Easy Sewing Project: Juggling Pyramids

Cooking and Household

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This was a very simple project that has yielded a lot of use. As an artist and seamstress, my dexterity and hand-eye coordination are important to me. I got the crazy idea that perhaps I could improve these by learning some juggling, so I made these juggling pyramids to practice. I’m still terrible at juggling, but I’m having tons of fun!

The pyramids are 3″ long on each side finished dimensions. They are made from 4 triangles stitched together and can be filled with gravel, plastic beads, or anything else you might have at hand to give them a little weight when tossed. Fabric for this project was the scraps of an old sweatshirt that was recycled into several other projects previously. I think just about any type of fabric would work.

Progress on Vintage Tablecloth Turned Wrap Dress

Repurposing, Sewing

I used the selvedge and hem of the existing tablecloth to my advantage for this dress. No need to hem it when the edges are already finished!

In the above images, the main pieces of the dress are put together but the details still need to be done. The arms, the neckline, and the ties all remain incomplete. Still, you can get an idea of how it will look!

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Finishing the neckline edge

I’m so excited for this wrap dress.

Drafting a Wrap Dress on a Dress Form

Sewing

I have a couple pieces of fabric that I’d like to make into spring dresses now that the weather is pleasant and I have the time to make something. The first is a hand-me-down tablecloth in a beautiful faded kelly green with some kind of blossom design on it. The fabric is rather thick and the pattern is large, so I need to keep this in mind with my design. An ideal dress for this tablecloth is one that does not require too many tucks or seams so that I can enjoy the lovely huge blossoms.

Here was my first attempt at making a bodice. I went with a more simple version with a single dart from the bust to the arm, but I am still proud of how this version looks. It just didn’t quite work with the fabric I have available. I’m saving it just in case I have a use for it in the future.

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Here is the skirt of the wrap: a simple A-line. If I had to go back and redo it, I would add more width to the hip, however, I just didn’t have the fabric.

This work-in-progress shows the bodice design that I went with. Most of the fabric in the bodice is untouched to show off the beauty of the material I’m working with. The fabric is, of course, turned inside-out. I’ll show off the tablecloth-turned-dress soon!

This project is a part of my Fabric Stash Use-Up 2020 Project.

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.

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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.

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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!

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Fabric Stash Use-Up Project 2019 Review

Repurposing, Sewing

My goal was to use up my fabrics until my 2 boxes were pared down to 1 box.

I have used up:

Blue-Green cotton-poly 50/50 blend sheet and here

White cotton pillowcase and here

White/Natural cotton batting

Yellow 65% poly 35% cotton fitted sheet

Minty Green Cotton

Various Yarns Here, Here, Socks 1 2 3 4 5 6, Hats, Headbands

Additional Random Scraps into Slippers

What I have learned from this year and last year’s use-up projects:

When historical clothing is involved, petticoats are my go-to for using up lots of fabric that isn’t necessarily cosmetically flawless. I know the majority of the material will be covered up by skirts but the fabric is still useful because it lends fullness to whatever garments it is under. Eventually, I got into a petticoat rut, but I’m hoping that this pays off by providing me with a variety of under-garments for historical clothing going forward. Once I get around to making proper outfits, I think it would be nice to have a few different accompanying undergarments and other pieces that I can add to change or complete a look. Also, headwear is a lot more complicated than I expect it to be, every single time I set out to make it, but it is perfect for using smallish, less than 1 yard pieces of fabric and seeing a completed headwear piece is just so satisfying. Hats can be really cute. I like chemises and shifts (they’re super comfortable and great to wear to sleep) but I didn’t make as many of those as I could have. I really wish that my fabric stash contained less synthetic fabric blends, but this is what I have to start with and I can choose better fabrics (and better secondhand fabrics to upcycle) from here on out.

Yarn is both easy and difficult to use up. One project takes so much yarn, but each project is complex, and with my limited skills in this area, it’s a challenge. There has definitely been a learning curve as I try to create more complex projects such as crocheted socks. The hats were fun but I didn’t always have enough yarn for them, and would have to unravel and make something else, as I am working my way through a stash of secondhand yarn so there’s a varying amount of the color available. Headbands are probably my favorite thing to make because they are so easy, and they’ve given me the opportunity to learn and practice a few new stitches.

I’ve learned the value of every little scrap. I didn’t buy anything to make my new slippers, and the end scraps of several projects went into making them possible.

Overall, this was a fantastic year-long project. I had some phases of making lots of one thing a few times and that gave me the opportunity to improve my skills. I solved some problems using what I had on hand and that itself is a valuable skill. It’s a pretty neat feeling to be able to produce something you need without spending any money because you have skills to do it yourself. It’s also cheap entertainment to make things out of what you have on hand.

For 2020, I want to continue using what I have on hand, as I still have plenty of fabric and a little bit of fiber left to use, but I’ll be less stringent with myself about not purchasing things for projects- if I don’t have any other projects in progress when I want to purchase (and I always have something in progress, haha). Components to allow me to finish existing projects are fair game if it’s in the budget, of course. I’d love to really get into making historical clothing items, but at the same time I’d also like to make more practical things like my slippers, maybe make some household stuff that makes life easier. My 2019 Fabric Use-Up Project set me up for an even better year of sewing in 2020.

Slippers from Nothing but Scraps #2

Cooking and Household, Sewing

Remember my nice warm slippers from last time? They’ve been working great! I don’t feel the chill from the floor on my feet at night.

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A loved one saw my slippers and wanted a pair for himself. I made them from wool and denim scraps. The sole is crocheted rag tshirt yarn with cardboard stacked like plywood for stiffness. I used a half-double crochet for these soles. To check my work, I would compare the size of the sole to the size of an existing shoe.

This iteration, I figured out a better method of attaching the top of the slipper to the sole, shown in the progress pictures here.

The slippers are quite thick, which provides excellent insulation from the cold floor. The fabrics I chose are thick and sturdy. The whole thing should hold up to plenty of use.

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My decision to use a nice, warm wool for the slipper came with a drawback: the underside of the slipper is very slippery! I used a bottle of puffy paint and drew designs on the bottom of the slipper, and it greatly improved the grip. He won’t have to worry about slipping in the night with these slippers.

Slippers from Nothing But Scraps!

Cooking and Household, Sewing

 

P1030953 - CopyI am not a slippers person, but I recently got up in the middle of the night, and the floor was so cold I dug around in my sock drawer for my (handmade) warmest socks to brave walking about. I haven’t had need for a pair of slippers since I was a kid (I’ve made do with a pair of sandals when needed), but I want a pair now. I’m not going to buy one, though!

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This is a project that I’m not using a pre-made pattern for. I made it up as I went, using the crocheted slipper padding as a guide for the size and shape of the whole slipper. It was pretty fun to hunt through my scrap pile for just the right piece of fabric- the right size with the grain in the right direction.

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It’s satisfying to see so many useful projects come together for no additional money cost. I’m spending my time, sure, but I enjoy making things and I enjoy using the things I make. I don’t have to wait in line and spend my hard-earned money on things that will wear out soon and get thrown away too quickly.

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The inner padding is a thick yarn from my slipper socks. It is double crocheted in the shape of a footprint. (Knowing what I know now, I would recommend half-double as it can make the yarn go further while still feeling plush.) I also made an extra heel padding circle from the very last scraps of that yarn. The padding pieces were stitched together by hand. I used whatever thread the needle was already threaded with, as it doesn’t actually matter; the padding will be covered in the completed slipper.

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The bottom of the slipper is made from an old towel that was so old I was cutting it into cleaning rags. I think I’d prefer a towel texture for the bottom rather than a tightly woven fabric. It may be somewhat slippery no matter what, but I think the texture of a towel will provide slightly more grip on the floor.

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Do you recognize the fabric of the sole and top of my slipper? I love this calico! It’s a sweet purple with those little white flowers. I never got around to wearing the dress I made and it’s up on my etsy now because I think someone else can give it a better home, but I’m enjoying working with the scraps from the process of making that dress!

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I have used these slippers daily since making them and they’re holding up well. It’s satisfying to be able to make something out of what I already have available!

Homemade Apron

Cooking and Household, Sewing

Part of my 2019 fabric use-up project, where I use all the materials I have before purchasing more fabric.

This apron was made of leftover fabric from a couple other projects I have yet to share with you, but I hope to do so soon! For a while now, I’ve wanted a big apron to protect my clothes from daily cooking. This was just enough fabric to make one. Now, it hangs in the kitchen where it’s easy to reach for.

DIY 1700s Bonnet: My Observations

Sewing

Here are my first attempts at 1700s bonnets/headwear. I got inspiration from the right-hand column of this DIY tutorial, however, I didn’t realize that I could click the image to zoom into the image, so I drafted the pattern totally by hand and without referencing their helpful measurements! (That was silly.)

1700s Hip Pads: Creating a Historical Silhouette from a Pillowcase

Sewing

These bean-shaped hip pads of upcycled white cotton from an old pillowcase (I have too many hand-me-down pillowcases to use them all) and stuffed with cotton batting scraps are attached to a tape to tie around the waist. These are the second thing I’ve made for my use-up fabric stash 2019 project. I made 3 pairs of these hip pads.

I feel that these are a better option than panniers of metal and cord for my costume wardrobe, as they store easier and they seem more practical, like clothing the common woman would wear. I personally am more interested in regular people historical clothes than the super fancy garb of royalty, though those garments are lovely, too, of course.

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