Tag Archives: upcycling


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!

weekly photo challenge: one

a lovely little holiday gift
a lovely little holiday gift

One, n. […Gr. the ace on dice…] 1. A single unit; as, one is the base of all numbers. 2. A symbol representing a unit, as 1, or i.  3. A single person or thing…

My sewing friend in the U.K. created these from vintage fabric and buttons, all British made decades ago.  When I wanted to purchase one, she sent it as a gift.

From the luxurious fabric to the profusion of glass buttons, it’s a precious example of her creativity, artistry and thoughtfulness.  I value it immensely.

It also reminds me of Britain’s respect for beauty, history, and industry.  Who were the individuals that designed and made these buttons?  Who saved them?  And the rickrack trim?  What mind created the fabric design, then wove it?  Who was attracted to this damask-like fabric and purchased it?  What hands laid the fabric away from fading sunlight?

In reality, this represents the work and thought of hundreds of individuals over the decades.  All in one little ornament.

Holiday Wishes

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

weekly photo challenge: grand

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GRAND, a. [L. grandis.]  Great; but mostly in a figurative sense… splendid… principal… chief…  conceived or expressed with great dignity… old; more advanced… to constitute a thing grand, it seems necessary that it should be distinguished by some degree of beauty. …

This lace fragment wouldn’t impress most people, and they definitely wouldn’t think it “great.”

However, when you consider that it somehow was acquired by my mother and passed down to me, perhaps you can understand my more-than-cursory glance.

It’s a fragment of a collar, just a few inches wide and a foot long.  At first I didn’t think it usable for anything.  However, now I’m paying more attention to it, and am grateful it didn’t get tossed.

Just consider the details:

  • It might have been made by hand!
  • Who came up with the design, those curving stems that include buds, flowers, and leaves?
  • And who designed the scalloped border, with it’s own filigree of triangles, scallops and all those lines connecting everything?
  • All of which was neatly translated into the ending of the overall design, with that connecting double line of stitching?

Actually, quite impressive and grand, even if on such a small scale.  Or does that smallness of scale actually add to it’s grandness?

What do you think!

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

weekly photo challenge: horizon

silk tieHOR”IZON, n. [Gr. to bound, a limit.] The line that terminates the view, when extended on the surface of the earth; or a great circle of the sphere, dividing the world into two parts or hemispheres; the upper hemisphere which is visible, and the lower which is hid. The horizon is sensible,and rational or real…

Thinking outside the envelope, “The line that terminates the view” doesn’t have to be on the surface of the earth.  It can be mental or physical, involving everyone’s or just one view of the world.

One reason why upcycling clothing can be so much fun is no two people come up with the same ideas.  For instance, both Samantha (Sewin Love UK) and I skyped about ties on Wednesday.

My daisy silk tie is still in 2 pieces.  Her’s has morphed into a phone purse, a coin purse, a decorative flower, and a pin cushion.  I need a coin purse, but I’ve got 2 different ideas for the rest of the tie, and hope to get to them soon.

See what I mean ~ everyone’s horizon can be different!

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

it’s a wrap ~ not!

it’s finished & being worn as i type

The former wrap skirt is now a cozy gathered skirt, just in time for cold weather.  Yeah!

Used a clean, damp tea towel and steamed the life outta the 100% poly hem and former side facings that are now a seam.  Still a spot or two that’s not flat, but am wearing it, hopefully sitting on the non-flat bits.  That’ll flatten ’em!

I was remembering working with 70s polyester.  When we’d make trousers we steamed in the front pleat & sometimes sewed them 1/16” all the way down just to keep them sharp.  Anybody remember that?  he-he!

PS/ I did lop off the waist band!
PPS/ Now wondering about a lining, to keep the wind more at bay…
skirt minus waist band!
skirt minus waist band!

did you know?

One eye of a needle is larger than the other?

“The eye of a needle is created by punching it out of the metal, so one side is larger than the other.”       Reader’ Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches

If you can’t get your thread or embroidery floss through one side of the needle, try the other!

Another thing I learnt is if you’re embroidering something that will get handled a lot, like a pillow, use wool thread, which takes hard usage more easily.

skirt evolution

100% polyester wrap skirt
100% polyester wrap skirt

This morning I started taking a wrap skirt apart, to convert into a simple gathered skirt.  Said wrap was a super bargain last week at about $5.

The fabric’s loosely woven 100 % polyester, not piling yet but looks like it will eventually.  Am trying not to spend too much time with it.  Just want something to keep my legs warm on these chilly mornings, before I give in and turn the heat on!

Normally, a print that wraps vertically instead of running horizontally is the last thing I’d want. But I love paisley and the print is dark, and I couldn’t resist.

Thus far:

  • Got the hem taken down once.  There was a molto generous 3” hem, and under that another 1” hem.  Will leave that as the new hem.
  • Because the skirt originally wrapped, the 2 ends are interfaced nicely, with 1 twice as wide as the other.  Am still undecided on whether to keep trying to unpick the black threads against the very dark fabric, or just lop ‘em off.
  • Have a unique black button to add to my collection.
  • The button used on the inside of the wrap’s closure is clear, which seems to be standard for unseen buttons.   So blah.  So sad.

Knowing there’s something unique no one else can see is rather nice.  That’s why we sew, isn’t?  🙂