Tag Archives: thrifty sewing

Spring Decor Crafting and Sewing

I love decorating for holidays! I made two little projects for spring and the Easter season.

I used to do more crafting before I started sewing and missed this type of project. The wreath was made with a wire frame with ribbon wrapped around it, ribbon mesh, and plastic eggs from the dollar store. I kept playing around with it and changing it.

Previous versions:

I looked at some tutorials but ended up improvising something very simple and fast, because I didn’t think I had enough supplies for a wreath with ribbon pieces tied on and didn’t have the knack of weaving the ribbon, both of which I initially attempted. I inserted wire into the egg openings to attach them. I thought the wreath needed something else so I added a flower I already had.

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I saved an old ripped quilt with the idea of upcycling part of it in a project. I love textiles, and always have ideas about repurposing. I thought I had better hop to it and actually follow through with an idea so I don’t become a crazy hoarder.

I found a silhouette of a rabbit I liked from Positively Splendid. The pattern prints on one page and I estimated it would be about 9 and 1/2 inch finished. I wanted a bigger bunny, and I found out that this is very easy to do directly in the printer interface. I increased custom scale and selected poster for page sizing. I tried a layout with 4 pages but decided on a 2 page layout with a scale of 125% for a finished size of 12 inches high.

I fussy cut the quilt to place the star on the rabbit body. Then I zigzagged around the perimeter to keep the 3 layers together, and sewed the two sides together leaving an opening for turning. Clip into those curves first!

I stuffed the bunny with pieces of the quilt, hand sewed the opening closed, added a bow, and done!

Cute! Happy Spring!

Quick Summer Refashions

Is there such a thing as too hot to sew? For me, there is. My sewing area is not in my cool zone, and I don’t like to set up my ironing board on a hot day. Sometimes I try to cheat and sew without pressing when I should to avoid the iron, but that doesn’t work out so well.

Rayon is a cool fabric for summer, and I have two quick refashions to show you.

The first is from my own closet from over a decade ago. I didn’t sew then, and I bought the dress at the drugstore, which shows that I was never much of a clothes shopper. The dress was rarely worn, and became too tight in the bust, and the elastic didn’t sit in the right place. I didn’t have much fabric to work with so I didn’t use a pattern and just improvised. I made a bandeau top elasticized on the top back, and made straps fashioned from the leftover top pieces. I like the swingy shape from using the bottom of the dress.

The sun faces are upside down. I don’t think I noticed things like print placement before I started sewing.

The before photo is from over 10 years ago when I was in my late 40s.

The second refashion was of a maxi dress bought several years ago at the thrift store that needed to be resized. It’s one of those dresses with the thin ties that tie at the back to give some shaping to the waist. The length was perfect but I never properly finished the dress because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it , so it sat in the refashion pile. The border print was the prettiest part of the dress, so I decided to make another simple boxy top. I used my altered Maya pattern and black bias tape for the neckline.

Even though I also liked the dress, the top will get much more wear than the dress would have. I already have another dress with the same style but with a print that I like more that I’m keeping as is.

Using recycled fabric already in the system is also an example of sustainable sewing. This type of sewing is concerned with limiting ecological waste, and is an issue widely talked about in the sewing community.

“Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly. The whole idea behind “sustainability” in general and sustainable sewing in specific is that of leaving a minimal impact on the planet. This idea incorporates issues like carbon footprint, waste creation and disposal, and labor practices.”

A large portion of my sewing is sustainable. Most of the tops and dresses I sew fit this category with the fabrics sourced secondhand, but I usually have to buy new bottomweight fabric for pants and new knit fabric. I bought three different knit fabrics last year – a ponte, a cotton knit, and a rayon knit and sewed them all. I have no knit fabrics in stash. To be honest, I started sewing with secondhand fabrics as a more affordable way to sew, and not because of the environment. I also like the creativity of upcycling textiles such as making clothing from sheets, tablecloths, and scraps. I like using what I already have, and I love the advantages of sewing this way from both from a thrifty and environmentally friendly perspective.