Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blue Jean Bag Gets Blinged Up With Shiny Buttons

This is another blue jean bag I stitched out of old jeans but this time I blinged it up with some of the buttons I seem to have accumulated lately. I just hacked off the leg pieces from a pair of discarded blue jeans, and cut out the zipper placket part and stitched it together. I specifically made the side seams of the jeans the center line on each "front side of the bag so it would look less like the top of a pair of ole blue jeans!  I also lined the bag with a scrap of bright colored polyester material I'd been given when someone cleaned out their fabric stash. I then added a zipper across the top of the lining "bag" to make the blue jean bag more useful and secure.
The easiest way to put the zipper in was to stitch the zipper in the lining first and then stitch the lining itself together and then put the lining into the bag after the lining was sewn together. I just had to be sure I kept the right side of the lining facing inward!  And where I had difficulty sewing the lining "bag" into the top seam area where the fabric is thickest, such as where the handles were stitched on, I used the hot glue gun instead rather than busting my sewing machine!  I also used the hot glue gun to stick on all the shiny buttons I decorated this with.  It seemed I'd accumulated a lot of shiny buttons from my mother's house when we cleaned it out after she died, and also another seamstress (sewciopath!) had handed off to me her supply of extra buttons.  So I found sets of shiny buttons and arranged them on somewhat haphazardly but following the seam lines.  It's a great shoulder bag and I've been using it a lot and get a lot of compliments about it!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Old Socks Become Lace-Edged Wrist Cuff Warmers

Lace border on the "sock" sleeve extender
Used quite a long sock for the sleeve extender
I stitched up some lacy sleeve cuff extenders recently to keep my wrists warm over the winter.  These were made out of old socks that I cut the feet off from and then just quickly stitched on a lace border, stretching the sock as I sewed the border on.  There was no need to stitch the top as the sock top is sufficient.  I just wear these on my lower arms, especially when the sleeves of the sweater don't reach all the way to my wrist (as I have long arms).  And they can make a dumpy sweater look a little  more interesting!  I made a pair of these and am quite happy with this reuse of a pair of old socks and some left-over lace border! I just slip them on when I think my wrists might get chilly!

Crazy Quilt Finally Finished After Ten Years

Close up of central ornamental part
Full view on the bed.
I finally finished a quilt that I started over ten years ago. It is made of scraps of fabric and ribbon and bits of found lace that I stitched together at odd times over the years. It was sitting in my stash of "unfinished sewing projects" for way too long. About a year ago (!) I got the final pieces seamed together along the edges and this week I stitched on a backing. This was an old flannel sheet with a pretty floral design on it that I got for $3 at the Salvation Army Family Store and that makes a nice warm cozy back to the quilt top as I decided to forgo inserting batting between the two layers of fabric.  I was inspired to finish this by watching a PBS TV show recently -- Sewing with Nancy -- on making quilts where Nancy (Zieman) showed how to make perfect squares and triangles and how to arrange them for classic quilt designs.  Well, my quilt is not like that but more along the lines of a 'crazy quilt' in terms of design, as crazy quilts are basically easier to make as you kind of make them up as you go along which is how this quilt got made!  I recycled an old loose weave cotton knit blanket on the inside as the "batting" and added a full size flannel sheet for the underside.  It's large enough that the quilt can lie on top of a king size bed or can hang over the edges on a smaller bed.  It's mostly pinks, reds, greens and a lot of floral bits with some lace and ribbons and a stitched down ruffled part in the center, so the overall effect is on the "feminine" side. I've done some stitching in the ditches, but not completely throughout the quilt.  I'm thinking I might sell this quilt if someone makes me an offer and I can bear to part with it!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Baggy Brown 80s dress Gets a Make Over from Size 12 to Size 4

It must have been the floral print on the brown black background that got me. As well as the shirt front neckline and the buttonholes down the front with self-fabric covered buttons, all nicely worked and hard for me to have sewn myself (as if I could be bothered!).  I snagged this dress at a Salvation Army store and, inspired by other sewing queens on Pinterest, I felt compelled to buy this dress -- a Size 12 --  which is way too big for me,  for $3.99 and challenged myself to see if I can do the Tim Gunn "make it work" refashionista thing and to turn it into something I would actually wear out of the house, that is, into a Size 4 summer dress.  Basically it was a  massive hack-down: I slashed 2 inches out of each side seam and cut off 6 inches off the bottom and hemmed it. I also took in every one of the four vertical darts another inch or so to get the volume of the dress down even smaller and give it more curves! The piece that got cut off the bottom became a self tie belt.   I ripped out the lumpo shoulder pads and snipped out the sleeves completely, then shortened the two shoulder seam widths by about half an inch and hemmed the arm hole openings.  After a jolly good ironing, I tried it on and hey presto chango, had meself a new dress.  I've gotten a few compliments wearing this out as it has a dressy look but is very comfortable, machine washable, and cool to wear! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blue Jean Leftover Fabric Becomes Boys' Room Banners

It was fun using up the leftover blue jean fabric scraps to make banners for two boys' bedrooms. For each letter, I created a simple triangle-shaped pattern and stitched down the sides and created a casing at the top.  I then cut out the letters in a contrasting fabric, tracing them first on the fabric, and overstitched them with zigzagging onto the triangle-shaped pieces.  The "cord" holding the banner pieces together is made from the thick leg seams and threaded through the casing with a large safety pin.  I then just thumb tacked these to the walls!  Depending on the number of letters in the name, you can run these up in less than two hours.