How to make Selvage Fabric – free tutorial

How to make Selvage Fabric – free tutorial

Gone are the days of boring selvage on fabric.

Fabric companies are now getting creative on the edges as well, which can make them a lot of fun to sew with!

What is “selvage” exactly?

A selvage (US English) or selvedge (British English) is a “self-finished” edge of fabric, keeping it from unraveling and fraying. The term “self-finished” means that the edge does not require additional finishing work, such as hem or bias tape, to prevent fraying.

The terms selvage and selvedge come from “self-edge”, and have been in use since the 16th century. (source: wikipedia)

The selvage is also where the factory can double check the colors used in the printing process – that is where there are dots or other more fun shapes on the selvage as well. Copyrights (who created and owns the pattern), the fabric manufacturer name and/or website are also often included.

After creating a pretty robust Pinterest board dedicated to the topic of “Sewing with Selvage”  I decided I wanted to give it a shot with the selvage from my Homestead Life fabric. I just LOVE the colorful cows!

Since I’m pretty zipper bag obsessed these days (they are quick and easy to make in between bigger quilts and other creative projects) I decided to make a bag with “selvage fabric” as I call it for lack of a better term.

You can put your selvage in any direction: horizontal, vertical, diagonal – even create quilt patterns like a log cabin or star!

For this tutorial I’ll show you how to make a diagonal selvage fabric piece. The technique is easy so you can adjust to whatever layout you prefer.


It’s so easy! Ready to give it a try?

Step 1: Prepare your Fusible Fleece and Selvage

Selvage: As I work on other projects I cut off the pretty side of the selvage with about an inch of the fabric pattern too. (Both sides of the fabric are “selvage” but usually one is the print of the fabric and the other has the color-check spots, copyright info, etc). I gather them in a bin and wait until inspiration strikes!

When you are ready to create with your selvages, iron them so them are crisp and smooth.

Fusible Fleece: I like to use Fusible Fleece when creating something that needs a little body and support – like a zipper bag. (Pellon 987F is my current favorite – there’s a link at the bottom of the post with all the supplies). It’s a little stiffer than batting and you have the added security of ironing and fusing the fleece to the selvages after you have sewn them together.

Because of the stability of fusible fleece I cut my fleece to the size I need for my project.

Fabric square or triangle for the corners – you won’t need this if you are doing a horizontal or vertical layout. Using a scrap of fabric that matches the selvages, have a triangle or a 3″ square for the first and last corners.

Step 2: Make a basic plan

For your selvage fabric to look it’s best you do want to take a few minutes and plan the order and placement of your selvage pieces.

If you have small pieces, plan on using them on the top or bottom and not in the middle.

Consider color balance when putting your selvages together.

Step 3: Start sewing!

IMPORTANT: have the fusible side of your fleece UP when sewing. You want the back of the selvage pieces on the fusible material so when you iron it you are fusing the fabric to the fleece and not the fleece to the ironing board. (I’m not the only one who has done that, right??)

Start in the bottom left corner. Place your triangle or square in the corner and stitch diagonally to hold it in pace.

Selvage edges don’t fray so it’s quick and easy! When you place a selvage strip down just make sure it covers the cut edge of the previous piece so there won’t be any fraying. Stitch in place.

I like to do a quick check to make sure my stitching was over all of the previous fabric I simply fold the piece I just sewed down back to make sure I can see all of the previous pieces cut edge. If I don’t, I either rip out the stitching I just did or add another row to make sure everything is securely stitched in place.

Continue adding selvage pieces across your entire piece of fusible fleece.

When you get to the top right corner you have two options – you can stop 2 to 2 1/2″ from the corner and use another square or triangle of fabric or you can just adhere selvage pieces to the corner. There is no right or wrong – just your personal preference.

If you opt for a fabric square or triangle, this is sewn on a little differently since all of its edges will fray.

Place the right side down on top of the right sides of the selvages already sewn on the fusible fleece. If you are using a triangle, line the edge up with the edge of the last selvage. If you are using a square, line up the diagonal line with the edge of the selvage.

Before sewing in place, fold it back and make sure it covers the rest of the fusible fleece. If it does, stitch in place with a 1/4″ seam, fold it open and finger press.

Step 4: Iron

Following the fusible fleece manufacturers instructions, iron the whole project. While it is already assembled from your stitching, this extra step helps give it more stability for your project.

Step 5: Trim

Put your new Selvage Fabric on your cutting mat face down so the fleece side is up.
Trim the fabric and selvages that go behind the fleece.

YOU ARE DONE! Now you have cool, custom fabric for your project!

Be sure to check and follow my Pinterest board for lots of other ways to use selvage in your quilting, sewing and crafting. 

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life  fabrics? CLICK HERE >

Materials Used in this Project:

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  It’s one of the ways I support my site.

Ask for Homestead Life fabric where quilt fabric is sold

Participating in my first Quilt-Along

Participating in my first Quilt-Along

My first foray into quilting was in the early 90’s (yep – I’m dating myself!) It was before the internet and when I was just out of college. First job. Then baby. Then quilts!

Quilting was a solo hobby for me. I’d go to the fabric store, decide what I wanted to make, had a “how to” book or two, and then be on my way.

But NOW… it’s a whole new world!  I can learn from blogs and YouTube.  See the amazing creations that are possible on Facebook and Instagram. Learn about tools I never knew existed from fellow quilters as well.

I also noticed these “Quilt Alongs”  and “Sew Alongs” and got intrigued… what is that about??

A quilter suggested the the Meadowland Quilt Along from Then Came June would be a great pattern for my Homestead Life fabric so I checked it out. It didn’t look too complicated so I decided to give it a try.

So I participated in my very first Quilt Along on Instagram!

Seeing all the posts on Instagram was so much fun and so interesting – watching the color choices, layouts and themes, and how different they all looked, even though we were all using the same pattern!

Doing the quilt-along made me feel a sense of community and a little less isolated (even though I was always sewing on my own!)

I created a throw blanket for my mother-in-law with 9 squares. It was the perfect amount to show off the three colorways of florals, wheat tonals and some of the ginghams in the Homestead Life fabric line.

The back was perfect for the main print with the images and fun sayings. Instead of covering the whole back with it I decided to accent with the gold wheat tonal that I also used for the binding.


Ready to make your own?


Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you create patterns or sew/quilt alongs I’d love to learn more! I love designing fabrics and need projects to promote while showing how my fabrics can be used.  

P.P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life Placemat Panel and fabrics? CLICK HERE >

TUTORIAL – Cute Little Round Fabric Bowl

TUTORIAL – Cute Little Round Fabric Bowl

Want to make cute round bowls from fabric?

These are great to store your odds and ends – from sewing to hair to paper clips, everything looks better in something homemade!

I found the instructions for these on where they give you directions for a few different sizes.  So far I’ve only made them with 8″ circles (finished size is 5″ across and about 1.5″ high) – they are perfect for my beloved fabric clips! 

These examples are made using my Homestead Life fabric from Riley Blake Designs.

I keep one on my cutting table (where they go on) and one on the sewing machine (where they come off!) They make me happy every time I see them! (Much cuter than the Rubbermaid lid I was using, don’t you think?)

What you need:

  • Three 8″ rounds: outside fabric, inside fabric and fusible interfacing (I use Pellon 987F – you will need to gather the edges so don’t use anything too heavy)
  • Binding fabric: 2 1/4″ x 14″

Basic Directions:

  • FUSE batting to the wrong side of the outside fabric
  • Wrong sides together, BASTE around the circles twice making sure your stitching is less than 1/4″ from the edge so the basting doesn’t show when you add the binding
  • GATHER so the flat circles become a shallow bowl (it’s like magic!)
  • PRESS the binding strip in half, lengthwise
  • CLIP the binding around the gathered edge, raw edges together.  Fold overlapping end so you don’t have raw fabric showing on the finished bowl
  • STITCH with a scant 1/4″ seam
  • FOLD binding to the inside of the bowl and clip.
  • STITCH with a scant 1/4″ seam to finish

These would be great for hair bows, buttons, trinkets and more. Also a cute way to give a gift – fill it with candy for a teacher or beads for your favorite jewelry crafter… what ideas do you have? I’d love to know – drop them in the comments!

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life  fabrics? CLICK HERE >

Materials Used in this Project:

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  It’s one of the ways I support my site.

Ask for Homestead Life fabric where quilt fabric is sold

Open Wide Zipper Bags

Open Wide Zipper Bags

Tired of zipper bags you can’t find things in because they won’t open wide enough? This OPEN WIDE bag fixes that!


I’ve become quite zipper bag obsessed and these are perfect for travel or just organizing the bits and pieces of your life.

I found this bag on the “A Bright Corner” blog. I met Andy & her husband at the Quilt Market in Houston and fell in love with her – now I’m in love with all the goodness and beauty on her blog as well!

The tutorial itself is from Anna Graham over on her blog – Noodle head.  Click here to go straight to the tutorial.

Once I made one I was hooked!

These make great gifts too – I whipped up 6 in an afternoon to give to my sister, mom, niece and more! I had a lot of fun mixing and matching the florals, ginghams and wheat tonal fabrics from the Homestead Life fabric line I created for Riley Blake Designs.

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life Placemat Panel and fabrics? CLICK HERE >

Quick & Easy Cord Keeper Tutorial

Quick & Easy Cord Keeper Tutorial

Say goodbye to tangled cords and your fabric scrap stash by making these quick and easy wraps!


Whenever I travel I get so frustrated when I can’t find my headset, my charger cords or when I find them and they are like a tangled puzzle.

I often put my cords in plastic bags which helps – but I’m also trying to cut down on my use of plastic bags when possible.

Cue the fabric cord keeper!

This simple solution is fast and much prettier than a cord in a plastic bag.  Ready to see just how easy it is to make?


2 Pieces of Fabric – 3″ x 4.75″ (cut longer than 4.75″ for larger or thicker cords)

Fusible Batting – 3″ x 4.75″ (I used Pellon 971F)

Snaps or Velcro:

I used Kam Snaps in the example because I thought the snaps looked cuter than a square sewn over velcro.



Step 1:

CUT two pieces of fabric and one piece of fusible batting to 3″ x 4.75″

FUSE batting to one piece of fabric.

Step 2:

SEW around the edges of the fabric, right sides together, with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an opening on one side to turn right side out.

Step 3:

TRIM the corners and TURN right side out. Gently push the corners to be as squared as possible. 


Step 4:

TOPSTITCH all the way around the fabric about 1/8″ from the edge.

Step 5:

ADD SNAPS per snap directions.  Be sure to test that when you look the cord keeper the snap goes together (and that the two flat parts don’t meet) before permanently attaching the second half of the snap. (Guess how I know to do that… whoops!)

Just like that YOU ARE DONE.

They make quick and easy gifts for teachers, co-workers, family and friends.  Add a zipper bag to hold the cords and plugs and everyone will want to be on your gift-giving list!

What plans do you have for this project?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Have a happy & creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you make this pattern I’d love to see it and hear how you used it!

Tag me on Instagram: @artisttarareed
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P.P.S. Want to see more FREE patterns and projects using the Homestead Life Placemat Panel and fabrics? CLICK HERE >