A Little About a Lot of Things

Archive for the ‘Reuse/Recycle’ Category

It isn’t easy, but it is possible!   Our bed is very high, so I have storage under it.  I picked up two plastic boxes and can store a lot in them.  The thrift store stash is in the suitcase I brought and the machine goes behind the sofa when I’m done.  The ironing board and iron have a holder in the armorie.  So it isn’t that bad-I just have to clean up everything each night.   The hardest part is cutting anything out.  Our only table is about 2 1/2-feet round.  So even a folded piece of fabric barely fits, much less easy to cut.  I tried laying everything  out on the floor, but I am entirely too old to crawl around like I used to.  So I’ve been making small things that don’t require a lot of space to cut or things I can cut in sections.

From the thrift store curtain, I made a pair of shopping bags.  They really hold a lot.  Plus, the groceries look pretty in them.  When I walked into the hotel lobby after shopping, Yamilette at the front desk had to come around and check them out.  She wants a pair of them now, so I’ll have to see what I find at the thrift store next time I get a chance to go.


You can see the pocket on the open bag and the other one all folded up and tucked in the pocket.  They fit well into my purse, and will fit great in the console of my truck when I get back home.

Another thing I made was a wallet, that matches my backpack/purse.  I made a few changes to it, but not too many. I flipped it so that the tab is on the top, changed the upper pocket so the opening is at the top and put a clear plastic pocket for my drivers license and insurance card.  It is on crooked, and the pocket edge is far from straight, but I didn’t notice it until the pocket was sewn in place, and didn’t want to take it all apart.  The snap pliers I have marred the outer layer of the fabric and you can see the ring from the outside.  If I had been paying attention, I would have applied the snap before sewing the flap.  But no, I wasn’t, so it looks a little ugly.  Not my best work, to be sure, but it is functional.  And it’s fun to take it out at the store and have people ask about it.  One cashier wanted to know if she could take and look at all the pockets.  So I emptied all my stuff out of it and handed it to her.  She was impressed.  Not so much when I held up her register to put everything back in it.  Did she really think I would hand my wallet and all its contents over to a complete stranger-even a very nice one?  I think not!!!008


I’ve got a couple of triangle side zipper bags cut out, I hope to get them sewn this week.  Then I have a box of stuff that Renee’ sent from home for me.  YAY!  I’ve got a few pieces of fabric, some hats and doo rags that were cut before I left.  My favorite snips were in the box, tailor’s chalk, magnetic pin holder and my quilting ruler.  So I have my favorite tools here now, I hope I can get some real sewing done soon.

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Hooray-I am finally able to start sewing again! Yesterday I had to take G’s truck in for wheel bearings and had it all day. I stopped at a Big Lots and look what I found-a new sewing machine!
brother LS-2125i

It’s nothing fancy, but the price was right-under $50!  To ship and insure my New Home would have been way more because of the insurance, so this is better.  I really don’t need another machine, but it made more sense to buy this than take the chance on something happening to my other one, as well as less expensive.  I really don’t need all the fancy stuff for what I will be doing up here.  When I get home, I’m going to give it to my daughter.  She learned to sew when she was about 8 or 9, but really didn’t take to it.  A few months ago she was talking about buying one to do small stuff for her house, but never did.  So I asked her if she’d want this one, and she said yes.  I figured she would but if she didn’t, I would have either donated it or listed it on Craigslist.

Since I had the truck for the afternoon, I also did some shopping.  My GPS said there was a Hancock’s Fabric near the dealership, so I went there.  I was there, it wasn’t.  A clerk in another store said it closed a while ago.   Then I put in the address for Osgood’s, a place some one at our hotel told me about.  After driving in circles, I finally gave up.  It kept reclculating and taking me back to the same intersections I just went through.  So I headed back to where I know my way around.  I stopped at Joann’s and picked up some thread, pins, an okay pair of shears  (I’ll have mine soon enough, but I needed something!) and a few pieces of fabric.  Then I went to a couple of thrift shops and found a few things:

thriftythrifty 2

The top photo is a curtain panel on the left and flat sheet on the right.  I’m planning on making Fold and Zip Totes with the sheet and regular plastic grocery store style with the curtain panel since I already have the lining.  The next picture is of two pillow shams of mircosuede.  They’re a beautiful coffee-with-cream color.  They measure about 2 1/2-feet square.  I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with them yet, but whatever it ends up being, I want to show off the topstitching.  Any suggestions?  All this neat stuff was only $2!  I love thrifting!


I liked the City Backpack so much, I made another.  It’s the last of the Skullduggery fabric I have.  I like it a lot, but this one is going to my friend Lynn.  She has wanted my purse ever since I started carrying it and I won’t give it to her.  So I emailed her the pic and she wants this one.  Since she’s an awesome tattoo artist, we’re gonna just trade.  G wants some work done, so it works for both of us.  I tried a wallet out of the black to go with it, but I’m not too happy with the bulkiness of it.  I may re-do it and tuck it in the backpack before I give it to Lynn.


I didn’t have a zipper for a pocket inside, but did shorten the carry handle about an inch.  Since I only had a small amount of fabric left, I couldn’t match the pattern too well, but it still looks pretty good.  I used a medium weight interfacing on this one since the fabric was a home dec weight.  It’s pretty stiff, but not like cardboard.  ( I did use a heavyweight fusible for the bottoms though.)  Another thing I did is coat the fabric liberally with Scotchguard before cutting it.  Since it’s white, I figured that would help keep it from getting too stained.    Again, the drawstring cord instead of fabric and buckles that were recycled from an older bag.  Another didn’t-have-to-buy-a-thing project.  Yay me!

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This morning I finished my newest bag, the City Backpack from Heart of Mary.  (You may remember that I bought a wallet pattern a couple of days ago from Corrine’s Etsy shop and really liked it.)  I am so pleased with the way it turned out!!!!  The tut was so easy to follow, it actually took me longer to cut the pieces than to sew it up.  (I found that I like pattern pieces, rather than just cut the fabric to size, so making the pattern took a while.)

City Backpack1



Don’t mind the mess on the table-I was too excited to clean up before taking pics!


It went together easily, even though I used a fairly heavy interfacing.  I didn’t have sliders to adjust the straps, so I used a set of buckles off a little backpack that was a giveaway at a baseball game a few seasons ago.  Ran out of fabric, so I used a cotton drawstring with cord lock instead of a fabric one that came from some old sweats.  The fabric was some I picked up a while ago, so basically, I had everything I needed, and reused a few things as well.

The tut was so easy to follow, and I made it exactly as instructed-no changes at all.  The next one I think I am going to shorten the carry strap at the top a little bit, add an inside pocket and a key leash.  The size is perfect for me, not huge, but just right.  Mine measures 9 3/4 inches side to side, 6 inches front to back and 11 inches high. You can put a LOT of stuff in it.  I love it!

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Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my friend R making some changes to her work wardrobe. She had a tux shirt that she wanted the sleeves taken off and turned into a halter and a corset that she wanted to take the cup shaping off and make a waist cincher.  Of course, I forgot to take before pictures and had to promise not to show her face in the after picture.  She’s very self conscious about dressing like this, it’s just for work.

RworkI think it came out really cute.  She’ll wear black shorts instead of denim to work.  And yes, the laces of the corset are supposed to be in the back, but they look better in the front.  The actual front is just a row of hooks and eyes.  There’s a little embroidery around the bottom that looks a lot like the lace on her bra.  It was a fun afternoon.  She’s got a few other ideas in mind for another day-can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

After doing that, I looked at a bag of clothes that are way too big to wear anymore and started thinking-how can I reuse that to make something I can use now?  I’m talking some of these clothes being 8 sizes too big (I lost 110 pounds on Weight Watchers a few years ago and these are some of my absolute favorite clothes I couldn’t part with.)  So today I may just pull out a couple and see what I can do.  I’ll keep you posted!

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