Tag Archives: upcycling

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

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

A Painted Chair 

Back in December, I painted this old chair at Amanda Skipsey’s workshop in Rhayader.

The background colour is chalk paint and the details are acrylic. Amanda was very patient with me when I needed to get the shapes and she painted a chair herself at the same time. There are no stencils involved, this was freehand.

If you compare mine & her’s, well there’s no competition but I’m thrilled with it. And it’s the start of more furniture painting for me. Seems like a fun way to upcycle to me .

Thanks for dropping by,

Happy New Year

Norma x

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Filed under painted furniture, upcycling

A Velvet Cloak and Other Coats

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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.

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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:

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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?

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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

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Clothes, dogs, dressmaking, fashion, recycling, sewing, 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.

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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

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Filed under jeans, quilts, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

A Sort of Memory Quilt

Memory Quilt

I’ve just finished this sort of memory quilt.

The circles are made of hand dyed fabrics I bought in a charity sale.  The lady who dyed them is no longer with us and I wanted to use them so her work was not wasted.

The quilt wadding is a late 1940s / early 1950s Utility wool blanket belonging to my parents, used by them on their bed and eventually turned into a protective layer for my dining table.  It’s very thin now but still tougher to sew through than regular wadding.

Back of memory quilt

This is the back of the quilt and the curtain I made it from is pictured in this blog’s header.   I brought it from my previous house but it was too small to fit here.  Some of the fabrics are my dressmaking leftovers, reminding me of times past.

solar dyeing

Meanwhile, the solar dyeing is still cooking in the greenhouse. We’ve had some very sunny weather recently and the jars actually feel hot during the day. It’s hard to know when to take the fabrics out – solar dyeing in a climate like this is tricky…

Thanks for dropping by.  Have a great week.

Norma x

 

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Filed under dyeing, quilts, textiles