Posts tagged ‘sewing’

June 19, 2013

How to Sew an Upcycled Trouser Leg Bag – Super easy!

I’ve been doing that kind of internet browsing where you are looking for one thing that you think you like then you get distracted and end up looking at other things. This particular search started with a crossover apron that I thought might work as a dress but after a quick muslin don’t think will work. It ended up with this bag which is no longer on their website but remains on the blog

Miss Amoo saw it and wanted one. We have a pair of wild floral trousers hanging around after a friend passed them on to me because the pockets were ripped and she thought I might like the fabric for upcycling.

So here is Miss Amoo’s self-stitched version of the bag – cost £0 Free trousers and a flat kind of cord taken from a trouser waist

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Cut 16″ of trouser leg. With right sides together, sew the raw edge closed to form the base then with right sides still together fold up 1″ or more if you want and use my easy peasy gusset method to create a gusset.

Stitch straps on the ‘back’ side of the bag close to the side seam 5″ down from the trouser hem that is the top of the bag.

Done!

She took it out shopping yesterday and managed to squeeze her charity shop finds into it easily!

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April 19, 2013

Catching wees

Elimination Communication. I was going to say that this is not related to sewing or home education or anything else I have ever written on this blog but in fact it is.

Miss Froo was a nappy-free baby and grew into a nappy-free toddler and than into a child like any other who used the toilet like a normal person. It was a great adventure and a lot of fun most days with us all being able to know what she wanted unlike when my other children were little and it seemed that only I had the solution to anything! My boys were able to figure out that sometimes she needed a wee, not a feed so they didn’t need to call me to ‘fix’ her; they could fix her themselves and get back to watching the tv in peace. Which is exactly what J is doing in this picture.

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This did involve some sewing. The poor mite was half naked for a lot of her small life so she wore a lot of wool booties, skirts, dresses and waistcoats either knitted by me or sewn from felted wool. I sewed little ‘one wee’ undies for if we were out and about and might miss a wee. I sewed a fleece cover for the rim of the top hat potty so her little botty didn’t get too cold sitting on it and made easy-on kimono type tops as button up babygros and vests with poppers at the crotch were no use to us.

It was all about watching, listening and learning. We all began to notice patterns and signs of her need to use the potty even from a few weeks old. By the time she was three months old even my Mum could catch a wee when she visited and Miss Froo not wearing a nappy was becoming totally normal, even to our friends.

The reason I am writing about this now is that I see from Twitter that this week is Real Nappy Week. I’d love clothie families to move even closer to the dark side and think about catching one wee day and see how cool it it is. Most parents who use nappies of any kind can sort of tell when their babe will need to fill it with something and if you tune into this and catch one wee or poo a day you can save yourself some washing or a disposable nappy. It is so much easier to clean a potty than a baby’s bum!

I was searching for a link to tweet that would explain it all in one go and I went back to a site I used to read all those years ago (six and a half) and saw that Chandra has written an E-book which is a starter guide to EC. It is written with humour and is a fun read which is exactly what the EC journey is.

Read it here and share   http://tribalbaby.org/7-Secrets-for-Elimination-Communication.pdf 

In our home ed get togethers and elsewhere I’ve been pondering the fact that as our children grow we stop talking about the earlier parts of the journey and therefore aren’t communicating with those who are now at those stages themselves. I don’t want to be seen as someone who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt because I’m aware that not everything I have done has turned out as I might have hoped, but just as we share many practical tips in sewing or baking or gardening perhaps we should reach back to the earlier parts of our parenting and share our experiences with parenting newbies. I don’t know how to do this in real life but I think this must be what parents did in the old days or else no-one pre- internet would have been able to do anything!

May 29, 2012

Tankini and skirts

Well the new undies I mentioned in the comments broke the spell and sewing has begun again in earnest.

On reviewing Me-Made-May 12 I noticed that I have very few plain skirts and a lot of patterned tops which makes finding things that are not hugely distressing to the eye somewhat of a challenge. This had led to MMM failures or thisk week, wearing the denim skirt almost every day which appeals to my uniform tendencies but it doesn’t magically solve the washing and drying of said skirt in a timely fashion so it got more and more manky looking as the week wore on.

Friday was our wedding anniversary: 10 whole years! Who knew the Queen would be having another big bash with two bank holidays again so soon! I decided that as a gift from Mr G was unlikely, I would gift myself a day of sewing for myself. I spent a good part of the morning sitting in the sun on the front doorstep unpicking two failed attempts to fix the waist on a lime green skirt that I first sewed two years ago. It started out as a BurdaStyle bias cut, zippered A line-ish skirt with back seam and back darts that was far too wide. Then I took the zip out and cut it down to an Angry Chicken Five Minute A line skirt with FOE waistband and trimmed the hem with cream bias tape but I never really liked how the top pouffed out so I haven’t worn it.

The fabric is a kind of satiny stretch drill so sewing elastic onto the waistband again didn’t really help unless wavy is what is required so I threw this down the side of the machine and went upstairs to hunt for Plan B. This appeared in the form of a very long jersey dress that I bought at a jumble sale and only wear in winter under other because Wedgwood blue really doesn’t suit me. It was in a pile for the charity shop but I thought I would cut a skirt from it and see if that worked because I needed to have achieved something by the end of the day!

I went to the caravan for the overlocker and distracted myself pulling the seat cushions out to stand against the fence in the sun to freshen them up a bit, brought in the washing that was already dry and hoped that the machine was still threaded with navy thread so I could start straight away. It was, so I got cutting. Less than half an hour later I had a pull on,  yoga waistband skirt ready to wear with any patterned thing in my wardrobe.

Having sewn a jersey waistband on that skirt I realised that this might be the best solution for the green one too – doh! Here it is on the line. It looks better but is now a bit narrow across the thighs… so I won’t be wearing it much any time soon!

Then I hemmed El Famosisimo’s work trousers that have been waiting to be shrunk by four inches since around November. I have done a tute for this which I will post next later. As I had the overlocker out I also sewed Miss Amoo’s tankini, do you remember that word? It went with Library Card and some other obsession of the week. The pattern is from Patty Young’s Sewing Modkid Style and it went together really easily. Thankfully Miss Amoo thinks it is great and although the top front foe is a bit stretched she told me that the first thing you do is not always the best one so not to worry, I’ll do it better next time……..

I finished the hem of the top with a folded band rather than stitching a hem and it holds the top down well where it could have a tendency to roll up, I think. I cut an age 10 to fit her circumference but I needed to take 2″ off the top of the shorts after taking this photo as they were a bit too high. She has already swum in them and said the set was really comfortable once she had put the shorts on the right way round!

Thrifted dress over usual skirt with usual compression stocking. It gets a bit hot under all that lycra when the sun is beating down!

I went for a haircut on Thursday and ended up with hair quite a bit shorter than I had planned due to a hairdresser who doesn’t know me mistaking me for a boy and my usual lady having to cut it even more to make me look a *bit* more feminine!  This is the newly-sewn bottom half of dress skirt with a top half of dress top. A very cool combination which I wore two days in a row.

The denim skirt again with a Made by Rae Spring Top and a sun hat from a Japanese pattern book which I squeezed out of one leg of a pair of jeans. The sieve to the left is taped to a pole and is much better than a net for pond dipping. The hear no evil monkey was rescued by Mr G from a skip somewhere.

I have another skirt that I finished this week but haven’t taken pictures of yet. It isn’t plain at all though so I still need more plain tops!

May 13, 2012

Nothing New but still Me-Made-Maying

My head is full of patterns but I’m not sewing anything. Not even Me Made May has broken my inertia sadly. Never mind.

I’ve had a couple of days when the only me made bits have been undies or a vest. Wednesday was like that as I went to an uninspiring zumba class and didn’t get hot and sweaty so stayed in my ‘sports wear’ all day eek! I’m not keen on sporty looks in general but these trousers are so comfy.

Here are some looks from this week.

This is a half circle skirt which I sewed last year from some fabric my mum bought in Ikea. I made the waist larger than I needed so I didn’t sew the side seam up but overlapped it and added poppers from waist to hip. I’m wearing it with an ancient t shirt and an ebay cardi that didn’t look this colour on the listing… and it was warm that day so I got the crocs out

This was a chillier day so it’s the long grey wrap skirt of old with a long sleeved tee and a loose kind of waistcoat I cut from one of Mr G’s old jumpers. More poppers on this one! I have yet to sew a successful buttonhole.

On Thursday I took a risk and walked to town without a coat for the first time this year. I wore a blue t-shirt, the same grey skirt and same bright cardi again with a me-made drawstring bag. Do you like the girls’ stick collection?

Today is sunny but chilly indoors as we’ve got the doors open and kids running in and out

I started off with just the skirt, t-shirt and cardi then added the over knee socks and scarf after lunch. My hair is a mess so I’ve got a wide headband on to hide it. The skit is my old four gore denim with frayed hem, I knitted the scarf for Mr G two winters ago and the hair hider is upcycled from a cotton voile maternity top.

Ummm I think I might wear a different cardi next week! I’ve got a summer skirt that needs hemming which I might do later on and chant some spells to bring weather warm enough to wear it while I’m sewing.