Monday, December 3, 2012

Cool Jewelry Display

Img_0225 - Copie, originally uploaded by PaT de Verre.

I really like the jewelry displays people are coming up with on Flickr!

Ready Made Belt Earring Holder

What an awesome idea!!! I will be looking at belts in the thrift shops with a new eye!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank You For Your Comments!!

Thank you everyone who has commented on any of my posts!  I guess I was surprised anyone was even reading it! I hope I am able to contribute something to this electronic world that has given me so much. Thank you everyone!

The Process Pledge.....

This is about showing the process of your projects, not just yoir finishes.  Of course I need to get better about blogging at all. The idea is a good one.I know I would like to see how people put their quilts together.  I have a quilt I am working on now using my collection of plaid and stripe squares.  I have some pictures on my  phone. I am gojng to learn to post to blogger from my phone!  So I will post the process of my projects as soon as I figure out all of this technology out! Now I will be posting the badge for showing the process on my sidebar.  Happy quilting and sewing!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Upcycled September Sewing

So I have been pretty busy sewing baby and toddler clothes again the past few days.  I am making matching skirt/blouse sets for the little girls of some friends from Church.  I have the skirts done so far, and am still planning the blouses.

Here's the skirts:

They started out life as the ruffle for a bed.  I still have enough left to trim both shirts and to make a skirt for Sofia and Elise. 

This skirt is a bit big for Sofia, Purple Tie-Dye and Black Lace...

I picked up the purple tie-dye sheet at a thrift store.  Not sure if it was that way originally, or if someone dyed it at home.  I still have the middle of the sheet, that I think I am going to make a circle skirt out of.

I also put together a skirt out of two cloth napkins.  I just sewed the sides up to make a tube, cut about 5 inches off the bottom, in two 2-1/2" strips, and made 1 super long tube, which I gathered on the sewing machine to make the ruffle on the bottom of the skirt.  Then I folded down 1/2" of the top and put some elastic in and we have a cute paisley skirt.  Who would ever guess it was made from 2 napkins from the thrift shop?

So....I have been learning a lot as I create this week.  It's hard to put into words what exactly I learned.  Mostly just "be careful" stuff.  Like having to take a waistband off 3 times on one skirt I made earlier this week made these skirts' waistbands go much more smoothly.  As always, never give up, and don't expect absolute perfection.  It's been awhile since I have been sewing regularly, so it's going to take me a while to remember all of the tricks.and tips. 

I am having an absolute BLAST upcycling, recycling and repurposing!  It's fun to take something which was discarded or at least seen as having no value, and turn it into something beautiful!

Happy recycling!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Upcycled September Sewing for Toddler Girls

Twirly Skirt from vintage sheet goodness.  The waistband is 2x her waist size and each subsequent row is 1.5 x longer than the previous row...
Until it comes Full Circle to a wonderful Twirly Skirt, and what little girl doesn't love a Twirly Skirt?

Skirt with attached leggings and embellished shirt

I just finished sewing a Twirly Skirt from vintage sheet scraps, and a skirt with attached leggings and embellished top that I upcycled from a nice women's lined lace shirt I had little hope of ever fitting into, and a textured knit shirt which would never fit Cassidy again.  Both of them are for my granddaughter.  I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scraps to Eyeglass Cases

I showed you my scraps, now I will show you something I have made with them.  Some time ago, at some thrift store, I found a big pile of 6" squares of lightweight denim.  It's probably a lifetime supply, as there are hundreds of them.  They are great to play with, practicing different techniques. Here's a photo of some of the ones I have played with:

The top left block I was just zigzagging down random scraps of fabric out of my bag.  The lower left block  I have stitched down some fancier fabric scraps and ribbons randomly The two blocks on the right are both string quilting, one square completely covered, the other square leaving half of the denim exposed.

Today I started playing with my scraps and looking at the squares I had finished, and decided they were the perfect size to become eyeglass cases, a useful item we are in need of at my house. The project also gave me the opportunity to practice some techniques I need to work on, like binding.  

So far I have made three cases, and started number four I decided the cases needed some kind of soft lining for the glasses.  The first one I used a piece of a felted sweater for the inside, and made a strap out of the bottom edge of the sweater, making it kind of curly by folding it in half and zigzagging the open end. It will be functional, even though it didn't turn out perfectly,which is kind of the point of this post. by sewing small things that I can use, I get to play around, practice, and if it's not perfect that's ok.

Here's the first one I made. I ended up with some double stitching, because I didn't catch the binding right the first time.  I also decided the felted sweater was too thick, as I had a REALLY hard time with the edges and with sewing the strap in.  It was was just too thick.  

It will work fine to hang from my roommate's bed post so she won't loose her glasses. We have three glasses wearers in this house, all with multiple pairs of glasses, so I can make a few more, each one learning from the last one.  Case two has binding that then extends to become the strap. My stitching is better, but I still had extra lines of  unwanted stitches showing.

This one took awhile, because I sewed several 2" strips of fabric together and then made a binding out of that, which also became the strap.Again, this is not perfect, but it gave me lots of practice edge stitching, using binding, and construction of an item without a pattern.

Case number three I used the hem of a sheet I had cut up, and ran it through my sewing machine with a zigzag stitch to cover the raw edge.  I attached the strap after constructing the case, which again left me with some stitching I didn't want to see.  

Now I will be moving on to case number four, which I haven't finished.  I think I will solve my problem of not so pretty stitches showing by attaching the strap first, then sewing on the binding which will cover where I attached the strap, then sewing it up.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am not one to want to dive into putting the binding on a quilt before I practice, yet I don't want to practice on things that won't be used.  I also like to use my scraps up.  Now I have 2 eyeglass cases for my roommate and one for me finished.  I'll finish number four next time, it's getting a little late tonight.  I had fun making string quilted squares, and turning them into eyeglass holders.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, on the other 2 cases, I fused a smaller piece of fleece to the back of the square, so it wouldn't be in the seam.  It works much better, less bulk but still soft. I like the long straps because I can wear it around my neck, or hang it from a bedpost or hook. I need all the help I can get to not lose things!

Practice while making something you need.  I also need potholders.....

Here's my current sewing area:

It's kinda cramped together until we finish the floor in the front room.  Then I will have a bigger area.  I'll have to post a bigger photo that shows the sewing cabinet.  I found it at that Goodwill outlet place I told you about for 4.99.  I can't lower my machine to be hidden in the cabinet,  I can't put a bolt into the bottom of my viking. It was probably made for something like a Singer Touch and Sew. But I have a nice table it sits down into, a large cabinet, about 5 feet wide, with lots of storage.  I can even keep my serger in the cabinet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Saving Them...Using Them

I know my family thinks I am nuts. Sometimes they even call me a hoarder, because I save ALL of my fabric scraps. I have always collected fabric and I have always saved most scraps, but now I save ALL of them.  I have a big pillowcase I put the scraps that I either haven't dealt with, or are the ones most people would throw away.

You can also see the little garbage can I keep next to me when I am sewing, to throw the scraps in while i am sewing. Later it will be dumped in the bag, even the thread scraps. Bigger scraps go into a milk crate, until I either cut them into strips or squares.  The small scraps, selvages, sheet hems, etc... all get put into the bag.  Even if they are never used in a sewing project, they could become the filling for a floor pillow, which does not have to be as soft.  My thought is to wrap the blob of scraps with something softer like batting or even an old comforter, then make a cool pillow cover out of all of the usable you have and you have a wonderful floor pillow. .  

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Shhhh...It's a Secret -- Where I Get My Best Deals

So this is a big secret...really.  Where I get my BEST deals.  ALWAYS.  Thrift stores are great, but did you know there are OUTLET Thrift Stores?  Well, at least the Goodwill has one, actually two in my area.  They sell stuff by the pound mostly, and some stuff by the piece.  Cheap.  

It's no secret I LOVE vintage sheets.  I have a hard time finding them at my regular thrift shops.  Then I found there is a Goodwill Outlet store closer than Seattle, there's one in Everett!  1.09 per pound over 50 pounds, 1.49 per pound under 50 pounds for clothes and linens.  That makes a nice vintage sheet like a buck!  Compared to 6 - 10 bucks at the regular thrift shop. Cool.  WAY Cool.

I got a bunch of, like DOZENS of vintage patterns that came to like 9 pounds.  Cool.  Everything is in bins, HUGE bins.  Be prepared to dig, because you will find treasures.  Vintage lace and crocheted doilies, hand sewn quilt blocks, huge body pillows (pillows are all 99 cents) a couple of goose down comforters (all blankets are 1.99 each). TONS of fabric  That's some of what I got yesterday.  Oh, and of course vintage sheets.  LOTS of vintage sheets, plus a complete set of plaid flannel sheets for my nephew.  FILLED my van for less than $100.  Did I mention the 2.99 microwave and the 4.99 chair?

Go see if you have a Goodwill Outlet in your area. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blogging, pharmacies, and I still sew barefoot

I haven't been good at updating my blog in the past, or even doing anything interesting with it.  I have so many ideas and projects running around in my brain it is hard to focus on any one of them.  I want to have a cool blog.  I want to contribute to the blogosphere in positive way.  I want to connect with other people who think like me.  Now that I know I am not alone, I am not a hoarder, or a nut because I am obsessed with upcycling.  I have been doing it since before there was a name for it.  I just liked taking what someone would consider trash, and making it into something beautiful, or maybe useful, or both. I still do.

In my other life I am a pharmacy technician.  Kinda funny, because there is NOTHING creative about pharmacy.  It is all cut and dry, black and white, no grey areas. Routine.  So very opposite of the ceativity I want to express, and have wanted to express.  It pays the bills.  I got a raise when I changed jobs.  I had worked for one company for many years, mostly as a floater, which I enjoyed because it afforded me some flexibility, since I also have another life as a caregiver for my best friend who lives with me.  Then things started to change.the flexibility went away, wages were frozen, no more mileage.  Slowly leaving started to creep into my mind.  A hard thought after 28 years, most of my adult life.  But I was no longer happy, and I felt I was no longer appreciated by them.  So I left, and went to work for a temp agency, which I LOVE!!  I have gotten nothing but compliments, a raise, mileage, and much better working conditions.

I am so much happier, I am glad I left, I needed to. I needed to let go of the past and move forward to my much happier and more creative future.  I hope to share my journey to creative living here.  Hopefully we can have fun on the way.

Oh, and did I mention, I sew barefoot...                                                                                                        

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Social Networking and Blogging

I am trying to figure out this world of blogging and social networking.  Everyone is online, sometimes it seems like the online world is the real world, and the real world is a dream. How many people have more friends online than they do in person?  We are finding out that we are not anonymous behind our keyboards, information is always being collected so someone can market something to us. seems like they have been here forever, and yet it has only been a few short years since they were created, since they went viral. Viral, that's another word that has been given a new meaning by the internet. So much information...anything we want know we can find, but we have to be careful to filter the information, sort the garbage from the gold. much time have I spent just hopping from blog to blog, Starting with something that interests me, finding another blog linked to the first one, then on to the next one, until I fall alseep....information overload.

Oh, did I mention I sew barefoot?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sewing Again... Sophia's Sunsuit

Sophia's Sunsuiet, originally uploaded by franstuff.

This is the first garment I have sewn in at least 10 years. I made this sunsuit for my roommate's great-granddaughter, Sophia, who will be 2 this summer. I targeted it for her birthday, July 2012, giving me plenty of time to get it done. Yay! It's done and it turned GREAT!

I am so happy to be sewing again. I don't know why it took me so many years to get my sewing machine fired up again, but here I am. It's like the years of pent up not sewing are bursting out!