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…..

A lot of nature and a bit of sewing

flowersGorgeous aren’t they?

We went to Down House, home of Charles Darwin this weekend.  If you are at all interested in science or nature I really recommend it. I think children would love it too: there’s lots of interactive stuff to explain the theories and the cakes in the tearoom are yummy….

The flowers were just outside his greenhouse / lab.

Darwin's greenhouseThis picture has the “bit of sewing” mentioned in the title. The top was once this dress

After alteringI altered it to this length but I still didn’t wear it; so now it’s a top and I’ve worn it a lot. I also raised the neckline a bit.  I’ve lost a tiny amount of weight and that made the dress gape a bit at the neck.

What is this?Another plant caught my eye but I don’t know what it is. It looks like it’s been painted pink and white.

It was a bit cold yesterday and I had intended to wear this:

1930s dress overdyedThis is my 1930s dress which I’ve now overdyed with Dylon’s French Lavender.  I think it will get a lot more wear now.  Somehow, the white background put me off and it’s such a shame not to wear something you’ve spent hours slaving over. The pink shoes are from Hobbs’ sale a few years ago.

I haven’t been sewing much for myself recently because my little sewing business has started to get busier nad I just haven’t had time. Plenty of plans in my head though.

A trip back in time

Singing George Formby!I took this photo at Amberley Chalk Pits Museum on Sunday.  They had a 1940s weekend as well as their usual industrial history exhibits. This couple sang some really funny songs.  There were some amazing dancers too but I was so involved in watching them I forgot to take photos. How can I ever hope to be a proper blogger ???

Gus & meHere’s Gus getting in the photo as usual.  He hardly ever looks at the camera though. I wanted to get the buses in the photo as I think they’re lovely – so much more glamourous than a modern bus (but probably much less comfortable).

As it’s still Me Made May, I should mention my outfit.  Top refashioned from a skirt and refashioned linen skirt.   Tweed hacking jacket with velvet collar (bought about 10 years ago in a sale) and boots from Green Shoes.

The linen skirt is one of my favourites.

Worn here a few days ago with the same top:

Me Made May

It looked like this before:

Linen skirt before refashionI have a big pile of clothes to refashion – the skirt I made from my failed Sureau dress has been taken apart & I am including the fabric in a patchwork skirt.

I have lots of me mades I haven’t worn: they just don’t suit me.  I’ve been wearing a few favourites over & over so it’s time for a refashioning session.

I’m hoping to display some refashioned clothes & my new 1970s shoes very soon.

Meanwhile, this is my favourite Me Made May photo so far:

Gus! Hope you like it!

A Mistake!

Completed SureauThis is it: Robe Sureau complete.  But I won’t be showing any photos of me wearing it because it looked awful.

I did make a toile but thought it looked silly on me because old sheets aren’t always very flattering.  Unfortunately, it just does look ridiculous on me.

I did everything I could to save it – added bias trims, tried various buttons – but I think the basic shape is just wrong for me.

Remains of the Sureau & Day 13I didn’t want to discard it completely, so I removed the top, changed the zip and added a waistband.

Me Mades: Purple wool teeshirt,newly refashioned skirt, shoes.

Linking to Visible Monday. Why not go & take a look?

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.