14 April 2019

It’s been a while.....

Since Blogger removed their app to upload posts, I have been hesitant to use the online tool. It’s clunky and difficult to navigate on a tablet.... but I am going to try again :)

It’s been all about aprons this weekend - upcycled from tea towels, turned into useful things. My favourite Op Shop has small linen at 5 for $1, so mum and I stocked up on fancy pillow cases and I found some tea towels to test my theories on. I had seen some inspiration online using vintage tea towels, but they had additional width added to the sides, and I wanted to simplify even more. Just cut an armhole, add straps, and voila! 

So, I found a pattern online that had a variety of sizes - child, teen and adult - that I have been using as a guide as to where to cut. I also use the armhole curves to cut, although I could have drafted these myself, why should I, when someone else has already done it? Seems like double handling to me.....

Anyway, this is what I have done, so far....

This TT was one I bought for 25c.... I had originally planned to just cut armholes, but discovered it had a stain on it, just above the yellow cupcake. So, it was cut across as high as I could, spun the remaining piece around, and decided to use the embroidery as a pocket instead. So the original to hemmed edge became the bottom edge.

This is the first time I used the pattern pieces, and the instructions noted that it should have a binding on the raw edge. I used an Opped pillow case to make some bias strips, which I then put through my bias tape maker. 

Turned out pretty good for my first attempt ;)


Another cute 25c TT, but once home, I discovered it had some marks on it:

They looked like burns, but on closer inspection, I think it was just dirt, as I could scrape it off with my fingernail. I didn’t want to wash it, so I needed to work around it..

Since the design was flipped, the first thing I did was cut it into two pieces. The plan was to flip one side over to make the top. So using the better side as the base, with a bit of manipulation, this is what
I had:

Ok, so not too bad. Stitch it up!!

Just did a double hem, no binding this time. Made up some straps, and done!


This was an interesting one. Quite a large TT for 25c, so I was thinking I could get away with an adult size. 

Using the pattern piece and the TT in half, this was a winner for length, but not for width - but it was close. 

So, decided to continue with it as-is. There’s no rules, right?? ;)

Since the armhole is on the curve, I can take advantage of the bias and just do a double hem, add some straps, and done! 

 Tried a slightly different neck closure on this one. Single longer straps with a loop to tie onto. Works pretty well,  I think, and you only need three straps, not four. This one is s little long, but not too bad.



Another cute Christmas TT for 25c. Definitely kid sized ;)

I’m getting pretty good at these! Time to try something from the expensive pile!


This one I bought with this project in mind. Cost me $2....


The actual quality of the TT was very poor. The rolled hems are dreadfully crooked, and I had to unpick the top edge in order to make it straight. 


The final TT of the bunch. This one was $4 from another Op Shop. I wasn’t sure on this one to begin with, but took the plunge. It’s very large, ands fits the adult pattern plus some extra length.

So far, it’s had the armholes finished, just waiting on some straps to be made and attached.

A very productive weekend! ;) 

07 August 2018

I won a prize!!

Canning Show 2017
For the first time, they had a theme, which included a Peoples Choice prize - and I won!!

The theme was "tea cosies" - any medium, any style, whatever you like. I found a picture online of a style that I liked, and off I went.

No pattern for the original, just a link to purchase one already made:

Thank you for the tea and bag, Madura!!

Cushion Upcycle

A while ago, mum gave me a cushion cover. It has a cute printed owl wearing a bowtie on the front. The fabric is quite sturdy, like a canvas, so it will make a great bag :)

After unpicking the cushion, I needed to decide what to do with the back. As a cushion, it had an envelope opening at the back with large buttons and buttonholes as closures. I originally was just going to stitch the pieces together and leave the buttons there for decoration. After unpicking, I decided that I would make it into a pocket...… more on that later.....

I had a plan - add a side wall. I auditioned a couple of different fabrics, but thought the stars would be the best match for the stripes:
I then cut the strips to fit the sides, and added some curtain lining to give it some oomph. The fabric itself was quite light, so it needed some extra strength to match the heavier canvas type fabric of the owl. I also ran a row of stitching down the sides to hold fabric and backing together.
Stitch each side to the front and back (minus the seam allowance), then the corners can be stitched.
Straps added under a facing, turn it out, and job done!
Finished size approx. 53cm x 53cm excluding the straps

Note the rear pocket :) I used the original lower piece and buttons, and made a feature out of some blue cord. Not as successful, but made it interesting..... 

05 August 2018

Upcycled wall hanging

A couple of years ago I made a wall hanging. It was Dutch themed, with the centrepiece being a girl carrying some water in two buckets. This was a free foundation pieced design that I stretched out (hence the reason she has a really fat neck!). I added some embroidery to her apron, as well as adding the chains. All the panels have some kind of embroidery, so I didn't want it to be wasted in the bottom of a box, since I don't do handwork very often....

I was never really happy with it. I mean, I liked it, and put a lot of work into it, but it was just a wall hanging....

It wasn't without its issues, either - I ran out of the original blue fabric that I had started with, so two of the smaller squares are a slightly different shade, and my binding was a little tight, so it didn’t sit flat. Original post here - Dutch wall Hanging

So, after playing with it for a bit, I found a layout that just might give it new life - as a pair of cushions!

Now, this is working for me!

But, how do I make it work, and where do I make my first cuts?? I need to think about this carefully, as I only get one shot....

As it turned out, I had some leftover binding fabric and some of the red fabric still in my stash, so I could make a new border piece and make more binding.

My original plan was to cut off the binding, but if I unpicked it, there would be so much more length to play with, and I am so glad I did!!

So, I did some math, and worked out if I cut close to the big centre piece (minus a seam allowance), all I would need was two new strips of red to fill in the missing space. Here goes nothing!!

I still need a seam between the two smaller squares, so why not stitch some binding fabric in at the same time? Yup, I like it.....                   

Now, to balance it up, lets try adding a vertical strip. Yep, I like this, too!!

So far, so good!

Now, for the other cushion front, I needed a new strip of red to fill out the space. I also added some batting, to make it the same thickness:

Good, but its still missing something... I have enough of the binding to put some on the front, so I am gonna go for it!!

Yup, I'm liking where this is going!!

Now, all I need to do is stitch down the binding on the fronts, and think about the backs....

I found a long strip of blue fabric in my stash, so just needed to buy a couple of zippers and put the pieces together. No pics of this process - I was on too much of a roll to stop!

Once the backing pieces were ready and trimmed to size, the backs and fronts were tacked together and the binding stitched to the front. The binding is hand stitched at the back.

And so, this is the final result! I am very happy with how it turned out :)

Finished size 53cm x 53cm

08 October 2017

More flag bags!

Gosh, am I glad I wrote a tutorial last time! I had another 2x flags given to me, and it was great to be able to refer back to my own pictures 😊


This time they were sponsorship flags, hence they are orange, rather than the blue/yellow  combo of the other ones. These were also a different quality of fabric, and had a liner inside to stop the transparency.

The first one I trimmed off the edges, as I did for the first one, but didn't realise that it was actually printed in one piece and folded over, so the second one I unpicked. This made for a bigger bag, since there was much less waste.

I also took some extra pics for the original tutorial, since there seemed to be a chunk that was a bit vague, even for me, and I created it!! 😳

Anyway, they both turned out great! One has been claimed by the Boy, so thereis no chance getting this one back, but it still leaves a second one that I can try and get rid of...

I think I made the straps too short on the smaller one, but it would be large enough to carry some water and a jumper, in case of a change in the weather....