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!

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.

Transparent gift bags

Use what you have for quick make bags…

I have a roll of book covering plastic doing nothing in my stash, so cut rectangles from it and headed to the sewing machine

I folded copy paper (yes I also have a lot of coloured copy paper to use up) over the short ends and stitched it in place with a long zig zag.

The covered ends were folded together and the open sides zig zagged together to make a bag. I even boxed the bottom of the bigger one shown but am not sure it was worth the effort.

Two tips: use an old blunt needle as the plastic will ruin a new needle and long stitch lengths will minimise problems with the plastic slipping.

Snap bags

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‘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

Upcycle shirt into laundry bag

 

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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.

 

 

Felt piggy bank

A57E860C-C238-41E6-8612-288C37168DF0While  the felt and googly eyes were on the table, I remembered this Pinterest inspired ‘to do’.

In practical terms, bigger is better – this one wouldn’t hold many coins, but I was pleased at how easy it was to make from some of my Ali Express little felt squares.

I sketched the outline in pencil direct on the felt then cut it out on two matching pieces of cheap, stiff, nylon felt before zig zag stitching around the coin slot and edges. The googly eyes were stuck on with collage medium.

It might be fun to make a suitcase or flag shaped one for someone saving for a holiday; car shaped or Christmas tree shaped or …