Using Up Treasured Fabric

I have a problem. I love to collect fabric. Actually, not just fabric. I love lace and linens, anything with hand embroidery, silks, satins, velvets and gaudy vintage bed sheets. I love the look, feel and even the smell of fabric. Yes, I do have a problem. And what is the solution to this problem?

I have to start using the fabric I currently have in my stash.

Every quilter/seamstress has a section of special fabric that she has fallen in love with. Sometimes it’s so special, we don’t even want to cut it! It’s time, ladies. Get out your imagination and your scissors and get to work!

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew www.artfullysew.wordpress.comMy first treasure was this silky oriental print I got from my step-mom. I love the cranes and fans! I used it for the top part of the shirt and fussy cut it so that the crane would be fully visible. The rust color was brought out with some orange ticking hidden in my Halloween fabrics and accented with a hem of cream/blue ticking.

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew I kept getting frustrated with the sleeves. Originally I added long sleeves from another shirt I used for an apron, but they didn’t work and made it look clunky and tacky. Then I got some lace from a friend (click here to see more treasures) and decided it would look nice as sleeves. It softened up the look and gave the top a light and feminine look as well.

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew

This top looks great with a pair of jeans.

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew

Simba the cat had to hop into the picture because he is much more photogenic than I am!

What fabric do you have fears of cutting because you have a love affair with it? Share your fabric photo below and tell what you think you will make from it or ask for input if you’re stuck on ideas.

Now off to the fabric closet to find my next project!

Artfully sewing,



90’s jumper gets a much needed up-cycle!

I know amazing people. Recently my friend, Robin gave me a bin of treasures. For FREE. Bits of lace, embroidered pillowcases and vintage linens  – all crying out to be made into new things! It was like Christmas for this scrap junkie. On the top of the pile was this not-quite-finished jumper.

YJ 05wmRobin had made this a long time ago using a canary yellow tablecloth, an embroidered table runner and some crocheted lace doilies. In it’s time, it was very stylish and trendy. In order to live in my closet, it needed a makeover. The hem was unfinished and very long. Plus, although I do like yellow, it was a little bold for me. Robin had given me permission to do what I wanted with it, so I grabbed the scissors, extra lace and some dye and got creative!

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The first thing I did was cut off the length to about mid-thigh. I wanted this to more of a long shirt than a dress, that would work over leggings. To tie in the lace from the bodice, I dug through the treasure bin and found some lace from a pillow case to edge the hem.

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After finishing the hemline, I had the straps to deal with. Although bibs usually have buttons, all the buttons I auditioned just wouldn’t make the cut. I wanted this to look classy, not so cutesy, so I ditched the buttons and sewed the straps down to the front. The sides also got snaps that didn’t show instead of visible buttons.

YJ 07wmWhen I tried on the new outfit (over my pajamas, no less), I liked the length and loved the lace, but I wanted to calm down all the colors. Nothing a little tan dye wouldn’t fix! I added a half bottle of tan Rit dye to my washer, following the directions on the bottle. Here’s the results:

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The tan dye did the trick. It calmed down the yellow to a nice mustard color. It also antiqued the embroidery and helped tie the ensemble together, making a new, stylish top.

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If you like my chicken wire dress form, check out how I made it here: DIY Dress Form from Chicken Wire.

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This outfit is now complete with a denim blue shirt, brown leggings and boots accented with a long, lacy scarf.

Now back to the treasure bin to find something else to create!

       Artfully sewing,