Old Jeans Reused

I have a real passion for reusing textiles.  I will try to mend more or less anything: it’s a mainstay of my little business and of my life generally.  Once mending isn’t practical I go on to reusing.

I buy my jeans secondhand – most of the ones I buy look almost new – and I wear them to death.  After that I try to make something else from them. I think this bag is a big success so I thought I’d share it.

Jeans bagI’ve had a request for more pictures of Gus, so here he is.

I’m displaying my new recycled jeans bag and wearing Red Herring top from car boot sale and posher than usual Per Una jeans from the St Catherine’s Hospice shop.

Jeans bag close upClose up of jeans bag

I patched fabric scraps on to a piece of curtain lining, added part of the leg of some old jeans on top, sewed lots of zigzags in lines to hold the fabric together and then cut back the denim.

I didn’t take any photos of the process, but if anyone is interested I can easily do some more and post a tutorial.  Please let me know in the comments if you would: l love the process so don’t mind having another go.

Hope you are all having a good week. My treat of the week was bright red hair – better in reality than on the photo.  I’ve been working quite hard though, so I’m planning a relaxing trip to the charity shops tomorrow.

xxx

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Patchwork stripes

Patchwork SkirtMy beach skirt!  We’re not going to the beach until September but I’m ready for it.

Patchwork skirt - backThe back

I made up the patchwork as a piece of fabric and then cut the pieces out of it.  The pieces are all cut on the bias and unfortunately I cut some the wrong way and had to make extra fabric. I used a Burda pattern; there’s a back zip and a slightly elasticated waist.

Sideways onSide view

Now all I need is some good weather…..

More Quilting & a bit of Me Made May

I’ve been hand quilting a waistcoat for the Weald & Downland Museum & thought you might like to see it.  Baasically, it’s a 17th century bodywarmer.  The top is a fine pale green wool, there’s carded sheeps wool in the centre and a linen backing. It’s quilted with linen thread which has to be waxed.

Quilted waistcoat

This is the waistcoat quilted & ready to be made up.

Quilting 17th century styleIt took me about 15 hours to quilt.  The thick linen backing means that it’s hard to get up any speed.

I decided to show a couple of Me Made May outfits because I particularly like them.

Me Made MayI think it might be the setting like best rather than the outfit.

This is a refashioned (altered & dyed) skirt and a top made from another skirt.

Top, no pattern requiredThis is my favourite top.  I made it from a Liberty Print skirt I found in a charity shop. Those are my me made shoes too.  I’ve worn them most days this month. The trousers are Olsen from a charity shop.

Some days I’ve only got one visible me made but I always wear my me made knickers, so that’s two. (In answer to Curtise).

I’ve got a dress in progress at the moment so I will have something new to wear this month. Hooray!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

In My Wardrobe

Me-Made-May’13 is almost here and I have made a pledge to wear at least two of my “me-mades” or refashioned items everyday. It will be the 4th time I’ve joined in one of these challenges organised by Zoe. In preparation, I’ve been looking at what I’ve actually got…

Me Made WardrobeThese are my refashions and made by me clothes.  A few things are in the laundry pile.  There is also a couple of rescued jumpers I dyed, a drawer full of me-made knickers, some scarves, a few bags and a couple of longsleeved teeshirts.

Oh, and of course these…

me made shoesMy much loved shoes made on a course at Green Shoes last year.

not me madeAnd this is the heap of clothes I took out of the wardrobe to show off the me-mades. This time there might be more me-mades than bought things. Well, maybe.

It’s been my aim for years to try out making every type of garment.  My bra making didn’t work and my knitting is appalling – likely to grow as soon as washed.

Fairisle jumperI knitted this much loved fairisle jumper, but it grew big enough to fit a large man: and I couldn’t find one who wanted to wear a turquoise and mustard jumper.

So when I tried knitting socks, it only ended well because my lovely friend eventually took them away and did them for me.  I do mend them though.

Darned socksAnd jeans: I don’t make them but I wear them.  I know lots of you wouldn’t wear them and I can see why, but I do for part of almost every day.  I walk the dog, dig the allotment, muck out and ride in them.  I do try to add a homemade or refashioned top to go with them.

I used to buy new jeans but the manager of one of the local charity shops told me that most jeans end up going for rags because unless more or less perfect, they were very hard to sell. Since then I’ve been hunting out second hand and shortening them where necessary. I don’t need perfection.

So that’s my me-made wardrobe.  I won’t be doing outfit posts unless I’ve something new to show, but I’ll put a link to Flickr where you will be able to see my clothes and those of lots of others who’ll be joining in the challenge.

And here’s my pledge  “I, Norma, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May’13. I endeavour to wear at least 2 me-made or refashioned items each day for the duration of May 2013.”

PS. Thank you for your lovely comments on my refashioned blouse. I really appreciate them.

I Love Purple – more pattern making

Purple teeshirt

I finished the purple top yesterday and couldn’t wait to wear it.  It’s made from a wool mix knit fabric that I bought in Ditto, Brighton just before Christmas. It doesn’t count as a stash bust really but it’s exciting for another reason: I made the pattern.

Pattern making book

This 1985 book was my chief helper.

It explains very clearly how to make patterns from clothes you like without unpicking them.

Teeshirt pattern

Part of the pattern.

  I traced it onto greaseproof paper which seems ok for pattern making.  The book suggests using brown paper, yesterday’s newspaper, tissue paper or non-woven textiles specially made for pattern making.

Problems? There weren’t any, just a few things I had to consider.

I checked that the pattern pieces fitted together before I laid them on the fabric and added the seam allowances once the pattern was pinned to the fabric.

I remembered the top well enough to know what it should look like so it was easy to put together.

The knit fabric is very stretchy so I had to tape the inside of the neckline to hold it firm.

Would I make another?

Just try stopping me!

Purple teeshirt

Outfit details

Top – purple wool mix knit fabric ,

Skirt – purple wool mix fabric , pattern self drafted using the same book.

Tights – retail

Neckace 1970s – inherited from my mother

My tumbling blocks quilt is in the bag on the floor – I’m still working on it

Linking to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday

Refashioning old silk shirts and scarves

1990s silk shirt

This shirt is made from lovely soft silk.  I think it dates from the early 1990s and I bought it in a charity shop.  I repaired and wore it a few times but decided it would be better turned into something else.  There were quite a few worn patches to avoid so I had to make something small.

Silk shirt refashion 1

Made using an old pattern  from Sew Hip magazine. I had to  make these in four pieces but French seams make them very comfortable anyway.

And then I got carried away.

Silk Knickers 1

The broderie anglaise pair are from a silk shirt I made but hardly wore because the colour doesn’t suit my face. Ok as knickers though.  I’ve got enough fabric left to make another pair from that and from the delicate silk scarf I used to make the other pair.

I can’t do much sewing at the moment because the room I use is being redecorated & everything is bagged up for sorting.  I’m looking for new storage & I’m going to reduce what I have. A year of mainly using my stash doesn’t seem to have made much impression on the mounds of fabric bits I have.

And here is the top I made over the Christmas holiday……

Burda top in needlecord

Top is Burda 2934.  Another version shown here.  This one is from a  needlecord remnant I bought from Ditto when I went to a drawing class in Brighton just before Christmas. The remnant wasn’t quite big enough so I used some stash fabric for the facings & bias binding.  I will try to remember to do a close up photo as I think the conrast actually improves the look of  the top.

Thanks for all the suggestions about my 1970s dress.  I am going for mini length with three quarter length sleeves.  Roobeedoo suggested the longer length dress might make me look like a lady vicar & I think she could be right. I am going to the Goldhawk Road shops tomorrow to try to get some fabric.