Friday, June 20, 2014

Lots of op shop fabric = jackets for me and my girl

On a visit to Albury recently I scored a few lengths of knit fabric from the Vinnies in the centre of town. I have been frequenting that op shop since I was in Year 11 and 12 (that's 1987-88) - it's a good one!
So I found some white, and some black:

And some blue.

The black and white, I turned into a hoodie for myself. I've had this pattern cut out for a while, waiting to find the right fabric.

My friend Ankemaria told me to get over being camera shy and start putting photos of me actually wearing my creations, instead of just on a coathanger. So, here it is: The Sol Hoodie by Jamie Christina.

The white fabric was pretty thin, so I decided to use two layers of it. Made for some very thick pain-in-the-butt seams, especially around the pockets and the neckline, but it was worth it. It's warm enough for our unseasonably warmish winter days, though it wouldn't cut it on a proper June day. 

The fabric lining the hood used to be a top belonging to my friend Georgina. She gave it to me one day when she decided to get rid of it, and remembered that I had admired the fabric one day. Thanks G! The fabric on the band is patchwork fabric I flogged off my Mum a few years ago. Apart from the zip, it's the only non-recycled part of the jacket.

Here's how it looks with the hood up. The pattern calls for buttonholes in the hood band and a drawstring. I made the buttonholes but then thought it didn't really need a drawstring. Next time I wouldn't bother.

You may not have noticed in the first picture, but one of the things I liked about this pattern when I saw it on other sewing blogs was the funky cuffs - they are quite long and have a hole for your thumb. So cute!

Unfortunately...making a design feature like this in white fabric is a bit of a faux pas. I have only worn this twice and I've already unpicked the cuff - it has become filthily feral, just from driving and generally hanging out. I'm going to replace them with black ones, so they last a bit longer than two wears without becoming yuck! 

I'd recommend the pattern, I think it's a really nice hoodie. I know you can pick them up in the shops for next to nothing these days, but not like this one ;) 

So, as soon as Ellie spotted the cuffs on my hoodie, she immediately requested one herself. Enter the blue fabric, combined with a cloud-printed op shop singlet hijacked for the pockets:

Don't you love that rock star bed hair look? 

She didn't want a hoodie though, just a jacket. I used a Kwiksew pattern for kid's pyjamas/tracksuits that I have used a million times in the past 18 years. (The first use for my then 2-year-old niece Brianna, who just turned 20!).  I also made the pyjama pants, but can't claim that as recycled fabric - they're super soft minke fabric I couldn't resist last week in Goulburn. 


Last picture, I promise: Ellie wanted me to put this on my blog. It's a potpourri 'amulet' she made (she also made the potpourri, and then ate all the cinnamon bark out of it - kids are hilarious, aren't they?). 

It even counts as upcycled, as the fabric is from an op-shop doona cover. I have actually made several things out of that doona cover. I willl show you next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two little things...

After more than eight or nine years, I had been thinking that it was finally time to make a new oven glove. The previous one was so feral I didn't even like to touch it! Inspired by a recycled grey woollen blanket that my friend Kahli bought on one of our regular op shop visits to make an ottoman from, I thought we could use some of it as a lining for new oven gloves. We both made one at our Thursday night craft group. 

Spoiler alert though, the funky red fabric is not secondhand in any way. I bought it off the internet one night for absolutely no reason other than I thought it was way cool. I rarely do this, and I am still counting it as something new from something old, because the interior blanket, the binding and the backing were all recycled.

Here's the whole view:

The back is some old curtain fabric I found at a garage sale near Goulburn. The navy binding I made using the bias binding maker (How I love that thing!) from some op shop linen fabric. It frayed like nuts when I was sewing it on but is so much nicer than that god-awful polycotton binding you can buy in the shops.

The second little thing is also not really 'recycled', unless you count fabric that somebody else gave you either from their stash or as a gift. I'm counting it, because it's cute and I want to share it with you! 

It's an iPad cover I made for my Mum's birthday. Funnily enough, two of the fabrics were originally hers :) The third fabric was a gift from my Tai Chi teacher. I added some velvet ribbon from my box of random ribbon offcuts to tie it up.If I'd thought about it beforehand I'd have sewn the ribbon into the seam, but I didn't, of course, so it's just hand-sewn on afterwards. Hopefully it lasts for a while.


It's a very simple bag pattern from a little book of bags that I have. It's called a messenger bag and is meant to have a handle, but I didn't think it really needed one. There's one layer of quilt wadding inside to provide some cushioning. Happy birthday Mum!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby Charlotte's change mat

A new baby in town is a reasonably rare event, given the population of about 101. Oddly enough, three baby girls were born within a few weeks of each other a month or so ago. One of them is Charlotte, who lives just over the back laneway from us. 

I had some fun putting together a bunch of pink remains (that sounds gruesome!) - perhaps I mean pink leftovers - to whip up a quick change mat for Charlotte. Given Ellie's complete abhorrence for anything pink, all the bits I had collected to make girly things for her had basically remained unused. 

It's a bit of a conglomeration - in there are pillowcases and offcuts from the op shop, part of a fat quarter from one of my sewing friends, and a few bits that I did actually buy new, many moons ago. 

The binding was put together from a whole load of strips cut from scraps, I took little note of colour and just chucked it all together. Looked a bit ordinary as a pile of strips, but came out fine as a thin binding. The little tiny green section at the bottom, in between the two brownish sections, is a couple of the last remaining inches of my Nana's leftover dressmaking fabric from the 80's. She used to get most of her dresses made by a local lady in Holbrook. 

 The inside layer is an old towel for soaking up all those sticky baby drools pee and god knows what else. The backing is a bit of black flannel from the op shop in Yass, so it can be put on any surface and dirt won't be too obvious!

Charlotte's mum was very happy to receive the change mat. Best of all she said it might inspire her to take up sewing or something else crafty - I hope she does!