Hand Sewing · Refashion · Upcycling

Autumn Influences – DIY Upcycled Wine Bottle Gift Bag

WP_20160830_14_37_27_ProOne of the first jobs I did after becoming self-employed was taking up some curtains for a friend. He had just moved into a cottage with low ceilings and quite a lot had to come off as the hems would’ve been too heavy left uncut.

I was given the left over fabric and have had it for a little while. I decided instead of giving him a birthday present in a normal paper bag I would make him one out of the off cuts and he could either use it again or use it as a decorative cover for a bottle at home. (He loved it & the contents!)

I love the colours, there is something subtly Scottish about it, the purples and greens are shades of the moors. I had some small pieces of chocolate-brown silk lining which I used to give it a great luxury feel!

With September upon us I fancied making another one and pimping it up with a bit of applique and hand embroidery. I have just started using Fern stitch on the swirls and later I will fill in the gaps with various flower designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Sewing · Refashion · Upcycling

All made up and ready to go!

This week I have made myself a new make up bag that I will be taking on a little trip with me in September. Suitably for a re-made item I will be visiting The Festival of Thrift in Yorkshire.

I love the little change pockets in jeans and I wanted to use the pocket in situ, rather then removing it and putting it something else. So, I unpicked the waistband of the jeans in order to use the whole section easily.

WP_20160809_10_53_46_Pro

MATERIALS REQUIRED

An old pair of Jeans

Lining Material to fit

Zip of suitable length

Extra Strong Thread, a Hand Needle

Pins, Scissors, an Unpicker

A Ruler and Fabric Pen

A Chopstick or suitable poker for the corners!

First, I unpicked the waistband off the top of the jeans – keep this it could make a great bag handle, a fabric bracelet etc. Open up the outside leg seam of the jeans, you could open up the inside as well but it depends on what you else you think you will be making as you might want the fabric width.

When cutting out, cut the front pocket side of the jeans as close as possible to the fly opening and measure up and cut yourself a rectangle, think about the width of the bag ( add on seam allowances, I used 1cm and 1.5cm on the zip) and the size of zip you want to use but you can shorten a longer zip if required. I used an 8″ Zip.

Cut a matching size rectangle for the back and 2 more the same out of your lining fabric. It doesn’t matter if you cut through the pocket bag when making your rectangle on the front piece as you will trap the open edge in the seam later on.

Position the zip between the Denim and lining pieces. Pin one side of the zip in between the topside of the front denim piece (with the pocket) and a piece of the lining with the right sides facing, the right sides should also be covering the zip. Repeat with the other two pieces. You can check that the pieces are correctly pinned before sewing as when you turn them over the zip will be in the middle as seen above.

WP_20160809_10_55_03_Pro

To insert the zip, open out the fabric as seen on the left and stitch along the seam allowance. Make sure that you are not too close to the teeth or the lining will become trapped when you open and close the zip.

Start with the zip closed and as you get closer to the end open the zip so that you can keep the line straight. Repeat on the other side of the zip.

The Zip can be inserted with machine stitching but I  hand stitched the whole thing as essentially I don’t thread up my sewing machine unless I have a good couple of metres of sewing to do or a large project – and I really enjoy hand stitching as I can do it outside in nice weather!

WP_20160810_15_34_29_Pro

Next, open up the bag pieces as shown with the denim on one side and the lining on the other.

Start with the denim piece, lightly pin together ensuring that the bottom edge of the open pocket bag is pinned and will be stitched into the seam if you had cut through it as mentioned earlier. Sew all the way round the denim piece

Next, pin the lining pieces together.This time sew down from the edges and leave a gap in the middle to turn the bag through later on.

As I didn’t overlock my edges I lightly trimmed my seams on both pieces with a pair of pinking shears to stop fraying. Then, I pressed the seams open.

WP_20160810_15_58_26_Pro

After that, turn the bag to the right side through the gap left in the lining. Use your chopstick to carefully poke the corners out.

Fold the raw edges of the lining to the wrong side, so they line up with the seam and stitch the opening shut. I used slip stitch for this.

I hand top stitched the lining and denim together  with running stitch, which traps the seam allowance inside and helps the zip to run smoothly without catching.

WP_20160815_18_49_08_Pro

I used a faded old cotton pillowcase to make my lining from, as the bag is quite small you might see this fabric again in another project!

The Zip I used was quite chunky so I inserted a tab at the point where I stitched the lining and outer sides together. I left a small gap at the end of the zip and poked the tab through so the loop was on the outside and the raw edges were trapped on the inside.

WP_20160815_18_46_37_Pro

READY TO GO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Sewing · Upcycling

New Balls Please!

I had planned to put up a tutorial this week about a fabric cutlery holder I was making but I had one eye on Wimbledon and realised I was half way through before I had taken photos of the method used!

Well, I thought I would do a little post anyway and save the method for another time.

InstagramCapture_a8b0e7a2-f804-4445-9691-1da717930246After I made this bag for myself I had the pieces of fabric left over from the centre of the handles, they weren’t very wide but I like to keep a lot of even fairly small scraps as they can come in handy.

Also, I had been to a restaurant a while a go and kept the little paper holder for the knife and fork, thinking that I might find some use for it.

 

 

FB_20160708_17_10_30_Saved_PictureI came up with a little pattern to make my own version and I wanted the edge of the opening to be bound.  Even though I can sew pretty well, I really hate applying Bias binding so I decided to extend the edge of the lining and fold it down I did this first so the edges would be stitched underneath.

Also, I hand appliqued the small circles to the front before stitching all of the pieces together.

I used the bagging out method to stitch the pieces together, by trapping the front pocket pieces between the lining and the outer leaving a small unstitched gap to turn the whole piece through to the right side.

WP_20160706_21_03_20_ProI have made just the one here but if you are going to make e.g a set of two or more then run your sewing like a factory line, cut all the pieces out, stitch all the bindings down, sew the back and front halves together, sew round each holder, turn each one through, then stitch up the gap on each one.

 

Appropriately, I learned a lot about factory methods when I worked as a pattern cutting assistant for a small factory, which at the time made shorts for the Wimbledon ballboys/girls!

Excuse the different framing on the photos I had been messing around with a bit of editing on a phone app and realised that I had deleted my originals.

 

Refashion

Keeping a Check on Fashion

Keeping in with the upcycling theme of my blog, this month I am sharing a little refashion project I did on a sleeveless wrap jacket.

InstagramCapture_bd3bd1fc-0b49-4a87-a242-a63bc8ab25b4I brought this unlined wrap jacket in the early Autumn, I only wore it twice. This is for a couple of reasons one is it has been a really wet winter and the second is it is quite a thin fabric and was getting pretty creased if I wore it sitting in the car.

I decided to line the jacket, to give it a bit of reinforcement which would help it to stop creasing if I sat down in it and I love a funky lining. A great lining is like nice underwear, no one can see it but it makes you feel good.  I didn’t choose a typical lining as it would’ve been too thin, the check is a thin woven wool mix, I purposely chose this to add body to the piece.

The inside of the jacket was fully faced ( in the picture where I am holding the jacket open you will see the black inside where the facing meets the checked lining). I started by measuring the back, then measured for the front side from the side seam to the facing edge and added seam allowance to the pieces.

WP_20160317_16_03_49_ProThese are the finished pieces, when I pinned the pieces to the fabric I made sure that I was following the grain of the fabric. This was easy as the fabric is checked to I had to make sure that straight lines running up the paper were lined up with the straight lines on the check. I could pin the pieces opposite ways up as the check is regular, if you have a one way print, e.g you have flowers that only run up the fabric then you will need to make sure that all of your pieces face in the same direction – which also takes up more fabric.

Here is the finished jacket.  I was really pleased with the end result and after wearing in the car, when I got out it hardly creased at all. Excuse the dodgy modelling, it’s not really my thing! I had some left over fabric so I think I will make a scarf to go over the top, if people catch sight of the lining and the scarf when I go out somewhere, they might think I had a matching set custom-made for me!

Phototastic-25_03_2016_37bf3dfc-4b18-42ee-bc0f-f4136e62e178

Here’s to spring and dry weather!