Tag Archives: upcycling

Memorial Day 2022

I used this same photo in 2015, when we had an early Memorial Day weekend, and the fabric was still a tablecloth. Have a click here to see that post, and read a bit more about this U.S. holiday’s history.

This year the tablecloth fabric’s become a blouse. Well, sort of.

At the moment it’s just 2 pieces sewn together with an elastic-gathered top & slits at the sides. But I’m thinking of adding some straps, because I found some extra fabric the last time I went through my scrap drawer.

Ain’t it amazing what can come to mind whilst rootling around in a bunch of scraps!

What have you discovered lately?!

Stormy Monday

Managed to do something with fabrics last week besides moving it from pile to pile, or tabletop to box. Wonder of wonders! So thought I’d drop by and show you what I’ve been up to.

Colours aren’t too true here.

This shirt’s been languishing in my Autumn/Winte/Spring selection of tops for years. YEARS! And I like both the colours and the high quality smooth cotton fabric.

A bit of history — At one point I put tucks in at the shoulders to give it a more fitted look. And didn’t wear it. It felt cumbersome and never sat well on my shoulders — too much fabric in too small a space.

Last Friday afternoon/evening, with storms raging outside & local telly’s severe-weather team live streaming numbers of lightening strikes per city & and projecting tornado paths, I decided to get on with the changes.

Taking off the collar but leaving the collar stand.

Yes, that’s my newest, and therefore sharpest, Clover seam ripper you see in action. I know Leslie S kindly suggested she’d used her sharpest & smallest scissors on a similar reno, but I don’t have any.

If you’re inclined to read labels, you might recognize this as a very nice men’s shirt-maker. I grabbed it soon as I saw it at a local thrift store because I know fabric & workmanship are quality. It’s only been aging for . .. . . . uh . . several years. 🙈

I sliced off one layer at a time, exposing the wonderfully soft interfacing they’d used.

Six inches more got lopped off the sleeve length, some thread tidying up, and I’m ready to take another look and those underarm seams. We’ve another potential series of storms tonight, so it might get revisited then . . . . . . Oops! Editing’s taking too long, thunder’s arriving hours earlier, so I’m uploading & signing off!

✂️ 🧵 ✂️ Happy sewing, Everyone! ✂️ 🧵 ✂️

Happy Tartan Day!

The Fashion History Museum‘s monthly newsletter landed in my In-Box this morning and first item of business was announcing today is National Tartan Day. As Wiki has it,

“Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on 6 April, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. It originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australia, a similar International Tartan Day is held on 1 July, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan.”

Thought I’d pass that along in case anyone has some tartan in their closet. 😉 But if not . . . . .

Image from Great Scot https://greatscotscotland.com/

You may have already seen this on other social media sites, but if not, check out Great Scot, the company that’s made a new plaid in honor of Ukraine, and is busy weaving more yardage for all the orders they’re getting. From their home page:

“With every single Ukraine Forever tartan item we make, sell and ship we will donate funds to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, run by the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee.

“We also have a donation option on our checkout page; we will match the value of any donation made up to £20.

Thank you.”

The new tartan has been named the Ukraine Forever Tartan, and it’s beautiful! Click over to the company for a video to see it being woven.

Now back to the Cambridge, Ontario Fashion History Museum

They’re a lovely smallish museum housed in an old post office building, and have some interesting things to exhibit. (Ever heard of bead strings? 😲 Me neither. Imagine all those antique beeeeads. . . .)

Today’s addition to their YouTube collection gave me several new ideas for some of my own pieces – more repair/recycle/up-cycle! All I need is time to get to them all! If you’re curious, look for the 38 minute interview with Carol Campbell.

Psss . . . . . just in case you’re wondering about that pile of giant paper. It’s been reduced to 5 neat piles of pattern pieces, scraps tossed, and planning begun. 😅

Yes, I know there are only 4 piles. The 5th got cut out after this piccie. Reeeally!

🌻 💕 🇺🇦 💕 🌻

changing seasons

We’re having a slight taste of Fall today, but my enthusiasm’s tempered by the knowledge that we’re back to the 80’s by end of week. Heigh-ho.

Sewing is a bit up in the air, too. Have had another New Look 6871 cut out, with some lining basted in place to avoid the neckline stretching out, but it’s been sitting for several weeks.

What I have been doing is crocheting up the leftovers from other projects. Here are 2 examples, the first one (cream & multi) is still in progress.

Am currently reading The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles and enjoying it. (That’s in between listening a second time to whatever Louise Penny is available via the library app Libby.)

Incidentally, Libby includes magazines, so I’m keeping current with Country Living UK (always fascinated by the glimpses from Lucy’s Attic24 blog). Also Simply Sewing and Simply Crochet (both are UK publications), Peppermint magazine (Australian), Scotland magazine (mum used to get it), and Sew News (U.S.). Very sadly, Threads magazine isn’t available.

But special thanks go to Lizzie over at The Vintage Traveler, for mentioning PieceWork, which is available on Libby. Some really fascinating articles about all sorts of “things made by hand and the history behind them.”

Has anyone been reading Lucy’s Blogtober postings over at Attic 24? For those not in the know, Lucy — considered by many to be Crochet Queen, as well as living in possibly the most charming spot for photographing (Skipton, Yorkshire, U.K.) — writes a daily post during October and I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

Last but not least, here’s a second prototype of the soap sack, using more leftover yarn. It’s been in use and nothing’s fallen out this time, so it might be a working model.

It’s just a rectangle of (U.S.) single crochet, folded in half, with three sides stitched together, and a 3-strand yarn braid woven around the top (4th side) for a gathered closure. Be sure to leave a bit of room at the top of the rectangle for slightly larger soap bits!

I remembered to do that because I’m struggling with how to fix the too small pockets I put on my last denim dress-to-skirt conversion. But that’s for another time, after I’ve tried out an idea that came whilst I sorted through the jumble of assorted to-be-ironed items thrown laying on top of the ironing board.

Trying to convince myself to at least iron the pillowcases and napkins and leave the rest for later, I sat down to check email. . . and here we are. Well, I’m sure you never have days like this, do you? 🤣 😆 🤪 Aaagghhh!

👻 It’s C🎃ming! 👻

what’sit wednesday

Been meaning to crochet a small open-weave sack to put all my Maja soap shards in, but I don’t have any ideas for a pattern and can’t remember the proper name for what it is I’m looking for, so can’t search Ravelry.

Can anybody help?!?! HUGE THANK YOU’s!!!

In return, here’s some piccies I took to answer a question over on IGgy, when I showed one of my reels of rayon Hug Snug. If you’ve not heard about it, have a gander. . . . .

(Click any pic for a larger view, just like the older version of WP.)

Which also reminds me ~ remember I started knitting the remainder of some brown flecked yarn as a second narrow scarf? When I realised just how tense my shoulders got whilst knitting it, I frogged the puny 4″ I’d accomplished and went back to crochet. So now I have my own lovely narrow crocheted scarf, and a you-know-what gift already done. Hope that rates as a ta-da. (It’s too early for the C-word 🙀)

Plopping in all the Hug Snug piccies reminded me of another query: Any suggestions on if & how I can unravel & recycle the gorgeous Italian merino wool in this sweater? Adore the colour❣️

This being the Autumnal Equinox has gotten me remembering what “regular” Autumn was like before you-know-what.

May your weather be cooperative in whichever hemisphere your lovely selves are gracing.

🍂 🍁 🍂

hoovering

I decided to hoover my mattress the other day. No forethought. No reason.  

“Hoovering” is a British term for vacuuming, but I’m claiming it’s kosher for me, too, because I own one.

It came with a miniature suction roller attachment. They claim it’s for hoovering up pet hair or soft furnishings. (No, it’s not recommended for use on pets, even if some owners are tempted.)

I spent most of the day washing bed linens, putting pillows in the dryer to refresh them, just getting on with it and never changing out of my jammies.

(Don’cha love those days when you give yourself permission to just do the work and not worry about getting dressed ?)

Mind, I did do all the crockery washing up, proper morning ablutions and such, but I sooooo wished I could ‘a been pegging out in the sunshine and fresh air.  Ahhhh . . . . .

About mid-afternoon the thought came that I was getting on with something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and I should be a happy chapess. 😳 What might encourage the feeling?

The Stitch Sisters! The YT gods put up a 2-part Autumn/Winter pattern review from 2020 – their COVID collection of comfy clothes. Perfect! It’s never to early to think about cold weather togs!

Comfy is still the vibe I’d be going for, so I settled down for a very late clean-out-the-fridge lunch with The Sisters.

(They’re really partners who started a sewing business together, and both also have teens and hubbies — none of which applies to moi. But working from home is working from home, and so is comfort! (Plus, their choices aren’t so laid back you’d be under suspicion if you risked a quick trip for take-out.)

Plus — and this is a BIG plus — I got several great ideas for easy crochet patterns for Autumn/Winter, and now have a great free sweater pattern to find yarn for: The Habitat Cardi by Make Do & Crew. (Note to self: Check pattern directions & Ravelry reviews first — would I reeeally make it? Yeeees!)

I had no idea Agatha Raisin (on telly) had continued over in Blighty, and their fourth season is in the works now. 😱 😱 😱

Where have I BEEN????

Not checking BBC, that’s for sure. As I type, series 2 is winging it’s way to me and I plan a bit of binging as soon as it hits my mail box.

Have been test-wearing my Autumn tablecloth top but cannot decide if I’d be comfortable wearing it out. It’s shorter than my usual well-below-waist length.

That’s very cooling inside, and should make it ideal for outside. . . except I keep thinking that if air can flow in freely…… so can 🦟 🦟🦟

😳

Hello, 😲 it’s Friday!

And it’s been long time no blog! But I’ve been keeping up by reading everyone else’s, even if commenting has been minimal.

Must admit to being a bit excited about an upcoming event that’s not sewing related. My nevvie is gradating this month with his Masters. However, there’s a wee fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that’s where this sewing peep comes in…

The wrinkled post-consumer plastic bottles need ironing. Photo by Sis2 & used with permission

It’s the robe, that august symbol of graduation. But this one also has another agenda: recycle & reuse. The tag inside the gown reads, “Made in USA from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”.

When cloth gets wrinkled it can be ironed in some fashion. But what about “… 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”? And that’s the prob.

Sis2 is at her wits’ end. She’s tried hanging it in the shower – no change. She’s repeatedly used a garment steamer, alternately spritzing with hot and cold water. Nothing. “Even dry cleaners in town won’t touch it,” she noted.

Earlier on she tried ironing what she now thinks was a similar material masquerading as a dress shirt. She said it “shredded.”

I’ve asked on IG and so far, no one’s written that they know just what to do. Any ideas you lovelies might have will be very warmly appreciated. Sis2, the one who felts & knits, sends her appreciation & thanks to all. And so do I!!

It’s been a trying last 10 days or so, attempting to get a decent bottle of milk. Sounds simple – right? But no . . .

First there was the totally wrong grocery order, followed by a same-day correct order. So far, so good – phew! But then I happened to look at email after dinner and discovered there was another identical order practically on its’ way.

Frantically I got it cancelled. Running low on milk a few days later I manufactured yet another grocery order for those special things only one store carried. That bottle of milk got squished and leaked all over the bottom of the bag.

Click a pic to enlarge

By this time I had used enough pantry items to make yet another grocery order, and that large bottle of milk arrived with no intact safety seal. So it got poured down the drain.

Today I finally received bottles of milk with intact safety seals, un-squished, and no leaks in sight.

Alleluia.

books
What else have I been doing, if not sewing up a storm?

Reading!

Yep, the itch to read the latest from Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series (The Spotted Dog) has been thoroughly scratched, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the usual cast of characters are around, although Meroe was a bit quieter than in other volumes. (Was it you, Kate, who’s also a fan & recommended it? Thank you!)

Also tackled and enjoyed Erik Larson’s very lengthy but riveting The Splendid and the Vile — a practically minute-by-minute account of the first couple years of WW II as it unfolded for Great Britain. Must admit I hadn’t realised how quickly everything escalated against Britain, and how horribly long it took to get FDR to understand what was at stake. It reminded me of how precarious liberty still is.

I also did a second installment of Barak Obama’s Promised Land, and am about half way through the 800 pages. I borrow the version that he reads, as there’s so much nuance added by his inflections. Very enjoyable, but extremely detailed; enlightening, but with moments of dread, knowing what happened after his presidency. Am still very much in recovery mode from the last 4 years, and the gradually abating (🤞🤞) pandemic.

All for now — time to start relaxing as the weekend is here! What have you planned? I’ve already ordered pizza and salad so I don’t have to cook Sunday. Yippee! Might even have time for a stitch or two . . . 😆

Whatever your plans, be safe!

❤️ 💕 ❤️