Another custom pencil case

A couple of weeks ago, my younger daughter designed herself a pencil case and asked me to make it (You can see that one here). Of course what I do for one daughter, I have to do for the other.

So this week my elder daughter designed her own pencil case.

She's been away at school camp all week but gets back today.
Hope she likes it!!

Snoopy bag upcycled from shirt and pants

My latest clothes upcycle for my clothes upcycling challenge this year is this cute Snoopy bag made from a shirt and pair of pants.

The shirt was from Universal Studios and had plenty of features to make use of for this bag.
The main picture of Snoopy was on the back of the shirt.

Then there were cute pockets and printed Snoopy fabric on the cuffs and inside the collar.

Plenty of usable fabric and interesting parts

The white pants provided a nice light contrast to the dark shirt for the lining.

From my own stash I added a long zip , a keyring and a swivel clasp, 
(all upcycled from other bags etc)

The cuffs from the shirt made a couple of nice ready-made pockets with 2 simple rows of stitching up the sides. One I stitched to the lining of the bag, and the other I attached to the keyring as a removable pouch for keys or money.

I'm very pleased with the final bag.

There are a few scraps left from the 2 clothing items, I'm sure I'll be able to use them for another project.

Including the labels which I'm saving from all the clothes - not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I'll think of something!

To see what else I've made/upcycled so far from clothes for the school carnival, go here

And to keep up with what I'm up to with upcycling and sewing, I'd love if you followed me on Facebook.

Keep coming back for lots more clothes upcycling and sewing projects - including plenty of free tutorials.


Eco Friendly Shopping Bags

How many plastic bags do you use each week when you go shopping?

Would you like your own set of pretty, sturdy and reusable bags and little cost to you?

Then why not make your own? I've been using these bags for several years now. They are made from old sheets and are large, durable and super easy to wash if they do get anything spilled on them from split packets - so there's no need to wrap anything in more plastic before putting them in these bags!

After forgetting to take my nice, pretty, reusable bags into the shop a few times, I decided this was the next problem I needed to solve, and so made myself a pretty handbag with a nifty hidden pocket in the bottom to store these bags in, so that I will always have them with me and will never leave them in the car again!

I've made several of these bags for myself and family and friends.
And I've had a great response from others who have already purchased my e-book and made the bags: (thanks Wesens-Art)

You can make your very own Eco-friendly Shopping Handbag, complete with a full set of shopping bags - a handibag and some fruit and veg grocery bags. All you need is a basic sewing know-how, some time and some old bedding, a pair of old jeans and some co-ordinating fabric, which could also be old clothes, curtains or bedding!

My e-book with all of these patterns and tutorials is now available !

For a little more information and to purchase this ebook - go here.

I appreciate your support!

Upcycled Denim Sofa Tissue Box Cover - A Tutorial

I'm a big fan of jeans and denim upcycles and have seen several sofas covered in old jeans that just look awesome. Since I don't have an old sofa lying around that needs covering, I thought I'd make a mini upcycled denim sofa for our living room - one that is very practical because it's also a tissue box cover!

I made it by adapting and adding to my own 

Here's how you can make your very own denim sofa tissue box cover:

First, collect some denim scraps of various colours and shades of denim from old jeans, shorts or skirts.

Since the measurements for the pieces needed for the tissue box cover are all a width of 12 cm (4.75") or less, I cut lots of rectangles 12 x 6 cm (4.75 x 2.5").
Then I arranged them in a pile making sure different colour shades were next to each other, then stitched them together along the long sides.

You will need a total length of 2 metres 13cm (84").That's about 36 rectangles in case you want to count!
Turn the strips over when you've sewed them together and press each seam open flat.

From these strips, cut the pieces needed for the sofa tissue box cover:

Top: 2 pieces 23 x 6.75cm (9 x 2.5")
Long sides:  2 pieces 23 x 12cm (9 x 4.75")
Short Sides: 2 pieces 12 x 12.5cm ( 4.75 x 5")
Sofa back and sides: 2 pieces 8 x 48cm (3.25" x 19")

First take the 2 thinner strips for the top of the tissue box.
Here the method is exactly the same as for the basic tissue box cover:

Take one top piece and turn over one long end a very small amount and stitch. Repeat with other top piece.

Now pin these two edges right side together. Place two pins where you want the opening for the tissues to be.

Then stitch together - leaving the opening between the pins.

Then open out and top stitch along either side of the seam:

Next the back and side arms of the sofa.
Take the two longest strips (8 x 48cm, 3.25 x 19")
Place them on top of each other right sides facing.
Pin up the two shorter sides and across the top. To make the top back of the sofa curved, I simply laid this piece next to one of the side pieces of the sofa and pinned, then stitched in an arch shape:

Then trip the seam close to your stitching and turn right sides out.
You can lay this on top of your cut pieces to see the sofa starting to take shape!

Now take one back and 2 side pieces and stitch together along the short (12cm  / 4.75") sides. Then lay your sofa back and arms down on top of this:

IMPORTANT: Leave a couple of gaps in your row of stitching here so you can stuff the sofa back and arms at the end.

Now pin and stitch the remaining top, and front pieces right sides together to form the box cover.
First lay the top part of the cover face down on the piece shown in the picture above. You have to kind of wrap the top sofa back and arms edges around 3 sides of the top. Pin and stitch.
Then the final front piece will fit into your remaining 3 edges to form the box cover.

Turn the cover right sides out, and stuff the sofa back and arms through the gaps you left in your stitching. You could use fibre fill stuffing, or simply cut up fabric scraps. I used filling from old cushions that had lost their shape and split!

Then hand-stitch the openings closed. You will need to stitch front, back and inside, so check carefully all holes have been sealed up!

To finish off the bottom of the cover, you can add a strip of denim for the 'skirt'. Either a simple denim strip with the edges turned under at the bottom to neaten, or you could use a jeans waistband cut off.  I happened to have a denim 'belt' from an old denim shirt that was the same width as a waistband. 
Pin and stitch this to the bottom of the box cover all the way around.

That's your sofa  tissue box cover finished.

I added a couple of simple cushions, sewing together some of the left over scraps of denim patchwork into rough rectangles and stuffing them.

So here is the finished sofa tissue box cover.

I didn't worry about matching up the patchwork piece seams - some did, some didn't. I liked the jumbled look!

I'm really pleased with my new denim sofa in our living room - even if it is just a small one!
For the Free Downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, there are over 100 free tutorials right here on Creating my way to Success to make all kinds of things for every level of sewing ability.

Upcycled Jeans Pocket Organiser

I made this hanging organiser from jeans pockets and waistbands last week. I was inspired by similar organisers I'd seen on pinterest, but one was just a picture and the other was stuck together with hot glue.
I wanted to sew this one and I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

I simply patched together a selection of cut out pockets I had in my stash.

Then I pinned and carefully stitched a couple of cut waistbands around the 4 edges. 

This was the hardest part as the waistband is so thick to stitch through, particularly the corners, where I had to join 2 waistband parts together. On one of the corners I managed to join two waistband pieces using the buttons and buttonholes already there! Perfect.

Finally, I needed to add something to the back of the organiser, to help it hold its shape. 

I chose to use my scraps of buckram (a kind of really thick interfacing).  I stitched these together in strips until I had enough to cover the back. I then stitched this backing to the edge of the waistband, skipping the thick parts and belt loops. I chose just to leave the backing like this as it will just be hanging against the wall and nobody will see that side, so no need to make it look pretty!

To hang it up I simply pushed a small piece of dowel rod through the belt loops at the top and tied a piece of cording to this.

It's a neat organiser to have. Pockets of various sizes for notebooks, pens, rulers and notes. Plus the belt loops are handy for pens too!

It's also a great way to use up those jeans waistbands - and of course the pockets.

For lots more ways to upcycle jeans or other clothes - you can visit my ongoing linky which now has over 600 clothes upcycling ideas.

Please do also check out my clothes upcycling challenge for this year, where I'm upcycling a pile of clothes from last year's school carnival to sell at this year's carnival.  Go here to see what I've made so far.

To keep up with the latest from this blog and all things upcycling and inspirational, I'd love if you followed me on