My plan to upcycle unwanted clothing and textiles into one of a kind bags is off to a happy pink start. I'm tickled to say I sewed today's projects 100% by myself. And they still turned out pretty darn awesome. Big grin.
Yes, I continue to take private sewing lessons with Nasya at the wonderful Sewing Studio. And yes, I consulted with Nasya before starting, in the middle when I got panicky about cutting into perfectly nice articles of clothing and then towards the end when I botched some of the stitching... But all the actual cutting and sewing happened at home.
Without further ado, let me show you what I made this week:
I started with a pink ultrasuede trapeze dress and a light cotton skirt. Both pieces were given to me by a friend when she was purging her closets (Thanks Sun Hee!).
I immediately fell in like with the both fabrics but couldn't see myself wearing either. I looked at those lighthearted colors and saw.... but of course... a bag.
Initially, I intended to just make one small lined totebag. Nasya had walked me through the last one step by step. I needed to be sure I could do it on my own.
I laid out both dress and skirt, measured, drew pictures, remeasured, panicked & ran back to Nasya to go over the plan again, took it all home, measured everything some more and then finally marked and cut out the pieces.
A few items to note:
- I had to adjust the size of this latest totebag down. I'd intended for it to be slightly larger. But part of the challenge of upcycling fabric is the limitation of having only that article of clothing to work with.
- It's not a good idea to stick pins through ultrasuede. I used stationary clamps to hold the fabric together.
- My tailor's chalk did not show on the ultrasuede. I marked the fabric with a water soluble quilter's pen.
Tote - 8 1/2 x 11 square inches
Coin Purse - 5 1/2 x 7 square inches
Once I cut the fabric, I started breathing easier. I continued to make errors as I worked - like sewing the top stitch before sewing the edge stitch. I had to rip out 2 seams and redo them. My little pink totebag still has one pucker that I think I will just live and let live. But as I cut, clamped and sewed, I started relaxing into the entire process. I had a quietly satisfying time making the bag.
I wasn't ready to stop after completing the mini tote. I decided to tackle something new - a coin purse.
Here's the link to the tutorial I followed to make my coin purse. It took me about an hour to finish it. The entire time, I was sure the coin purse would be a complete failure. I drew my pattern free hand. I didn't actually measure for seam allowance - I simply eyeballed it. I couldn't visualize what was going on with attaching the lining to the pouch and then the flipping part. I was sure I would make a mess gluing (ok, I actually did drip a little glue here and there). By the way, the gluing part is a real pain in the butt & requires a few hours of drying time to set. I'm looking for a sewing on kind of frame next. But in the end, I surprised myself by discovering I'd actually made a viable coin purse.
I still have a little bit of pink fabric left. Can't decide.... should I make one more something out of it? Or should I start chopping up the next discarded piece of clothing?