Back in Town

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We have been home for 4 days and things are returning to normal.  While I don’t suffer greatly from jetlag, I did feel generally tired for the first couple of days which I think is simply travel fatigue.

Yesterday I had a peek in a couple of op shops (thrift shops) and picked up this top for $1.  It was marked as $4 which seemed reasonable to me but when I took it to the counter it turned out to have a blue label and was reduced to 25% of the original price.

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The top appeared to be in excellent condition with no marks or wear.  It was several sizes larger than what I wear so my plan was to refashion it.

This is the result of a couple of hours work.

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It is a little shorter than would be my preference but otherwise I am very happy with my handiwork.

I also bought this maxi-dress for $8.  It was brand new with the original tags which showed the price as $60.

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Once again, it was not my size, however, I could not resist the jade green fabric.  I unpicked the dress to maximise the amount of usable fabric and I now have the equivalent of about 2 metres of 120cm wide jade green viscose fabric.

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I am still debating as to how I will use it but it will probably be a dress or perhaps a pair of wide leg trousers.

What would you do with the fabric?

Warts and All

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I am sure we have all been guilty of only showing the good/perfect/happy stuff online.  In fact, I do not believe we should feel guilty because none of us share everything about ourselves  – either online or in real life.

However, I do try to keep things as real as possible in what I discuss here on the blog and today is no exception.

I have microwave oven which sits in a purpose-built cavity below the bench in my kitchen.

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For a number of years I have had a piece of non-slip mat under the microwave which which works reasonably well.  I remove and clean this mat but over time it has become stained with mould and even soaking it in bleach and scrubbing does not restore it.  This is not a long-term solution as I try not to use bleach.

After some particularly wet weather a couple of weeks ago it was looking awful and I decided that I had to change my strategy.  I decided to make a towelling mat from an old bathmat.

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I cut the bathmat in half.  The next step was to find some fabric suitable to bind the edges.

Bias strips cut and ready to join.

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A roll of home-made bias binding – just like a bought one!  All you need is a ruler and iron.

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The finished product.  No cost and not a lot of time.

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Back to the microwave and the cavity.  Once I removed the microwave it really does look disgusting.  Time to get rid of the mat.

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I cleaned the space and once it was properly dry I added the new towelling mat.

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After cleaning the microwave inside and out, I replaced it in the alcove.

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I have enough bias binding to bind the other half of the bathmat so I will be able to alternate them and wash each week.

Salvaged

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I make simple cotton boxer shorts to team with singlet tops for pyjamas and the elastic had given up in this pair.

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I intended to replace the elastic, however, they had been languishing on the ‘to do’ pile on my sewing table.  Rather than simply replacing the 2 rows of 6mm elastic, I decided to use this elastic which I had salvaged from some of GMan’s worn out underwear.

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The first step was to remove the remnant of the underwear fabric.

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The elastic attached to the upper edge  of the shorts.

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Then turned over and stitched again.

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The boxers are now ready to wear again with no extra cost and no wastage from the worn out underwear.  As a side note, the worn out cotton underwear makes fantastic cleaning cloths and dusters.

 

A New Life

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Recycled Outfit?

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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.

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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.”

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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.

 

Flashback Friday

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As with all new projects, ‘Flashback Friday’ is being fine-tuned.  As well as linking back to the original post I am going to copy and paste it into a new post.  So, here goes…..this is from August 2012 just before Izz turned 3.

I have been making a gift for Izz for her birthday.  She has a doll’s bed which has been passed down to her but no bedding.

I bought 2 u-shaped pillowcases recently from the op shop.  Here is one that I have unpicked ready to use.  Note the roll of fabric which is the dismantled and pressed frill.

2012-08-06 01The Duke bought a piece of foam cut to size for the mattress and I have covered that using some of the pillowcase fabric.

2012-08-06 02The next step was to make a patchwork quilt.  I worked out the size and number of pieces I would need.  The plain pink is more of the pillowcase, plain mauve from a piece in my stash of fabric, Dora pattern is a few leftover scraps from the doona cover and curtains that I made for Miss O last year and the pink patterned fabric is from a blouse I picked up at the op shop.  The frill is the one I unpicked from the pillowcase.  The hemmed edge remained intact so I simply regathered it and reapplied to the quilt edge.

2012-08-06 03I bought a large piece of cotton/bamboo batting for a bed quilt I am working on for Izz’s bed so I used a small piece for this quilt.  (I think this is a rather spoiled doll!)  The backing is more leftovers from some op shop fabric.  I quilted it by simply machine stitching along the seam lines which is nothing fancy but seems effective.

2012-08-06 04The finishing touch was to make a matching pillow.  A couple more fabric scraps and some salvaged filling from an old cushion and I had a complete set of bedding for the doll.  Here is the mattress with the pillow.

2012-08-06 05The total cost of things I bought specifically for this project was $6.60.  This is a gift which I know will be loved regardless of the cost.  I am looking forward to seeing Izz’s face when she opens the gift.

Now I need to work on the the bed quilt I am making as well since her birthday is in 2 weeks and I want to be able to give her the present before we go on holidays.

2015-04-03 01In the interests of presenting a complete picture here are a couple of photos I took when she received her parcel.

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Plastic Bags – A Curse

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A couple of days ago I read this post from Joanna over at Every Week is Green where she discussed being ‘forced’ to accept a plastic carry bag from a retailer.  I have had a similar experience, albeit, close to 20 years ago.  Refusing plastic bags at the time was far less prevalent than it is today so I regularly was confronted by some very odd responses.
On the particular occasion in question, I was in a department store in Adelaide where I intended to buy a pair of socks for The Duke.  I approached the counter and as I handed over the socks, I advised the assistant that I did not wish to have a bag.  Then ensued one of the most bizarre ‘arguments’ I have ever had the misfortune to be involved in.  She was adamant that I had to take a bag and I was equally determined that I would not accept one.  Her reasons were quite ridiculous but she finally became exasperated and asked, “Well, how will people know that you bought the item at *******?”  Seriously, I had to accept a bag so that the store could advertise that I shopped there?  I was not about to back down and advised that I would not accept a bag or I would not buy the socks.  I finally paid for the socks and left with them and the docket in my hand.

It was then and there that I realised just what hard work it was to stick to my principles.  I have continued to do so and it has become easier, however,you need to be constantly on your guard to avoid plastic bags sneaking into your life.

Don’t give up, Joanna.

Finally, here is my hessian bag that I finished relining.

Bag with new lining
You can read about the beginning of the project here.  It is towards the bottom of the post.  I did try handsewing the lining in but it was too difficult so this morning I used some heavy linen thread and sewed it on the machine using the heaviest needle I had.  The stitching is clearly visible but I am not concerned as I now have a functional bag again.  Thanks, Carol for the lining fabric.  🙂