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Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

I have been crafting like crazy lately, and my house shows it.  There are fabrics, beads, dyes, and odds and ends EVERYWHERE.  I LOVE IT.  It means I’ve done something.  It also means I have one RIDICULOUSLY huge mess to clean up.

Every once in a while I’ll hit a huge surge of creative juices.  Maybe I’m manic.  Or just A.D.D.  Probably both…  ANYWAY, I hit one of these surges around the middle of last week and have been having quite some fun indulging my crafty side.  I feel quite productive.

Probably my most favorite thing I made this past week was this little mustard number I refashioned from a frumpy long white skirt that I got as a gift a while back and NEVER wore.  Not even once.  I’ve been addicted to this site I found recently called Weardrobe and have been in love with all the mustard yellows I’ve been seeing in the fashion world.  So, I went into my closet, in an attempt to create me something MUSTARD.  I saw the skirt and thought, “Hmmm.  I’m sure I can do something with this”.  And I did.  And I love it.

Heres a look at it before:

Heres what I did.

Cost:  About $6  (for the dye)

Supplies:

  • A long skirt.  Preferably pretty straight.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Elastic
  • A long piece of scrap fabric (for the necktie).
  • Brown and yellow RIT dye.  (Find it in the laundry detergent section at Walmart).  I used the liquid kind.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Thread.
  • Scizzors, pins, etc.
Okay!  This is really super easy and I know you’re dying to make it so here are the instructions! 🙂
1.  Refer to my little diagram below.  Sorry, I know its kind of dark.
2.  Basically, you just want to fold your skirt in half and cut off the waistline (mine was elastic) and then cut from the waistline down to the side to create armholes.  Its worth it to throw it on after you cut off the waistline and get a feel for how wide you want your neckline and how large to make your armholes.  Another way to do it is use a tank top you already have as a guide, although you may still need to adjust it a bit.  Make the neckline area a little wider than you would like.  It will be gathered by the necktie in the end.
3.  Next you want to hem all your raw edges you’ve just created.  I don’t own a serger (dangit) so I just zigzag stitched the edges and then folded them under and straight stitched (on the armholes only) about a quarter inch.
4.  The next thing you’ll do it create a pocket at the neckline for the sash/necktie/whatever-you-call-it to go through.  Just fold under about 2 inches or so and straight stitch the bottom of the fold.  *TIP* Be aware of the fabric that you’re working with.  You might need to zigzag stitch the whole thing if you’re working with stretchy fabric.  Mine was linen.
5.  Now you need to make the necktie with your scrap fabric.  I had a cut up old white sheet I used.  I simply made a long sash by cutting out about a 5 inch wide strip and then folded it in half (right sides together) and stitching it together along the edge.   Then I turned it right side out and stitched up the ends.  Then feed it through the neckline pocket you made with both ends coming off to one side in the front.  *TIP*  Use a large safety pin attached to the end of your necktie to feed it through the pocket easily.
6.  Now, put on your dress.  It will look kinda like you’re wearing a potato sack with a cute little bow.  Find where you’d like to create a “waist”  and pin that area on each side.
7.  Next, take it off, and mark with straight pins (or a fabric chalk) straight across to the other pin to make a straight waistline guide.
8.  Next, wrap a long piece of elastic around your waist at the same area wear you pinned on your dress.  Find the size/tension that you like and cut the elastic to that size.
9.  Now, sew the elastic onto your dress following the waistline guide you’ve created (turn the dress inside out again and sew the elastic on the inside of the dress).  To sew elastic so that it gathers the fabric (also known as ruching), start off by tacking the elastic down (preferably on a side seam) and then pull on the elastic to stretch it a bit as you slowly stitch it to the fabric.  Practice on scraps first if you have never done this before.  You’ll get the hang of it.  Try to keep the same amount of tension on the elastic through the entire waistline so that it gathers evenly.
AND THATS IT!!  You’ve done it!
Now just follow the dye instructions (if you ARE dyeing) to create a new custom color.  For my mustard yellow color I mixed about 1/4 the bottle of brown dye in with the full bottle of yellow dye and then added it to steaming hot water (about 3 gallons).  It took very little time (about 15 minutes) for my skirt to reach the color I wanted.  Then I simply rinsed it out in cold water and laundered it as usual.
What do you think?  Easy right!?  I’m IN LOVE.
Since its a billion and one degrees here you could still wear it like this:
I love the yellow with the pops of teal for summer.
Or, when it starts cooling down, wear it like this:

Mustard yellow, grey, and pecan.  Yummy.

Heres the BEFORE and AFTER again:

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Hi everyone!! I know its been a while and I’m so excited to get some new tutorials up for spring!  I have been feeling “bluesy” (blame it on the medication and the weekly injections I have to take for my high-risk pregnancy) and so I thought I’d spruce up my house (and myself) for spring to get my mood up and creativity flowing again.  I made a trip to one of my favorite $Dollar Stores and found some great stuff that has inspired some new springtime projects.  I could hardly wait to make this easy DIY pillow and I’m SO loving the way it turned out!  Hope you do too!  I thought since my last tutorial was on applique that this would be a nice follow up now that you’ve had a chance to discover the world of transfer webbing!  Heres the breakdown for this simple and inexpensive spring throw pillow:

Cost: $2-$8 depending on what you have on-hand.

Supplies:

  • 2 cloth place-mats in the same color (or coordinating colors if you want a different color on the back).  I got my pink place-mats at the $Dollar Store.  They have tons to choose from usually and I LOVED the bright colors that are there right now!  Perfect for spring!
  • Scrap fabric or quilting fat quarters in coordinating colors/designs.  I used 3 fabrics for my pillow making the bird out of the busiest fabric.
  • Coordinating or contrasting thread.
  • Pillow batting or poly-fill.  I took apart an old pillow I didn’t like anymore and used the batting.
  • Transfer webbing.  This is the iron-on adhesive that allows you to stick your applique to your pillow before you stitch.  I LOVE this stuff and use it ALL THE TIME.  You can sometimes find it (or versions of it) at Walmart in rolls or you can buy it at the craft/fabric store by the yard for about $2 a yard.  You barely use any of it for these little applique projects so even 1 yard will go a long way.
  • A dry iron.
  • A sewing machine with a simple straight stitch.
  • Scizzors and a needle and thread.
  • The bird and branch template from this tutorial (if you’re not feeling confident in freehanding it).

Ok! Thats it!  Ready to go?

  1. If you’d like, print off these bird and branch templates I made from my own pillow design to use as a stencil for your pillow.  Or, you can find an image online, or freehand draw your own quirky version of a bird and a branch.
  2. Choose your fabrics for the bird and the branch and cut out rectangles large enough to use as those elements.
  3. Roll out some transfer webbing and lay your cut pieces down onto the nubby side of the trans web.  Cut around the fabric making the trans web pieces as close to the same size as your fabric pieces as you can.
  4. Keeping your nubby trans web sides inline with your fabric pieces, adhere the trans web to the fabric with a hot dry iron (or as instructed on trans web packaging).
  5. When both your branch fabric and your bird fabric pieces are cool, flip them over and trace your template image (or freehand draw an image) onto the paper side of your fabric with a marker.  Its okay if you have to redraw again until you get the desired look you’d like in the appropriate size etc.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!  Nothing I make ever is!
  6. With your sharp scizzors, cut out your design elements.
  7. Carefully remove the trans web paper backing from your fabric pieces.
  8. Grab one of your place-mats and arrange your bird and branch onto the front of it how you’d like it.
  9. With a hot iron (some trans web requires steam at this point), iron your applique to your place-mat.
  10. Once your place-mat and applique has cooled, take it over to your sewing machine and stitch the edges of the applique down.  If you’d like you can actually skip this step since its not too likely that you’ll be washing this pillow too often and the trans web will adhere it fine temporarily.  But, I like to stitch around all my appliques with contrasting thread just to secure it a bit more and give it some more character.  And don’t worry about it looking a bit “messy”!  It just adds to that character!
  11. Set your appliqued place-mat aside for a minute and grab your third fabric for your flowers.
  12. Cut your flower fabric into roughly a 1&1/2″ strip.  
  13. Fold your fabric strip over and over itself into a square.
  14. Cut the stack into rough circles.
  15. Stack circles by twos to use as your flowers.
  16. Take one of your double stacked circles and scrunch it together in the middle to make it ruffley.  Using a needle and thread stitch through the base of your ruffle flower a couple of times to secure the folds.
  17. Sew your little flower bud onto your tree branch applique.  I sewed mine through the center of each flower to open them up a bit more and to make them lie somewhat flat.
  18. Try to place your flowers randomly using as many as you’d like.
  19. Once your place-mat front is complete and all your flowers are securely sewn into place, take your other place-mat and line it up under the top one (wrong sides together if your place-mat has “wrong” sides).
  20. If you’d like you can pin your sides together for more stability while you sew.  Head over to your sewing machine again and sew both top and bottom place-mats together with a topstitch and about a 1/4 allowance.  BUT leave a section unstitched so that you can add your batting here in a minute.  TIP:  when going around the corners, reverse stitch a few times to secure the corners and keep them from pulling when you stuff the pillow.
  21. Grab your pillow batting and begin stuffing your place-mat pillow paying special attention to the corners and stuffing it as full as you’d like.
  22. Topstitch your stuffing opening closed and YOU’RE DONE!! Now find a cute place to showcase your new cheery pillow!

How fun was that!?  So easy and cute it just makes me SMILE!

Hope you enjoyed this springtime tutorial!  Please remember to share this blog with your friends and family and keep coming back to see more!  Next:  How to Make Easy 3-D Flower Push-pins for your Walls!See you soon!  Have fun crafting!

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