Tag Archives: upcycling

. . . catching up . . .

front of blue sorbetto see the pocket just above left dart?
front of blue sorbetto
see the pocket just above left dart?

Saturday I wore the blue up-cycled first version of Colette’s Sorbetto pattern to lift my spirits a bit, and do a casual wear test. It failed.

Will give it another try, this time with a pin to close up the neckline, which was so big it kept sliding off my shoulders. Why I didn’t noticed that before I haven’t a clue.

Wore the yellow yesterday, and it was much better, although I’d left the men’s shirt tails intact, and they’re too long.

Continue reading . . . catching up . . .

blouse basics

Hadn’t posted a piccie of this completed Renfrew, so here it is!   😉 (Whoops! Sorry about forgetting the title.)

A couple weekends ago I spent time perfecting the Sorbetto pattern fit, using two gigantic man’s (men’s?) shirts bought last summer at a thrift shop.

I’d cut off the sleeves and collars, then worn them around the house. The fabrics were great, but I didn’t quite know what else to do to them, so they went into stash.

Until Ali (aka Thimberlina) wore one of her Sorbettos … Continue reading blouse basics

did you know . . . . .

Saturday coming up (13 June) is World Wide Knit In Public (KIP) Day. And they’re including crochet and other hand crafts.  Click here to see what’s doing in your part of the world.

Whee! The latest issue of Seamwork from Coletterie has something familiar. That bottom right knit is what I used for my second  renfrew.

also on the weekend . .  .   .    .
Bought Grainline’s newest Morris Blazer, but didn’t assemble it. Made most of one Sorbetto, upcycling a huge men’s charity shop shirt, and assembled the SBCC Limoncello pattern. (Thank you for the gift, Ali!) Continue reading did you know . . . . .

weekly photo challenge: humanity

tapestry from collection
Art Institute of Chicago
taken in extreme low light conditions
please forgive blurriness

I don’t write much about humanity, in regard to sewing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the state of the world, and my own clothing’s place in it.

The conditions of people actually making the textiles, as well as the clothing, have rightly received publicity, but there’s not been too much yet about up-cycling.

Sewers from other parts of the world regularly report on fabric, patterns, and haberdashery they’ve found in thrift shops, but I’ve not had that experience.

Is it only because I’ve been so close to large cities, in metropolitan areas?  But shouldn’t that mean I should find more, rather than less?

As I get my own wardrobe increasingly under control and re-suited to current environments, I can’t help contemplating sewing, fabric and clothing in much broader terms.

As in what’s the impact on the environments from whence these materials come from?

And the impact on the world’ environment of all the fast fashion currently so popular?

HUMAN”ITY, n. [L. humanitas.] 1. The peculiar nature of man… 2. Mankind collectively; the human race.

These 2 articles, from Lizzie at The Vintage Traveler, might shed more light on these areas.


Original WordPress post is here.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme is Noise.

Anothr posting for WordPress here.

taking care of your woolie

30% viscose & 70% wool<br>should be safe to wash...
30% viscose & 70% wool
should be safe to wash…

A lovely note from Jessica in Edinburgh reminded me that it’s time to begin thinking about woolies again.   Not that I stop…   for too long.  he-he!

Somehow, today’s moderate 80’s F. makes that thought more bearable than if it were in the 90’s.  As long as that humidity doesn’t creep in.

Trying to keep thought above mere weather, her note reminded me of 2 wool skirts acquired last October from a thrift shop.

Uncertain how to care for them, but wanting to get the musty smell out, I plopped them into my machine’s cold & gentle water cycle, then hung them up to air dry.

no, LOL, that's not my size, but useful fabric for other things...
no, LOL, that’s not my size, but useful fabric for other things…

Don’t think they shrank (is it shrink, shrank, shrunk?) in the least, and they didn’t felt up.  But I’d resolved that no matter what, it would be good experience.  And that smell would be gone.

The New Zealand merino jersey wools currently awaiting slightly cooler temps & lower humidity for their initial wash ‘n dry are all machine washable/air dry.  Ya-hoo!

Is it me, or do lots of people have difficulty finding places for things to lie flat to dry?!

weekly photo challenge: dialogue ~ tee shirt

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Hopefully these three piccies will tell even non-sewers how a simple un-needed tee shirt can be transformed with just a pair of scissors.

DIALOGUE, n. [Gr., to dispute; to speak.] 1. A conversation or conference between two or more persons

Original WordPress post is here.

Another dialogue is over here…

 Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is EDGE

luv to josée!

my new & totally adorable, upcycled fabric cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!
my new & totally adorable, upcycled cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!
click to go to her etsy shop

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  From my dear friend Josée, the owner of Cul de Sac, the cutest little cosmetics bag imaginable!  And it’s unique ’cause no one else has one with exactly these recycled fabrics, in this combination.  Blue & yellow always reminds me of France, and as Josée speaks French and lives in Québec, it’s serendipitous!

The bag’s lining is yellow, which I really like because I can easily spot a pesky lipstick.  Another thoughtful touch is the little charm on the zip pull ~ a bird in a cage ~ mirroring one of Josée’s favourite embroidery designs.

I can spot this easily inside the huge black bag I carry when travelling… when I don’t want to paw through a dark hole looking for a small bag.

Josée makes all her bags, scarves, key chains, and other upcycled items as she has time & finds materials.  She’s been known to unravel sweaters and reknit the wool into charming fingerless gloves, and other items.

Here’s where to find her creations, and make your own purchases.

And I still rank her double chocolate cupcakes as the absolute best indulgence in the whole wide world!


travel theme: unexpected (upcycling discovery)

Don’t often have Ailsa’s themes here, but this seemed made to order!

About 6 months ago I visited a local thrift shop, hoping to find some large sizes of clothing I could cut up for fabric.  Instead, I was immediately attracted to quite different items, and what unexpected surprises I’ve found linking them into my summer wardrobe!

Last autumn, I found some great warmer weather blouses, plus skirts that became fabric for stash, as well as winter wear.  Now it’s hot enough to start using the warm weather purchases, and I’m having fun coordinating.  A huge change from 12 months ago!

Two great finds were a couple of linen shirts – a khaki Caribbean Joe camp shirt, and a 3/4-length sleeved multitude of beigey browns – in perfect condition.  The green is definitely a summer shirt, and has already been worn numerous times, as it pairs nicely with most of my green wardrobe. The beigey brown has been quite useful on cool days when longer sleeves are needed, and the neutral shades can be worn with most anything.  More on that come cooler weather.

Ne-vah would have guessed these two blouses would be so handy.  Lately, I went back to the same shop, and found another great bunch of items, but more about them later.

❤  ❤  ❤  Giant high five for thrift shops!   ❤  ❤  ❤

Lovely Ailsa’s original post is here.

Another travel theme from del.

weekly photo challenge: abandoned

ABAN”DONED, pp. Wholly forsaken or deserted.

People who sew sometimes have a change of heart about their current project.  The weather might drastically shift, making an immediate wear uncomfortable, or they might run up against a challenge they don’t want to face at that time.  So the project gets shelved. These then become Unfinished Objects, or UFOs.

Often these are pushed to the back of the pile, but may not become officially abandoned for years, sometimes decades.  I’ve moved some of these across a country, and bet I’m not alone.

And then there are the wadders.

Wadders are sewing projects that are irretrievable.  Generally zips or buttons are removed, along with any reusable fabric.  Then what’s left might be tossed either into the rag bag for use until it’s in tatters, or into the trash.  In this day and age, that’s truly not politically correct.

There are non-profit organizations who collect such items for re-use in craft projects for arts and crafts programs, perhaps as a pretty scrap a child decides to use in their picture, or an older adult might use as part of a quilting project.  Even if you’re not a quilter, you know how small some of those pieces can be!  (Be aware that you might need to remind folk that scraps can be used in these ways.)

And thus, in sewing, nothing needs to be tossed out or abandoned. There’s always someone, somewhere that can use it.  We just need to know how to find each other.

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

Link to del’s other stuff photos here.


Sometimes I just wanna sit & rip something out.  You ever have that feeling?  Preferably nothing you’ve made, understandably!

You might remember an old sweatshirt I trimmed up with some lace & buttons, so I’d wear it more often.  Am happy to report I did. But now it’s waaay past its sell-by date, and time to recycle into other items.

There are holes at the stress points of both pockets, the cuffs have been gone for some time, and I’m trying for a more classic style.

Today felt like the day to rip off the additions, and save a great metal separating zipper.

Hope you’re each having your own success, Lovely Readers!