Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take 2 pillowcases ...

Pillowcases, Pillowslips??? Anyway these 2 came from my next door neighbour, they are very old and I suspect the applique was done by hand ???
Dye them a new colour ( I used Procion from Batik Oetero - just up the road no less!) and make a little pillowcase dress. There are tons of tutorials around for pillowcase dresses. I cut away an armhole shape from a previous pattern - made a nice wide casing for some elastic, and then made some bias strips to attach to the armholes that then become ties. The back of the dress is identical to the front - that's where the 2 pillowcases came in handy.

Of course, that is real cute, but I had some leftover fabric ..... a hat! I used this pattern:
and tried to copy the applique design for the hat - difficult to match colours etc but I did my best ..

Of course, I gal needs a bag to go with the hat, so I used the Evening Bag pattern ... I made the straps from boning covered with lightweight pellon and then covered with a strip of fabric pressed through the bias maker - not enough fabric to cut actual bias strips - but it did the job.
Actually it was difficult to get any of this on the grain as I was dealing with scrap pieces - but it all worked out in the end ...
Very difficult to photograph this little trio ....
And here are the leftovers - nah - need to STOP right here!!!
Re Use - Re Cycle - Re Fashion - come along to the Living Smart Festival - Sept 12!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bag O' Ties and Skirt Bag

More refashioning for my workshop at the Living Smart Festival - Sept 12.

Take 16 men's ties - unpick the the centre back seam - follow this pattern and voila!

After plaiting the straps there really wasn't much of the ties left!
Don't forget to use the labels as a feature ....

Take one out grown pretty skirt ....

add some linen from brown pants that had been discarded ....
add a few more rows of embellishment to bring the 2 new bits together .....

Add a boxed corner (see Nicole's Patterns for boxed corner info) put some Peltex in the base to hold a nice shape ...
add a magnetic catch ..... and a Yo Yo ....
And voila! Can't tell you how much I love that word ..... VOILA!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A whole lotta upcycling going on!

The next couple of posts will be about upcycling some bits and pieces into other bits and pieces. I'm presenting a workshop at our local council's LIVING SMART FESTIVAL on Sept 12. It's all about inspiring the community with a whole lot of sustainable living type of displays and talks - mine is all about sewing and how to recreate old stuff with a few sewing skills and some imagination.

So, I purchased a couple of 2nd hand men's business shirts ....

And used this free download from Colette Patterns to make this super cute and quick and easy Mini Bloomers! This was my first go at Colette Patterns and I was very impressed with their instructions and diagrams!
I used the front button placket as a feature on the centre line of each pant and sewed on the extra buttons as another feature.
There is elastic in the waist and ribbon in the leg, but some of my students have since made them and opted for elastic in the leg instead - which still looks great with the ribbon sewn on as a decorative element.

I then took the leftover sleeves and collar from one of the shirts and added them to this ready made tunic top donated to me by my friend (who is helping me with this whole thing) Nicole ....
I gathered the top of the sleeve head and sewed t in, and then simply attached the collar as a 2 step operation - as you would if doing it from scratch. I covered some buttons with leftover fabric and added them as a feature to the centre front.

Quick and easy, cheap and earth friendly ..... stay tuned for more!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pippijoe Coin Purse and Cloth Dolls

Back again .... first up here is a coin purse made up in some great Pippijoe fabric purchased some time ago..... this is for my neice .....

Needless to say this is a great little quick project that uses minimal fabric. I interfaced with heavy weight woven interfacing and used lightweight pellon as well. Add a little zipper pull and voila!

Next up are some cloth dolls .... I first made this little sweetie many years ago when I worked at Warners Bay High School - that school was a major influence on me to get back into sewing after working in Nutrition for many years at Newcastle Uni. The Home Ec dept there was very vibrant - and still is!! As well as teaching the Mandatory Technology subjects we taught Child Studies and Stage 5 Textiles (Yrs 9 and 10). Anyway, this doll was a Yr 8 Technology project - the kids really enjoyed making the calico doll and then designing their own little outfits.

This one is more recent - using Simplicity 2729. She was also great fun to make - and great for using up leftover fabric that you just can't bear to throw away ... the hair is the fun part - choosing some yarn, stitching it together, and then on the head and then ...styling!

Sorry to be a little rude - but I HAD to show you her panties!!
Best friends!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Black Widow

From the studio this time, we have McCalls 5941 Jacket made in some lovely Martin and Savage Fabric called Black Widow.
Pants for this outfit come from Simplicity 2860 - fabric from The Fabric Store, Surry Hills - a lovely fine wool blend.
I used some Lace Hem Tape for the jacket hem - the Selfish Seamstress put me onto this stuff - you simply sew it to the hem edge, turn it up and then hand stitch the hem as usual - it just takes away some of the bulk. I lined the jacket - though the pattern didn't include lining.
Please excuse my totally non photogenic and at times absent face - it was my cranky mum face instructing my 15 year old on taking photos - I am so not natural in front of a camera!!! Anyway, the fabric is of course the winner of this design - it is only 5% wool and the rest is synthetic - but it looks felted and it is soft and warm - I have since seen it made up in ready to wear in several shops and in magazines.
I wasn't sure how to complete the closures - the pattern calls for snaps to be sewn in quite a few places to make the collar stand up like a funnel - but my neck was obviously not quite as long as the funnel - so I just left it to one snap closure and allowed the collar to sit flatish.

I made my tried and true Jalie 2682 for the black top underneath - this is a great design and super quick to make up, although the fabric was just a low grade Lycra blend - it was pretty yuck quality wise and left me less than impressed .....
There's that cranky stern face again!!!
I wore this out last night. We went to see Richard Clapton - reliving our youth with a whole lot of others reliving theirs - it was a great night out - caught up with some old buddies and Mr Clapton was in fine vocal form.