:

    I think the idea is noble, but you're going to get a lot of really horrible, unwearable garments trying to meet that requirement. Better to just use your scraps for things like the innards for stuffed animals. Also, I'm hoping you used that stupid picture on purpose, otherwise, it just undermines your whole article. Never mind, it does anyway. Thanks for the laugh at least!

    3 years ago

  • AdrasteiaAccessories

    Natalie and Kellie from AdrasteiaAccessories says:

    It's a real shame such a nice article is ruined by that picture. Bad form.

    3 years ago

  • babybabymo

    babybabymo from BabyBabyMo says:

    How else are they going to get the Brother label showing if they don't have the machine pointed the awrong way. This is Etsy being waste not, want not, posting an article and getting product placement at the same time! :)

    3 years ago

  • Yuuichi

    Yuuichi says:

    magical? murdered chicken?

    3 years ago

  • SmarmyPantsHippo

    Smarmypants Hippo says:

    I wish I had magical outlets installed in my lawn. I'm stuck sewing with my magic, backwards, threadless machine indoors. :c

    3 years ago

  • rjhopkins12

    Rebecca Jane from rjhopkins12 says:

    Wow, all these years I've been sewing from the wrong side of the machine.

    3 years ago

  • Vanitos

    Alessandra says:

    Good article, excellent philosophy, but someone seriously goofed on that picture.

    3 years ago

  • TessasAssets

    Tessa Holbrook from TessasAssets says:

    I've been sowing wrong all these years! Who knew you could sew without thread or electricity, and on the other side of the machine! Come on Etsy, you can to better than this. You're supposed to be a collection of crafters, not clueless artsy photographers

    3 years ago

  • WoollyWoodlanders

    Lorna Jenkin from WoollyWoodlanders says:

    I was shown by my mother how to lay out the pieces of a pattern more imaginatively and therefore I would confidently buy maybe half a yard of cloth less for every garment. All our scraps were saved and made into dolls clothes, mending or quilts - don't throw them out! Why do you think the olde quilters invented such intricate patterns - to use up those tiny scraps of course.

    3 years ago

  • MattiOnline

    Matti's Millinery and Costumes from MattiOnline says:

    That's fabulous! There are recycling centers that use fabric pieces down to 1x1 inch squares. We have friends too that will use our extra fabric scraps for handmade doll dresses too.

    3 years ago