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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scraps: Scrunchies or Chou Chous? Green Sewing for the New Year

Two Completed Chou Chous
(along with a fabric covered book) I made for gifts
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Web Resources 
Enchanted by Sewing Show Notes and Links to Shows

Audio-Only Link

What is a Chou-Chou or a Scrunchie?

Although I made chou-chous for holiday gifts, they are a perfect cleanup-for-the-New-Year or anytime, sewing cleanup/recycling project. You can't get more green than using up scraps of fabric that are too pretty to toss. You can also use the ends of stained or recycled clothing. You can even repurpose old worn elastic!

Here's the idea in picture form, to help you follow along with the Technicos segment of that show.

I can never toss really pretty scraps
But at some point, I need to use them!

I measure out 10 inches of 1/4 inch elastic

I fold a 20 (or slightly longer) tube of scrap fabric
This one isn't perfectly straight and it has one edge hemmed  as a result
of a long-ago project trim. No problem

I pieced on one extra scrap, to make the tube about the
right width
An extra seam at an odd place isn't a problem
when you are scrunching up the fabric anyway

 I cut a piece of string longer than the length of the tube

And lay it inside the tube, along the fold line

Stitch down one side of the tube and across just ONE open end
Make sure not to catch the string when you sew the long side
But DO catch it when you sew across the open end

At this point, I chose not to trim along the seam line,
to give a sausage-like look to the finished chou-chou

Push the sewn across end down into the tube

Pull the string end through the tube, so the outside pulls through
Note that this is a very thick, fabric like chou-chou
That's because I chose not to trim the seam after I sewed it,
to give that sausage-like appearance.
Remember, the chou-chou fabric tube should be about twice as long as the elastic,
so that the fabric scrunches up
You also want enough elastic to be able to double the band around the hair
Otherwise, it will slide off.

Open the sewn-across end, by snipping off the string
Now you have two open ends
Add a safety pin to your 10" of elastic
Pull the elastic through your tube
I set the zig-zab stitch on my machine
I caught up/secured my elastic end on both ends
with a zig-zag stitch.
Be careful not to lose the elastic ends  down either end of the tube, at this point!
Then I sewed the two secured ends together
When I doubled the finishing off seam back to get a neater finish
I broke my needle
So after that, I wrapped my second, neatening seam with a hand stitch
That takes less time than changing my machine needle!