June 11, 2011

Selvage Edge Fabric into Drawstring Tote Bag

Is this one awesome bag or WHAT!?  I can't stop looking at it, I am so happy with it!  I'm like a little kid - just carrying it on my shoulder, even though I have nothing to put in it :)

This bag was made using SELVAGES.  A Selvage is the white strip of fabric, at the edge of the roll, that has info about who made the fabric, etc.  It is the part you usually cut off and throw away - but no more!  If you save them, you can make anything you want with them, and it looks so unique!!

I made this particular bag using a pattern from Crystelle Boutique - but the brilliant thing is -
you can make any bag (or any thing) you want using selvages!

Granted, it does take quite a few selvages to make a bag.  Just because I knew you would all be curious, I counted how many yards I needed to make this bag. 
Are you ready for it....
In needed 36 YARDS of selvages!  And I was very frugal! 
WOAH.  I did not expect that I would need so many!!  I cut the selvage off of every piece of fabric that I own, AND had my mom AND my sister send me their's as well!  And I barely had enough.  I thought for sure that I would be able to make a couple of bags with the gigantic pile I had set aside.  But, this bag was big, and selvages are small :)

(Now I cut them off as soon as I get new fabric, so I have nice long pieces - and I cut them at least 1" thick.  It looks great if there is some part of the actual fabric showing as well - adds some good color)

Each selvage was about 1" wide - but when you overlap the raw edge with finished edge, in order to sew them down, each strip shows only 1/2" to 3/4".  Selvage Edge Boutique has a great tutorial on how to do this:

As you can see, it takes quite a few selvages to make squares of 12" x 16" fabric like you see below (and I overlapped and sewed them as close to the edge as I could possibly get) - but they look so cool when you are done!  I made them this size because that is what I needed for my pattern.  Whatever you want to make, start by cutting muslin to the correct pattern size, and sewing the selvages to that.  You can then follow your pattern, sewing just as you would with any piece of fabric. 

I used really bright, colorful fabric for the lining, because I thought it complemented each tiny bit of color in the otherwise mostly white selvages. 

So, here is my plea to all my family and friends -
I am totally addicted now, but it will be a LONG time before I have enough selvages to make something else at the rate I buy fabric :)
And if you would like - in exchange, I will make you a little selvage tissue holder!  How cute is that!? ;)
(feel free to email me at craftyladylindsay[at]

Let me know if you have made something using selvages!  Now that I have discovered this medium - I would love to see more!

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  1. SO cute and creative. I love it!! Thank you for sharing.


  2. I love this! So cute. Your blog is really great, if you'd like to list it in our directory for free, please head over to

  3. What a super cute bag! I would have never guessed you could make soemthing so cute out of salveges. Love your blog!

  4. Love Love Love this! I may need to start saving my selvages!

  5. I really love this. I am collecting selvages as of right now.

  6. This is absolutely adorable and unique--love it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. That bag is fantastic! I love all the colors! And in a way it can serve as a memory bag for all the projects you have worked on. I have pinned it for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I am in LOVE! This is so darn cute and now I can add another thing to my list of "don't put this in the trash" so darn cute!

  9. I can't quit looking at your bag! I want one. I wish there was a way you get get lots of those selvages and make these to sell. I would definitely buy one. Love it.

  10. I just posted this on the A2D Facebook Page. This is so incredibly creative!! I just can't stop looking at it! I've used a selvage to make a ruffled trim for a pillow, but mine isn't fun and bright and colorful like yours is. I'd love to use this idea to make a decorative pillow! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. This is so cute! Good Job! I'm your newest follower! Come check out my blog and follow me too!


  12. A LONG time ago I happened upon a dress this lady made of selvedges. It was way more work for any dress (and I do bridal and costuming) have ever seen! This would be the PERFECT bag to coordinate! I wish I had the link to share with you, as I think you would like it...
    Anyways, thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie!

  13. LOVE this! Just featured it on our blog today, brag about it to your friends! Thanks for submitting your site to our directory, we love the blog!

  14. This is so creative! I love it. I hope you will stop by my blog and link up to my party : )

  15. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - you were featured today!!

  16. So cute! I have made 2 tote bags from selveges, but will be saving them to make a quilt next. I love the drawstring on your! Nicely done!