Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'no-join' method of cutting fabric strips

This method is by far the BEST way to cut doona (duvet/quilt) covers into strips. Love it, love it, love it! Plus it works brilliantly for pillowcases. I have also successfully used this method to cut sleeves/legs of clothing into strips. It works for any 'tube' of fabric. And it's also the method I use for cutting plastic bags into 'plarn'

As I said... love it, love it, love it!

This is a speedy system of cutting which results in a long continuous strip being formed.

EDITED TO ADD - I have had a fabulous and simple suggestion from one of my regular readers (thank you Karen!)

if you are working with a flat piece of material, such as a sheet... take a few minutes to stitch a seam up one side and make it into a tube... then proceed with the method described below


I have used a pillowcase to demonstrate the technique, and taken lots of photos. Hopefully they will help you in your recycled crafting endeavours.

(click on the photos to enlarge)

1. lay the pillowcase flat, with the opening to the left
step 1

2. begin folding from the bottom up as illustrated
step 2 step 3

3. fold to about an inch from the top edge
step 4

4. trim the left hand side so that you have a straight flat edge... for a pillowcase you are removing that whole thick section of fabric at the opening... for a doona cover you are removing the strip which contains the fasteners/buttons... etc
step 5

5. start cutting strips approximately 1/2 inch wide... cut through folded layers all at once... stop before you reach the very top edge
step 6

6. continue cutting until you reach the end... cut the last strip all the way through
step 7

7. shake out the folds
step 8

8. slide your hand into the tube from the top left hand side
step 9 step 10

9. use fabric scissors to make cuts between the strips... start at the end of the 'spine' and cut diagonally up and left to the end of the first strip as illustrated
step 11

10. continue cutting from the top of one strip to the bottom of the next, moving diagonally up and left... until you reach the end
step 13 step 14

11. make the final cut as illustrated
step 15

12. you now have one continuous strip of fabric which can be rolled into a ball
step 16 step 17

38 comments:

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing that Sharon. Will have to have a go :)

Amy said...

I am so impressed I just rushed to get an old pillow case immediately! It worked brilliantly. I now have my first ever ball of recycled yarn waiting to be knitted into something. I may tackle my old pile of t-shirts next. You are a genius, Sharon!

Dot said...

how clever! i remember doing something like that with paper when i was a child... you'd make a big circle and you'd walk through it..

thanks for the tip!
dot

P said...

That is totally brilliant. I have been wanting to cut up some plastic bags for recycled knitting purposes, but have been at a total loss as to the best way to do it. So I have to agree; total genius!

karrin said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try this out.

Nicole said...

Thank you, this is very handy.

Karen said...

I turned a length of fabric into a tube by sewing up the two ends and then cutting with the 'no join' method - yes!!! How great to make small cuts and save the wrist and hand. Thank you.

Tess said...

Hey, I recognise that pillowcase! Delighted to see it being put to good use already.

katilo said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

Regina said...

Fabulous!!

thesunbrellastore said...

Thank you very much for your nice informations.

Regards
Sunbrella Fabric

I drink cups of tea said...

This is awesome. I cannot wait to try it out. Thank you so much for your awesome blog.

lifeasamama said...

this is a wonderful technique - thanks for sharing it!

i blogged about this as part of MomAdvice's Notebook Experiments... come check it out!

I`m Radica Mirkovic said...

Thank you, Sharon!
This is so clever and simple ...
I`ll have to try this out and make something new...

laughing purple goldfish said...

happy snipping everyone... but it really is addictive :)

Khris said...

What a brilliant method. I have sent this link to my yahoo groups. I am about to try one of your rag bags. Have never done one and the tutorial looks terrific for a beginner...thanks heaps. Hugs Khris

laughing purple goldfish said...

khris - fabulous... have fun with it, and feel free to pop back and ask questions if you get stuck with anything

shape5 said...

I have just run into your site, and it's brilliant! I am going to use almost every single crochet related suggestion you've made!

laughing purple goldfish said...

shape5 - thanks... enjoy your wonderful world of discovery! so pleased you found my blog inspiring :)

Josi said...

Muito obrigada!
Gostei!
Beijos
Josi
http://josicroche.blogspot.com/

laughing purple goldfish said...

josi - glad you liked it!

Da Yaps said...

That is great! But what do you like to do with your pillow case strip ball? Are you knitting with it? What kind of items?

Da Yaps said...

That is great! But what do you do with your new ball of pillow case yarn? Are you knitting with it? What kind of things are you knitting? Thanks!

Melinda said...

Love it! Thank you for posting this!

Aim said...

Amazing! And I've been a seamstress for millions of years and never heard of that!!! Thanks for sharing =D

Bobbie said...

I tried to subscribe via my email and was told I could't. Then I tried to with the reader and got this, how do I subscribe?

There has been an error of some kind. Ack!

FeedBurner could not deliver this feed to you because of the specific problem listed below:
Feed Address: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LaughingPurpleGoldfishDesigns

HTTP Error (Code) and Message: (404) Feed not found error: FeedBurner cannot locate this feed URI.

What can I do about this?
If you are a potential or current subscriber, contact the publisher to notify them that their feed content is not available. This may be temporary problem that requires their intervention to resolve, or the publisher may have permanently removed the feed from FeedBurne

Bobbie said...

I have signed up for follow ups so hope you can tell me haw to subscribe I love your blog!

g.aruljothiKarikalan said...

really useful thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

EXACTLEY what I was looking for and good job on the foto's!
Thanx!

Lori said...

Thank you so much for posting such a time and energy saving method!

laughing purple goldfish said...

bobbie...

I have fixed the subscriptions, so you shouldn't have a problem now

Nurse2 said...

This method looks so much better than the plarn method of loop ties that I was using! Can't wait to try it, have a big bag full just waiting... Love your designs and tutorials, and just subscribed to your blog. CU later.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, I have so many clothes made of beautiful fabrics that I just can't bear to part with - this is a wonderful way to use them all. Now... What the heck DO I use them all for once I've made my fabric ball? Got any ideas? Maybe a hand bag would be nice... do you leave the ends as they are or stitch a hem in them?

laughing purple goldfish said...

Cynthia...

I've made hand bags, coasters, bowls, baskets and floor mats... and I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as ideas go!

I haven't ever bothered with a hem, but then again, I do LOVE the scrappy look...

Stessy Testa said...

I just used this method to cut up old tube socks and used the “yarn” to crochet mop heads for an old “Swiffer” I found. They work beautifully and I can just toss them into the washing machine when I’m done. Thanks for the tip!

Candi Vee said...

Thank you for this great tutorial. I've used this method in the past for cutting shopping bags into plarn. This is the first time I've seen it used on fabric.

I've added a link to your tutorial on my blog.

Thanks again!!

Paula said...

Thank you very much for sharing, especially for this method of cutting strips of fabric, I subscribed to your blog by email, but I will keep visiting the site, greetings from Chile!

Jill Springer said...

Do you think thi swould work with tulle for scrubbies?