Making New Tote Bags

Repurposing, Sewing

My old set of tote bags was made out of secondhand fabrics, so they were already partially worn-out before I even made them. They have been showing extra wear and I’ve found myself repairing them more and more frequently, so I’m making sure there’s a new set of tote bags ready to replace them whenever the old ones finally give up. These are also made of a hand-me-down fabric, and are part of my 2020 Fabric Use-Up Project.

This is the lovely toile design.

P1040923 - Copy

There was another section which was very discolored, so I cut it into strips to make the straps.

P1040928 - Copy

The amount of fabric I had available was enough for 4 tote bags. I made the handles longer this time so I might carry them on my shoulder.

P1040937 - Copy

The finished tote bags are so pretty! They have been added to the rotating stack of tote bags (washed immediately after use).

P1040965 - Copy

Completed Wrap Dress from Tablecloth

Repurposing, Sewing


P1040390 - Copy

Ties attached, neckline/wrap part finished in bias tape made from the tablecloth scraps, I needed a way to get the inner tie to the outside so I could make a nice bow. I used a welt seam to channel the tie through to the outside. It required some bias tape, and I had a little bit of the bias tape from the neck edge. Now, there’s only about half a yard remaining of that bias tape, so it’ll probably be a finishing piece on some little project or another some day.

My mistake was forgetting to mirror everything while working with the dress on the dress form, so now the dress opens to the right rather than the left as women’s clothing is supposed to, but it’s not really a big deal. I’ll be wearing this around the house for now, anyways, so nobody will know enough to notice.

P1040411 - Copy

I drafted the sleeve pattern in the style of a tulip sleeve because I think it repeated the idea of the wrap front nicely for the sleeves.

P1040374 - Copy

Cut two per sleeve. Make sure to mark the top part that meets the top of shoulder seam! The sleeves were also edged in self bias tape.

All of the tiny little scraps from this project -there must be about a square foot and a half of them all added together- are saved in a labelled bag just in case I ever need to repair this dress, since the fabric has already been well-loved before I made the dress.

P1040421 - Copy

With the sleeves attached and all the edges finished, the dress is done! This was a fun learning experience and I think I’ll enjoy this as a warmer weather house-dress for now. I love how the floral with green looks, especially on the back!

Previous posts on this dress: First Second

For more about the process, see my portfolio page.


Frumpy Dress to Pretty Skirt

Repurposing, Sewing

I got this dress secondhand about 2 (?) years ago, and I love the pattern on it. Palest yellow with beautiful blue floral print and it has such a nice drape to it, as the fabric is 100% rayon. The shape of the dress, however, just wasn’t flattering on me. The wast was too high up and added weight to my figure in a less than nice way. After I pulled one of the seams at an event I was volunteering for, I decided to remake the whole thing into something better for me.

P1020983 - Copy.JPG

I chopped the skirt off and used the top to make a waistband. I added a hook and eye and 3 snaps to keep the waist secure.

P1040181 - Copy

I think that I will continue to get a lot of use out of this beautiful fabric, and now it looks more flattering on me!

P1040178 - Copy

Fabric Stash Use-Up Project 2020

Repurposing, Sewing

Old fabric for the new decade!

This year, I want to pare down my fabric stash even further. I had a lot of fun with this the past two years, and I managed to use up most of my hand-me-down fabrics and plenty of fabrics I personally acquired. I plan on focusing on functional pieces mostly, but I’d also like to make a couple pieces of historical clothing and create some more items for my etsy. This project also covers fiber, as I still have a few balls of yarn that I’d like to give a purpose.

The year has already started, so Slippers from Nothing but Scraps #2: Slippers for a Loved One counts as part of this project, as well.

Rules are that I won’t buy anything for new projects until I’ve finished all of the projects I have here. It is, however, okay to purchase a component needed to finish an existing project.

Will you join me in my 2020 Stash Use-Up?

Happy sewing!