Friday, January 2, 2009

A little recycling

Two of Patternreview's best contests are running at the same time - the Stash Contest and the Recycling/Refashioning Contest. I will be sewing until my fingers go numb.

I'm excited about both of these contests because I certainly have stash to use (more stash than I care to admit to, thank you very much) and the recycling/refashioning thing has always been something I enjoyed.

New Year's Day here was too stinking cold to go outside, so I blew off my daytime plans and got to work on my first recycling project. This version of Burdastyle's Franzi vest is made from two wool skirts, an old Ralph Lauren skirt of mine (from back when he was doing his "English country" thing) and one from the thrift store that turned out to have a broken zipper which I was too lazy to replace.

I took them both apart and cut the fabric from each skirt front into strips, sewed them together and then cut the resulting piece of striped fabric across into more strips, and sewed them together so that they were more or less in a checkerboard. I say more or less because I didn't stress about making perfect edges to the check; I thought since it was recycled fashion, it would look more organic to just let it go.

I used one of my machine's ornamental stitches to freehand stitch across the vest fronts to secure the piecing, and then constructed the vest. The sides and back of the vest were made from the leftover RL skirt; the entire vest is edged with bias strips of the checked skirt. I also made ties for the back of the vest from the rest of the checked fabric.

The interesting lining technique for this vest wasn't possible because I decided to do the binding on the edges, so instead I sewed the lining to the vest right sides together at the arm holes, turned it inside, sewed the center back seam of the lining and then pressed the edges under and carefully hand-sewed the lining to the body of the vest.

The gold buttons were from stash, but if I recall correctly, they were cut off something that either went in the trash or to the thrift store. If I'd purchased them, I'm sure there would have been more than 4 buttons.

Next up is (hopefully) the refashioned pink suede skirt into bag project that I started thinking about months ago, and it still hasn't gotten off my table. I know I should be working on "real" projects, but sometimes these refashioning projects just get my juices flowing in a way that simply following a pattern doesn't.

In other positive sewing news, I finally broke out the coverstitch machine from its wrappings last night and made its acquaintance. Probably not something I should have done after a day of straight sewing, but once I put my reading glasses on so that I could squint at it and learn how to thread the little monster, I did one sample hem and then ran my new BWOF dress through it and did a perfect hem in just minutes.

Then I came out and told Santa again just how much I liked my present.

Oh, the new BWOF dress? It's the one with the sleeves from the January issue. That's what happens when the issue gets there 3 days before the end of the month.

9 comments:

Kat said...

Karen, I'm enjoying reading about you starting your Coverstitch machine. Mine's $200 away from purchase--still on layaway. Maybe a Valentine's present?

Lindsay T said...

Yes, keep us posted on your adventures with coverstitch. I'm still thinking one of these days I might get one...

Love the vest!

Alana said...

Wow. I really like your vest. For some reason, refashioning attracts me, too. There's something about the challenge.

Little Hunting Creek said...

That is a great vest! I love the patchwork. Very creative. My son wants one now

patsijean said...

I love the recycled vest. Those two fabrics were meant to go together.

cidell said...

What a terrific idea! Very creative Karen!

Dawn said...

You are going to LOVE your coverstitch machine!!! Knits are so easy when you use it! I love your vest too. Very food idea.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a great recycle!!!

luckylibbet said...

Amazing recycle!