Posts tagged ‘refashioning’

May 30, 2011


Yesterday I took another load of stuff to the dump, put one large and two small bags of stuff in the boot to take to the charity shop on Tuesday. Winter coats that have still be hanging up are now in the Suitcase in the shed which holds all our out of season clothes. The bedroom floor is clear of stuff and I have given up and put some bits of fabric in another bag which needs to be recycled. I can’t really keep hanging on to every bit of cloth I find in the hope that one day I will transform it into something else because we just don’t have space. I may yet add some more to that bag this week.

I did get a lot of sewing done too: some new origami purses. I’m hoping to sell these through a local shop that sells recycled and upcycled stuff as well as offering crafty classes for kids and adults. Two are cut from old curtains, one is from a bit of fabric I found in a charity shop and the other is a pillowcase. I bet you can tell which is which!

This one is really cute

I cut and sewed the trousers all bar the waistband facing and the zip and they are a bit snug. Oops. The fabric I used last time had a bit of stretch in it but this woven doesn’t. Mr G got home with the girls just as I was sewing the curved waistband on and although I carried Miss Froo out of the car and into bed I wasn’t very interested in the tales of the weekend as I was a bit fixated on how I was going to add a bit of room to these trousers. Fortunately the pattern has 5/8″ seam allowances so I have added a bit to the hips and waist at the side and a bit through the crotch too and will finish them even if I end up having to lose a few pounds to get in them! The pieces go together beautifully and I love the shape so I might just go an get something a bit stretchy and make another pair.

Now my to do list is this:

A bag for the pump – still not done

Add polo shirt lower half to the blue skirt yoke with the pockets in a wrap that wraps at the back for Miss Amoo.

Take in the side seams and possibly add back darts to a shirt for El Famosisimo. I bought the shirt for Mr G in Tesco in a sale some years ago but when I got home I realised that the security tag was still in the shoulder yoke. I’d binned the receipt somehow so didn’t fancy taking it back to ask them to take it off. I found the shirt in my clearing out yesterday and had J google how to get the thing off. We couldn’t find a strong enough magnet so following the other popular advice to break the thing open, we got a big hammer out. That worked well and EF is now in line for a new shirt as Mr G doesn’t really suit dark coloured shirts anyway.

Finish my trousers

Sew a muslin for the 60s dress I want to sew up now that I have found an old duvet cover that I don’t want to refashion.

Post some patterns here to see if anyone wants them

List my old machine cabinet on ebay.

Ah, not much to do and I haven’t counted cooking or washing or all the rest of it!

May 28, 2011

Home Alone

This week has been a weird one with all sorts of things expected but still surprising when the day rolled around.

Last Saturday I had a fit of pique, put the back seats down in the car and started throwing things into it to get rid of. J and I made one trip to the dump which is now known as the Waste Recycling Centre but still appears to be the place where people dump stuff when they just can’t think of what else to do with it. I went with a firm thought that we were just going to leave things and not bring anything home. I went with El Famosisimo last time and we ended up with a bike and a stack of LPs including Abba and Elton Johns classics.

That done, the garden looked a bit less like a junk yard so I started on the sheds, the under stairs cupboard and the kitchen and filled the car up again ready for a 10am start at the car boot round the corner from us. We sold all sorts and I swapped my unused earth rake for a plastic springbok type rake with another stallholder which was nice. It was so wild and windy all day though that I came home with grit and dust in the creases round my eyes! We brought a lot less back with us than we set out with and the other bits have gone to the charity shop. We had enough money keep a bit of cash on our wallets as well as buy a massive piece of beef which lasted from Sunday dinner to Wednesday lunch which is not bad going in this house.

Wednesday was our wedding anniversary – 9 years working hard, raising an ever growing family and moving furniture around. How do we do it? I have no idea but we are pleased to have, once again, confounded my ILs who were convinced that it wouldn’t last. My MIL called me after the first time she met me back in 1999 to tell me that I wasn’t what she had planned for her son. This woman has some front and her daughter has inherited a good chunk of it too.

So, the day came sort of unexpectedly and we were unprepared. No cards or gifts of pottery or willow but lots of rushing about all day including me going to work (I keep forgetting I’ve got a job tutoring some small boys in maths) leaving Mr G to take the girls with him to collect EF and drop him at the orthodontist. We remembered the day was today so we ate our dinner at home then left EF with the others and went out for pudding at Ask in town where we sat at a table next to the parents of the lad we employ twice a week to do virtual filing…. and across from a new tenant. This town is too small, I tell you!

When we got back there were three extra young men in our living room playing guitar, googling stuff on youtube and drinking tea with biscuits. What is the youth of today coming to? Thank goodness they aren’t as reckless as I remember being.

Thursday was more work and more tutoring and panicking about getting out early on Friday morning. All was well and we had a good day. Then I forgot that I have to take J to fencing at 7.30 and I hadn’t cooked anything by 7.00 so we went out hungry-ish. I am losing my head, I am sure.

Well today I am Home Alone or at least it seems that way with the girls and Mr G away again at the ILs. His sister didn’t tell him that his folks were visiting her last week so he wasn’t able to give his dad his 65th birthday gift by easily driving for 20 mins to her place but instead is now trekking three and a half hours to give it to him in Lyme Regis where they live.

El Famosisimo has been out for most of the day so I have been here with J who is not much into conversation or neediness which is a welcome break from a day with his sisters and their demands. I have cleared out all sorts from the living room and he spent the day reading a book called Enders Game which he has almost finished now. There is dinner in the oven, EF is due home to eat with us and I have been addressing my pile of odd things that needed sewing solutions.

Miss Amoo’s fleece jacket was bought for a pound by my mum last year but the sleeves were too long and against my better judgement Moo cut them off a bit shorter. Now of course they are short so I’ve reused the ribbing I cut from a sweatshirt of my Dad’s which became the waistband of the upcycled jeans last year to make some loose cuffs. The colour match isn’t great but they should reach her wrists now.

The badge is her favourite

This next shirt I bought years ago thinking I could make a skirt or something from it but never got round to it. Miss Amoo has grown so much that it fits her as a long, loose, tunic sort of thing so I’ve fixed the ripped underarm seams and top stitched the sleeve bindings which I think I had unpicked in order to fix the tears at some point.

I bought this skirt at a jumble sale as despite it being way too small for me the fabric was buttery soft and draped well.

I made a little skirt with a ribbed waistband from the original lower part of the skirt last year and this yoke has been hanging about because I can’t throw it away….. I am planning to add a skirt to it for Miss Amoo as she will like the pockets. I will need to take some width out of the back seam but I’ll see what I can do.

The weekend’s other challenges area: to clear the bedroom so it doesn’t look like a jumble sale; to sew a drawstring bag for the air bed pump and power pack that has been in the living room for some reason and whose box is now flat… to sew up some more origami purses that are cut and ready and lastly I really want to sew myself a pair of summer trousers with 2m of chocolate brown linen I bought last summer for this purpose but didn’t sew up. I am going to use New Look 6190 which I sewed back when I couldn’t get any trousers on over my DVT leg as it was so swollen. There is a ridiculous amount of ease in this pattern and I took 3″ off the waistband last time I sewed it so I will have to make some adjustments there this time to save mucking about later.

If I find any other upcycles that could be finished today or tomorrow I will do them too but now I’m going to have a cup of tea and get ready to sit on the sofa for 90 minutes watching Wallander without being bale to multi task as it has subtitles!.

March 21, 2011

Sunny day, chasing the clouds away

I sewed something yesterday:3 pairs of pants!

I also

Got up late
Did four loads of washing – in, out, dry, back in and half put away
Spoke to a lovely man at Barclays India whilst simultaneously realising that yesterdays embarrassment in Waitrose is all my fault because I am stupid and the new card isn’t broken and I don’t need a new pin, it is just not the card for the account I thought it was for – doh
Listened to music
Changed Mr G’s wiper blades so that I can see through the windscreen when I next drive his car in the rain
Talked to the nice neighbours outside
Cut El Famosisimo’s hair to his satisfaction and swept up an awful lot of it
Cleared the living room floor COMPLETELY and washed it (for the first time since Miss Amoo’s party in February…. eek!)
Ironed eight shirts
Photographed a soon-to-be-tute for sewing a hidden seamed gusset for undies

J went sailing, Miss Amoo went to play at a friend’s house, El F went out smartly dressed, Mr G took Miss Froo out to get dinner and wiper blades and sponges then washed the car with her and then even cooked a roast without too many expletives in it. The girls had a bath and had fits of the giggles over who knows what and we realised that El Famosisimo is actually getting quite good at playing the guitar.

Some days are just good, aren’t they?

February 28, 2011


Some time back in the 90s I used to buy Boden for the boys and the things I bought lasted for literally generations: I have friends whose younger children are wearing clothes that El Famosisimo wore more than a decade ago. I haven’t bought anything from Johnnie for yonks but he still sends me his little catalogues accompanied by small inducements to buy stuff which is no longer the kind of thing I want to spend a tenner on (for the girls) or the best part of a a hundred pounds on for me.

Previous catalogues had been consigned to the recycling bin but this season’s has been pored over by my little consumers and someone said that they absolutely must have a paddling skirt. Miss Froo is of the mind that most skirts need to be long-ish so any skirt that is short-ish will be useful for paddling in at the beach with Grandma as it won’t get too wet.

The paddling skirt she had in mind was £20 and stripy. I have stripy fabric in the form of a very 80s blue velour dress which has already been plundered for its easily usable fabric but which still has a bodice bit with sleeves. And more sripes in a polo shirt gifted by a formerly larger friend who has now lost weight and is passing on his ‘fat clothes’ to poor Mr G. The suits are welcome but the shirts aren’t so I am trying to rid them of the whiff of very manly 1980s aftershave and refashion them.

This was easy sewing and I have saved myself £40 in skirts and more in p+p.

This is kind of before and after together, what can I do with the sleeves?

Before (squished up to get it in the frame)

After, using the original hem with a pocket as requested by Miss Amoo to keep money in for when she has to go and buy an ice cream or something without me.

Sometimes they aren’t too pleased with the things I sew for them and it takes a while for the love to hit. These were love at first sight!

Did you notice some coins on the table around the money eaters in the previous post? When I tried to clear and clean the table last night I found that they were stuck down. Miss Froo was most dis-chuffed this morning!

ETA I sewed the waistbands of the skirts using this method sewing the elastic to the waistband rather than making a casing. I usually see this done with an overlocker but it works fine with either a simple or three step zig zag on my machine.