Recycled suit trousers into stylish work bag

Recycled suit trousers into stylish work bag

With the recent introduction of charging for plastic bags my large tote is incredible useful for odd bits of shopping – but it is not very smart for work. In a recent issue of Love Sewing I spotted this rather cute bag from the book Measure Cut Sew by Susan Wasinger.

Bag

I decided to sew one up for myself, with the odd amendment. Diving into my stash I discovered a pair of suit trousers, passed on to me due to a hole, plus some black fabric. I also discovered some padded handles I had made in a dark grey. Perfect combination for a new stylish work bag:)

Styish work bag materials

I chose grey zips to highlight the hints of colour running through the trousers.

careful cuttong of the trousers

Careful cutting enabled me to keep one of the trouser pockets.

Suit trousers to create exteral zup pockets on bag

Adding soft and stable to the body of the bag has given it great shape and support. I tacked it into place, which was a great help when when inserting the zip. These two panels created the two external pockets of the bag.

inserting zip into bag

The recycled stylish work bag is lined with a former duvet cover and has two slip pockets, one for my personal and mobile phone, and one for my work tablet.

Inserting the lining

Finally I inserted the lining to the bag, and as per the instructions hand stitched in along the zip. This is a different technique to how I usually add the lining but it is holding up well.

Recycle trouser bag - upcycled some trousers into a stylish work bag

After using the bag for work for the last fortnight I’m really pleased I took the time to upgrade and treat myself to a new bag – I feel smarter!!

Upcycled suit into work bag and tablet case

I feel I have unwittingly create a co-ordinated approach to work as it goes so well with my upcycled jacket tablet case – more information here:) Here in the UK its bank holiday Monday – my daughter is keen I upcycle a large adults skirt she spotted a charity shop into a skirt for her. Hope you have a lovely day whatever you are doing,

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At last, a finished selfish sew

At last, a finished selfish sew

Recently I have been reading Love Sewing magazine. Each issue comes with a free printed pattern plus lots of projects which range from bags to soft toys and children’s projects.

The magazine has inspired me to sew a top for myself – I chose the Threadcounts pattern 1502 which came with issue 22. The crossover design of the top is great for concealing my wobbly mummy’s tummy! With lots of options I chose to sew a winter top with long sleeves.

Jersey wrap top

I found deep red jersey fabric at my local market, it is a heavyish weight so great for a winter wear (I started sewing it in January!). The pattern is described as easy, but it’s a not a pattern I would recommend as your first.  The front is made with three pieces of fabric to create the wrap gathered look. The pivot on the neck took some thought, I appreciated the clear illustrations on the pattern instructions.

pivot neckline

 

Sadly my overlocker  fell out with me when I asked it to sew the side seams. These are three layers of fabric, which includes a gathering of fabric.

Top tips for maintaining your overlocker

The overlocker was sent away for a repair and my sewing stalled. Several weeks later I discovered my regular sewing machine was perfectly happy with the thickness of fabric. I am sure this is a reflection of the quality of the two machines, my overlocker is a budget model – the repair shop did advise me that the cost of the repair could easily be put towards a higher quality machine!

 

Threadcount Pattern 1502 jersey top

Being long in the torso I appreciate the long length of the top. I plan to sew the pattern again for summer, sleeveless in a light weight jersey. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a picture pre fitting the sleeves (as it was taken on my phone the picture quality is too poor to transfer).

Love Sewing magazine is priced at the cost of one sewing pattern. With lots of projects to inspire plus hints and tips for improving your sewing this magazine is a pleasure to read.  I think its a bit of a bargain, especially if you sign up for a subscription making it less than £4 an issue!

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Disclaimer – I have been provided with a years subscription to Love Sewing Magazine in return for a review, all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

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Earth Day Blog Hop – Adapt & Repair Clothes

I’m excited to be taking part in an Earth Day Blog Hop organized by Lulu & Celeste.

One of my motivations for blogging is to inspire and encourage people to upcycle, to sew with garments & fabrics which have been passed on by their previous owners. As a family I try and buy our clothes from charity shops (thrift shops for American readers), I adapt and repair clothes.

This week has been no exception. For my son I repaired his jeans for a second time – to be honest he’s a little disappointed, he liked the hole!

Patchwork jean repair, sashiko repair

The first sashiko repair on his jeans is in a beautiful red yarn.

For my daughter I converted a pair of cotton trousers, bought for £1.50, into a skirt.

Upcycled trousers into a skirt, transform a thirfty purchase into a new skirt. Quick & simple steps

pin to make later

I followed the same principles as for this denim skirt.

Earth Day Blog shop - adapt charity shop clothes

We had fun with her posing for photo’s:)

For myself I resized a dress from a size 20 to a size 14.  To be honest I hadn’t quite realised the dress was so big when I bought it. It’s my entry for #bigcfrocksonfriday  – a local cancer charity Big C which is promoting upcycling clothes, especially on the run up to prom season. Naturally I wish to support them, find out more here.

before and afterFirstly I removed the sleeves, the dress was too wide on my shoulders (and I wasn’t confident about refitting the sleeves!). Secondly I tacked an inch in on the side seams and tried on.

Altering dress

I stitched the new seams taking in further at the waist. I then turned in the jersey fabric to finish the arm holes.

Finishing the arm holes

Lastly I rehemmed (the first hem had become undone). It was surprising how quickly the adaptations were made – my new dress for £7:)

Next time you are in a charity shop think differently – can you upcycle, repair and prolong the life of clothes? It’s one way in which  you can make a small step to minimise your personal impact on our earths limited resources. The first Earth Day in 1970 motivated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is recognized as launching the modern environmental movement. Since those early days the movement has encouraged people to a Billion Acts of Green, who not pop over to the Earth Day website and be inspired to do your part “lets get really big stuff done for our planet”

 

Check out all the stops on the Earth Day Blog hop :

April 18:

Vicky Myers CreationsCoral and Co.

April 19:

Seam of My Pants

April 20:

EYMMCreate 3.5

April 21:

PenSeb&RoxCandice Ayala

April 22:

Lulu & Celeste (Round Up post)

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vickymyerscreations

vickymyerscreations

I am inspired by our wonderful world, creation is constant and yet changing. I feel it is important to respect the environment and where possible to upcycle/recycle. Blessed with creativity I try to appreciate it and develop it:) Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please do sign up to follow my journey:)

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