Simple recycled bags

Not impressive sewing, but a nice bit of thrifty remodelling. Making use of quality fabric and keeping some memories. I had a bunch of too small and/or worn out garments made from liberty lawn and other fabrics that I loved to much to part with. I’ve made the largest pieces from six of them into four simple bags. These will I think mostly serve as shoe bags for travel. They are near weightless.

Here is one of the shirts when it was newly made. I love the fabric so much. I could have hung on to it in hope of weightloss, but it turns out the neckline wasn’t ideal anyway. So even if it fit again, I’d rather make new shirts.

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Bags of prettiness, thrift, practicality and memory. Hmm, I might see if the rest of the garments might yield big enough pieces to try making waxed fabric cloths for food storage.

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Wizard of many colours

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Mexican inspired cloth has been in the shops the last few years. I had been interested to get some but was sad that all the garment quality bolts I’d found were poly cotton blends. Then I found this, advertised on the store website as 100% cotton. On special even. Woo hoo I though, I’ll have me some of that. Going in believing it was cotton, I didn’t assess it in person carefully enough. It turns out to be pure plastic. Boo hoo! I’ve made it up anyway into the hooded robe I wanted in the first place. We will see how it wears, and whether I can stand it, natural fibre fan that I am.

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Serendipity cushion

I just spent a week with hard flat wooden seats as the only sitting options. Oh my sore tailbones. A cushion would have made my week more comfy.

In the clean up after this event, I nearly threw out the few handfuls of cotton flock left over from a futon remodel. No! this could be cushion stuffing! Then I remembered a scrap of lovely wool embroidered upholstery cloth I’ve had in stash for many years. That had resisted all attempts at inclusion in other projects. It wanted to be it’s own thing. So I assembled the cotton into the shape of this cloth and made it into a baby futon with a bit of old sheet that was lying about.

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By itself, this cotton made a sad, flat, baggy cushion. I wondered if I had much in the way of feathers left from previous custom cushion insert games. I did! It was the short end of a feather pillow, already roughly closed and…. the right shape! So that went in too, making the cushion slightly overstuffed.

I made a bunch of tassels from left over tapestry wool in stash, picking up the colours of the embroidery

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The backing is heavy cotton offcuts from a butterfly my grandmother worked many years ago. It’s a good match for the weave and weight of the ground of the embroidered cloth. My stash doesn’t run much to heavy cloth, so piecing the bits of this was worth it.

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Cushion! The multiple tassels per corner were inspired by the extreme tassellation of some 16thC bags.

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It’s only little, and quite narrow, but it’s enough to give my poor tailbones a softer experience and can be used even on little stools. Fits nicely on my “Waldo” stool (one of a series of these made by a good friend).

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Possums in the toes of her socks.

Sung of course to the tune of “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes”.

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Sock pair #32 of my knitting. Finished at Rowany Festival and handed over unblocked. Toes are a possum merino blend. Rest is Phil Folk Sock 100 which was much fun to knit. It’s two ply. One ply has the rainbow variagation, the other moves through neutral shades. Wendy Johnson’s toe up slip stitch heel pattern.

Gelato donuts

I liked the tie dye makeover of the orange top so much I went and did another. The resulting impression is so different. Less badass, more spun sugar.

I had a winter white Country Road jumper that was looking a bit tired. It’s hard to refresh whites in wool. So instead I’ve been thinking to overdye it.

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The colours came out more muted than I had hoped for me. Silly me didn’t check the fibre composition! It turns out to be only 43% protein fibre. No wonder it came out so pastel. At least the circular patterns nicely reflect the knitted-in polkadots.

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The whole confection

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Badass Tiedye makeover

I made this vivid orange top last year out of lovely soft merino fabric. I found though that it was so bright I almost never wore it.

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So today I tortured it with elastic bands and popped in a blue dyebath.

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Woo hoo! I really like how it came out. Both more and less subdued. A bit badass I reckon. Let’s see if I actually wear it now.

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Serious Warm Finito

Faithful readers might remember this garment from last year. Serious Warm, Serious Remodel. After the hacking up, dyeing, recutting and machining, this lived in a cupboard until a few weeks ago.

Since then, I’ve removed all the overlock stitching and hand finished all the seams. This now joins my small collection of living history clothing with insides that I’m not ashamed of. Having it done after literally hanging about for 8 months feels good.

From this, though with the sleeves attached.

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To this.

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The thread is fairly fine two ply wool from the London handweavers shop. I bought it in the hope of tablet weaving with it. It’s nowhere near strong enough for tablet weaving warp, but it’s working just fine for this handsewing and at least some of the Greenland garments were finished like this with 2ply wool. It would probably be more accurate and less work to fold both allowances to one side of the seam (except the shoulder) but this fabric is so thick, that would end up very lumpy.

It was a minor miracle I got all the seams and hems done with only this little bit of thread left! Sew faster so you can finish before the thread runs out!

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I used a different fine wool to stab stitch the edges of the sleeves, but you can barely see that anyway. Can you tell the thread is bright acid green? A more obvious type of stab stitching is more accurate for the Greenland frocks, but this is a familiar technique for me and negates the business of having to use different thread to the rest of the finishing.

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Here she is all done. I will try to remember to take pictures of a full outfit when the weather is conducive. It’s way too warm at the moment.

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More Bagses

Golly, a month with no posts! I’ve been busy, but not getting to writing things up here. Two large projects are not finished yet. I’ll start with writing up some small ones.

I’ve made a couple more simple bags, this time as gifts. I ought remember to check the photos I’ve taken before I give things away. I’m not happy with the pictures of either of these, but in both cases I didn’t realise that until after they had gone to their respective recipients.

This is an intricately patterned woven “tapestry” fabric bought cheaply in a bolt end sale. The friend I was with that day liked it and asked if she could “have any leftovers, pretty please?” The piece was only small, so some years later I decided to make it up for her as a bag.  Front and back views all folded up neatly prior to posting.

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The second bag is made for a purple loving lady from 6 sample pieces of fabulous Laura Ashley (if I remember correctly) reversible cotton jaquard. I had to change the bag proportions slightly to fit the cloth dimensions. I’ve had these pieces sitting in stash for years. Now they are finally made up pretty much as I intended.

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Inside shot. Gives a better impression of how gloriously glossy the fabric is. I’ve had to use a facing instead of the top hem due to the limited fabric piece sizes.

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and here is the front view.

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Sock pair #31

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I’ve just remembered that these socks I made for my dear Papa have been received. So by my rules I can now publish them.

Wendy Johnson toe up slip stitch heel pattern. Two different kinds of Schoppel Wolle yarn. The pale one is in fact leftovers from two people’s knitting. My own and also my generous donor. We happily share both colour preferences and a fondness for Schoppel Wolle. Just so you have more socks to look at, below is the previous pair I knitted from this yarn (pair #19). These are again Wendy Johnson toe up socks, but with an afterthought heel. Toe and heel are a merino possum blend.

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Shopping Bag Pattern

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A friend asked for the pattern for my shopping bags. The directions might be a bit cryptic without pictures. Next time I make some, I’ll try to remember to take pics during construction and update this. Note that I haven’t drawn this to scale, use the written measurements.

As pictured, the measurements work for the soft cornered plain seam version.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course).
-Sew the sides to the base with a 1.5cm seam, then overlock.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem).
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.

For the stiff cornered reverse french seam version, add 1.5cm to the bottom depth (24.5cm instead of 22cm) to match to the side measurements. There is not a lot of point making this version unless your fabric has some stiffness to it.

Directions:
-Overlock around the base reinforcing piece and sew onto the wrong side of the bottom. Or cut it out big enough to press under a seam allowance before sewing on (this is bulkier of course and can conflict with the outer seam in this version).
-Sew the sides to the base inside out with a 0.5cm seam.
-Hem the top (double fold 3cm hem). If your fabric is heavy, it’s important to reduce bulk at the vertical seams as much as possible.
-Right sides out, Sew again around the side and base seams with a 0.7cm allowance. Sew each section separately, don’t try to sew around the corners.
-Press the straps, long sides almost to the middle. Fold back on themselves and sew the ends shut. Clip corners, grade and turn open. Press neatly the whole length in half lengthwise ready to sew. Edge stitch both sides in the same direction.
-Place the straps on the front and back. I do them 12cm apart and 11cm from the top edge. Edge stitch the overlapped section with a few additional runs to secure the top edge.