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 www.artfullysew.wordpress.com 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 www.artfullysew.wordpress.com

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew www.artfullysew.wordpress.com

This top looks great with a pair of jeans.

Fabric up-cycle by Angela Jean of Artfully Sew www.artfullysew.wordpress.com

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,

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Up-cycled men’s dress shirt turned into smock apron

I stopped by Goodwill the other day and picked up a couple of extra large men’s dress shirts for $2.50 a piece. I’m usually there on a hunt for vintage tablecloths and embroidered treasures, but when none turned up I hit the clearance rack. The shirts just begged to be up-cycled, so I tossed them in my cart and took them home. I love the smocky look and the way they almost feel like I’m wearing a dress or an old-fashioned pinafore. I swear I could have been born in an earlier era!

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(Jazzy, my black lab, is posing with me.) I used a contrasting shirt for the pocket and part of the back straps.

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I converted the sleeves from the shirt as the straps that button to the front of the apron. I finally get to dive into that button stash!

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In true Artfully Sew fashion, I added a cutesy flower and blanket stitched around the outside.

Now off to make another one!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Repurposing Pants into Shorts

My daughter, N.J. is in a growth spurt. It seems that as soon as I buy her clothes she grows on the way home from the store and they’re too small. That’s what happened with these jeans.

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N.J. only wore these a couple times before she outgrew them.

Of course we discovered this when we were in a desperate place, packing for vacation. N.J. needed pants and shorts for the trip. Although these fit in the waist, they were snug in the thighs and were already turning into high waters. I had bought them at Goodwill based on size only. Lesson learned. Between the two of us, we brainstormed and decided these jeans should be sacrificed and be transformed into shorts.

I started by cutting them off just above the knees. To give her more room in the thighs I took out the outside seam up to the bottom of the pocket. N.J. picked out a very cute piece of cotton fabric that I inserted into the side seam and I hemed them up. We both squealed with delight when I pulled them off the sewing machine.

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Sew easy! I bet it took me 15 minutes. I repurposed a pair of jeans AND saved us money on new clothes PLUS saved time shopping.

Do you have any ideas for repurposing clothes? Please share them with me and keep sewing!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean