Category Archives: Thrift

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

Advertisements

8 Comments

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

Boro, Darning and me

 

 

 

 

20180116_1451311518191871.jpg

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.

20180118_1657421619028207.jpg

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.

7e380f552852c671ec456a00fdaa14bc1014654878.jpg

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

A Velvet Cloak and Other Coats

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Isn’t it lovely? I am very pleased with this – sorry for my lack of modesty….

It’s made from a pair of long velvet curtains which a kind¬† friend saved from being thrown into a skip. I’ve used most of the good parts of the curtains to make it. It’s three quarter circles and I used the method from DIY Couture by Rosie Martin to draw the wedge shapes – pivot & a piece of chalk. The hood pattern comes from this coat – Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket.

Day 15

The lining was new fabric – it’s cotton I bought specially from a retailer of manufacturers’ overruns, end of lines etc. ¬£4 a metre anyway. It looked just right because I like a fancy lining if I can get one. The buttons are handmade ceramic – I’ve been wanting to find a use for them.

The cloak isn’t a very practical coat. I imagine I’ll wear it now & again so it’ll probably last for ever. It’s one of those fun things that sewistas make from time to time, purely for the joy of it.

However, I was reading this post by Naomi at Spare Room Style and it made me think about wardrobe planning as an urgent matter. This was the scene in my sitting room this morning:

20161122_090035

Drying my clothes by the fire

Yesterday was one of those days where it never really gets light. The temperature was between 2 & 3 degrees centigrade all day and the hens called it a day and went to bed about 3 o’clock. There was snow / sleet / rain/ howling wind and I had two coats and two sets of boots,some gloves and a hat to dry by the time I’d taken the dogs out, brought in the firewood and sorted out the hens. That was the absolute bare minimum outdoor work. My lovely husband is away at the moment so I’m doing it all myself.

One of the coats is not meant to be waterproof but it’s so thick that rain doesn’t usually get as far as me. The waterproof one sadly let me down. I reproofed it there & then (in the washing machine with Nikwax) but I know it won’t be long before the fabric won’t reproof. I’ve replaced the zip and experience tells me that the fabric will only go on for a year or two after that. So, to cut a long story short, I’ve decided to make a waterproof coat ready for next winter.

I’m thinking of the Minoru (see above wool version) but adding a pleat to the lower back so it doesn’t catch on my bike seat. I love that it has a hidden hood. All other suggestions welcome – I am inclined to keep on using patterns I like forever, so do please tell me what you would use.

And the weather?

20161122_093854-1

Today it’s cold but dry and we had a delightful walk (and I’ve hung my washing out for good measure).

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

 

 

 

 

36 Comments

Filed under Clothes, dogs, dressmaking, fashion, recycling, sewing, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

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.

20161005_153759

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

 

 

19 Comments

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

Some Practical Sewing

This shirt was made by Monsoon – a good and well known label here in the UK. It’s a size too big for me (because it came from a charity shop) but I liked it and I’ve been wearing it to my yoga class. It didn’t really work for me – loose tops can be a bit revealing when you’re upside down!

Seemed a shame not to use such a pretty shirt so now I’ve lengthened it and it’s a much needed nightdress.

It’s been a practical week – some bootcut jeans made of lovely fabric are now straight enough to tuck into boots and then there’s a dress waiting to be a tunic and a boring skirt which needs some magic.

Do you like this sort of sewing? Or do you only make new things? My budget won’t allow for buying anymore fabric at the moment so I’ve started to look around to see what can be done with what I have. I feel better already.

Let me know what you think about reusing and mending – I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

20 Comments

Filed under Clothes, fashion, jeans, mending, recycling, sewing, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

Solar Dyed and Upcycled

Now

Transformed charity shop blouse – frills cut off, buttons changed, colour changed, white polyester stitching covered over with new stitching, fully mended.

wp-image-863975567jpg.jpg

Then

Colour – It smelt of dead badger after being dyed with onion skins so I left it in coffee for a week in the greenhouse. The colour looks much paler here because of all the amazing sunshine we’re having – I’m not complaining. To get some idea of the colour, the wall you can see behind it is yellow. The blouse is coffee cream and still smells a bit. To solve that, I have a small bottle of cheap vodka to make into a spray – Frankie Beane kindly found the idea on the internet for me.

Buttons – the cream square ones are probably vintage and were found by a friend in a charity shop, but there weren’t enough so I’ve mixed in some others.

Polyester thread just won’t dye using normal methods and most shop bought clothes are sewn with it. The solutions are either unpicking or sewing over the top and making a feature of it.

More solar dyeing

I got some more dock leaves for the linen top and it’s now getting its third dunking. the sun has been strong this last few days and I plan to dry it and then do some berry dyeing.

In case anyone is wondering, docks are a weed, grow abundantly here and are often sprayed to get rid of them. I wouldn’t use anything scarce.

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x

 

16 Comments

Filed under Clothes, dyeing, fashion, mending, sewing, solar dyeing, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

Another Quilt

20160103_151654Ever wondered what to do with old pairs of jeans, worn to indecency?

Well, this is what I did. I was inspired by the Japanese Boro work to make this lap quilt. Some of the jeans are stretch so they were quite hard to work with but the embroidery stitches helped to stabilise those patches.

I don’t like to throw things away if I can help it and this was a fun way of using up fabric.

And old shirts make up the reverse.

20160103_151735

Pre-used fabric is harder to work with than standard quilting cottons – it moves more if it’s well washed shirts and it’s very tough and worn if it’s old jeans.

I don’t think the results would stand comparison with quilts made from brand new fabric but recycling is in the quilting tradition and I like to think I am in that tradition. What do you do with your very old clothes – the ones the charity shops would spurn? Do you quilt? Make bags? I’d love to know. You can see what I’ve done with them before here.

On a completely different subject, I’ve signed up for Ilona’s 1,000 mile challenge. I plan to walk the dog, run and cycle my 1,000 miles.

Enjoy your week.

Norma x

15 Comments

Filed under jeans, quilts, textiles, Thrift, upcycling