Refashioned!

My new nightdress. Formerly a linen shirt belonging to my husband. I’ve been hanging on to the shirt for ages but now seemed like the right time to use it.

The original

I’ve extended it with a leftover piece of linen table cloth. Both fabrics are very soft after long years of laundry. I bought the lace trim to try to tie it all together and make it look more feminine. I’ve replaced the plastic buttons with shell buttons.

I’ve got a fair size collection of shell buttons taken off old clothes, found in charity shops or donated by kind friends.

It’s been an interesting project for my “new” machine

I did French seams to avoid having to start on the zigzag attachment yet. And I put a lot of the trim on by hand because I couldn’t get past the lack of a free arm.

Any advice on how to cope without the free arm please let me know.

Next time’s project has to use the zigzag attachment. It doesn’t have instructions so I’ll need to do some research. Maybe YouTube?

I’m pleased with it though.

Thanks for dropping by.

Enjoy your week

Norma x

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Filed under Clothes, recycling, Singer sewing machines, slow fashion, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

A New Machine and Some Quilts

My “new” sewing machine. It’s a Singer 201k and it sews like a dream. It’s incredibly heavy so I’m looking for a table it can sit on permanently.

I’ve bought it a buttonholer and a zigzag attachment. I’ve got to try them out yet. The tote bag I made to try it out had French seams!

So what else has happened?

These quilts I put my quilt group’s exhibition (one unfinished) appeared in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine along with lovelies made by my friends.

I’ve been mending, garden dyeing and refashioning. And I have another project idea afoot.

More to follow.

Thanks to Lynda who suggested I start blogging again. I promise to try.

Norma x

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Filed under blogging friends, patchwork, quilts, sewing, Singer sewing machines

Boro, Darning and me

 

 

 

 

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I found all these mending threads in a charity shop. I don’t know how old they are, but maybe 40 or 50 years old. Possibly older. They’re in good condition: you’d think they were made yesterday.

Do you like to mend things? Do you gaze in awe at Boro textiles?

I mend from time to time, but I’m always admiring photos of Boro textiles. Maybe I haven’t paid too much attention to darning but I think it’s probably similar. What do you think? Anyway, I decided to see if I could combine practicality and looks with a bit of mending. I love these socks – they’re great in long boots. I think they’re known as shooting socks – maybe meant to go with Plus Fours? Not sure.

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The look of Boro?

I don’t know where I got these mending threads but they’re very pretty. Maybe I thought they were embroidery threads. They have the motto of “Ukanboil” on the label. Don’t think I’ll be boiling my socks any time soon. The label also says that they are for mending underwear…

My Pinterest board is full of beautifully mended Boro textiles and there are a few darned pieces too – like this beauty. I’ve classed it as Boro on Pinterest.

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This image was originally from long-john.nl . I love the visible mending.

My attempt at mending with the sock threads. Although the after photo makes the sock look nubbly it’s actually quite comfortable to wear.

And just today I saw this post showing a beautifully mended blanket. Please go and take a look.

Do you love Boro textiles? Do you enjoy mending?

I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy your week.

Norma x

24 Comments

Filed under boro, Clothes, mending, recycling, sewing, textiles, Thrift

Refashioned Skirt

My dyeing and painting tunic

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The original me made skirt

I wear many clothes to destruction. They’re only fit to be turned into cleaning rags or if there are good bits, maybe some bits of quilt fabric.  But I can’t find a photo of me wearing this skirt, maybe that’s because I didn’t wear it very often.

I have a “thing” about clothes that I don’t wear much. I feel sad when I see them hanging there wasted. Some such things just go straight to the charity shop: they’re too good (and  too unloved) to be used for something else.

To refashion it: I took off the top of the skirt where the darts were, made armholes and bound the edges.  I made more buttonholes so that it would cover me better.

Then I tried it on.

It needed shaping badly so I used some large black buttons to pull it in and give me some shape.

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Next came pockets –  a working tunic has to have pockets…  It was lucky that I had a few bits of the original fabric left because the bits I’d cut off the skirt just wouldn’t stretch to two pockets.

 

I don’t know why the pockets look blue on the photo – they are definitely black.

And that’s all: I’ve worn the tunic a lot and I’ve even had compliments on it. It’s a simple but successful refashion.

What do you do with your failures? Do you enjoy refashioning? I’d love to hear from you.

Have  a fun week.

Norma x

11 Comments

Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, recycling, sewing, textiles, upcycling

Using Pinterest 

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My Throw in Progress (with basting stitches!)

If you were to take a look at my Pinterest boards (via the sidebar on my blog or here). You might be surprised at what you see, especially if you’ve known me for a while. I don’t think they’re much like what I’ve been making.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, so I’ll call this an aim for 2018 and beyond. I’m going to try to bring my sewing and crafting in line with the dreaming I’m recording on Pinterest.  So what about this throw?

I’m a member of a quilt group called Welsh Heritage Quilters and every two years we hold an exhibition at the Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes. You can show any quilted item you’ve finished since the last exhibition or which is in progress, but there are also categories to encourage us to push ourselves.  I decided to make something for the “Welsh” category. I’ve been learning a lot about traditional Welsh quilts at the Quilt Association and wanted to have a go.

My starting point

Frame quilts are very traditional so that was what I decided to make.  I bought many of the fabrics to make a throw as a wedding gift, but lost my nerve and left them languishing untouched in the drawer. The colours seemed just right for a traditional quilt.

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Close up of Quilting in Progress

Welsh quilting patterns are very distinctive and I set about trying to copy some, but then…

I decided not to try to make a clone but something based on all the boro and kantha quilts I’ve Pinned.  I’m using variegated Sulky thread to stitch what are traditional Welsh patterns, but in a way that seems to me more like boro or kantha. Don’t know if I’ve succeeded but it’s very satisfying. I’m really enjoying the quilting process.

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The back in progress

I’m not too concerned about my stitches as I’m hoping the patterns, when finished, will draw the eye away from individual stitches.

I’ve had difficulties. The only marker I could see was yellow chalk (seen on the photos) and that rubbed off, so I marked, worked outlines and marked again. It’s not fully marked yet and none of the hearts or circles are yet fully quilted – some infill is called for.

The wadding is cotton flannel that’s been sitting in my sewing cupboard for years on end. It’s not easy to hand quilt but I’m getting used to it. Many traditional Welsh quilts would have contained carded wool and were quilted very closely to keep the wadding in place during laundry.

So, I’ve started using my Pins to influence my quilts, but I’ve got clothes boards you really wouldn’t believe if you saw them and a shoe board brimming with shoe making ideas. But those are for other times, other posts.

Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it? I’d love to know so do join the conversation. And if you put a link to your boards in the comments I’ll take a look.

Enjoy your week.

Norma x

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments

Filed under patchwork, Pinterest, quilts, sewalongs, textiles, traditional quilts

Bag Fest 

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This is a tweedy (with a bit of hemp) bag made from a pattern by Michaela Smith called “Night Owl”. The pattern’s for a cushion but I like bags more. It holds lots & is good for travelling.

These bags are made from this quilt.

Landscape quilt

It had been languishing in my sewing cupboard for months, so I washed it and made the bags. The fabrics are silks & silk lookalikes.

The binding on the quilt mostly couldn’t be saved but I had some bits of the original left so I cut some more. The original is leftover from making this skirt – still worn after all these years, but now as calf length rather than full length.

I made the original quilt following a holiday on Skye – it represents the view I could see when eating my breakfast.

I’m intending to take these patchwork bags along to Quillies in Rhayader to see if they can be sold alongside my fabric pots.

 

My favourite tote bag – and believe me I love tote bags… This is a furnishing fabric remnant that I just couldn’t resist.

Gratuitous dog photos!

 

And this is my jeans bag. Linda asked me to show it ages ago & I just didn’t manage to blog. Sorry!

So you can see I’ve been busy despite my blogging silence. Looking forward to catching up with you all.

Happy New Year

Norma x

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Filed under jeans, patchwork, recycling, textiles, upcycling

Pant y Dwr is Yarnbombed

Postman Pat guarding the post box.

In progess!

Nearly there…

The St Harmon WI and the Pant y Dwr craft group have been working hard. This is just a taste of what’s been done. Please take a look at the St Harmon WI Facebook page if you’re interested.

There aren’t many of us but we’ve been working hard.

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting, yarnbombing

Scrappy Post

I’m very late for Scrap Happy September but thought I’d show you these little fabric pots I’ve made.

The largest has a 2.25 inch base and is an inch high. These pots are going to a local shop but I plan to make some in silk for Christmas presents and fill them with little gifts.

I will be around soon to look at what you’ve been up to and soon I’ll be back to regular posts.

Have a lovely week

Norma x

13 Comments

Filed under fabric bowls, fabric pots and bags, scraps, sewing, textiles

Blackberry Dye Update

This is the dress after rinsing. A sort of dusky pink.

This is the old pillowcase I used to strain the dye. Tie dye look and some lovely purple. I’ll use this in a quilt, I think.

The blackberries were wild. I picked the on the ground ones that no one ever wants. It’s a good year for blackberries so I will pick some more for dyeing as well as those I need for jam & wine.

The dress will go away when dry so as to allow the dye to take well.

I’ve been dyeing lots this summer and I’ve sewn and even done some secret knitting. I’ll be showing some of this stuff soon. If I haven’t visited your blog recently I’ll be around soon. Sorry to have been so out of touch.

Have fun!

Norma x

16 Comments

Filed under #1year1outfit, Clothes, dresses, dyeing, fashion, slow dyeing, slow fashion

Blackberry Dye

This is the linen Merchant & Mills Curlew dress previously tea dyed.

I’ve worn it in its previous incarnation and decided the colour is not for me as a dress.

Maybe as a top I’d like it better.

It was mordanted in sour milk originally and the tea and the wash it had after wearing should also act as mordants.

I will dry without rinsing and leave it to cure for a week or two before washing.

Apologies for the photo quality – I’m having to use my phone.

Enjoy your week.

Norma

12 Comments

Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, dyeing, fashion, slow dyeing, slow fashion, textiles