Do you like surprises?
Do you like getting creative with scrap fabric?
Do you like saving money?
Then you might love a Moda Scrap Bag.
This post was originally published on our sister site Scrap Fabric Love.
What is a Moda Scrap Bag?
If you haven’t heard of these before they are little bags of scrap fabrics sold by Moda Fabrics.
They come in these mysterious and unassuming brown bags and inside you get a roll of fabric strips cut from the bolt ends in store.
These are the strips that otherwise would not be sold – presumably due to how the fabric is cut to sell in other sizes. So they are fabric scraps that if no one bought could conceivably be thrown out (although I doubt that happens often as these scrap bags are pretty popular!).
So you are buying new fabric but not in the way you might be used to.
Typically a Moda Scrap Bag has between 25-30 30″/76cm strips that are advertised as being 2.5″ – 3.5″ wide.
They are sold by different sellers at different prices – see below for online buying options.
Buying My Moda Scrap Bag
I was given an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday and along with a few other sewing supplies I decided it was the perfect time to take a punt on a Moda Scrap Bag.
Because the thing is with a Moda Scrap Bag – you don’t know exactly what fabrics you are going to get inside!
It’s a gamble!
(Note: There are some buying options where you can take away the surprise factor – see below).
Reading the Reviews
I read the reviews on Amazon before I purchased.
There were a few bad ones that mentioned the amount of strips with selvadge edges as the key issue – one reviewer said she got a full bag of 30 strips with selvadge edges – yikes!
What is a selvadge?
A selvadge is the bit at the end of a roll of fabric that is a looser weave – this is where they print the name of the fabric line and other information about the fabric – kind of like the fabric’s label if you will.
Generally you would cut the selvadge off before sewing with any fabric.
Other reviewers on Amazon just weren’t happy with the patterns or colours they received.
There were lots of good reviews too though.
The ones that encouraged me were the ones that said usually you get a pack of strips from one fabric collection – which should mean that whatever you receive will coordinate well together.
So even if they don’t work with your other projects you could do something with just putting those strips together.
I will note the amazon gift card was from my mother-in-law so this is not a sponsored post or an ad for Moda – this is my honest opinion.
Before I go through what I received in my Moda Scrap Bag here is what would have been a bad outcome from my point of view:
- christmas motif prints – I just don’t have that much interest in making lots of christmas projects and it kind of limits what you can do with the fabric as it’s less likely to mix well with other scraps.
- a whole bag full of selvadge edges – to be honest I don’t mind a few selvadge edges, especially if they have little colour marks or writing on them as I can use them in selvadge edge specific projects, but ideally I wouldn’t want a whole back full of them!
- anything that just isn’t my taste – okay this is a big category! Everyone has patterns, motifs or colours that they like or dislike, so clearly I didn’t want to receive anything where my first reaction was – ugh!
My Moda Scrap Bag
As it turns out I was delighted with what came in my scrap bag.
Let me run through all the details.
Number & Width of Strips
In my Moda Scrap Bag I received 30 strips of cotton fabric that were all 32.3″/82cm long.
16 of these strips had a selvadge edge, some with print or writing some just white.
My strips ranged from 1.6″/6cm wide to 3 .1″/8cm wide of patterned fabric.
So by that I mean all of the strips were actually 7-8cm wide but as 16 of them had the selvedge edge those ones had between 1.6″/6cm – 2.7″/7cm of patterned fabric.
So my Moda Scrap Bag was all from one fabric collection – namely Lella Boutique for Moda’s Garden Variety Collection.
I really like that all my fabrics are from one collection because it means that the colours all go together and I have choices about how I mix and match them in different projects.
Here is what I got:
There were two strips of the ‘Handpicked’ pattern – both with selvadge edges.
I got four strips of ‘Bright Side’ in different colours – only one of these had a selvadge edge.
There were five strips of ‘Queen Bee’ in different colours, two of which had a selvadge edge.
I think this is my favourite of all the patterns in my scrap bag so I was super happy to have got 5 of them.
There were 4 strips of ‘Candy Strip’ in different colours all of which had selvadge edges.
I got a whopping 12 strips of ‘Floral Garden Bed’ 6 in the multicoloured colour ways and two each of some of the one colour varieties.
Only 3 of the 12 of these had selvadge edges.
I really like these as well so I think I can come up with something really fun to do with so many of them.
Lastly I got 3 strips of ‘Bramble’ – two in Blue and one in Red, all with selvadge edges.
I like all the prints I got.
My least favourite is probably the ‘Handpicked’ pattern but cut up small in scrappy projects I think it will still look pretty good.
So how can you figure out if this was a good deal?
Well you need to be able to compare it to something don’t you?
So I went online and found Lella Boutique for Moda’s Garden Variety Collection Jelly Roll sold for £36.85 or $44.95.
This Jelly Roll has 40 2.5″ x 44″ strips.
What is a Fabric Jelly Roll?
I’m going to digress for just a minute here and explain what a jelly roll is in case you haven’t heard the term before!
A ‘jelly roll’ is a term used by Moda Fabrics to describe a roll of fabric strips that are cut to be 2.5″ in width and lengthways are cut by the ‘WOF’ or width of fabric.
The width of different fabric varies but in general they are between 40″- 44″ so a jelly roll strip could be said to be on average 2.5″ wide by 42″ long.
A jelly roll has 40 strips and usually comes from one line of fabric so you would expect to get multiple strips of each different print from a line inside a jelly roll.
You can also get a smaller jelly roll of 20 strips called a ‘junior jelly roll’ or a roll of strips that is only 1.5″ in width which is usually called a ‘honey bun’….I know, where do they come up with these terms?!
What are all these strange rolls of fabric used for you might ask?
Mostly in quilting. You can use them for borders, binding, strip quilt blocks and loads more.
But of course you can use strips of fabric for any kind of scrap fabric project whether your fabric strip came from a brand new jelly roll or an end of bolt Moda Scrap Bag.
Scrap Bag vs. A Jelly Roll
So when you compare my Moda Scrap Bag strips to a jelly roll, they were shorter – more like 32″ and some of them were wider and some thinner.
I also got 30 strips while the Jelly Roll has 40.
But…I paid £14.65 so that’s about 40% of the cost for over 70% of the contents…I think that’s pretty good!
Now this may not be the fairest comparison as part of what you are paying for with a Jelly Roll is the convenience of having someone cut your strips to an exact size for your but it was the closest comparison I could find!
Would I Buy Again?
The short answer to this is definitely yes. [See below for an update on this.]
I personally like the surprise element of the Moda Scrap Bag, and the challenge of what to make with it. It might be less exciting if I had bout it with a fixed project in mind.
Now it will probably only take one bad bag to put me off, but my experience of this one particular bag has been a good one.
I wasn’t disappointed with the number of selvadge edges as I had seen form the reviews ahead of time that this was a possibility and I love the idea of piecing together selvadge edges to make little zipper pouches and things so I don’t mind that I know have a few more for my own personal selvadge scrap stash.
I know not everyone will feel that way about the selvadges.
I guess you have to make your own assessment of whether this would stack up as value for money for you if you were the person who got the bag with 30 strips all with a selvadge edge!
Second Moda Scrap Bag
Since writing the above I was gifted a second Moda Scrap Bag for Christmas. Above is the video of the ‘unbagging’ as it were.
Subscribe to Upcycle My Stuff for more fun ideas like this one.
Once again I was very pleased with the contents.
In this bag I received 27 strips all 45″ in length and 2.5″ in width. So pretty much the same length as a jelly roll strip.
The only selvadge edges were on the short ends of the strips rather than the long edges like in my first bag.
Because of this I couldn’t really read the selvadges so I am actually not sure what fabric line these prints come from but it looks to me like it is probably all one line or maybe a couple from the same designer – not sure.
In this bag I got less duplicates of any one pattern but the colours mostly coordinate with each other and all the strips are exactly the same usable width which makes them very usable for lots of projects.
Some of the colours are a bit duller and darker than I usually go for but I think I am happy to use that as a creative challenge to do make something I might not otherwise!
Where to Buy a Moda Scrap Bag Online?
So I said at the top there were a number of buying options.
You can obviously buy these direct from Moda.
The Moda Scrap Bag is also a product that lots of resellers sell on – so you can find them online in a number of other places too – some with the bonus option to peek inside first which you don’t get on Moda’s website.
There are also different varieties – mine was the cotton strips quilting fabric scrap bag but they also do a wool one.
I bought mine on Amazon UK as I said for £14.65 at time of purchase.
You can buy them in the United States on Amazon as well – they started at $12.98 when I last looked.
If you want to know before you buy what collection your fabric will come from then Etsy or Ebay options would be my recommendation as they seem to have a lot of sellers who detail exactly what is in their scrap bags.
One thing to note is that you might pay a little more when you know in advance exactly what you are getting. However if you feel you would be really disappointed, if for example you got a bag full of Christmas prints, then it might be worth it to you to pay that little bit more!
If you decide to take a punt on a Moda Scrap Bag I hope you have as good an experience as I did!
Updated: I’ve now made a baby quilt with my first Moda Scrap Bag – in fact it was my first ever quilt!
I’ll come back and let you now what I do with the scraps from my second scrap bag!
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If you are looking for ideas about where to use your fabric scraps – strips or otherwise – checkout these posts:
- 17 Brilliant Ideas for Upcycling your Scrap Fabric
- 14 Ways to Upcycle Fabric Scraps as Gifts for Kids
- 13 Scrap Fabric Friendly Sewing Patterns on Etsy
- DIY Fabric Wrapped Hangers: The Scrappy Way!
- How to Upcycle Fabric Scraps into Festival Bunting
- DIY Christmas Gift Tags from Cardboard & Scrap Fabric
- Or just have a nose around the Scrap Fabric section of this site.