Monday, April 28, 2014

On hiatus: Square seat cushions

I had hoped to write my next blog post after I finished working on a set of four upholstered seat cushions. I picked up a used copy of The Pillow Book by Shannon Okey, which has so many lovely designs in it for sprucing up any corner of the home! And anyone who knows me, knows that I have a large box of odd fabric pieces just waiting to be turned into...something.

But, alas, I overestimated the size of the foam 'fillers' and am trying to work out how best to salvage the process. So far, here are my two favourite possibilities:

1) Cut each one in half and make smaller cushions?

2) Cut each filler so that I can use multiple pieces of foam to precisely fit the shape of the original pattern?

I'm afraid to cut lest I spoil the foam for good. So for now, the nicely matching two patterns of fabric - one a remnant from a bedspread my grandmother made, the other a clearance-bin find at a fabric store - and matching buttons (from my grandmother's button jar) are sitting on the sewing machine table, waiting to regain my attention.

See! All ready to soon as I work out that whole foam thing...

I HAVE been busy finding new homes for some things that I no longer need, however. Re-using is another theme of this blog, and I'm happy to report that my Facebook Garage Sale was a success! Friends and family members happily availed themselves of the extra Pyrex dishes and cutlery and servingware that accumulated when my husband and I merged households. He and I did not register anywhere since we already had pretty much everything we would need, and then some...hence the "Garage Sale". The cupboards aren't nearly as crowded anymore - which is great since we don't have a lot of cupboard or closet space, in the hopes of cutting down on the number of 'things' we hoard.

Since it finally looks like spring out there, I have two upcoming posts planned that should be perfect for the (very late) season: - Fun, cost-effective things to do outdoors! - De-cluttering a.k.a. Spring cleaning!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Transformation: A skirt from pants!

Welcome back! My sincere apologies for the long and unintended hiatus. As many bloggers before me have stated, sometimes life events just get in the way, and that is also the case here - not least of the events being my wedding! I'll say more about that in another post, because I want to show off my latest treasure.

I had a lovely pair of black, 100% linen dress pants that developed a hole along one inside seam. The surrounding fabric was just too thin and worn for patching to be effective, so I dumped the beautiful pants into the rag-bag, thinking they might be used to patch something else.

Then I found this pants-to-a-skirt tutorial by Michelle and I knew immediately what the linen pants had been waiting for - a complete transformation! With a sewing machine, as Michelle mentions, the project can take as little as two hours.

But, since my machine's motor is still waiting for repair, I hand-stitched the project, which took me two days. It probably would have taken me even longer, if not for this tutorial by Danni, which shows any novice seamstress or seamster like myself how to hem using nearly-invisible stitches that won't unravel.

And then I got really ambitious after doing a search for skirt trimmings on Pinterest. Melly Sews demonstrated how to lengthen a skirt using a matching pleat sewn separately, and I wanted to try the same thing. Since the new skirt is black, I decided to use a bright gold-and-purple floral-patterned synthetic fabric I'd bought years ago for a scarf project that never happened.

Again, Melissa's tutorial mentions a sewing machine, and a serger. Having neither tool, I naively undertook pleats by hand. Not highly recommended, but I am very pleased with the results.

I feel great about having "up-cycled" a no-longer-functional item of clothing into something useful and beautiful.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!!

(Huge thanks to my wonderful husband for the photos!)