Useless (not pointless)sewing

A mini apron with bib and tie to decorate a bottle! A project from the rebecca page sewing summit this week.

One for the present drawer… it did teach me how to make a faced round neck hole though so lesson learnt.

I opened up some iron on vinyl to decorate and make it super kitsch.

Stamping and colouring fabrics

First of the custom size mats

I up-cycled a beloved old shirt into mats this week. The fabric was ironed on to a firm interfacing, then a rummage through old stamps unearthed florals suitable for creating this border image.

Stazon ink and Ikea fabric pens were used before the mat was trimmed to a neater rectangle. A backing fabric adhered with spray fabric glue was then sewn permanently with my machine’s decorative blanket stitch.

To finish I sewed another decorative stitch through the stamping then decorated with some Pebeo Perlen fabric ‘pearl drops’.

Once heat set with an iron this is theoretically washable.

So I made more!

Mask helpers

My mum has problems ‘fiddling’ her face mask, glasses and hearing aid around her ears so I have made some helpers to keep the mask elastic away from her ears.

Not sure how tight her mask elastic is so two versions made for her to try.

Small is two pieces of 6” by 2” fabric. Large is 7” by 2”.

Just sew both pieces right sides facing, leave a turning gap then turn right sides out. Top stitch around the edge to close gap and tidy up. Fix buttons at each end.

Bonus! I learnt how to use my sewing machine to fix buttons.

Shirt conversion quickie

Blame me if the weather breaks … I have just converted his shirts (some of them) to short sleeved.

A simple chop and hem job using a ‘proper’ short sleeve shirt to get the length right. Just cut off an inch and a half below the intended hem line. Keep the chopped off bits for crafty projects.

Turn shirt inside out, press a hem along the intended length and then turn under the raw edge about a quarter of an inch. Press again, pin and stitch around the sleeve.

Tip: remove the bed from your sewing machine so you can turn the fabric as you sew. Tip 2: start stitching at the under arm seam so if there are any gathers (if the sleeve tapers) they can be hidden underneath.

Hand stitched cards

A labour of love but deeply satisfying. Inspired by the excelllent Craft World blog I sketched, punched and stitched on to some strong paper.

This is a great ‘use what you have’ project especially if you have time!

Cotton face mask, I know there are issues

Just in case you want to break a face touching habit or deal with a short trip out… adult size requires two pieces 9” x 6” fabric and two 7” pieces of skinny elastic

Update June 2020: I now interface one of the pieces of fabric to provide three layers and give a bit more structure …

To make: put the fabric pretty sides facing and sandwich the elastics inside with the ends poking out from the corners . Leave a 3” gap and stitch around the rest of the edge with a straight stitch. You don’t have to be too precise about seams as long as you sew over the ends of the elastic and keep the rest of the elastic well tucked inside.

Turn right sides out and then pin tucks roughly equal on each side. Three each side should do it.

Finally top stitch all the the way around to close the turn8ng gap and fix the tucks. You are done!

Poo bag holders, on the go!

A cute little bag to carry a roll of poo bags on a key ring. This is a simple variation on the tissue holders I have made by the dozen over the years. Thanks Lorrie Nunemaker for the idea.

Cut outer fabric at 6” by 4 1/2” and lining at 5” by 4 1/2” then cut a 2” square of either fabric. Turn the little square into a loop for the key ring by creasing it in half then folding two sides in to the crease and then folding it again so you have a strip that is 1/2” wide with the raw side edges encased. Sew down the strip (I usually sew two lines to make it look tidier)

Follow the tissue holder instructions: sew the short sides of the two fabric pieces – right sides facing- together then flip right sides out and press so that there is an equal amount of lining at either side. See picture below.

With outer facing up, fold the sides to the middle so they just touch or overlap, and pin. Tuck the loop piece inside where the sides are touching. Sew the top and bottom raw edge and then zig zag those raw edges to tidy them up.

What changes this is to Box the corners with a 3/8” seam before turning right sides out.

The wider lining fabric should just peek out …

Mini oven/coal mitts

A ‘use what you have’ project as I couldn’t bear to throw out some wadding scraps when decluttering.

I made a rough pattern of an oval about 9 inches tall and 6 inches wide. (That is big enough to grab a small log or oven dish.) I cut out four ovals of fabric and one piece of wadding. Two ovals of fabric were cut in half widthways to make the pockets.

Each of the pairs of halves was pinned right sides facing and stitched along the straight edge to make two shapes like this…

Then the pieces were stacked in the following order : wadding, complete piece face up, pocket pieces face up, complete piece face down. Carefully pinned together I stitched around the edge leaving a big turning gap towards the bottom of the oval.

After turning right sides out, flip the pockets inside out and stitch closed the turning gap, then flip them back the right way and you are done.

More reusable face wipes

I have increased my stash of face wipes as they are really useful but have to be washed in a mesh bag so there is often a backlog in the laundry system!

Sixteen more wipes were made from one microfibre face cloth (that came in a set of three from Pound World) and a remnant from a cotton shirt in less than an hour.

I laid the materials right sides facing and sewed 16 circles, leaving a turning gap in each circle. I then trimmed around each circle and flipped them right sides out before hand stitching the turning gap closed.