A new clothes upcycling project started!

I feel like I haven't done a decent clothes upcycling project in a while - and the new fantastic ideas being added all the time to my clothes upcycling page are inspiring me! We've almost reached 160 links - so many great ideas - and I know there are more out there so keep on linking them up!

Anyway - my new project is a Christmas one!
These are the clothes I'm going to use:

But I've only just started...

I'll post what I make in a few days - watch this space!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful creative weekend!

Quilting and Patchwork

Last week I tried my hand at quilting for the first time when I made a small mug rug:

I really enjoyed making this - and it made me curious to learn a little about quilting - and patchwork. What is the difference? How did it start? And here's what I found.

According to Wikipedia,

Quilting is a sewing method done to join two or more layers of material together to make a thicker padded material
Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design.

The earliest example of quilting was found more than 3000BC on a carved figure of an Egyptian Pharoah! 

Quilting and Patchwork were used through history mostly it seems for bed quilts - often made from old clothing - enabling people to re- use even worn items and very small scraps.

There was even lots of quilted armour - like a Gambeson.
Would you believe I even found a pattern/tutorial so you can quilt your own armour!  Amazing!

In later years - quilted clothing like the Doublet - became popular as mens clothing!

Personally - what interests me most about quilting and particularly patchwork is the 'recycling' aspect of it.  It seems like a fantastic way to use up scraps!
Of which I'm sure all of us who sew have LOTS! Bucketloads even!!

Or even another way of upcycling those old clothes!
Earlier this year I started trying to find ways to use up my scraps - and made this patchwork pincushion - or is it really a pet bed?

A patchwork pillow for Mickey:

And this cute patchwork fabric basket - using a tutorial from Pink Penguin:

I'd kind of forgotten about these until I made my mug rug last week - and it's revived my interest.
I'm definitely going to be trying out lots more patchwork and quilting - to try and use up my scraps and stash!

A great start is going to be a challenge I've signed up for during November
- the Solid's only Tote Challenge
One of the techniques you can use for this challenge is patchwork!
Do you want to join me in this challenge?
Do you have a large pile of scraps that would love to be transformed into a fabulous patchwork bag?
Head on over to Ricochet and Away for the details and to sign up for the challenge! It's going to be lots of fun!

Upcycling for some dolls clothes - Guest post tutorial from Becky at Creatively Content

Hi, I am Becky from a little blogging corner called Creatively Content. Jill it makes me smile to be able to hang out here on this great blog of yours, that is always getting better. Thank you for having me.

I am an American living with my family in the west corner of Turkey. I have adopted a theme since living here in Turkey that is 'use what you have".  Living in Turkey has put my life in perspective in many ways and I am truely grateful to not have everything I want at my finger tips, it has produced ingenuity in me. :)

On this fun Friday I want to share how my girls and I put together a few outfits for their dolls by simply upcycling/recycling some unwanted clothing.

A Sock hoody, Pant leg jean skirts, a Sleeve sweater 

and a Sock dress. 
I made these two yellow haired dolls some time ago for the girls. The third doll is a muslin ready made doll my daughter put together. They were scantly clad for way too long. So my girls and I went to work. I have put together a picture tutorial for each piece of doll clothing. They are very simple and take little time to create.

Sleeve Sweater

1. Find an old sweater.

2. Cut off sleeve according to the length of dolls waist

3. Take the doll's arm and measure from what is left of the sweater sleeve.

4. Cut a piece of sweater that is long enough and wide enough for a sleeve. Do this twice for two sleeves.
5. Sew newly cut sleeves closed - into a cylinder shape. Set aside.
6. For sweater bodice, take the piece cut off from the sleeve in step #2 and cut small holes in each side for the arms. 
7. Now take the sleeves you made and insert them into the arm holes of the bodice.

8. Turn sweater inside out, then take the sleeve that is poking through the arm holes and turn it towards the sweater. Sew the small piece of  sleeve around the hole that you made for the arms, so that the sleeve is now attached to the inside of the sweater. Do other arm the same.

9. Turn sweater right side out and tada ~ a doll sweater.

Sock Sweater Hoody

This sock hoody is very simple:
1. Find sock.

2. Cut holes for arms and head.
3. Cut the head and neck hole larger.

4. Cut the sock to fit to dolls waist.

Pant Leg Jean Skirt

1. Find old pair of jeans (these were mine)

2. Cut off pant leg to the length of skirt you want. (These jean skirts could easily fit an 18" doll)

3. Turn inside out and fold down material.

4. Sew around pant leg and leave an opening then  run elastic through opening with a saftey pin.

4. Tie or sew elastic in place. Sew up opening.

5. Turn right side out.

Here are our models: 

Melek (Angel) and Sari (Yellow)

Here are a few more examples 

of our recycled/upcycled doll clothes.

I hope all of you reading have enjoyed these fun doll outfits and maybe some of you now have a few new ideas for those mis-matched socks of yours that are hanging out in your laundry baskets looking for a home.

Please come on over and visit me at Creatively Content, I would love to have you. It is a place where I record my creativity and highlight lots of kids crafts, simple sewing, my reflection of culture, faith and being a mom to my 3 kiddos in a country that is not my own. I would love to have you come over and visit my corner of the blogoshere. Here are a few links of my posts to show you a bit of who I am, because my blog is just that, me. :)

From my little corner of the world to yours,


First quilting project!

I did it!
I tried quilting and I'm quite happy with my little result:
This Mug Rug!

I was excited to discover my machine has a "quilting guide"  - who knew??
 (I've now had my machine for 7 years and am still discovering things about it!!)

I used this tutorial  for the Mug Rug, plus this machine binding tutorial.

I had fun stitching the wavy lines - nice to have a play around!

But am painfully aware that the corners of my binding need a little work!

Overall - I enjoyed my first foray into quilting, and will definitely be doing more!  If anyone has any simple quilting tutorials to recommend - please leave me a comment! I'm on the hunt!

For now I can enjoy my new pretty Mug Rug!

Just perfect for a cup of tea, homemade chocolate chip biccie - and a browse through some wonderful creative spaces!
What have you been up to in yours?

Fabric Halloween Baskets

I made these baskets using a great tutorial I found over at
 A Spoonful of Sugar a while ago.
I've had it pinned to my "things I want to make" board over on Pinterest - and since I had some cute ghostie fabric - thought I'd try them out for Halloween!

I made two - one with the ghostie fabric each way up - gold on one side, silver on the other.
Here's the underside of the baskets so you can see the fabric better:

They make perfect little table containers for parties!

 I used rip-stop nylon for the inside - so I could use it to serve snacks and be able to wipe it out.

Aren't they cute?

They are super simple to make - for the tutorial go here.
Many thanks to the talented ladies at A Spoonful of Sugar for the inspiration and the tutorial!

I'm going to be linking this to a new party I found called:
Liked it, Pinned it, Did it at La Nouvelle Mode

Fall Door Hanger - guest post tutorial from Terri at A Creative Princess

Hi! I'm Terri and I have a little craft blog called A Creative Princess where I share my crafting obsession with all of you. I host "It's a Party" on Thursday's where everyone can show off their fabulous creations.

I am so happy to be guest posting here today! Thank you, Jill!!
Today I'm going to show you how I made this door hanging from acorns and pine cones.

This time of year you can find just about everything you need for this project in yards everywhere!

I took part of an old potato sack and stretched it in an embroidery hoop.

I used the pine cones for the petals and the acorn tops for the center, attaching them using a glue gun.

That's it, easy peasy!
Thank you again, Jill, for having me! I hope you all will stop by A Creative Princess sometime and let's get our craft on!

Halloween lights from recycled cans!

I remember seeing this idea somewhere last year and liking it - so finally have got around to trying it myself

Candle holders from old food cans!

I washed out the old cans, removed the labels, then filled them with water and froze them
 (this helped stop the can from bending when I punched the holes in):

Then wedging the cans between a couple of bricks - I just used a hammer and a long screw to tap holes in the cans:

I tried to think 'Halloween' when making the holes!
Here's my ghostie...

And my pumpkin (which looks kind of apple like!)

Then I stood them in the sun to melt the ice.

They did admittedly look pretty ugly on the table when it was still light, but when it got dark - I popped a tealight candle in each one and lit them up!

Much prettier!

I've already recycled some old wine bottles as candle holders - and I'm loving the dripped wax down the sides.

As for the cans - I thought they looked ok for my first attempt - but I'd like to try them again and improve them.  Perhaps I could draw on a design first and then punch the holes?  And maybe paint the cans so they look prettier during the day?

What do you think? 
Have you recycled anything else as a candle holder?

For more wonderfully creative spaces - go here!

How to make your own mouse pad wrist rest in 5 steps and 15 minutes

These days I use the computer a lot and was finding that my wrist was getting sore from using the mouse for long periods of time.
There are lots of wrist supports that you can buy - but why buy when you can make one?

This is a nice simple project -

Here's how:

1. Take a piece of material 24 cm x 16 cm (9.5 x 6.25")

fold in half lengthways right sides together and pin.

Stitch around the edges, leaving a gap of around 3 cm (1") to turn out. Snip corners.

2. Turn right sides out through the gap, and then fill 2/3 full with dry rice using a funnel.

3. Pin and machine stitch the gap closed.

4. Now to make the cover. 
Cut a piece of fabric 28 x 16 cm (11 x 6.25"), and double turn one of the shorter edges and stitch to neaten.

5. Finally lay the rectangle of fabric right side up, fold the finished short end in 4 cm (1.5").

Fold the other end over, like this:

Then pin and stitch along the top and bottom sides:

Turn right sides out, slide in your rice pack,

And now you have your own ergonomic mouse pad wrist rest!

Which I also made in a slightly less girly version too - from some luxury gold velour!

Why not try making one for yourself - and save your wrist getting sore?

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

For over 100 more free sewing tutorials for all levels of sewing abilities, take a look at My Free Tutorials Page.