Upcycle that Sleepwear

Over the years, I have managed to upcycle quite a lot of sleepwear, and have found some great projects that other people have made too. Here's a round up of some great ideas on how to upcycle sleepwear that you've grown out of or has become worn!

I used the front of a pair of PJs to spruce up a bike bag I made for my daughter one year!

I also used a pair of PJ pants and a pair of old jeans together to make a bag for my daughter.

And there was the Hello Kitty Nightie that was saved and used on an upcycled lunch bag!

And of course the fabric origami bags I have made from old nighties.

For these and more ideas - I have a 

Pinterest Board for upcycling sleepwear ideas

Not many pins as yet - but as I find more I will add them. Do let me know if you find any sleepwear upcycling projects!

For lots of ideas for upcycling all types of clothes, visit the Clothes Upcycling Projects linky.

Easiest ever fabric gift bag tutorial - an upcycle

Last week I upcycled an old nightie into a fabric origami gift bag. This used up the majority of the fabric in the nightie, but there was still a little left over - plus a pair of small PJ shorts to be upcycled too. 
So I was looking for something to make with the smaller scraps - and decided to make some little gift bags. Some small ones, some even smaller ones and some teeny weeny ones.  This was also an opportunity to try and use something else I'd saved a pile of with the idea I might upcycle them one day...
Yes, bread tags!
They can't be recycled, so I was looking for something constructive to do with them rather than just throw them away!
A little nail varnish jazzes them up a bit!

You could make these bags any size you want - for giving small gifts like earrings, or treats like sweeties. They would be perfect to use as Birthday Party bags  - made with fabric scraps to just the size you want.

Here's how to make the easiest ever fabric gift bag:

1. Cut a rectangle of fabric.

2. Fold in half - wrong sides together and stitch down the sides. Trim the seams.

3.Turn inside out and stitch down the sides again. This is a French Seam and means your raw edges are now hidden and won't fray or look messy.

4. Turn right sides out and trim the top with Pinking Shears to stop the fabric fraying.

5. Seal your bag using a bread tag!

And there you have one teeny tiny gift bag - perfect for a small gift or treat!

Make lots for all your friends!

Make them different sizes!

And from different fabric!  How about a Halloween treat bag?

So there is a way to use up some fabric scraps and bread tags - things that might otherwise get thrown away, use what you've got!

These bags would be a great way to make a whole batch of bags for a party or treat bags for a special occasion. The supplies you need are easy to come by - and can cost nothing!

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

For more ideas for using the supplies you have on hand to craft and create with, check out my 

Or if it's sewing tutorials you're interested in, I have over 100 Free Sewing Tutorials for making all manner of things and for all levels of sewing ability. Check them out here.

Squeezing in a quick clothes upcycle - fabric origami bag from sleepwear

I've been doing some teaching work for a couple of weeks so I haven't had much time for sewing and blogging. However, I did manage to slip in a quick little upcycle yesterday.

After upcycling the old school uniforms in my stash over the past few weeks, I moved onto the next clothing item I found - nightwear!  I had an old nightie and a pair of PJ shorts.

Yesterday I cut up the nightie - to make a fabric origami bag using my own tutorial here. This one I made from a couple of old sundresses that my girls grew out of years ago!

And here's the one I made yesterday using my old nightie!

The straps are just perfect for the drawstrings for the bag too!

They are such soft and pretty little bags, and so easy to make. They make great gift bags or little toiletry bags. I think I might claim this one for myself!

This isn't the first time I've made a bag like this from old nighties. I did the same a few years ago with others!

So now the only item of sleepwear I have left to upcycle is this pair of PJ shorts, (and a little extra fabric from the nightie too).

I only have two more days of teaching work, then should have more time to get back into my sewing and upcycling!  I will share soon what I make next!

Any and all suggestions welcome.

For plenty more clothes upcycling ideas and inspiration, do take a look at the linky for clothes upcycling projects!

Upcycle those Uniforms

Over the past couple of weeks I've been upcycling my daughters' old school sports shirts into teddy bears. The shirts are old styles and so aren't worn anymore, but there was nothing physically wrong with them, so I didn't want to throw them out - and I thought since they were their school uniforms, maybe little keepsake memory bears might be a good idea!

The two white bears were to be given away - one as a trophy for a school recycling contest my daughter set up, and the other as a gift for a friend who works at the school. 
The two green teddies were for each of my daughters to keep. Those were their old house coloured shirts, so maybe they will go to future interhouse competitions as mascots? (the light in different photos makes them look different colours, but they are both green!)

The bigger teddy was made from the old style of uniform shirt for our swim club. Again, there was nothing wrong with the shirt itself, but no longer worn as the style has been updated to a new one.
I think this teddy will enjoy coming to all the swim carnivals as our new mascot!

A couple of years ago, I upcycled a lot of these old swim club uniforms into bags to sell and raise money for the club.

I also upcycled my girls old school dresses - which was their uniform in the early years of junior school - into teddy dresses, notebook covers and fabric baskets.

AND, a few years earlier, I'd upcycled their first old dresses into hair accessories!

Oh my goodness - looking at all of that, it makes me see just how many uniforms my girls have gone through!  We've always tried to buy second hand uniforms, and then pass them on to others afterwards, but sometimes they are too old and worn to do so and into the upcycle pile they go.  Kids go through so many clothes as they grow don't they!  But it's nice to be able to either pass them on to someone else who can wear them, or make them into something new they can continue to use!

So that is all my uniform upcycles so far, but there are so many more out there, like this one from the 600+ clothes upcycling linky,

An upcycled military uniform iPad case from Hong Kong Chic.

And there are heaps more to be found - as you can see from my Upcycling Uniforms Pinterest Board
where I'm adding more all the time as I find them.

Have you ever upcycled an old uniform - school, sports, military or other?  I'd love to hear more ideas and see pictures. They can be a great memory keepsake to make!

Teach your kids to sew

Over the years my two girls have shown an interest here and there in learning to sew. This interest comes and goes but I always make sure to grab the moments when they're keen and interested and help them give it a go and learn. I believe that learning to sew - and other crafting skills are valuable ones for kids to learn - you can read my reasons why in my post:

But back to my girls sewing. Over the years, they've made a few things pencil cases are always a favourite:

I've encouraged them to design their own things too - here's ...well..ok, another pencil case, designed by my younger daughter:

And a cuddly turtle, designed and made my by youngest.

There were other things they made - it just seems to be the pencil cases I took pictures of!

Then last year, I decided to put together an e-book which was a short course for kids to learn to sew. Something with a bit of structure to help kids (or indeed adults) learn some basic sewing skills which would enable them to sew all kinds of different things - particularly learning to follow tutorials as there are so many great tutorials available online now - you can learn to make just about anything!

My girls agreed to be the 'pattern and tutorial testers' for my book. After I had written each individual tutorial, I would give it to them to try and follow and make the item themselves. They would then be able to give me feedback on what they found easy or difficult and I could adjust the patterns and tutorials accordingly.

I decided to incorporate my favourite thing and one I'm passionate about into this learn to sew book too - clothes upcycling.  So the contents of this e-book can be made using an old pair of jeans and some co-ordinating fabric.  

My girls both had a pair of coloured jeans that they'd grown out of that they wanted to use - and they chose their own matching fabric to use with them.  
We had a lot of fun with creating this e-book together, and the girls learnt a lot about sewing too!

Here are all the things they learned to make following the tutorials in my e-book. Those in the picture below are the ones I made as examples while I created the tutorials - and I also used a coloured pair of jeans!

This e-book is available as a FREE PDF download 

Simply click here to get your copy.

So why not help your kids learn a useful lifelong skill and make some fun things along the way.

Happy sewing and upcycling!