Saturday, October 30, 2010

A handmade dress & matching card

A gift for a little girl; a pillowcase dress with matching card made from scraps of the same fabric.

The pretty pink pillowcase, $1 from Savers. I used the bottom 'hem' of the pillowcase, and used a size 1 dress (that I unstitched) as a template to cut around. Rather than sewing a drawstring neck, I cut straps from white ribbon - scraps I found in my local op shop, and stitched to the inside of the neckline. I always pick up little sewing gems from my local op shop haberdashery box!

Front of dress

Back of dress

A matching card, using the same pillowcase fabric and some lace from my sewing box, machine stitched to a blank card.

Matching card

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Machine Stitched Recycled Christmas Cards

I've started my Christmas card sewing. I found some cute Christmas tree fabric in Cheltenham op shop for $3 back in August, and had to buy it! I had no particular intentions for its use until recently, when I started sewing greetings cards with fabric.

I purchased some recycled blank cards purchased from an etsy seller. I drew a christmas tree and star template freehand, and used those to cut the fabric from. I used some pink silk fabric (leftover from a clothing refashion) as the background for my shapes, used a glue stick to fix in place on the card, and zig-zag stitched onto my blank cards.

By accident, I found out that holding the cards up to the window shows little reflections of light shining through where the needle has stitched the card.. thought that looked cute; it is like flashing lights on a christmas tree, and a twinkling star!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vintage Thomas Pillowcase Chalk Mat

I've started to sell some of my sewing projects. This is a big achievement. Sewing for oneself and gifts for friends is one thing, but making things to sell is a completely different ball game.

What am I selling? It is the first item I blogged about on Recycled Sewing; my childrens activity chalk mats. I initially made one for a gift, and that friend subsequently asked me to make some to buy as gifts for others, and so on..

I took myself off to Savers on Saturday in search of some more children's fabric. I always head straight to the pillowcase/sheets. Very lucky for me, I found one lonesome 'vintage' Thomas the Tank Engine pillowcase:


And here is the completed chalk mat:

Is the chalk mat made from 100% recycled materials? No, not completely, but wherever possible, I do endeavour to purchase all of my materials second hand. Here is a full breakdown.

Main fabric - pillowcase from Savers
Velcro strap - thrifted bias strip from Salvos
Chalk mat fabric - new, purchased from eBay
Train chalk holder pocket - a gift of quilting squares, originally purchased second hand by my Mum
Chalks - new from $2 shop
Velco - new from haberdashery
Lip to hold chalks on pocket - end of the of PVC tablecloth from Spotlight, which has scratches and paper roll marks on it. It would have gone into the rubbish if I hadn't asked to buy it! Very lucky with that one.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tea Towel Bag Dispenser

I try not to collect plastic bags, but sometimes they end up in my house! I've seen tea towel plastic bag dispensers before, so thought I'd give it a go myself. This blog post is kind of a tutorial on how to make one..

You will need:

Tea Towel
Bias Strip
Ribbon or similar

Take one thrifted tea towel. In this instance, a huge Fiji tourist tea towel! I've never been to Fiji, but thought it looked pretty! $2 in Salvos.

Firsty I cut, pinned and machine stitched some cream bias strip ($1 also from the same Salvos) along the bottom and top of the rear of the tea towel, importantly leaving a gap in between the bias strip, and leaving each side open:

Cut a piece of elastic about the size you want your opening to be at the bottom of the dispenser, the saftey pin is for threading it through the bias strip:

The ribbon is for the tie at the top of the dispenser, to hang in the cupboard/back of the kitchen door etc. Thread the ribbon through the top bias strip gap. I used a long piece of bias I found in one of my kitchen draws as the 'ribbon':

Now fold the teatowel exactly in half, and sew all the way down the far edge, but be careful not to sew the gap of the bias strip on the top or bottom:

Thread the elastic through the bottom bias strip gap, using the saftey pin, and then hand stitch the elastic closed:

And last of all, hand stitch the bottom closure shut so you dont see the elastic, but be careful not to catch the elastic with your needle, just sew the tea towel:

And voila, your new plastic bag dispenser, just what you've always wanted?! Pull the plastic bags out from the bottom, and put 'new' ones in the top:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Machine stitched greetings cards

I've made a t-shirt for a friends boy's 6th birthday, out of a plain black t-shirt purchased from Salvos, together with a dinosaur pillowcase and some bias binding. Here it is:

I also made a card to match the gift, which is completely recycled. The blank cards I bought from an etsy seller, they are made with recycled paper/card. I used a square of the same dinosaur pillowcase that I used for the t-shirt, and a picture cut from a dinosaur book that a lady at the op shop gave to me, because it was damaged:

And here is the card - I used a glue stick to hold in place, and then machine stitched over the top. I think it turned out well, so now this is how I will make my Christmas cards!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nautical Cushion Covers

We've had our lounge room cushion covers for about 8 years, and they've starting to look grubby. I hadn't found it necessary to replace them, until I found this nautical themed fabric in my op shop on Tuesday, the lady only charged me $2 for it!

For my first ever home made cushion cover, I used my existing cover as a template, and followed the same fold-over rather than introducing a zip. It took me just under an hour to complete them both, it is possibly the easiest sewing project ever!

Herewith, my first cushion cover refashion:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tea Towel Toy Bag

So I bought this cute little Gold Coast tourist tea towel from Salvos. Originally I thought about sewing it onto a skirt for a fashion item, but didn't really look right when I tried it, so what to do with this little thing?

Then I came accross Curly pops blog with a tutorial to make a drawstring tea towel bag, and thought that was a great idea.

We're off to the Gold Coast in November, so I made the tea towel into a drawstring toy bag for my son to keep him entertained on the flight. I have started to store some small toys in the bag that I have op-shopped, and will bring the bag out when we take off... hopefully that will keep him busy! How cute are the little lorikeets?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vintage Tea Towel Sunhat

I'm really into vintage tea towels of late, having purchased a Gold Coast tourist tea towel from Salvos last week. I am going to make my tea towel into a bag, which I will blog about next (in the process of sewing!).

In the meantime, I have been searching for other things to make from vintage tea towels, and found this brilliant childrens sun hat on etsy, made by a Melbourne artisan sueneale. It is made from a Kakadu National Park vintage tea towel. Love those green and yellows with the frill necked lizard, ideal for an adventurous little boy!

USD$35 by sueneale.

Some people are so clever!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Necktie Owls

These little critters are hand stitched. They are little owl brooches made from mens neckties. There is always an abundance of mens neckties in op shops, some of which have beautiful fabric, so what better way to use upcycle them into cute little necktie owls!

Necktie owls are versatile little creatures, as well as brooches, they can also be pinned to bags, sewn onto baby blankets, gift cards, etc.

The idea is from Ally over at Harrys Desk

I am giving away three sets of mummy and baby owlets on my other blog Recycled Fashion if anyone is interested.

Three little owl sets need new homes

And Ally is giving away necktie owl tutorials on her blog if you would like to learn how to make your very own cute little necktie owls.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Personalised Sail Boats

I ordered one of these personalised sail boat from George @ kitty n kitsch

Gorgeous arent they? At $14 USD on Etsy, they are a real bargain too. George makes these beautiful boats from recycled fabric bought in op shops, hemp string, and a cinnamon stick so they smell yummy too!

Such a clever idea for a gift for a little boy, or even an adult - for a nautical themed bathroom.

The alphabet fabric George uses can be personalised, I asked George to use two letters for a newborn baby boy's initials, and his Mum absolutely loved it.

Really clever eh?