Upcycled Dress

2 Comments

Last week my younger granddaughter was wearing a dress that was just about too short for her so I offered to alter it by adding a frill to the bottom of the dress.

2018-12-05 01

I foolishly thought that it would a relatively simple matter to buy a small piece of plain green poly cotton fabric to match.  I went to Spotlight and none of the dozens of plain green fabrics were even close to the colour I needed.  So, I ended up choosing a piece of Christmas fabric to do something a bit different.

2018-12-05 02

I set to work with this piece which cost me $5.  I added a deep contrasting frill and then used the remainder to make some bias binding to trim the existing frill at the top.  I also changed the shoulder straps.

Here is the result.

2018-12-05 03

The Christmas fabric means that the dress will have limited opportunities to be worn, however, it is still better than the original which really too short.

Izzy is excited at the prospect of a ‘new’ dress to wear for her Christmas concert on Friday.  It will probably also be worn a few more times in the next couple of weeks.

Creating for my Camera

Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago GMan bought a new harness for his whipper snipper.  The old one had broken some months ago and he had repaired it temporarily but it was obviously not going to be a long-term solution.He was ready to discard the old harness but I decided to salvage some of the components for possible future projects.

I cut the webbing straps off as well as some of the plastic buckles and slides.  The straps had years of ingrained dirt on them but soaking them overnight followed by a good scrub was all that was needed to restore them to ‘as new’ condition.

2018-01-20 01

When we were away last year I came up with the bright idea of creating a strap so that I could attach my camera bag to the handle of my suitcase.  This would minimise the amount of things I needed to carry when moving through airports and railway stations.

The camera bag already had 2 flat loops on the back of it which I suspect are designed to allow it to be slipped onto a belt.  I am never likely to do this as it would be too bulky and heavy for my liking.  I used one of the shorter lengths of strap, threaded it through the two loops and stitched the ends together securely.  This is the result.

2018-01-20 02

It can now be slipped over the handle of any of our suitcases so that I do not have to sling it over my shoulder or carry it.  I still have the detachable shoulder strap which I can use if I wish.

2018-01-20 03

The remaining straps and buckles have been put away in case I need them for another project.

The Design Phase

Leave a comment

Many of the projects I have shared in the past are the culmination of an extended planning and design phase that begins with a germ of an idea.

A good example is this post from 2013.  As I mentioned in the post, it was several years from my initial and somewhat vague idea until the shelving became a reality.

I have a new plan, which, as the title of this post suggests, is currently being designed.  I am optimistic that the germination of this idea will not be quite so drawn out.

We have a frame from an old day bed to which GMan attached some small mesh.  It was going to be a large sieve for soil but it is really not necessary where we live.  Instead, we have used it to store pumpkins under the house.  It is perfect because the mesh is an inch or two above the floor and allows the air to circulate.

2017-10-22 01

However, the downside is the amount of floor space which it takes up.  So, the other day I suggested to GMan that we could suspend it from the ceiling using a pulley system.  Now we just need to work out the details.  Thanks to Google and Pinterest we have got some ideas.  Something like this, perhaps?

2017-10-22 02

Once we have worked out what hardware and rope/cord we need, I think it should be relatively simple to assemble.

2017-10-22 03

This is the area that we have identified from which we could suspend the rack.  It would provide even more air circulation and not take up valuable floor space so seems like a winner.

Watch this space for the results and hopefully it will be a matter of months, not years before it becomes a reality.

 

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.

 

 

A Touch of Luxury

2 Comments

Tonight I had a quick rummage in my stash and found a couple of offcuts of silver panne velvet.  This was perfect for my latest project. I wanted to make some little presentation pouches for the pieces of upcycled jewellery which I have for Christmas gifts.

It did not take much fabric or time to make these up.

Packing the contents.

2016-12-08-01

All done and ready for giving.

2016-12-08-02

Rather than trying to create drawstrings, I decided to anchor the ribbon tie with a few stitches on one side of the pouch and then simply gather it up and tie.

The satin ribbons came from my collection.  The black and cream ties are bits salvaged from when I cut them off the shoulder seams of purchased tops.

Sew My Stash Sunday – 13

Leave a comment

The black lawn to line the yoke of the blouse has been bought, cut out and pinned to the yoke pieces.  That is where the sewing stopped for this week.  A birthday celebration and houseguests, including grandchildren put paid to any more sewing.

However, there has been some activity in the sewing room.

I found a use for this set of mini-drawers which came from my mother.  They are now on my sewing table and contain various small sewing items.

2015-04-12 01Next, I repositioned this chest of drawers to sit under the table.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before.  I previously had to move them, and they are very heavy, every time we needed to pull the trundle bed out.

2015-04-12 02Finally, I did do some fabric work this afternoon, although it was not strictly sewing.  I started cutting some old t-shirts that i got on Freecycle into strips.  My plan is to make a plaited floor rug like this.

I have plaited this piece which is about 8 metres in length, so far.  I will need quite a bit more before I have enough so keep watching for the finished article.

2015-04-12 03The stash has grown rather than shrunk this week as I was given some fabric by a work colleague.  More about that another time.

Take One Pair of Trousers

9 Comments

I have a pair of ¾ length lightweight travel pants that I bought about 8 or 9 years ago.  I have been wearing them for some time with a patch just below one knee, however, the fabric around the patch has given way, too.  I love these trousers as they are really comfortable and have several deep pockets.

I decided to salvage what I could from them.  The latest buzzword seems to ‘upcycling’ but you could call it ‘refashioning’, ‘making do’ or just plain ‘thrift’.  I cut the lower legs off and was left with a pair of knee-length shorts which just needed hemming.  Since they are an existing garment I know that the fit and function of them will be perfect.

002The bottom of the legs had drawstrings so I removed them and they will be used for the drawstrings in two of the Christmas gift bags I am making as they match the material rather well.

003There were a couple of button tabs on the lower legs so I removed the buttons to add to my collection.

008All I had left was the lower leg pieces.

005So I cut them into strips to use for tying up plants in the garden.

006Here are my ‘new’ shorts and nothing else has been wasted.  I hope to get a few more years wear from them.

007I would love to hear your thrifty/upcycling stories.