Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Sewing - Repurposing Fabric

I discovered something about my sewing machine that let me get back to sewing!  There was this vague memory floating around my in mind that two years ago when I first got the machine and read the manual, I saw an alternative to using the foot pedal .... I was right!  For some reason, I never wondered what the arrow button next to the backstitch button was.  You push it and the machine begins sewing (the foot pedal has to be disconnected, first), push it again and the machine stops - how did I not know this?!  It took a little practice, but it's not that bad to use - and it's great for winding the bobbin.

So I picked up where I left off when I was so rudely interrupted by my broken toe last week.

I've mentioned Goodwill's Dollar Thursdays before - I love finding great fabric at that price, even if it is already made into a garment.  A little snipping here and there, and it's ready to use!  The bold pattern of this skirt really hooked me a few months ago and it wasn't until I finally got it washed and put away that I realized it would look great paired with the circle eyelet fabric in a sundress I've had for awhile.

*clothing to repurpose (sheets work well, too)

I used this Simplicity pattern and made a top for my granddaughter, little c.  There turned out to be a lot of fabric in the skirt and dress - I have a lot left over!  I'm planning on doing some patchwork quilting soon and these should work really well.

Cutting the fabric apart

First look at where most of your unseamed fabric is.  Are there darts?  You'll get the best use out of clothing that has the fewest seams, darts, and any other additional sewing.  What does the hem look like?   I often like to use the hem that's already there, especially with a fabric like this skirt that has a good border pattern. 

Begin by cutting along the seams.  On the skirt, I cut off the waistband and then up each of the side seams to get two large pieces of fabric.  For the dress, I cut off the bodice (leaving about an inch of fabric below - I saved it in case I find different fabric to attach it to), cut the zipper out of the skirt portion, and then cut down the seams.  This dress was lined with a really nice cotton lawn - hard to find anymore at fabric stores.  I used part of it to line the bodice.

Pin the pattern pieces 

If you have a hem you want to use, cut the hem allowance off the bottom of the pattern pieces.  You'll need to fold a piece in half to cut pieces on the fold - generally, I pin the pattern pieces in about the same direction they'll be on the new garment to help it have a nice drape.  If you're new to using patterns, look at my sewing page in the left sidebar.


From this point, just sew the pattern as you would if you'd cut the pieces from regular fabric - except you may have saved yourself a hemming job!  This pattern is quick to sew - I only changed a few things. I added bias tape made from the skirt around the neck edge to give a little more contrast and I like to sew the facing over the bodice/skirt seam, enclosing it.  This gives a more finished look. 

I couldn't do that on the back with the way the button placket works, so I enclosed the seam in bias tape.

Tada!  One toddler top from a skirt and sun dress - with lots of fabric left over.  You'll be seeing it again in patchwork projects that are coming up.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [12 May 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria