Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Finishing, recycling, upcycling

One night this past weekend, when the house was quiet and I was itching to make something, the sewing machine came out. Most of the time it sits very quietly underneath its handmade cover, just looking pretty and waiting patiently. To tell the truth, we aren't on intimate terms just yet. My sewing skills are extremely rudimentary, and my pattern and cloth-cutting skills even worse.

So, just to build my confidence by doing something I do know well, I first finished up the mittens you see above, from the Subway Mittens pattern, with a pocket for your bus/subway pass (Ravelry link), for the lovely Rachael, in exchange for one of her fanciful paper dolls. For you knitters, the yarn is Noro Kureyon. The glass bead was made by local artist Linda Lawrence. Yes, I know it's spring, but in this climate, it's foolish to put your winter clothing away before May 1. (It snowed on Mother's Day one year.)

Anyway, then I decided to try some sewing, but at least with a familiar fabric.

This is a sleeve for my new netbook, made from a thrifted and felted cashmere sweater. The cashmere is lovely to sew, and it came together quite easily. You can see the bottom of the sweater at the left, where the ribbing is. I added the button, purchased a couple of years ago at (I think) second storie market. Unfortunately, I don't have the name of the artist.

That bunny makes me smile every time I pull it out of my bag.

I know, this kind of looks like a shower cap. It's a bowl cover, to use instead of lots of wasteful plastic wrap, from this tutorial. I used a thrifted plastic table cloth and some elastic I picked up for a quarter at Craft Bits & Pieces consignment shop. (I LOVE this shop and need to make another trip!) I made 4 of them before I ran out of elastic.

And finally, I made some hankies. My sinuses must be in cahoots with Kleenex, for all the tissue I've gone through in my lifetime. Well, no more! I cut squares about as big as I thought I wanted them to be, using pinking shears to minimize fraying, ironed down the hem, and just sewed all the way around. There's a fancier way to do a nicer hem, but I didn't want to work that hard, given the intended purpose.

Although these are all quite simple, as sewing goes, they are all extremely useful, and they helped me and my sewing machine get to know each other a bit better. Maybe next time I'll try something crazy like working from an actual pattern.


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