Sweater Pillow - another upcycle

I'm pushing on with working through my clothes upcycling pile.
Today I decided to tackle an old favourite of mine - this cute pure wool sweater.

I bought it when I was a teenager on a family holiday to York in England. I loved the design on it, and it's such a cosy sweater, so it was worn LOTS.

For the past 10 years we've been living in tropical Far North Queensland in Australia where it very rarely gets cold enough for a sweater, so this one has been in storage for those 10 years.

I still really like the design, but don't think I'd ever wear it again - even if we went somewhere cold, I think I've just grown out of it!

So I decided that instead of keeping it stored away, I might as well get some use out of it. I've seen lots of sweater pillows around on blogs, so thought that would be a good thing to try.

It was nice and simple to make.
Just turn the sweater inside out, and pin across the top:

I checked our cushion size and it was just perfect for the width of the sweater, so I could just leave the side seams, and sew up the arm holes, and across the top.

I used a small stitch to prevent the wool from unravelling.

Then came the hard bit...

Actually cutting the sweater, for years my favourite sweater....

I took a deep breath..
...and cut, then ziz-zag stitched the raw edges.

I'd left the bottom of the sweater open, and decided to close it by sewing on some buttons.

All done!

I'm quite happy with the result, and now my sweater can be useful rather than taking up storage space and sitting in a cupboard!

Now I just have to find something to make with the sleeves.

For more ideas on upcycling sweaters - take a look here. And please do add any of your own sweater upcycling projects to the long term linky there!

I shall be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page, and whose direct links can be found on my linky party page.

Shorts to Drawstring Bags Upcycle

Yesterday I worked on more of my clothing-to-be-upcycled stash.
A few weeks ago I posted about ways to upcycle shorts and was really surprised at the lack of projects I could find! So I thought shorts would be a good thing to tackle!

I had 3 old pairs of board shorts that don't really fit me that well and the seams have ripped a little:

First I took the blue and white pair, cut the panels of fabric into 4 even sizes and pulled out the drawstring from the waist:

The other two pairs of shorts did not fit so easily into 4 even rectangles. Each pair had a pocket on the side, 

so I cut the fabric a little bigger from these and used both pairs to make just one drawstring bag.

The drawstring from each pair was a different colour - but since each side of the bag is a different colour, I quite like the resulting effect of this.

The pocket pieces I used for the lining, so there are two pockets inside the bag:

So there you have it - two drawstring bags from 3 pairs of shorts!

Very simple to make, and a great way to upcycle those old shorts!

For more about upcycling shorts, you can go here.

To find ideas for upcycling other clothing items, 

Happy Upcycling!

Inspirational Bag Tags from Upcycled Jeans

Usually on a Saturday I've been posting about upcycling a particular item of clothing.
I've had a VERY busy week this week, and am taking a short break this week from the usual post, but will instead show you more things I've been making from jeans..

First of all a new bag for my eldest daughter:

Made from a pair of jeans and some old cute Minnie Mouse PJ's of hers!

I've also been making some inspiration and swimming quote bag tags from jeans, to sell and raise some funds for our girls's swimming club:

We had a club night last night and they went down really well, with lots sold!

I'll be back next week with another specific item of clothing, looking at different ways to upcycle it!

Until then - you can check out previous clothing item upcycle ideas here.

Happy Upcycling!

Watermelon Pencil Case - a tutorial

Today I want to show you how to make this very cute watermelon pencil case. My girls love pencil cases and it seems you can never have too many!

So here goes.  You'll need scraps of red, white and green fabric, a zip, some black buttons and some paper and pencil.

To make your pattern - simply draw a slice of watermelon. Don't worry about getting it perfect - fruits are not all exactly the same size and shape! Here's mine on an A4 sheet of paper:

You cut out this whole slice you have drawn and use it as the pattern to cut your inside fabric - two pieces.  Remember for each piece you cut - cut a little wider than your pattern to allow for the seams:

Next, to cut the pieces for the outside of the pencil case, cut along the lines of your pattern for the red, white and green parts to be separate. Then use these 3 pattern pieces to cut your coloured pieces of fabric for the outside of your pencil case - again remembering to cut wider than your pattern piece to allow for seams. Cut two of each colour.

Now you need to pin then sew each coloured piece together in turn. Remember to pin right sides of the fabric together - and use plenty pins to keep the curves in line!

To add the seeds to your watermelon slice - simply stitch on some black buttons in random spaces. Remember to do this for both sides of the pencil case!

The Zip
My zip was about 24cm (9") long. you can use a longer or shorter one, and use scrap fabric to cover both ends to make it the same width as your watermelon slice. Here's how.

Take rectangular scraps of whichever fabric you like - I chose my inner red fabric.  Place 2 pieces right sides together on either side of the zip, pinning where you want the zip to end. Stitch these pieces in place, and trim the very end of the zip off.

Repeat this with the other end of the zip - then trim the edges of the fabric in line with the zip:

Putting it all together

Lay one side of your watermelon slice face up. Place your zip face down on top, then one of your inner fabric pieces right sides down on top of that. Pin then using your zipper foot stitch close to the zip teeth.

To prevent the fabric catching in the zip, open out the fabrics and pull back from the zip. Top-stitch along the edge of the zip.

Now the other half of the watermelon slice. Place your other inner fabric piece face up. Then the part with the attached zip face up on top. Finally your other watermelon slice face down on the very top - face down. Pin and stitch with your zipper foot, and once again pull the fabric back from the zip and top-stitch the other side.

Now open out your pencil case with the zip in the middle. Make sure the zip is open. Then flip over fabrics so you have both inner fabrics on one side and both outer fabrics on the other side. Pin these pieces together around the curved edges. Leave a gap of a few inches on the inner fabric side. You'll need this to turn the pencil case out.

 Stitch all the way around the edges - just leaving the gap for turning out.  Turn the pencil case right sides out - and pin then stitch the opening closed:

Done! Congratulations, you've made a cute watermelon pencil case!

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

I hope you liked this tutorial.
There are many more on 
So do take a look!