Friday, October 19, 2012

Cleaning and sorting

I'm kind of a pack rat. Shhhh!! if you know me in real life!  I'm moving all the sewing stuff out to the newly heated barn to make room for kids in the house.  I have way more stuff than I would like to admit, but I found some neat stuff in my notes too! Here is a poem I found. Silly, but it is a limerick!

I'm a girl who loves to sew,
I press the pedal and go!
I make some mistakes,
'cause that's what it takes
to learn all there is to know.

This is also why I have a hard time getting rid of things sometimes. Wanna know what else I found? My bank statements. Arranged neatly in a notebook from Dec. of 1989 till Sept. of 2000.  When did I meet my husband? Oct. of 2000. Heh! So its all his fault! 

The good news is I'm teaching sewing classes, all will benefit from my too much sewing stuff.  I'm glad I can supply so much to the eager learners.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Needleworks: Session 1 - Recycled T shirt drawstring bag

I'm teaching a hand sewing class at our homeschooling co-op. The class is limited to 10 students, because my brain can only stretch so far.  I thought it would be fun to post what we are doing here.

Session 1: A recycled t-shirt drawstring bag.

Supplies needed:

 This tutorial starts out the same as the no-sew recycled T shirt I wrote here.

I lay the t shirt on the fold on the table or cutting board. If you are using  scissors, chalk your line. If you are using a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat, cut it now.(I prefer the rotary cutter and mat because it cuts nice and straight.  Someone once told me, buy the largest mat you can afford. Mine is almost 20 years old. Yikes!)

Nice and straight.

Here I am cutting 2 inch strips for the drawstring. You need 2 for each bag. This T needs to have NO side seams. I also discovered that the strips do not stretch correctly with printing on them, so don't use that part.

  Cut each once.

I brought a pile of strips and had the kids each stretch theirs. 

Cut an opening at each side. You do have to be a little more careful if there aren't side seams, to keep it even. Cut next to the side seam, not on it, if you have seams.

Ready to thread the casing.

Patiently, all the way through.

One side done.

Repeat. This time the ends come out on the other side.

Then we turned the bags inside out and used a needle and thread to do a running stitch all the way across. Of course you can do this by machine, but it isn't possible at this time to do these by machine at our co-op. So hand sewing it is!


I did reinforce the bags with a machine stitch at home, because they were going to be used for 14 weeks to carry projects back and forth. (the link is for a good little machine, similar to what we use at the Aud, mine isn't available retail anymore)

Another option is to cut the side seams, at the bottom of the bag, about 1 1/2 inch up and put the cording through it for the straps to make a backpack!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you'd like to see it as a slideshow please visit my article here.

My entry in ASE Out of the Box Challenge

 Well, my entry is home.  I'm still very proud of it, but it turns out I do not know innovative! 

Look at the winners. Now these are innovative!

I will still enter again if I can in the future.  And I'll have to think long and hard about 'innovative'.

As I said before, I didn't make it to the American Sewing Expo this year.  Would anyone who did care to do an interview about your Expo experience for a Detroit Sewing Examiner article on

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

At the Rust Belt Market

I decided to try something new and go to the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale to sell my Reconstructed clothing.  I paid way back in April of this year, because I wanted to motivate myself.  It was a good thing I did, I would have chickened out otherwise.

Since I paid so early I accidentally scheduled it for the same weekend as the American Sewing Expo.  I needed my niece to help and was working around her schedule. Such is life, in the future I will pay better attention.

I only took a picture of the booth set up before it was open. The lights are off and the back isn't attached yet. When it was open I put some clothes on the back wall and some bags on the shelf. I recharged my camera and then forgot to take any pictures. I was even going to have one of me! Maybe that is why I forgot...

Selling my clothing takes me way out of my comfort zone.  I'm a happy sew er, for myself or others. I'm having tons of fun refashioning clothing, but I need feedback from customers.

I did OK at the Market. I made back my fee, plus a little extra.  I brought too much old stuff, and it detracted from the new really good stuff.  My booth was not as welcoming as it could have been.  I also needed more signage to let people know things were recycled.  Many browsers were surprised to find out.  I'm going to focus on for a while, it fits better into my life right now. Unless I get the chance to share some space at the Rust Belt.

I bought for my recycling clothing business, I think it has a neat ring to it. I also started a FB page, please like it there if you are inclined.