How to get fabulous fabric for free!

Hands up who wants free fabric?! This is something I recently stumbled across, so I thought it might be handy to share.

There’s a company online called Contrado (also called Bags Of Love), and they will send you a 2kg bag of fabric remnants for free (yay!) You just cover the cost of postage. It’s a lucky dip as to what fabric you will get, because you can’t choose/request what you want. The website states that the remnants come from their range of 103 textiles, and can contain anything from silk and chenille to fleece and neoprene. They also state that most of the offcuts will be white or cream. In the name of research, (and I love a surprise) I ordered a bag.

Is it really free fabric?

Aside from the postage cost, (£5.49) yes! There are also options at checkout for a 1kg cotton/naturals bag, which costs £2, a 1kg neoprene bag for £3, or a 5kg mixed bag for £3.99. I stuck with the free 2kg mixed bag.

My lucky dip fabric bag

What’s in the bag?

The contents of the bag are described as “scraps” so I was expecting small pieces of fabric, and I was pleasantly surprised because they were all decent sized pieces.

My bag contained eight different fabric remnants. All pieces were white, except one natural coloured woven remnant. Most of the pieces were about a metre, some even bigger. Obviously, each bag is different, so there is no guarantee that you will get the same. Here is what I received, so you have an idea:

Natural woven with coloured selvedge (smallest piece, around 67cm x 50cm)

Lightweight knit (largest piece, around 1m x 1.5m)

Heavier synthetic knit

Chenille/upholstery type

Lining type

Fleece

Satin feel

Soft towelling

The cute coloured strip
Large knit fabric remnant

What can I use my free fabric for?

The fabric remnants are all useful sizes, so I’ve thought of a few sewing/craft projects they could be used in:

The natural woven piece is the smallest, but is big enough to make into something useful: a make up pouch, drawstring bag, wallet or pencil case, for instance. I really like the multi-coloured selvedge on this one too.

I’m thinking of making a light, baggy sweater or cardy from the lightweight knit. It is quite sheer, so would need to be lined, or worn over some other clothing.

The heavier knit has a slight sheen to it, so this might work as lining inside another fabric. Same with the woven lining-type fabric. If I use them to line clothes for my girls, I only need small amounts, so there will be enough for a few outfits there.

Planning ahead to the colder weather, the fleece is a long, narrow piece, so will make a perfect scarf backed with some nice patterned quilting cotton. That might be a nice Christmas prezzy, actually.

I think the satiny fabric will make a nice skirt for my oldest, perhaps with a tulle overlay, or it could be silky PJs, or a little slip.

The towelling is really soft, almost fleecy on one side, like those swimming ponchos that you can get for kids. It’s the right size to make one of those too, so I could just cut a head hole and be done. Other than that, there’s enough to make loads of re-usable face wipes, dusters or tea towels.

The upholstery fabric could be good to make the Closet Core Patterns pouffe (free pattern), mixed with some other scraps of fabric.

As the remnants are mostly white or cream, you may be able to dye, tie dye, or use fabric paint or pens (good for kids crafts) to completely transform them. You may have to experiment though, as it depends what the composition of the fabric is.

What’s the verdict?

I think this is a fab idea, because not only is it free fabric (can’t say no), but it saves those fabric scraps going to waste. Sewing, crafting, kids crafts, they have so many uses that I think it’s definitely worth the cost of postage. Will you be getting your own lucky dip bag of scraps? I’d love to know what you get, and see what you do with it!

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