Friday, 28 February 2014

Tablecloth skirt

I bought this table cloth from a charity shop a week or so ago for £3.50.  More than perhaps I would like to spend on a tablecloth 2nd hand but I couldn't leave it behind!  I love those yellow flowers too much!  I knew immediately what I would be doing with it so as soon as I had a spare evening I got going!

 To start I folded the circular cloth into half and repeated until it was folded in 8ths.  I measured how long I would like the skirt to be and then cut the point off so the cloth equaled to this length allowing 1.5cm seam allowance.  This cloth was already edged at what will become the bottom of the skirt so no extra seam allowance needed here!

Now I have a large circular piece with a whole in the middle.  I cut where I wanted the back seam to be and then measured the length of the fabric.  It was 80cm and I needed to half it.

I set about pinning my gathers.  I used 8cm per gather and folded it so that the 8cm became 4cm therefore by the time I had finished my skirt is half the length of when I started.  I used the same gathering as I did here so click on the link to get the full tutorial.  Once you have pinned your pleats run a line of straight stitching to hold them in place and press firmly.

 I then overlocked the raw edges which can be done with a zig zag stitch if you don't have an overlocker and ran a straight stitch down the back seam to join the skirt.  Laying the zip onto the seam I stitched that in and then opened the seam with an unpicker where the zip will do up.
 Now I added a bias binding waist band.  This can be made as thick or thin as you like - I really liked the little band on this skirt so I went for it.
 And here you have it the finished skirt.
 And the skirt on me . . .
 And with a little shake of the hips you see the full swing-y-ness of this skirt and the reason why I was so happy to find such a lovely circular fabric.  This is a skirt to go dancing in!  Today it shall simply accompany me to a lunch date with a friend but one day I shall take it for a proper spin!

I'm pretty happy with the result - 1.5hours work(if you can call it that as for me sewing is an absolute pleasure) and £3.50 later I have a fab new skirt - plus I can say - Yes I did make that :)
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Some fabulous Upcycling

I thought I would take some time to do a bit of a post about some of the fabulous upcyclers that I come across.  I keep finding the most amazing creations made from old or unused things so thought I would do a post to shout out to some of these fantastic artists. So here goes . . .

A gorgeous upcycle of a toddlers tunic made from an old top!  This is by xoxo grandma - just click on the link to pop across to a whole load of sewing fabulousness! I love the gathering on this and the belt is too cute!

A sweater from a charity shop to a gorgeous bag - the detail on this is fantastic!  Pop over to visit Gina at Gina's craft corner

Here is a bright funky skirt made from old jeans and trousers!  I think both will get loads more use now!  This is from angel joy - hippy chick a blog filled with a whole variety of thoughts and ideas!

A fab accessory to any outfit here!  Pop across to this link from Vicky over at her blog - lots of fun ideas to see!

A bit of a smarter upcycle here and executed so very well!  A bridesmaids dress into a cute skirt that can be dressed up or down!  Perfect from ChiChi - pop over and explore!

And in the tone of my last blog post here is another tutorial on how to upcycle t-shirts in pants!  These ones are for your little ones but it's adaptable to any size!  I love those teddy bears!  This is from Irene over at Serger Pepper - a fantastic seamstress with loads of ideas and trouble shooting thoughts!

And here is the most surprising upcycle that never would have occurred to me but totally works.  An umbrella upcycled into a bike bag!  Fabulous idea and complete with lights from Green Issues by Agy

And finally a bit of a different upcycle - jewellery made from spoons!  I love this - it is so creative and funky!
This comes from Callaloux Bikoux and you can buy these lovely things on facebook so pop across and say hi!

Well I hope you have enjoyed my little wander around some fellow bloggers work - I certainly have.  Do pop across to their blogs and shops and give them a follow or a like.  I think this post represents what I love so much about upcycling really well - reduce waste and be super creative and innovative while your at it!
 I hope you feel inspired - till next time! :)

Monday, 17 February 2014


 In my bid to buy ethically I went on an internet hunt for ethically produced knickers.  There are a fair few companies out there making some fabulous things but when I looked at the prices I knew it was just too much for me to spend on underwear.  Most pairs started at about £18 each so a weeks worth would cost me £126! Ouch!  know that fair trade is always going to cost more but what do you do when that more is just that bit too much for you to afford?

Well I have been doing a bit of a trial on making my own - I know crazy right!  My impression was that it would be incredibly fiddly and technical and generally an absolute nightmare!  Well apparently not - the hardest part about making knickers was the fact that my machine broke about every line of stitching I did!

I did a bit of a pinterest search and found this fab instruction sight from drumbellina.

So I set about chopping and stitching - I have some t-shirt fabric that I have not used up completely yet so thought I would do a bit of a trial run with that before I advance to more fancy fabric.

I changed the instructions slightly and instead of using pinking shears to edge I used my overlocker.  So here are my very rough test pair!

You can see on the top stitching where my machine is jumping a bit at the minute which doesn't give the greatest finish - but in general I'm happy with the result.  Although I am unlikely to use these and will keep them as a sample I did try them on and I have to say - super duper comfy!
The experiment has certainly inspired me to look out for some nice fabrics and finishes to add into the next lot that I make.  
Have any of you tried making underwear?  I'm definitely not about to start sewing bras just yet but am getting going in designing some funky knickers to start stitching!  Send me your pics of what you have sewn!
Hope you are all surviving the weather!

Monday, 10 February 2014


The past week or so has been about trying to re-imagine how I use my time - where do all those little pieces of time disappear to that could be used in a much more positive way.  I set myself a little challenge to actively avoid the tv and see how that went. 
I have to confess, quite ashamedly, to feeling mild panic about three days in when faced with a morning off.  The rain was pouring, I'd done gym already and I wasn't feeling particularly creative.  Obviously it was ridiculous to feel that way and I continued my day happily sewing and doing jobs round the house before work but it highlighted to me how programmed my mind is to think I need this box in front of me in order to relax.  Over Christmas I was surprised again at the number of ads flying through my mind each day.  I grew up without a tv and I realized I didn't know I was supposed to want to visit Disney land and therefore was quite happy with some fab family holidays in cottages and the countryside. I'm not sure I want a tv to dictate how I think so I continued to try to keep it off.  Now a week and a half in I feel great - I love the peace in the house, I love reading and listening to music.  I love eating dinner at the table instead of off my lap because that program I just have to see is on right now. We all know I love sewing so that's a given! ;-)  but I can say in all honesty I don't miss it in the slightest!
So for now my decision is definitely to keep the tv off - probably to remove it altogether in the long run - and try to explore some simple pleasures in life.
Have you made any changes in 2014 that you'd like to share? Do send me a message - maybe I'll look at a feature post of all of your transforming moments so far!
Till next time