Goodbye, Chicken Apron <>

Sometimes selling something on Etsy is a bittersweet experience. That goes for this apron I sold from my shop yesterday. I made it from a vintage tablecloth I bought at flea market a few years ago. I will write about the process another day. I made 4 aprons from the four corners, two with the chickens and lady, the other with a horse and buggy carriage. The other chicken apron I’m keeping, of course, but the two horse and buggy aprons are still for sale. Just click on the photo of it below to purchase.

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

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Chicken Apron made from a hand stenciled vintage table cloth

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All ready for cooking and baking!

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This tablecloth was hand-stamped with a stencil, I believe. The other panel has slightly different colors.

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Back view plus a peek at the   cool Artfully Sew tag.

Pretty in Plaid Apron

The process of making aprons from men’s shirts has been a learning experience! My design has evolved from a smocky apron to a farm-type apron to this type of traditional apron. All are unique and so fun to make!

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This Pretty in Plaid Apron started once again with a Goodwill shirt I bought for the colors. The pocket is a corner of an embroidered tea towel set on point.

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The pink trim and lace is from the bottom of my ribbon basket. The bodice looks very elegant.

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The back has extra long ties to accommodate many sizes. I think I’m going to stick with this style for future aprons.

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I’m still looking for opinions on appropriate prices for these aprons! What would you pay for a one-of-a-kind apron with embroidery and lace? Post your comments below.

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

Falling Leaves Apron

I finished up a few more aprons yesterday. I keep tweeking the pattern as I go. They all turn out differently which keeps it fun. I really dislike making the exact same thing over and over again. That’s probably why I seldom use the same pattern twice! Here’s the first one:

Apron of Falling Leaves

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This apron is made from one of my hubby’s worn out work shirts. The color is very nice, so I cut it up and used the back of the shirt for the front of the apron. With the leaves falling outside as my inspiration, I matched up an embroidered tablerunner to use as the pocket. The pockets are accessed through the side instead of the top. In fact it’s just one big pocket, nice and generous in size. Isn’t the edging on this embroidered piece gorgeous?

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The other side of the tablerunner will be saved for a future apron. After cutting the pockets, a nice sized middle section was left over. I couldn’t waste that beautiful crocheted remnant! By cutting it in half and sewing the edges together I created a nice skirt edging for the bottom of the apron. It felt a bit bottom heavy, so I found some leaf-like lace in my scrap bin that matched the leaves in the embroidery.

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The back of this apron has a tie and suspender type straps. I’m hoping that this style will accommodate many sizes. The straps are made from the sleeves from the shirt as usual.

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This photo also shows off my recently made dress form I constructed from chicken wire, a wooden hanger, a broom handle and the base of a broken office chair. It’s become a very handy tool in my studio!  Check out the post here to see how i made it.

Now the apron feels finished and happy. I will post more aprons throughout the week.

What is a good price for handmade one-of-a-kind aprons? What would you pay for this apron? Let me know you opinion below. Thanks!

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean

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

Quick Tea Cosy out of a Mug Rug

Wisconsin is cold in the winter, but this is ridiculous. My thermometer read -15 degrees this past week and the wind chill made it feel like -49 degrees! I don’t remember it ever being this cold. Ever.

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So when I made tea this morning, I wanted it to stay hot. Really hot. I have been meaning to make a tea cosy for my teapot, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

Quick Tea Cosy out of a Mug Rug

For my birthday my mom had made me some mug rugs. They are very nice for breakfast tea and muffins. The backside is made from a soft flannel which makes it insulated. I figured I could spare one for a re-purposed project. I headed to my sewing machine to make a tea cosy before my tea cooled off.

 

Impromptu Project

Quick Tea Cosy out of a Mug Rug

I had some hair elastics I keep on hand for various projects. I grabbed four of them, one for each corner.

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I attached them securely with a zig zag stitch and trimmed the loose threads.

5 Minutes later…

Quick Tea Cosy out of a Mug Rug

Quick Tea Cosy out of a Mug Rug

With my tea pot in the middle, I looped the elastics around the top of the cover.

3e0fd-quickcosy09And, voila! A Quicky Tea Cosy!

And my tea wasn’t even cooled off yet.

This project took me like 5 minutes. So quick. And I re-purposed a really cute thing I will use day after day.

If you don’t have a mug rug, how about a pot holder or thick towel? Keep thinking and adapting to your own style.

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 Now my tea will stay warm, even in the sub-zero weather.

Do you have a good re-purposed idea?  Post it below!

 

Kid’s favorite shirt repurposed as a bookbag

I’m sure everyone has a stack of kids clothes from years gone by that have become treasured keepsakes. Eventually I would like to make a T-shirt quilt for each kid but Nora had a toddler shirt that was just too cute to pack away.  I also really like the back of the T-shirt and didn’t want it to get lost in a quilt top.  After a bit of brainstorming, I decided to make a cute little book bag.

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Materials used

Nostalgic Toddler T-shirt (a backside print is optional)

Blue Jean Skirt

Embroidered Belt

OTHER MATERIALS:

Fusible webbing (I use Pellon Wonder Under 805)

Scissors

Clear Ruler

Sewing Machine

Thread

Before you cut

Making that first cut is always so hard because it feels wrong to cut up something you really love.  Sometimes it’s wise to listen to your gut because not every piece of fabric or clothing should be re-purposed. Before you make a cut, answer these questions to decide to save or cut:

  • Is the original fabric free of stains or rips? 
  • If it’s clothing, will it something that will pretty much never go out of style?
  • Will the new project be used less than it’s original design?
  • Does my child mind if I cut it up for a project?

 If you answered “YES” to any of the questions it may mean you are not ready to re-purpose this item. The shirt I used in this project did have a few permanent stains and although it doesn’t seem to be something that would go out of style, Nora really loved this shirt and didn’t want to part with it.  It seemed more useful to re-purpose it instead of tucking it away in a box.

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As you can see in the above picture, I cut up the sides of the shirt and around the sleeves. I also cut away the seams because they are bulky and weird looking. I did the same on the backside of the shirt.

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Add the webbing to make an applique

Before cutting the final shape I wanted for the applique, I took the unfinished shirt and cut a piece of webbing to attach.  My favorite fusible webbing is Pellon 805, but use whatever you like.  You will want webbing that is able to be sewn through or you will gum up your sewing machine.

Helpful Tip: Be sure to measure the webbing with the glue/rough side facing the back of your shirt. Lightly iron the webbing to make it stick slightly to the shirt.  You can permanently fuse it later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce the webbing was lightly attached I used my clear ruler to cut the applique down to about 10” X 12″.  Trimming the rectangle to a rounded edge gave the piece a softer look. 


I did the exact same for the backside piece/applique.  Now on to the bag.

Make a simple bag

Remember what I said about making sure your kid doesn’t mind if you re-purpose the clothing before you cut?  That advice is from experience.  The belt I used in this project was one Nora had wanted to keep.  She was kinda upset I cut it up for this project.  Oops.

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I also used a skirt I had from long ago before I gave birth to three kids.  Yeah, it’s never going to fit me again so it felt really good to cut it up with scissors. It was also a great choice for a bag because it’s very heavy denim and will be very durable.

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The bottom of the skirt lended itself well for a bag shape. The hem became the top of the bag so I would automatically have a finished edge.  Before sewing up the seams I added the appliques.  I have learned the hard way the importance of checking and rechecking the placement of appliques before ironing.  Wish I had a picture to show you, but I got so into the project, I forgot to take a shot!

After the appliques were fused I added a tight zig zag stitch along the edge to secure it and add texture. Plus, this will make the bag more durable and easy to wash in the machine.  

I turned it right sides together and sewed along the side and bottom to close.  I felt the bag winged out a bit so folded in the bottom corners a bit and stitched along there to make it more symmetrical.

I halved the belt and added the loops to the bag. Easy peasy!  

And there you have it.  A finished bag that will be used for years to come!

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Do you have an idea to re-purpose favorite clothes or fabric?  List them below in the comments. I’d love to hear them.  

Artfully sewing,

Angela Jean