Showing posts with label upcycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label upcycling. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Cardigan upcycled from a skirt!

This week has been a slow sewing week for me - filled with good intentions after a lovely birthday weekend I came down with a cold and resigned myself to making it through work and settling on the sofa when I was at home.  That said I did continue to work on the project using my Grandmas' old skirt.
 She didn't want it anymore and kindly gave it to me to use as fabric.  I loved the swirls and the general print and originally thought I would just make it into a skirt that fitted me.  But then I saw someone sporting a fabulous jacket made from a similar pattern and was immediately inspired.

I lay out my fabric - trimming the edges and the waist band to see how much use-able fabric I had left.  Despite my grand ambitions to do something structured I realised fast that I needed to change that plan because skirts actually aren't that big.

I decided instead to go for a smaller version of the slouch cardigan that you can check out here

I followed the pattern from my original cardigan but made it about 25" by 35".  Once I tried it on I realised I needed to take out some of the length because the sleeves had way too much fabric in them for being such a cropped cardigan.  I snipped away and ended up with this!

So easy - so slouchy and so comfy - which if I am really honest is super important for me when it comes to clothes.  I've already worn it to work, out for a coffee and just as a quick throw on jacket as I head out the door when the suns out.

This is why I love upcycling - an old skirt that is no longer wanted and doesn't fit turned into something useful, wearable and funky.  

Next project has to be something more ambitious but I have to fearing ruining some of my gorgeous fabric.  Watch this space to see what happens next . . .

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Stitching challenge

So I am shamelessly on the scrounge for inspiration!
I fancy sewing something new and different, maybe that involves learning some new techniques and skills.  It could be for me or to give away.  It could be useful or just for fun.
What have you wanted to try but never found the time or not quite sure how? Send them through to me on the comments or via facebook and I'll take a look.
If you send me something I'll blog my way through making it - my failures and successes.  Hopefully in the end it will be something filled with fabulousness!
So what do you reckon? Let me know your thoughts and hopefully I'll be busy stitching soon!
Don't forget if it involves upcycling I'm likely to be up for it!
Thanks everyone - can't wait to see the challenges you send me! :-)

Thursday, 2 January 2014


So it's 2014!!! I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of new years.  The evening itself tends to lean towards people going over the top and I've never been a big new years resolution kind of person.  That said I have learnt the benefits of a bit of self reflection and planning some goals for the future so this year I'm trying to embrace it a bit more.

2013 saw the start of blogging for me and also starting to sell one or two bits and pieces that I make.  It's been fun and I think in terms of my crafting I want 2014 to look much the same.  I have some thoughts - they aren't exactly measurable new years resolutions but more a general direction I would like to see things head in this year.

 I want to make sure I take time out regularly to make something new or try a new technique.  I have learnt that I am not so good at re-producing en mass lots of the same thing (I get bored far too easily and end up distracted).  I ended up doing this for the craft fair and I have much more fun tweaking things each time I make them.  

 I also want to keep blogging and build up a network of people that follow me/I follow to keep sharing new and exciting ideas.  I really do enjoy sitting down to write and share with you all what I'm thinking or getting up to.  Plus to help each other out when we get stuck!

 I also want 2014 to be a year where I think a little less about myself and try to look at what is going on around me - in the city where I live, in my country and in the world.  I still have to figure out exactly what this looks like but I'll be sure to share with you as I get more clear on how it is right for me to do this!  If this had a crafty twist to it as well then I'd be pretty happy!

It would be nice to sell a few bits and pieces as I go along over on etsy or on facebook but I don't want to make this the focus of what I do.  I went shopping before Christmas and got some new to me fabric and it was super exciting to spend money that had been made from selling things I make.  So if I could sell enough products that mean it doesn't cost me anything to sew then that would be awesome.  Anything else would be a bonus!

So there you have it - a little bit scatty but a few thoughts for the year - I'm sure there are many other things like getting the garden going and being healthy but with the current deluge of rain outside all I can think about is curling up indoors so for now I just have sewing on the brain!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from 2013.

I hope you all had a wonderful new year and are starting to feel settled again after the madness!  Do send me your projects from 2013!  I'd love to see what you got up to.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Adding a little something

This week I've been busy stitching various bits and pieces for Christmas.  Some mini stockings and a few gifty pieces.  All of the thought to winter inspired me to turn my attention to my living room.
All of my furniture is second hand and starting to look somewhat tired.  I decided to attempt a bit of a dye job on the sofas to add some colour.  We live in a rental property so the walls are neutral and when we moved in the biggest and most comfortable sofa we could find was cream.  I love it - space for two to stretch out, just the right amount of squish and the right height - generally it's a great sofa.  That said there's only so much cream one person can take. 
  So I embarked on upgrading my sofa.  I bought dylons burlesque red which is a deep purple-red and looks gorgeous on the box.  Armed with a few boxes and lots of salt I stripped the fabric off the sofa.
  I have to admit it was a bit of a mission.  Dividing the covers into roughly equal loads.  Washing with dye.  Washing without dye and then drying all the covers.  I didn't dare to put them in the dryer in case they shrank so for a few days we had sofa covers draped from chairs and clothes horses all over the place.
The finished effect?  Well it certainly isn't completely progressional.  I think a larger machine would have allowed more movement in the fabric.  My tiny machine has left a bit of mottling and crease lines across the covers where it couldn't move enough.  I was concerned that I had ruined the sofa but once the covers were on I think it looks pretty funky.  It has a bit of an aged effect to it and I think the mottling blends in with the age of the sofa.  All in all I'm happy plus I've learnt some good lessons about dye and fabric.
  I feel inspired to play about more with colour and try to experiment with dye a little bit more - here's to some more experimental upcycling! :-) who knows maybe a little bit of art coming up.
Watch this space.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Stuffed bunnies

This week I have been working in the afternoons so have spent happy mornings in my attic stitching away.  It has turned into a productive week with a maxi dress finished (photos will come shortly), a few tote bags made, some coin purses stitched and I've also been making these adorable stuffed bunnies.

This blog post just proves that these days you can find anything you want on the internet.  I had been wanting to make some cute stuffed animals but due to my terrible drawing skills I needed a template.  A quick flick through Google images and I found one!

This wonderful blogger has also shared a ready written how to guide so I'm not going to repeat her good work but just share it for you all to follow.  So please check it out!

I plan to add some little eyes to the bunny with some buttons on some and on others a little cross made out of embroidery thread.

As always I have made these bunnies from fabric that has been sourced from charity shops, ebay and other up-cycling projects.  I've been amazed at the luck I have had recently in finding beautiful fabrics that are in amazing condition being sold off for pennies.

Here is a selection of my recent finds - any suggestions of what you think I should do with them???

Hope your all enjoying your week - will post again soon :)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Back to the blog - how to make EYE MASKS

After a few weeks away with sickness and all sorts going on I thought on this gorgeously sunny morning I would complete a project and do some blogging.
 I recently signed up to do a craft fair for the first time.  It's all a bit of an experiment to be honest but it has got me thinking of new things that I can make that people would enjoy owning or giving as gifts.  This morning I made an eye mask which was surprisingly simple, reasonably quick and gives a good professional finish which is always very satisfying.

To do this project you will need:

  • Fabric in the pattern of your choice
  • A sheet of thin foam ( I used craft foam for kids)
  • A backing fabric
  • Paper for the stencil, pencil and scissors
  • Pins
  • Elastic
  • Bias binding
  • The usual needle and thread :)
You need to cut out your template - I traced an eye mask I already had but a quick look in google images will give you a selection to print and trace if you aren't confident with your free hand. 
Now pin the template onto the fabric and cut around as you would with any pattern.  Repeat this on your foam and your backing fabric.
Place all three together - backing fabric then foam then your patterned fabric on top facing right side upwards.  Now pin together to avoid movement and sew around the edge.  It helps to stay close to the edge so you aren't going to have a hard time hiding the stitching later.
You should be left with something like this.

Now take your bias binding and elastic.  You need to mark with a pin where you want your elastic to sit on either side of the mask.  It needs to be placed at an equal distance on both sides from the top and the bottom to ensure you don't end up with a wonky mask.
 Begin to fold the bias binding round the edge of the mask and pin in place.  As you reach the points for your elastic insert the elastic into the fold at the back of the mask.  The elastic should just lie flat against the mask.

 Now you need to choose a thread that matches the bias binding or choose an appropriate contrast.  You now need to sew round the edge of the bias binding adjusting as you go to avoid any creases.  At this point it is worth going slow and steady and staying close to the edge of the binding.  This line of stitching will show and makes part of the finished product so it is important the stitching is neat and steady.

Now trim any loose threads and there you have it - a perfect gift for yourself or someone else!  Enjoy and don't forget to send me pics of your progress - you can tweet me @jenniwessels

Till next time :) 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Charity shop delve

I love a good charity shop delve and headed out today for a gorgeous day out for much nibbling, chatting and charity shop shopping with a great friend.
I found some fab fabric and bits and pieces but started off the day at home unearthing a treasure I'd bought months ago.
A trip out wandering through fratton dipping in and out of shops I stumbled upon a gorgeous dress.  How much - £1 - bargain!
I took it home tried it - loved it - and burried it.  Something wasn't quite right.
This morning I pulled it out my wardrobe and set to work.  I pulled out some old boning that was bent to such a strange angle it definately did nothing for me.  A simple unpick and re-stitch did the trick.
  Then I took the pointy top and folded them over to create a shape I like better over the bust.  A quick stitch and I was away.
  I didn't have the good sense to take a before photo but thought I'd share with you the after photo.
  It just shows if your willing and able to put in a tiny bit of time and effort those bargains are still out there to be found!

Post your charity shop treasures too! :-)