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.
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.
With all these wonderful papercraft tools it can be easy to overlook the basic pillow box for those little (in size, not necessarily value) gifts.
Rescue a humble empty loo roll or paper towel tube from recycling, flatten it lightly and cover it with your choice of lightweight paper- wet glue is fine if it doesn’t soak your chosen paper. (Some people sterilise their tubes in the microwave before crafting with them)
Take a round object, such as the tape roll shown here. Lay it so you can score an arc from side to side of the tube on each ‘side’ of the flattened tube and at each end, four scores in all.
Gently push each scored arc towards the middle to create the pillow effect.
‘Snap’ was a local word for packed lunch in Nottingham/ Derbyshire when I was living there many, many years ago. So these lunch bags fastened with Kam snaps had an obvious snappy name.
I used remnants of vinyl from an Amazon job lot which meant cutting front and back panels to use the fabric best. If you have a plasticised tablecloth or even a heavy duty shower curtain to upcycle that would work well.
Because the remnants weren’t squared, one of the sunflower bags has an angled flap which needs three snaps to keep it closed well. But because the colour of the snaps is a positive (there were about 20 sachets of different colour snaps in the beginner set I bought) it makes the end result better in a quirky way.
While the snaps were out I made a small lined bag (angled flap and 3 snaps again) and turned the cuff end of a shirt sleeve (left over from last week’s laundry bag make) into a phone holder to avoid scratches when it is in my bag.
to make: cut vinyl into required shape (back bigger so the flap folds over)
with right sides facing sew round the sides and bottom – use a long stitch length to make as few puncture holes in the vinyl as possible and don’t do too many back stitches at beginning and end or the vinyl will be too holey and might tear when in use.
trim seam allowance and clip the seam really close to the stitches at the corners before turning right sides out – the clipping helps neaten the corners as vinyl is quite bulky.
fold the edges of the flap over and seam these in place, on one of the bags I used zig zag for this to hide a blooper I had made.
position the snaps or you could use Velcro to finish the bag…
Thanks to Edward for finally clearing out his aging shirts. The less lovely patterns will be used to line projects but this shirt is worth using on the outside
I decided to keep the placket (learnt that word from Sewing Bee) so just chopped off the collar and sleeves leaving equal rectangles. (I unpicked a dart on the back but this really wasn’t necessary).
I then cut two matching rectangles from lining material (I am finally making headway into the old duvet cover that is flattering up my fabric stash/jumble).
To make a drawstring tube, I cut two strips of fabric from the remnant about 10 inches by 4, hemmed the short ends and ironed under about an inch on the long sides before stitching the long ends a couple of inches down from the top of the outside of front and then back of the shirt
With right sides facing I hemmed the sides and bottom of both shirt and lining (leaving a gap for turning in the bottom of the lining. I boxed the corners with a 2 inch box cut out but this isn’t necessary.
I then turned the lining right sides out and sat it inside the shirt bag. I pinned the tops of the bags together, matching the seams and smoothing out any wrinkly bits before hemming all the way round.
I pulled the shirt through the gap in the lining, stitched the gap shut and then pushed the lining back inside the bag. I ironed and top stitched around the top hem before threading cord loops through the drawstring.
This is an easy project as the shirt front does all the style work needed. I didn’t even stitch the two sides of the front together, just left them buttoned up. This means the user could tuck things between front and lining if desired. And that’s in addition to the original shirt pocket on the front. I did put fabric tabs over the cord ends to use up some of the little remnants but it’s really not required.
Perhaps this is too good for a laundry bag!
On another version I tried using the sleeves to shape the bag by cutting just inside the shoulder seam. It made the bag slightly wider but a bit more fiddly and saggy when finished.
I am ridiculously proud of this make as it really is better than bought
I couldn’t find pillowcases to go with a bargain duvet cover As I had some dotty fat quarters that would complement my purchase I decided to make a trim for some custom pillowcases.
I recycled a retired duvet cover rather than buy sheeting as this was an experiment, gosh it worked out well as the duvet was good quality cotton. I made the trim by combining strips from fat quarters, the new blade in my Rotary cutter made short work of this stage.
I followed the magic pillowcase aka sausage pillow case aka burrito pillow case technique. This sandwiches a 24″ x 40″ panel and a 12″ x 40″ panel around the 2″ x 40″ trim and encloses all the seams to make it a really nice, clean make.
The folding seems ridiculous but it does work. I watched an old Crafty Gemini video as she explains the steps most clearly to me.
A quick sew which turned out more rustic than planned so will be used for picking up logs and coal.
I cut around the pockets of some old jeans making four pads from one pair and trimmed batting and a fabric remnant to match.
Making a sandwich with the pockets and fabric right sides out around the batting. I then sewed the raw edge of a strip of denim binding made from the same jeans (see previous post) to one side of the sandwich then flipped it over and sewed the folded edge to the other side.
The bulk made this a bumpy sew, so next time I will cut a bigger square around pockets and use traditional binding for a neater finish that can grace the kitchen.
Top tip: Although I have run out of insulbright I have worked out that old ironing board covers do just as good a job with less bulk…