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 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!


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

Made using a vintage Ten Commandments Charm Bracelet - see more photos at


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.



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


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…


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.


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…)


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…:)


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.


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!)


et voila….front and back!



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


Tutorial – How to make a scarf from t-shirts

Here is my very first repurposed project tutorial to make a rag scarf.


It took me about an hour and a half from start to finish….no sewing machine required.



3 t-shirts of any color combination.  ( they can have bleach marks or stains, it doesn’t really matter)

1 needle and thread

Scissors – they should be fabric scissors or else you may have blisters before you are done.


Step 1 – find three lengths of t-shirt fabric.  They can be alternating colors or the same color.  It’s fun to use different textures and patterns.  They can be the same width or slightly different as shown in the drawing.  Cut pieces as long or as short and as wide as you’d like – you have lots of flexibility!  For an extra long scarf you could sew two pieces together.

Step 2 – Either hand sew or machine sew a straight line down the center of ( and through) all three fabrics.

Ste- 3 – using FABRIC scissors, cut on each side of the sewing line, just up to the thread.

That’s it!  You can wear it tonight!


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