Category Archives: scraps

Scrap Happy May

An unusual challenge for me.

This is my only remaining childhood doll: Susan. I don’t think I played much with dolls and they were gradually given away.

I had to dress her for a competition (result 18/20 but not enough for a place).

I’ve never made doll clothes and had no idea how hard they were – three attempts at pants before she could sit down and I had to drape a top to get the fit.

Tiny pockets were less trouble than the shoes – ribbon tied under the sole and round the ankles because they just wouldn’t stay on. Thanks to Em for that advice.

I would say that if you think you’re a good sewer / pattern drafter give doll clothes a try – you’ll definitely hone your skills.

Anyhow, the shoes are made from out of date leather upholstery samples, the top, trousers and bag from dressmaking leftovers.

Why not take a look at the other scrap challenges – always full of inspiration.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

P.S.  This was my skirt before the dye pot – painted with egg.

I’ve just taken it out of the pot and I’m very excited. I’ll post about that in detail in a day or two.

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Filed under dolls, dressmaking, scraps, sewing, textiles

Mini Quilts

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The quilts each measure approximately 11.25inches x 8.25 inches. This size of quilt has become a bit of an obsession of mine. They get put into an envelope and sold in a sort of Quilt Lucky Dip to raise funds for the Quilt Association.

It’s quite a hard size because it’s not square – normal block patterns don’t work but it gives me the freedom to try out ideas. If they work I give them to the Quilt Association, otherwise they’re scrapped.

These two are made from the remains of the batik jellyroll I used to make this skirt.

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I’ve made a couple more mini quilts but one isn’t quite right yet so I’ll save them for another day.

You can see my velvet mini quilts here.

And there’s another 1934 skirt in the pipeline – they really are becoming an obsession.

Thanks for dropping by

Norma x

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Filed under patchwork, quilts, scraps, Uncategorized

Leather Pouches

I’m trying to work with leather.

I was given scraps of supersoft coloured suede and had the idea I’d like little pouches (the bottoms are about 2 inch diameter), the sort of thing I’d imagine a Medieval woman putting her money in or a travelling herbalist keeping her most special herbs in. I’ve used them as purses and for giving little gifts, but I’d like to have one with tiny special items inside – maybe pretty stones.

The brown leather was fairly damaged when I got it but I just wanted something to try so it didn’t matter too much. The bag is made with three identical shapes as you can see from its bottom. It’s based on a 16th century pattern – not commercially available so far as I know and it was drawn on a bit of brown paper for me.

I added the strap: I think the original might have been attached to a belt. I machine sewed using a leather needle and extra strong thread.

I tried to add metal eyelets to the brown leather but I just couldn’t get them to attach properly. I’ve never used metal eyelets before so I have no idea why they didn’t work. I will try again using denim to see if it’s my technique or the leather.

I used an awl to make the holes for the draawstring. I think a leather punch might be better so I’ll look for one of those.

I would like to learn lots more about leatherwork. Making shoes would be lovely. Some of you might remember these shoes I made in a beginners’ workshop at Green Shoes.

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Shoes made with lots of help

The shoes are still in use five years later, although I have had them resoled so they’re not quite so me made as they were.

I have used the little pouches and although the brown pouch is not as elegant as I’d like because my skills are pretty basic, I think I’ll want to use that too.

I have been watching Carolyn’s shoemaking for her Year of Handmade and thinking I should have another go. Maybe I will.

Meantime, I was given these so that I can keep practicing.

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Leather upholstery samples

So I’ll definitely keep trying.

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

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Filed under bags, fashion, leather, purses, scraps, sewing, textiles

Velvet Fest

I’ve just finished five velvet “quilts”. There are the mini quilts above for fundraising for the Quilt Association.

This bag uses up more bits.

 

 

And the quilt is finished.

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I’ve used up more or less all the velvet scraps but there’s more now.

A friend rescued some very long blue velvet curtains which were destined for a skip, so now I’m contemplating a cloaky sort of coat. And the contemplation is all part of the fun…

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under bags, Clothes, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, textiles, Thrift

Velvet Scrap Quilt in Progress

This is a sort of scrap quilt. It includes bits of my old velvet dress, my skirt and my trousers. All of them probably date from the 1990s. It also includes other people’s scraps both donated and bought. Some of the scraps are in the form of long strips, so there should be plenty left for small projects.

The back used up what was left of my kitchen curtain fabric after I’d made the curtains.

The quilt is large throw size and strip pieced. I’m using some fancy variegated silk thread to add some extra quilting.

I’m linking to Scrap Happy September. Why not take a look at what everyone else is doing?

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under patchwork, quilts, scraps, textiles, upcycling

Scrap Happy May

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Random bits & pieces made into dog blankets. No, male dogs don’t mind pink!
I’ve been using up as much as possible this month : I’d like more space in my cupboard and prefer not to have so many bits & pieces hanging around.

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These are A4size quilts made for a lucky dip at The Quilt Association. The quilts go into an envelope and visitors pay a small fee to choose one – no way of knowing what you will get. It’s a fun way of raising funds.
The scraps are from my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday quilt. There are some strips left to make fabric pots.

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Pants in progress, using the remaining fabric from the 1930s dress before it was dyed lavender. 
I’m joining Scrap Happy May over at Tall Tales from Chiconia – why not go over & take a look at what the others are doing?
Thanks for dropping by
Norma x
PS I haven’t forgotten about my other sewing – 1930s and oneyearoneoutfit. There’s a lot going on and I’ll post very soon. X

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Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, textiles

Scrap Happy April – in Linen

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Back view of my linen tunic made from dressmaking scraps accumulated over quite a few years.

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There’s so much of the bright blue because I thought I was buying narrower fabric.
I’m joining Scrap Happy April over at Tall Tales from Chiconia. Why not take a look?

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Filed under Clothes, scraps, sewing, stashbusting, textiles

Dyeing for the Scrap Quilt

Some of the blocks for my scrap double bed quilt.

I thought I had plenty but I had done my calculations on 12 inch blocks not the 10 inch ones I was actually working on.  Oh dear!

I searched around for more scraps that could be included and cut them out but there weren’t enough. I went for a long walk and came up with this.

Dyeing a piece of self patterned white cotton fabric leftover from the quilt I made for my brother’s wedding several years ago. Enough to make borders. The revolting looking dyestuff is coffee grounds collected and saved in the freezer. It produced a lovely coffee colour!

I used milk as a mordant and left the fabric soaking for 24 hours, stirring and turning from time to time.

I didn’t solar dye this fabric because it was too big for any jar I have and at this time of year would take too long. So I waited for the solar panels to kick in, brought the fabric and dyestuff slowly to the boil, turned off the power and left them to cool naturally.

The only drawback is the difficulty of getting the coffee grounds off the surface of the fabric: a lot of rinsing and flapping in the breeze did it. On the plus side, the dye pot contents can be thrown on the compost heap without fear. They’d have been there anyway if I hadn’t been saving them.

I went through my wadding scraps but can’t come up with anything like enough to piece them to double bed size so I’ll have to buy wadding.

I have plenty of backing choices in store, including the good bits of old sheets or maybe pieced from large leftovers.

I can’t get any further until I have the wadding as I plan to strip piece columns straight to the wadding and backing. Take a look at Mary Fogg’s work if you you want to see  wonderful quilts made using this method.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

PS. Linking this to Scrap Happy March.

 

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Filed under dyeing, patchwork, quilts, scraps, sewing, stashbusting, textiles

Local Clothes?

I have decided to take part in #oneyearoneoutfit 2016. The aim is to make an outfit from local materials, some buying is permitted and so is secondhand. Have a look at This is Moonlight for the “rules”.

There are sheep in the fields around here and I know that a lot of their wool sells for very little.  Wool has been replaced by polyester for so many purposes and we can get other natural fibres from around the world for very little money.  It’s seeing all these sheep that’s made me feel that I would like to try using local fibres to make my clothes.

I don’t really know what’s available yet. The photographs above show a shawl I am knitting from wool raised and spun in the UK and the fabric for my new skirt which is Welsh wool. The knitting yarn is almost certainly not natural dyed and I don’t know yet about the fabric. The #oneyearoneoutfit rules specify non-synthetic dyes readily available in the locality so at the very least the shawl doesn’t qualify.

All sorts of questions come to mind:

What about thread? Footwear? Buttons? Are there non-wool fibres available too? Can I get good colours from the plants in my garden? What area should my “fibreshed” cover? I wasn’t able to source Irish linen for my 1930s dress, so will I find another source? – linen I can dye myself.

If you have ideas and opinions I’d love to hear them. Please let me know what you think.

Here are some of the colours I’ve managed to get from my solar dyeing experiments. Docks, coffee grounds and onion skins are my favourites so far. All of the fabrics are made from plant fibres so I soaked them in milk as a mordant. I wonder if I can extend this from scraps to my potential wardrobe. I’ll be giving it a try.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

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Filed under dyeing, Knitting, scraps, sewing, solar dyeing, textiles

Scrap happy February

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A different way of using up my scraps – a fabric pot made with fairly stiff string and the scraps from a hand dyed quilt. Shame not to use them.

There are plenty of instructions to make fabric pots out there on YouTube but these are the basics:

Cut or tear strips of fabric about 1 inch or 3/4 inch wide – depends on the thickness of your string – and wrap the strips tightly around the string making sure that no string shows. Start coiling your string and zigzag stitch the coils together.

My machine can cope with fairly tough string and rope given a jeans needle and some very strong thread – machine quilting thread, hand quilting thread (has to be used on the upright spindle of my sewing machine as the thread is wound straight) and semi-industrial thread.

New strips of fabric are wrapped in as you go along.  When the base is large enough, tilt the pot to make the sides. Keep going until you have the size you want, then neatly sew in the ends of the string and fabric.

I cut my fabric on the straight grain as this is the neatest way – if you use bias strips it’s hard to finish neatly at the end – but practise will show you what’s best for you.

It’s not an easy technique to describe and is better demonstrated – if there is any interest I could do a picture tutorial.

I made several pots before I worked out how to get them looking right. Since then I have made dozens including tiny ones with crochet cotton inside and a wool tweed one with no string inside. It’s something I love doing.

I collect my eggs in a fabric pot and I carry my shopping in one and they’re all made from leftover fabric.

 

The shopping basket is made with rope bought from the local farmer’s store. All the fabrics are leftovers – my own and other people’s.

Rosyragpatch’s blog has the original quilt here if you’re interested.

Linking to Tall Tales from Chiconia –  Scrap Happy February. Why not pop over and see what other people have done with their scraps.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

21 Comments

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