Monday, 7 July 2014

Cashmere mittens from a jumper

Cashmere.  Even the name is soft.

I found a lovely jumper at a charity shop one day.  Took it home.  And felted it in the washing machine.  Boy did it shrink!  It was teeny tiny by the time I'd finished with it!






As the sleeves were so short I decided that the only reasonable thing to do with it was to make some mittens.  I could just see them in there.  And it meant that I didn't have to make the cuff as it was already made for me.





This is the end result.






And I even had enough cashmere left over in order to make a phone cover. 




Next...


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bookmark from a shirt cuff

Sometimes you see things differently.

I was looking at an old shirt and I couldn't decide what to do with it.  I turned it around and nothing but nothing was jumping out at me.

Then I had a thought.  Surely I can use that cuff to make a bookmark??

Easy peasy, right?

Cut off the cuff, insert something to make it more rigid and then sew it all up, right?

Actually, it was a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  There was an awful lot of unpicking to do to remove the sleeve itself.

Then I had to figure out how to insert the stiffener between the buttonhole and the button.  Once that was done, I tucked everything back in and then sewed it all up again.

Added a ribbon and ta-dah - it was done!






Next...


T-shirt refashion

I had this fab t-shirt that I wanted to keep.  It had so many memories attached to it. 

Trouble was, the neck was a leetle bit on the tight side.





It felt more like a turtle neck than a t-shirt.





But I soon sorted that out.

Easy peasy.  Cut the neckband off.

And as it's t-shirt fabric it doesn't fray.

I was a bit concerned in case it rucked up in the wash.  But nope.  It washes perfectly!

And it's so much more comfortable now!




Next...


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Floral top now skirt!

I do love a good floral pattern.  So even though I had no clue as to what to make with it, I just knew that it would have to come home with me.

I turned it around and around trying to figure out how to make it into a smaller top, but it had unusual 'wings' attached over the armhole so I left it until inspiration decided to make itself known.

Then one day I was looking at it again.  It was an oversize top so there was a lot of fabric there and that neck looked as though I could put it around my waist...

So I tried it on as a skirt and despite the wriggling involved and flappy wings it actually looked like a skirt!




The neck wasn't quite large enough to make a waistband so I made a cut straight across the bottom of the neck.  Then sewed up the sides.

And voila, another skirt was born!!




Next...











Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tie-dye messenger bag - with a twist(y lock)

A seamstress walks into a charity shop - and lo and behold, discovers a beautiful denim tie-dye skirt in a size large (more fabric that way), thinks, hmmm, I already have a top that would go perfectly with that...

And so begins the tale of another creation.  I was right.  The skirt DID match the top.  So I decided to make a small messenger bag from the blue and purple combination.

I'm really happy with the result, too!




I added a side pocket for pens and other bits and bobs.

It's the first time I've used twist locks on a bag - I've now perfected cutting out the hole so that the fabric doesn't show!




This was the original tie-dye skirt and the matching top:





You can see why I paired them now, can't you?

It has a zip fastening and a pocket underneath the flap for all those receipts that tend to accumulate:




If I were to make this one again I would add some padding to the strap as the top I used was very floaty.  I did top-stitch it though to give it some extra strength. 




This was the first time I have added an internal zipped pocket.  I learned something here too - make sure when adding the pocket lining that you sew it onto the back with wrong sides together!




Another view:



The internal seams were bound with fabric from the top.  It was so light and airy that it was really easy to work with when making binding.  Something I'll remember for next time!




So all in all, a very satisfying project!

Next...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Tip: What to wear when sewing

As I'm pretty much self-taught, I thought I would share a few (hopefully!) helpful tips that I have discovered along the way.

So, what have I discovered about what's best to wear when I sew?

Always wear something comfortable
I have tried the 'really tight jeans' approach, but it just hurts.  I do tend to sew with my left leg underneath me (no idea why!) and leggings are ideal for this.  They allow for a full range of movement.  As do t-shirts.  You don't want to be impeded by the clothing you wear.

When serging, wear a skirt
I hadn't given 'sewing clothing' a lot of thought until recently when I was using my serger (did I tell you I have a serger??  Ooooh, something else to post about!).  I was wearing a maxi skirt and the bits that were being cut off the costume were just falling into my lap and being caught without creating a huge pile of debris on the floor.  So I will definitely be using that method next time I have a lot of serging to do.

Don't wear a scarf
Having a scarf all snarled up in your sewing machine is not a good look.  Not that I've done this particular one. 

PJs
Always.  Either late at night or first thing in the morning.  Or even a lazy Sunday.  Pyjamas are the business!

Underwear is perfect
And yes, I have sewn whilst wearing underwear.  Now that IS comfortable!  But you can get bits of thread everywhere.  And I'd only recommend it in warm weather.

Long sleeves when sewing net
Always wear long sleeves when sewing tutus - that net stuff is really, really sharp!

Bare feet
For some reason, it always feels better using a bare foot on my pedal.  Not so much a tip as an observation!

So what do you wear when you sew?  I'd love to know!

x




 



Friday, 7 March 2014

Dress to tunic top

Sometimes you see a dress in a shop and the print is so fabulous that you have to have it, right?

I love it when that happens!

So I found this beautiful child's dress and brought it home.  See what I mean about the print?




My daughter fell in love with it and wanted to wear it, but on trying it on we found that it was too small at the top.

So I had to put my thinking cap on.  Hmmm.  What to do?

I know!!

I could cut the top off entirely, elasticate the waist and make a tunic top - yes, I think that would work!




I used the original belt to make some criss-cross straps.  Et voila!




It looks fabulous with a pair of leggings!

I'm not sure if you will be able to see this as the pattern is so intense, but the front of the skirt/dress is higher than the back - I love it!




Next...