Offcuts, trimmings, frayed threads, just bits and pieces – we have plenty of them in all shapes and sizes, and anyone with a workroom will understand how, although it seems wasteful to throw them out, we just can’t keep everything and there comes a time.. We stack them by colour and type, and have rows of Ikea metal bins stuffed full of the scraps ( well, only the best ) and it’s quite a relief when a client actually wants their pieces back. After all, at least part of the reason people ask us to make their furnishings for them is from a distinct lack of, any ambition for, or interest in sewing themselves – so what would they do with them ?
We also have ex- pattern books and samples, and we often add an extra metre or two for ourselves onto a clients order – my policy for furnishings is to keep to the quoted time and price, and whilst a metre isn’t foolproof by any means, it does help us to overcome small flaws, or an altered pattern repeat – things that cause costly workroom delays. Anyway, it’s invaluable, and whilst we often don’t need it, when we do it means that there are always other sized bits within the roll that we end up with. For some years we made patchwork sections every time we had a spare half day or so and turned them into quilts and curtaining for bespoke orders.
For about ten years we had a shop in Taunton ( UK ) close to the theatre, the river and a decent cafe – plenty of people passing. Most weeks we left some treasure – pattern books, samples, patchwork bags – anything- outside the shop door, and it would be emptied within minutes – amazingly we rarely saw it go! We’ve given them to charities, sold patchwork bags, made patchwork bedcovers and curtains, made cushions for charity events etc. but we still have too many. So, for our new series ‘From the Cutting Room Floor‘, it’s our mission to make even the tiniest bits count – the odd shapes and even the frayed threads left from fringing. But we’re also intent on proving that some of the most stylish and covetable furnishings can be made wholly, or in part, from the offcuts ………. Watch this space….