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Friday, September 12, 2014

City Gym Shorts + mending boys pants (Waste Not Weekly #8)

 
I've completed the other two pairs of City Gym Shorts I cut out. Remember when you're looking at these pictures, they're pajama shorts (a.k.a. stash fabric-eaters) and I don't intend to wear these jazzy little numbers outside.
These count toward Waste Not Weekly because the fabric, thread, and bias tape came from the stash. I did purchase some elastic, though.

I'll be writing up and vlogging a proper review of Purl Bee's City Gym Shorts pattern sometime this week.
I also got some mending done! My mending pile is out of control at this point, and the only reason I tackled the kid's stuff first (as opposed to the numerous pairs of my own jeans) is because I didn't want them to outgrow these clothes before I fixed them!
Is that not the wonkiest truck that ever wonked? Better than that hole it's covering though. For these two applique patches I just freehand cut the shapes out of a t-shirt last seen here (using up more of the #WasteNotWeekly pile). Then I used a basting glue stick (didn't want to waste any precious Steam-a-Seam for a proper applique, ha!) to stick the patches on and zig-zagged around the edges with my ballpoint needle. (A pair of my husband's jeans also got patched this week, not pictured.)

I realize my Waste Not Weekly posts are pretty boring, but it's actually helping tackle this monster of a refashion/repair/stash fabric pile...so thanks for baring with me!

Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Friday, August 29, 2014

DIY French Memo Board tutorial (Waste Not Weekly #7)

For some reason I felt especially accomplished with this week's Waste Not Weekly post. I think it's because I wasn't just stashbusting and using up spare craft supplies, I was also fulfilling a need we had.
For as long as we've lived here, I was planning on putting a bulletin board over the bookshelf in our boys bedroom to hold mementos like postcards, ticket stubs, and birthday cards. After consulting with Google on searches like "boys bulletin board", I figured one of those ribbon bulletin boards, or "French Memo Boards" as I learned they're called, was just the ticket.
I especially loved that I got to use a super-fun comic book themed Star Wars fabric-- getting it out of the stash, and on display on the wall. I also harvested a stretched canvas from an unused felt board (pro-tip: just ignore those little tutorials out there that tell you to use flannel as the base for your felt-boards. USE FELT.)

I did have to buy a couple of things: ribbon and buttons. Both were on sale but unfortunately now I have to use up the rest of those. Everything else came from the stash.
Yay to getting projects ticked off the list! Yay to using up stuff that's otherwise just sitting in a drawer! (See what I mean about this week's sense of accomplishment?)

Have you made one of these ribbon bulletin boards before? They're actually super easy and can be done in an afternoon-- which, of course, added to the I'm gettin' stuff DONE feeling. I made a How to Make a French Memo Board tutorial video if you'd like to try one:
Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basic sewing machine maintenance

When's the last time you cleaned and oiled your machine? Or took it in to have serviced?

If the answer is "never", then now's the time to do it! I made a sewing tutorial video if you've never done it before... and if you have done it before, hopefully this post will serve as a little reminder to do it right now!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Waste Not Weekly #6: fabric stashbusting

The have: old lady Mary Engelbreit (-ish?) fabric (sorry, Engelbreit fans), and a new FREE pattern I'm itching to try. The need: new pajama shorts for summer.

The end result:
For this week's Waste Not post (I did, btw, change the post day from Wednesday to Friday!) I decided to do a little stash busting while fulfilling a need. I inherited this not-quite-my-jam Mary Engelbreit quilting fabric from my Grandma. I briefly considered donating it to the thrift store before deciding that it's cute enough that I can live with it, and that I could use it for a lining or muslin or something. When this free pattern was released, I knew it was destined to become something that wouldn't be worn out of the house: PJ shorts.


This is Purl Bee's City Gym Shorts pattern. I don't have a whole lot to say about the pattern, especially considering that it's a free pattern that Purl Bee generously provided to the sewing blogosphere. I have a couple of other pairs I cut out at the same time, which aren't yet finished, and I'll type up a full pattern review when I post those.


(I really tend to overdo it on the free patterns, don't I? Especially considering I spend so much money on NOT free patterns.)

Waste Not Weekly is all about my efforts to avoid fast fashion and heavy consumption while being as frugal and sustainable as I can. Once a week, I dedicate a post to checking off projects on my to-do list by using up my fabric and craft stash instead of buying new supplies, or refashioning and repairing clothes I have instead of buying more clothes.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Waste Not Wednesday #5: little fixes

On Waste Not Wednesdays I share my weekly attempt at trying to whittle down my pile of clothes slated for altering, repairing, and refashioning, as well as tackling my cache of sewing UFOs and my fabric stash. It's my attempt at avoiding Fast Fashion while remaining frugal and sustainable.

This week has very little to do with avoiding fast fashion, but everything to do with tackling those little "to fix" projects. Those kinds of projects that just may've sat around forever unfixed if I hadn't promised myself to tackle a project a week, and now that they're done I can move onto better projects without these ones nagging me.

Seriously? Boring, unblog-worthy stuff, but stuff that might not have gotten done if I didn't blog about it.

I ordered a bulk batch of teething necklaces (also called silicone nursing necklaces) for my nursing 10-month old and I. If you're not familiar-- I wear them, but they're for my son to chew with or play with while nursing (instead of my hair). A couple of them were too short, and I didn't like the knots in between each bead. Some came without knots and I liked that look better, so I switched them. Here are the three I fixed.
Obviously, it was as easy as pulling them off the ribbon and re-stringing them. I did have to buy new ribbon (after buying satin cording or "rat tail" {*cringe*} that ended up being too wide for the bead hole).

I also had a purse my mom asked me to fix staring at me in the face every time I walked past it. This one was a doozy. Basically, my mom can't buy a purse in a store like a normal person. She bought it from a vendor at the Reno Rodeo, so once she saw there was a defect, she couldn't return it. A zipper on a pocket hadn't caught completely in the stitching. It was hard to fix without removing the entire lining.
I unpicked the stitches above the pocket and then re-sewed it with the pocket open, with the zipper sandwiched between the lining parts. It worked? The zipper sticks a little. But I think I've fulfilled my unselfish sewing requirements for the year.

Finally, I had just one string to re-string in a mobile my sis bought for my sons in Mexico. She'd already fixed it once, but it came out again and required me digging through an extensive needle stash to restring it. So it sat untouched for eight months, until I decided to tackle it are part of this week's "small fixes". This time, I hit it with some crazy glue to keep it from coming apart again.
I also got it hung in their room! See the ceilings? My husband scraped off the popcorn. The re-texturing and painting are still on his to-do list.

Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Superhero Cape from an Upcycled T-shirt {Waste Not Wednesday #4}


In this week's YouTube video, I show you how to make a superhero cape out of an old T-shirt. This is a super easy and fast project with satisfying results. All you really need is an adult-sized t-shirt and some scissors-- everything else is optional!

Two weeks in a row with projects for son. I'm about to lose my "Selfish Seamstress" cred!

(I know, today is... not Wednesday. I'm thinking of changing this little endeavor to Waste Not Weekly.)

On Waste Not Wednesdays I share my weekly attempt at trying to whittle down my pile of clothes slated for altering, repairing, and refashioning, as well as tackling my cache of sewing UFOs and my fabric stash. It's my attempt at avoiding Fast Fashion while remaining frugal and sustainable.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waste Not Wednesday #3: boys tank + reflections on slow fashion so far

On Waste Not Wednesdays I share my weekly attempt at trying to whittle down my pile of clothes slated for altering, repairing, and refashioning, as well as tackling my cache of sewing UFOs and my fabric stash. It's my attempt at avoiding Fast Fashion while remaining frugal and sustainable.

I'd started this big long post for this week's Waste Not Wednesday post (I took last week off because my son had surgery on Tuesday), but figured I should just scrap it and keep it short and sweet. Basically, I was only three weeks into this little project and am already having reflections about what it means to have a thrifty and sustainable wardrobe.
Weird jeans are weird.
It started when this week's original project ended up getting FUBARed. Basically, I was trying to let one of my pairs of shorts from week one out in the waist, and because of the bizarre construction of those pants, they ended up getting wrecked. I mean, I could've soldiered on and continued to work on them, but at some point it just becomes not worth it. So, I was feeling all this guilt because before I got my hands on them, the pants were still wearable. And that just isn't sustainable to take a wearable article of clothing and ruin it. It's not really thrifty either, even though I already possessed the pants, since I wasted thread and time on the effort.

So then for this week's project, I decided to make my son a tank... which also ended up being something I don't think he'll end up wearing. Even though I used a men's Jersey tee shirt for the fabric, when I made it into a little tank for my son, the drape seemed kind of flowy and feminine, or just off. So I also ruined a wearable tee-- but I've since gotten over the guilt on that one. I'm chalking it up as a loss to pattern making/muslining and also a chance to practice sewing knits on my current machine AND use my brand-new twin ballpoint needle for the first time ever. Plus, I got to make a video for my YouTube channel, which I always enjoy. And it's not like the thrift stores are running out of t-shirts any time soon.

 

I'm also having some reflections about my purse from week #2. I can still buy some more heavy-duty leather conditioner and get the leather looking a little better, but how much will that run me? Ten dollars? Twenty? Factor in that the bag has an L-shaped hole, which will be hard to repair considering the bag is lined, plus I'd have to purchase materials to replace the straps, and then construct the straps. Or, I can spend about $150 for a brand new leather bag on sale (I'm eyeing traditional British styled ones from Zatchels, the Leather Satchel Co., or Cambridge Satchels) that look as if they'll last me a very long time. And they're handmade in the UK, where the employment standards and environmental standards are higher than if I were to purchase something made in a traditional manufacturing country.
Probs going to dismantle this one for the hardware. What can I use the leather scraps for?
So, I've been going through my stack of clothes-to-refashion pile and sending a little more to the thrift store. Things that are still wearable, just not for me. And I've made, and plan on making, some fast-fashion purchases... Because of how much I liked the fit of those weirdo men's pants from week 1, I bought a pair of men's jeans from WalMart of all places, with the intent of making them into cut-offs. They were a very thrifty purchase at $10.62, and even though they're from WalMart, I don't feel bad purchasing them. I didn't have to do a time-consuming and gas-wasting thrift hunt, which often turn up nothing for me. And even Elizabeth Cline condones making fast-fashion purchases (kinda-- "shop where you're going to shop") as long as you plan on keeping it for the life of the garment, rather than treating it as disposable.

So that's where I'm at. It's a tiny bit of a relief to divert a little more to the thrift store, even though so much of what gets sent to the thrift store ends up being recycled or sent to other counties, which is why I try to limit my thrift store cast-offs. But as I'm starting a closet re-org project, my Waste Not Wednesday pile still seems to keep growing.
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