Running with Scissors…

…just a few of the things I’ve been toying with, in between renovations, life, working, volunteering and everything else…

I needed a laptop sleeve, so I pulled out an old sweater and made a cozy….while I was at it, made a matching sock for my iphone.

Then I pulled out an old jacket and made a travelling pack for my phone…

And #1 son loves skateboarding brands but Mom and Dad are not so thrilled about the price tags on those things, so we decided to make one of our own using REVERSE APPLIQUE.  What a fun thing to do – I am sure we will be making more things using this technique….here’s how it works:

Using an embroidery hoop, we traced out the design we wanted to use using a washable marker:

 

Then we cut out a circle of what we wanted our background fabric to be, and stitched around the logo…(next time I will not choose one quite so complicated..it took too much thinking!)

Then we started thinking about which parts we wanted to keep and started cutting away the parts we didn’t:

tada….!  It looks even better now that it has been washed and the edges got a little ratty….not bad for a thrifted $1.49 t-shirt!

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Today I did some cleaning in the studio, and it doesn’t usually take long in there for me to get creatively inspired…..I’ve been looking at Anthropologie’s site and think that I can do a whole lot better for a whole lot cheaper!

Check out my repurposed Doily Bib necklaces!

You can see more photos at http://www.etsy.repurposing.com

Made using a vintage Ten Commandments Charm Bracelet - see more photos at http://www.repurposing.etsy.com

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Latest….

…not alot of words, just photos of recent work!

I cut up an old leather jacket that didn’t sell on etsy, and got lots of great leather pieces….this was just something quick:  THE CUFF:

(I had to try out my two snap putter-onner-tool-thingys that I got at a garage sale for FREE.  yup, FREE  along with a couple of quilting square / triangle measurey things, and elastic and binding and I figure it was about a $70 haul FO FREE…!!!)

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 HBI has been spending time in the studio with me….using the sewing machine, making what he plans to be ‘flags’.  The top one has already been modified and is hanging on the studio wall with a chain attached to it.  “Mom, I like it MUCH better with the chain.”   I’ll have to get a picture of it….

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I’m encouraging him to look at texture and patterns and find interesting combinations.

This next one is a little stroller quilt I made for my friend Kahla.  It is made out of men’s dress shirts for her new little baby boy!  I left one shirt pocket on so there is a place to put his pacifier…!

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oh man…I have like 4 other things on the go out there…just haven’t photographed them….I’m sticking mostly with fabric it seems, but this little project only took a few minutes…:

Remember way back last year I started to get a love on for those covered cheese trays?  Well I did find one this year for the love-of-a-quarter ( didn’t even bargain!)

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…started up with a bit o black paint I had kicking around:

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and ended up here:

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Perfect for my artistic philosophy:

Projects should #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s just a sneak peek at something currently on my table:

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Making a 5 minute hat

so, remember these arms I had left,
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after making this bag?
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out of this sweatshirt?

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One of my commenters on that post put out the idea of making a hat out of the leftovers….so, in 5 minutes flat, I came up with this:

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All it took was a few cuts, a line or two of machine stitching and a coupla hand stitches for the ‘fringe’.

Whaddya think?

 

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This fits so perfectly with my artistic/creative philosophy, in that the project must:

1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) be easy enough that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do it, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

 

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Memory Quilt…..

Let me just say right up front, I am not a quilter…never done it, never thought I would explore it….but….last week while at the thrift store, some donations came in from someone’s mother who had recently passed.  I know the daughter as an aquaintance and I was overcome with a thought as I saw all those clothes.

It just seemed like there was SOMETHING that could be done to ease her grieving, at least just a little….so I rummaged through, and pulled out some items and got busy that evening.

Once I had started, I realized that there was still a very strong lingering of her mother’s perfume on these items, and so I told myself I needed to work really fast so that I could present it, with the scent of her mother still ‘alive’ on it.  So…I was up until midnight…cutting, pressing, sewing….and I came up with just a small little lap quilt, or, as I’ve shown here, a neat little roll pillow….

It was just one small thing, that I could do…..

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Repurposing a sweatshirt with a broken zipper….

One downfall, I suppose, of volunteering a day a week in a thrift store is all the the treasure I come in contact with that really needs saving.  I see it all….all the wastage and excess that most of us have come to live with as normal. 

There are so many possibilties for items people have discarded as trash…

For instance…today I happened upon this Quiksilver sweatshirt that had a broken zipper.  

sweatshirt1Now, it would not have been that complicated to replace the zipper….a little time consuming and about 8 bucks.  No doubt the person donating this item didn’t have the time to try and figure it out in order to avoid having to go out and buy another sweatshirt.

So….I begged to take it home and repurpose it.

…..for those of you new to my blog, you need to know I have a propensity for projects that #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

First I sewed the zipper together by hand….just used brown thread and a needle and sewed that sucker shut.

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Then I eyeballed and  I simply cut out what I thought looked rectangular.

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Then I looked over the rest of it and decided on interesting pieces for the back….I also cut out one of the pockets and sewed it onto what would be the back panel…

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Now, I’m not into changing my machine thread just because ( it takes time, and cuts into my hour), so I thought the current color I had on there…an orangy yellow, would make a nice contrast and I just used that to stitch on the pocket.

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I don’t know much about adjusting the tension, so on most of my projects, the stitching comes out a little wonky, but that to me, just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be perfect…it just has to work.

After that I took out my handy dandy rotary cutter…( oh, now don’t you go thinking that I went out and spent $$ on this…oh no…I put it on my Christmas list last year and hubby’s equally crafty aunt, saw the value in purchasing it for me…I love her I tell you..!)  …anways, I took out my rotary cutter and matched up the back and front and somewhat tried to even out the edges ( right sides facing together…)

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Then, I started stitching the back and front panel together.  Also note the wonky stitching here.  I’m not one to go out a rip it out when that happens…I just go back and sew over it again.  After all, this IS going to be on the inside….if it were on the outside, I probably would reconsider, but maybe not…:)

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Ok, we are almost there now…by now, you may have figured out what we are making, but maybe not, so I’ll break the suspense for you…we’re making a shoe bag, or a little carry satchel ( which my 9yo has already claimed as his gym bag for next year…)

So, once you’ve stitched twice with right sides together, you turn it right side out and turn over the edges about an inch, and then slice into it twice so that the string will have somewhere to go.

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At this point, I did use pins to pin down the channel all the way around….and I (gasp now..) changed the thread color since I kind of wanted it to disappear on the outside of the bag….

finishing9and the measurement thing on your feed plate does come in handy for this job….helps you keep the channel size somewhat consistent as you go…

Next, you feed through your string… ( and make a mental note to change out your badly chipped nailpolish!)

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et voila….front and back!

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Now, my next dilemma…I’m pretty much left with scraps except for the arms….what can I do with them…?????  ideas????

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Repurposing something old into something new

Here’s a quick little project I threw together using two old sweaters and some scraps of fabric leftover from making two boys’ robes last Christmas.

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Quick and easy, I just pieced together the sweater squares and sewed a strip of the camoflauge fabric on the backside.  It is super soft and very warm…!

So look around your closet, any old sweaters needing a new lease on life?  You could do this without a sewing machine!

Newest REPURPOSING…

it has been a very full summer of something…of what I can’t quite pinpoint but we have been very very busy!

I’m sure the garden has something to do with that…

Now that I’ve tried and have had some success at pickling….

 

…I’ve taken some time to get back at the sewing machine…

I was inspired by this thrifted pillowcase….(for those who don’t know the Roots brand is fairly high profile in Canada)…

It became this perfect little bag  ( about 10″ x 12″ ).  The strap came from an old belt  ( I just cut off the D-rings and voila!)

The inside is lined with the same fabric and I put in a pocket large enough for a cell phone and a pen.

A view from the back:

I’ve got a few more inspiration pieces floating around in my head….maybe now that school is starting up again, I’ll have some more creative time to get back to the machine…!

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