We have lived in our home six and a half years We designed the living room to be timeless, so fairly traditionally decorated with neutral colours, old leather sofas, tall book cases packed with books, a wood burner plus a traditional rug.
We decided to update the feel of the room. I was keen to bring in a touch of originality, recycling, something that represented our personality’s.
After much discussion the furniture was rearranged, books sorted and parted with (most went to the Greenhouse Trust a local environmental charity). Our conversations revolved around a cube effect storage solution running below the long window. This gives us the ability to continue to close the curtains.
Then I remembered some wooden shweppes crates given to me by my Grandad (he packed me a tool box when I left home).
These add a variety of shape and design as well as the sentimental value. Once agreed on layout we then cleaned and sorted the boxes. Some were cleaned and waxed.
Others were lightly brushed with thinned down chalk paint to highlight the texture in the wood.
The crates are sturdier than envisaged, so there is no need to bolt them together. This gives us flexibility for rearranging as and when the desire take us.
We love the finished result.
The room feels spacious (it is a large room), modern and reflects our personality.
It’s great to change the look of the room for £50 worth of apple crates (thanks to ebay),
Have I ever told you I’m a last minute person? Today is the closing date for an upcycling competition being held by Korbond, with a prize of a sewing machine its got to be worth an entry!
This week I read a great article “It can take an incredible 2700 liters of water to produce the cotton for just one single t-shirt. With only one percent of the world’s water supplies being clean and accessible, this is highly significant. Cotton farming also takes up agricultural land that could be used to produce food for local communities and it uses an extremely high number of chemicals during production.” (1millionwomen) Any competition which encourages extending the life of clothes needs to be supported.
The competition is to upcycle two garments into one. I new straight away that I wished to experiment with an old patchwork liberty waistcoat I made for a school project (25+ years ago) with sashiko inspired stitching.
A plan formed to create a skirt from a pair of cotton trousers, to be embellished with sashiko stitching and pieces of the liberty waistcoat.
Yesterday I finally spotted a pair of suitable trousers in a charity shop – today I spent stitching whilst listening to the radio, bliss.
Firstly I made the skirt (if you would like to know more about how to do that check out this tutorial).
Then the fun bit, I played with pieces of liberty fabric patchwork.
Lastly I hemmed the skirt – initially the plan was to turn under the hem ad hold with bondaweb. However this didn’t pan out so instead I used bias binding.
The project took the morning, what a lovely morning.
Plus I was treated to a great radio program “Tunes from the Trash” all about trash turned into musical instruments in Paraguayan. A program after my heart:)
Shortlisted garments will be shown at the Sewing for Pleasure event at NEC on the 19-21st March, with the winner chosen by the public. I expect there to be some high caliber entries, I look forward to seeing the upcycled garments.
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I confess to spending far too much time on Pinterest – browsing many inspiring images often sparks ideas. I love the beautiful Shibori style dying images popping up. It’s time to have a go.
My original thoughts were to use denim (you may have noticed I love denim!) using a easily available household dye for light denim, with the plan to try bleaching darker denim another time.
I started with light denim, folding, scrunching, tying then dying in denim navy Dylon dye.
Here are my experiments:
Fabric folded in in half and then pleated as if a fan. This was wrapped round with string.
Fabric folded into squares. Each corner held with a bull dog clips.
Gathering the fabric into a ball, held with rubber bands.
Fabric gathered loosely with a running stitch, then held/ties with rubber bands.
Fabric bunched up and held with rubber bands.
Once dry I played with ideas for hand embroidery to compliment the designs. Finally I made a shibori style denim heart pencil case! I really should make myself a pencil case with the with words printed on Hands Off but it would make no difference, no doubt my pens will soon be borrowed!
Shibori Denim Heart Pencil Case
You will need:
Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of the denim pieces.
Cut out three heart shapes from your denim. I folded the denim in half so I could cut out both sides of the heart at once.
Apply bondaweb to the reverse of the denim, place wrong side of the denim on top of the shibori denim and iron in place.
Hand stitch to embellish the hearts, then machine stitch twice around the heart. This photograph shows a finished heart, a hand stitched heart and the heart as it starts.
Alternatively you can cut out three hearts, bondaweb on top of the main denim bag and embellish.
Now you have finished the decoration of the pencil case its time to sew the zip in.
Place one piece of lining right side up then place the zip long the top edge. Then place the right side down of the denim, edges aligning. Pin, then machine stitch (use a zipper foot) through the three layers.
Fold back and press. Top stitch, this stops the lining becoming caught up in the pencil case zip.
Repeat for the other side of the zip.
Unzip the zip by three quarters. Fold out so the right sides of the lining face each other, and the right sides of the bag face each other. Ensure the zip lies towards the lining.
Stitch round leaving a turning gap along the long edge of the lining.
Turn right sides out, then slip stitch the turning gap on the lining.
This post is linked up at All Free Sewing where you can find thousands of free sewing tutorials.