Archive for February, 2010

Colorful clothes using fabric scraps

February 22, 2010

Here is a post with some inspiration to show that fabric scraps can be used for making really beautiful and colorful clothes. I have not tried to do anything like this because it requires some more time and planning, but I really love these clothes.

The first picture is from a swedish book “Sy till barnen” by Elsebeth Gynter which is out of print, but there should be a new version out in danish called “Børnetøj du selv kan sy 0-4 år”. It was written in the seventies and while the patterns are not that great, it has so much inspiration for using quilting and patchwork techniques as you can see on the picture below.

A more recent swedish book, Baby cool is more aimed at reuse of old clothes in a very colorful way.

A fantastic blogger, Kokalal, makes great children’s clothing, and although she uses new material a few of her creations can be inspiring for digging in to the pile of scraps.

Another blogger (sorry, all swedish), Naima’s design, buys second hand fabric and makes incredible creations mixing and matching with lots of colors and patterns.

Last but not least, using fabric scraps does not have to be limited to children’s clothes, here is a beautiful example from another swedish book “Kläder” that is also out of print. I just realised that there is an english version of this book called “Klader, creating fantastic clothes”, by Nina Ericson. I really love this book although it is a bit 80’s so if you can get your hands on a copy I really recommend it!

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Mending jeans

February 19, 2010

Luckily, before slaughtering my second pair of jeans, I found this great tutorial on how to mend jeans, and since the hole was not that big after all, I was able to mend the jeans so that they will live a little bit longer. My only concern is that since I used iron-on fusing, it will be more difficult to reuse the fabric once the jeans are beyond saving. Anyway, here is how I did it (check out the tutorial for a better description!)

This is the hole, fortunately not too big:

And here are the materials needed: iron-on fusing and some fabric.

As it said in the tutorial, I did my ironing with care and then I ironed on the fusing. I decided to “mend” the other leg as well, hoping to avoid any creation of holes in the near future.

Then I did my basting – this is really necessary since it is quite messy when you get to the sewing machine.

Now to the hardest part: stitching around the whole patch. Be sure to start in the most difficult part, which in my case would be the part closest to the knee. Be sure to insert the jeans from the waist, otherwise you will be in trouble. Stop often, with the needle down, and check so that you are not sewing more layers than you should.

Then comes the fun part – sewing with a zigzag over the hole. I also chose to enfore an area that was getting worn-out. I found it best to use a quite narrow zigzag.

And here you see the whole area. The seam around the patch is quite visible, but I hope that you will not notice much when wearing the jeans.

Jeans recycling #1

February 3, 2010

Two of my favourite jeans have big holes on their knees, so I will try to recycle them the best I can. First out is a small container that I use as a trash can for trimmings etc when I sew. I already had a smaller one which has been moved to my partner’s working area so that he can use it for throwing away receipts etc that he otherwise usually tend to keep on his desk…

These containers can be made of any fabric that is fairly sturdy. I used jeans both inside and out because I was too lazy to make it in another fabric, but of course I broke a needle when sewing through all the layers of jeans.

1. Cut off the hem of the jeans, and make another cut below the knee so that you will have two cylinders of the desired height (consider that it will be folded when calculating the height).

2. Cut two circles in the same or another fabric. The diameter of the circle should be two times the width of the leg divided by pi (or 3 to make things simpler). Add a couple of cm of allowance to this, if you cut it too large you can always trim off some of the allowance afterwards.

3. Sew the circles onto the bottom end of each of the legs.

3. Now you have two containers, leave one as it is and turn the other one inside-out and put it inside the first one.

4. Sew them together, but leave a hole, about 5 cm.

5. Now pull out everything through the hole that you left until you have a container with the right side out.

6. Make a stitching around the top of the container in order to close the hole, fold down the upper part and you are done!

8. Now use your imagination on how to make these containers more interesting, e.g. by embellishing them with needlework, applications etc. or using other fabrics. In the container I made, I added a small piece of fabric when sewing in step 4. I have seen some really nice containers on the web, e.g. by MayaMade and Little Miss Fix It.