Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

14 Unexpected Benefits of Hand Sewing


Every now and again I'll go on a mending or refashioning spree, and I'll share it with you guys. What I don't share are the many times I thread a needle to stitch on a button or repair a small hole in a shirt I love ... or put small darts in a dress otherwise too wide for my daughter; by hand. I was raised by a tribe of woman who sewed - not in some precious, artistic way... it was simply a survival skill for them, like being able to boil an egg. I realize that this mindset has shifted, and our generation is more likely to replace than repair. So I recently gave the 7.5 year old Ms R her first lesson in sewing on a button. And as we worked together, I realized again how valuable it is for her to learn things like this. Why?

ReFab@Home: Sentimental about towels (!)

I'm turning the lense on two of my repurposes today.  In case you can't tell, I'm unabashedly sentimental about "stuff".  If it means something to me, I try hard to find a way to keep it around. But I don't hoard (much) - I've moved enough times in my life to be very very scared of my potential inner hoarder.  And, I really like my stuff to have a purpose - not hide in a drawer.  


Towel #1:  One of my oldest friends gave me a hand-painted tea towel / pot-holder gift set about 12 years ago. I love the colors and its Cape Town origins. Ultimately I didn't use it much in the kitchen because all that bright white wouldn't stand a chance. But I hung on to it. When I got a new sewing machine a couple of years ago, I wanted a simple cover and found the tea-towel idea via Martha.  My towel wasn't quite big enough, so I cut it in half and added a strip of bright cotton across the top.  I cut the painted cherries out of the pot holder and appliqued them to the plain side of the cover.  And voila.


Towel #2: When my gran moved from her little flat into a nursing home, my mom selected a few of her things to store for me.  Including a set of 2 thin, oddly sized towels from the 50s.  The fact that my grandmother still had these towels in the 90s tells me something about my genetic predisposition!  I loved the orange detail on them but could never figure out how to use them (odd size).  Then, on a whim some time last year, I chopped one up and turned it into a smock/apron.  Because when I cook, I seem to need to wash and dry my hands 15 times.  I added bright orange ribbon, some hand-sewn detail on the pockets... and now it hangs in the kitchen, actually getting its delicate 1950's hands dirty. 

Repurpose: Messenger bag from Cargo pants!



Two awesome tutorials to step you through upcycling those ratty old cargo pants.  The version above is from Noodlehead.  The version below is from Bludor


Upcycle: Plastic Bottle Cap Pincushion ...




Beyond cute, right?  Check out Michele's whole post for more plastic-cap re-use ideas.  



DIY: Owl and Butterfly pins...

 

  

These lovely felt brooches are care of Bugs and Fishes by Lupin.  Here's the pattern for the owl pins.  Find the butterfly pattern here

DIY: Candoo Creatures!





Here are my latest "doodle twoots" and I've made some changes.  Less shaping of the actual body than on the first one but much more applique.  I've also put the wing-shaped gift-card/note/tooth-fairy-money holder on the back rather than the front, and it's bigger.  I wonder WHOO will be getting these for Christmas?  The mail snails are next!

PS: I would love some feedback on these creatures.  If I can maintain momentum, I'm thinking of selling them as "finish-it-yourself" type kits via Etsy.  So please leave me a comment or twooooooooo.