A New Life

1 Comment

In the 6 years that I have been writing this blog there have been numerous posts about mending and repairing clothes to extend their life.

Tonight I want to show you a couple of projects I completed on the weekend.

This was a long-sleeved shirt which was worn at the cuffs.  The traditional repair of this problem is ‘turn’ the cuffs, that is, to remove the cuff and replace it with the worn outside to the inside, thus doubling the life of the shirt.  Unfortunately, this had worn right on the edge and was visible from both the right and wrong sides.  So, I decided on a different course of action as it is a much-loved shirt.

Using an existing short-sleeved shirt as pattern, I re-fashioned it to a short-sleeved shirt.

2017-03-13 01

The excess that was cut off did not go completely to waste, either.  I removed the buttons and added them to my stash because, to quote my late father, “you never know when it might come in handy”.  I think that growing up in the Great Depression drove much of his thinking in that respect.  I do not hoard stuff but I do recognise that some things are likely to have a potential future use.  It is all a matter of balance.  I also managed to cut 6 x 5″ squares for future patchwork projects.

2017-03-13 02

My next project is a perfect example of when those salvaged bits do actually come in handy.  A elastic in a pair of GMan’s shorts had stretched to the point where even the associated drawstring was not sufficient to comfortably keep them up.

I unpicked the stitching and removed the elastic and salvaged the drawstring.  I just needed some suitable elastic and I would be able to reconstruct the shorts.  I found some that I had kept from some underpants that had worn out!  Of course, the fabric from the underpants had ended up in the rag bag.

Here are the shorts with the elastic removed and the drawstring and ‘new’ elastic ready to be re-assembled.

2017-03-13 03

So, thanks to my stash of salvaged elastic the shorts have been repaired and are as good as new at zero cost.

2017-03-13 04

Recycled Outfit?

Leave a comment

Here is some astounding news.  The Duchess of Cambridge is not afraid to recycle her outfits!  So says the media.  Their definition of recycling an outfit is to wear it in public 4 times, yes, 4 times in 6 years.

2017-02-13-01

The full article is here.

I prefer this story from a Facebook group.

“Just a few hours ago this was a bed sheet on a hanger in Goodwill!! For about $5, I made myself a crazy awesome dress! NEVER SEWN BEFORE IN MY LIFE. Easy as pie.”

2017-02-13-02

Now that is what I call a recycled outfit – a cute summer dress made from a secondhand sheet.

I would love to hear your stories of recycled outfits.

 

Upcycling

2 Comments

Over the past few months I have become involved in a couple of zero-waste groups on Facebook.It is not a concept which is particularly new to me as I have been using resusable shopping bags for well over 20 years.  I do not use plastic film or alfoil and generally take my own containers to buy most of my unpackaged groceries.  Single use plastic is my main focus but zero-waste means different things to different people and there is always something new and exciting to learn.

Many in the group have bought or created their own ‘eating out’ kit.  This has not been a priority for me as I take a packed lunch to work and have access to a kitchen.  I do keep my own set of cutlery in the drawer of my desk.

However, I rethought how I could incorporate this idea when an Air BnB guest asked for a serviette (napkin) when she was making her breakfast in the kitchen.  It occurred to me that I could do something similar to provide all of the utensils and napkin ready to use in one simple bundle.

I set to work with an existing placemat and some heavy cotton fabric which was once a bedspread but has been re-purposed for several uses.

2017-02-12-01

I added a divided pocket to hold the cutlery, a fabric loop for the linen napkin and a tie to the back to secure the kit when it is rolled up.

2017-02-12-02

Ready for dinner.

2017-02-12-03

The linen napkin is one of several I made a few years ago from some spare fabric but had not used.

Here it is rolled up and ready for use.  I will make a second one of these and add them to the facilities provided for our Air BnB guests.  This way they will have everything at their fingertips and can easily use it at the dining table, outdoor table or breakfast bar.

2017-02-12-04

If I was making one for taking out and about, I would probably consider making a small, cylindrical drawstring bag for it.

 

 

Sewing Projects

Leave a comment

Last month I wrote this post about a baby quilt I was making.  I finished it last week and gave to my colleague who was absolutely thrilled with it.

Here is the result of my endeavours.

2017-02-21-01

This crazy quilt was made entirely from scraps and thrifted fabric and bits and pieces of it were made over a number of years.

In complete contrast, my next sewing project was made in less than an hour this morning.  GMan recently bought a new Kindle e-reader but had not decided about a case/cover so I suggested that I could make one.

I did not take any photos during the construction process as I did not have a pattern and just made it up as I went along.  I was pleased with the result.

2017-02-21-02

It is made from a couple of scraps of poly cotton fabric – patterned on the outside with a plain red lining.  I cut up an old handtowel which had been in the pile of old towels and used this for some padding to provide some protection for the Kindle.  The bias binding and velcro tab were also scraps that were lurking in my stash of sewing bits and pieces.

2017-02-21-03

And this is how it looks with the flap sealed with the velcro.

2017-02-21-04

The rest of my day was spent far away from the sewing machine but more on that tomorrow.

 

Add Some Straps

2 Comments

Here is a quick post about a small sewing project I did recently.

Miss O had this strapless dress which was not really practical as it kept creeping down and she spent the entire day hitching it up.

2016-12-14-06

The addition of some simple black straps made it much more wearable.  This is the true colour of the dress, too.

2017-01-17-02

I used some wide elastic from my stash to put inside the straps and they now sit nicely on her shoulders.

Deconstructing and Dismantling

4 Comments

Today I needed to dismantle the Christmas tree and pack it away.  However, I had a problem.  When we got the tree out of the cupboard to put it up the carry bag ripped beyond repair.  You can see what it looked like in better days here.  It was made from a similar ‘fabric’ to the green shopping bags and it had become brittle with age – we have had it for about 5 years and someone else owned it before me.  Apart from ripping, the idea of a bag is great – much easier than trying to wrestle the back into the original box.

I decided to make a new bag using the original as a pattern. So, I deconstructed it and removed the zip so I could reuse it.

2017-01-07-01

I had a heavy cotton bedspread lurking in the linen cupboard which seemed perfect for what I needed so I set to work.

This was the result.  As well as reusing the zip, I also reused the carry handles as they seemed reasonably sturdy.  If they do not stand up to the job I can always replace them with fabric handles at some time in the future.

2017-01-07-02

All packed up and ready to be stored for another year.

2017-01-07-03

 

A New Bag

2 Comments

I promised I would share some of the things I spent my time on during my Christmas/NewYear break from work.

2017-01-04-01

This is a bag which had definitely seen better days. It is over 20 years old and the handles were worn out.  I had cut the handles off before I took the photo but you can see that they really needed replacing.

My daughter arrived a couple of days before Christmas and had used a couple of large paper carry bags from boutiques to pack some of her Christmas gifts.  One bag had split and could no longer be used so I cut the heavy ribbon carry handles off it.  They were just the right length to use to replace the handles on my bag.

2017-01-04-02

I wonder if it will last for another 20 years?