I am really on the repair/upcycling challenge this month!
As with my younger daughter’s panda hoodie, my older daughter had a grown out of hoodie with a cool motif on it.
This time I decided to marry it with a cushion she already had – a lovely checked number which, believe it or not used to be a pair of shorts I actually wore. (I do worry about my younger self sometimes – and sometimes I admire my ability not to care what anyone else thought…)
The cushion had originally been made in a hurry, but now I had time to recut the fabric so it would be a slightly squarer cushion. I cut out the motif and I was ready to go:
I applied the motif using the same powder as I had used to repair my trousers and then I stitched by hand with a running stitch, to make sure it stays on:
All that was left to do was stitch up the cushion, replace the cushion pad and, because I was feeling lazy I stitched up the bottom on the machine as well:
And here he is complete:
So here I am at January Challenge number 4 on the 25th of January – with a tutorial. Hurray!
This time it is a pink hoodie my daughter got for Christmas 2012 and has now grown out of. She loved the picture however, so I said I would make it into a cushion to add to the collection on her bed.
I loved the shape of the Panda so I decided to keep this as part of the cushion design. I pinned the front and back of the hoodie together, drew a line an inch away from the panda and then cut out the motif:
I then put the pieces right sides together, pinned and sewed a seam all the way round – leaving a couple of inches open at the bottom for stuffing:
before turning it right sides out I clipped the edge all the way round because it is curvy. This gave me a better edge:
I decided not to go for toy stuffing or cushions stuffing. While making my sewing mat I realised I had an entire drawer full of offcuts and fabric bits and pieces that I will never use. I cut these up and used them to stuff the cushion:
When I was happy with the stuffing I sewed the bottom up by hand:
My panda cushions is heavier than a normal cushion – so he is a kind of cushion/toy combo. But he looks great, my daughter loves him and, although I kept a garment from the second hand bag I also have plans for the hood, so the hoodie didn’t die in vain… 🙂
Continuing on the theme of the month, the repair and upcycling basket, next on the agenda was a handbag I bought in a second hand shop in the summer.
I needed a little handbag while I was on holiday, just to hold the old purse, phone, keys and specs and I found one for less than £5. Ok it was khaki and it had HOOCH embroidered on it, but it did the job for the week away.
When I came home my bigger and much loved usual handbag broke. Aaaargh! Since September I have been using my summer purchase (and starting to really dislike the embroidery and the useless flappy inside pocket) so I decided to do something about it.
Here it is pre scissors and unpicker…
It took me quite a while to get rid of the embroidery, but I persevered because I wanted to use some iron on transfers I had. I also took great pleasure in cutting out the useless flappy pocket.
I chose tree and plaid motifs that went with the khaki and followed the instructions very carefully, because I am apt to rush… As you can see I was successful.
I was going to buy some co-ordinating ribbon to rebind the edges, but during January Challenge 2 I rifled through a forgotten bias binding stash and serendipitously found the perfect colour for my bag too. Result!
I am pleased with it overall; the colours work well and the binding really pulled it together – I’d still rather have my old, bigger bag though… 😦
This week’s photo challenge got me thinking about what emotions family puts us through. We all have our ups and downs within our family unit – individuals can’t live in a group together without some conflict, however small and sometimes these moments of strain grow bigger in our heads than all the moments of love put together.
But occasionally there is a moment of pure joy. A moment that makes you laugh until you cry. A moment that helps me remember how good it is to be a mum and share that moment with the two amazing human beings that I helped to create.
Now that’s memory making: “remember when we cleared out the craft boxes…?”
In the past I was an organised person, but I think that’s because it was just me.
Now, with a family, I am really quite disorganised, but the ‘preparing to teach’ course I did recently reminded me why preparation is definitely the key when it comes to running a well planned session.
With that in mind I have spent the evening painting juice cartons white in preparation for my Guide meeting tomorrow when we will be making birdhouse style bird feeders.
Eight down, 22 to go… 🙂
I thought, as I had tidied my craft space, I would get the sewing machine out of it’s hidey hole and into use.
It makes a bit of a rattle on the table so the first thing I wanted to make this year was a mat to go underneath it.
With my upcycling challenge in mind, I got out all the smallish scraps I had from old clothes and donated bits of cloth. I looked around for a template and found a handy square envelope, then I got to work cutting 12 squares for the top of my mat.
Then as neatly as I could, given all the different fabric types and my tendency to rush, I sewed the squares together 3 x 4.
This fitted neatly under my machine and then I had a brainwave. In my stash had a piece of practice quilting from a class I took some years ago (it’s the wiggly embroidery on the right there). I added this to the end of the piece, to make a place to stick pins, lay scissors etc.
I used an old fleece blanket for the filler and the legs of lovely husband’s trousers (left over from making them into shorts!) for the backing. I pinned carefully and then sewed simple lines through all the layers.
Delving into my sewing box I found an unremembered selection of bias binding inherited from lovely husband’s great aunt. I trimmed the edges with this and now I have a beautiful quilted mat that stops my machine being noisy and holds my pins while I sew.
other January challenge posts : darn it! January challenge 1
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that play on words 🙂
I have designated January as the month for upcycling and repairing as I have a large pile of clothing requiring one or the other and I thought it was about time I got underway!
My newest jeans (bought in July) have started to wear at the top of the inside leg – trousers always wear here which is annoying, but at least it’s fixable.
I used Wenko Stoff-Fix to iron a piece of old blue bandana on the inside of the leg where the holes were beginning. I then tried my best, with ordinary thread to darn the right side of the jeans leg. You can see by the photo that I am not particularly skilled. I just wanted to make it stronger.
After that I thought why not add a bit of pazzazz to the area, embroidering lighter blue flowers – ok I’m likely to be the only one who knows it’s there, but as Elbert Hubbard said, “Art is not a thing, it is a way.”
I’ve been having a tidy – instigated by a January challenge post on Sewing Mamas.
This is what my poor craft space looked like before today:
and this is what it looks like now:
I feel ready to get on with my own January challenge: Upcycling.
Watch this space. 🙂
I was having a tidy up today and I came across the book I referred to in my post what to do with all this free time that I wrote in July.
This made me remember that I was going to write up the playdough recipe for you to have a go at and this reminded me that the playdough I made in July still lives in the fridge ready to play with, having already survived numerous uses by my gorgeous girls and their friends.
Now, this week’s photo challenge is ‘window’ and, convoluted as you can see my thinking is, I decided to get said playdough out and have a play.
Here is my offering for the photo challenge: window :
For those of you who would like to play too, this is the recipe from ‘501 TV Free Activities for Kids’ by Di Hodges:
put 1 cup of plain flour, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup cooking salt and 1 tablespoon cream of tartar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until thick. when it has cooled, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and knead well on a floured board. Now you can divide the mixture into six balls and add a different colour to each ball – you can use food colouring as I did or powder paint.
We make sure we separate the colours at the end of play and put them into a plastic lidded box in the fridge. So far they’ve lasted six months.
This is the time of year that lovely Husband and I talk about the allotment and the garden. The year seems full of possibilities and endless time to spend making them both productive and beautiful. I love to look at seed catalogues and go through the seeds we’ve saved and these nasturtium seeds are my favourite. Perfectly formed capsules filled with potential.