Thursday, 13 April 2017

#Trash2Treasure for #cashforkids

At the start of the year I decided it was about time I put my sewing machine to a bit more use than it has had in the last ten years, and so I started messing about with patchwork and applique. I do not have much money to spare and as this was all experimental I was not prepared to go out and buy new material by the metre so I looked round charity shops and selected some curtains and quilt covers I liked the patterns and colours of and bought them.
I have to say my collection has grown as if I see some I like I tend to buy them, and I also have some lovely friends who have passed me items they no longer want. My collection use to sit on two shelves of a small cupboard but this week hubby and I have been moving things round and making it easier to find what I want as well as making it easier to keep tidy. I have organised them by colours.

I made my first applique picture for Spud's 1st birthday last month. It is double sided, was far from perfect, the edge was a bit squint and the pictures were off centre, but it still made a nice personalised present. The colour combinations were good and the over all effect (imo) nice.

  People liked it and a few people asked if they could get one. At the same time I had hears the adverts that our local radio station were looking for 500 people to sign up and to raise £100 before December 30th this year. So I decided if people wanted my products I could make them for charity. I knew before they were fit to sell they needed to improve so I did some experimenting and practising. I had taken one into work to show one of the girls who wanted one and luckily enough one of the other staff on that day makes a lot of crafting products and came up with some good ideas and tips for me.

I have found a few easier ways to complete the finishing stages of the products and am happy what I am making now is value for money. The first one I made took me approx eight hours, I have that time down to between three and four hours now depending on how complex I make the design.

So I am going to take you through the step of making a pyjama case. I was asked to make it for Ellie who likes rabbits. That was the only specification I was given and so I had full free artistic flair to do what I want. I decided that a 12 inch square would do the job well..

My starting point for any project for me is a search on pinterest. I had to decide did I want a rabbit with say grass and flowers, or did I want to make my rabbit in different materials like I did with the fox above, or did I want a silhouette?

I chose these from the various ones I saw, and printed them out in different sizes so I had a choice of how they could look.

I cut them out and tested them on my piece of material for size and decided these two larger rabbits fitted well.

My next stage is to search my large material supply and look for some that look good together.  I chose two different but compatible materials.

I then needed to trace round my shapes on to bondaweb, cut them out and iron on to the wrong side of the material. This makes it easier to sew round the edges of the shapes as they are ironed down first rather than just left loose.

As I decided that I was just making each rabbit from only one type of material rather than making various parts in different types, I needed to add something else to the project to ensure it was not to bare. I decided to make strips of the two materials I was using and to make a striped border. I cut 1 inch strips and sew them together, then cut across the strips and sewed the strips together to make two pieces long enough to cover the sides.

I used metallic thread in for the top of the stitches just to add to the overall appeal of the piece.I did one of the rabbits with a zig zag stitch and as I was working with different materials I did the other with a large running stitch.  I then stitched the border onto the front and used the iron to press it down ready for finishing. 

My next task was placing the name. This can often make or break a piece of work which is why I try it in various places before the actual sticking down.  

Once the design was finished sewing I finished off the piece by stitching the side seams down to  create an envelope pillow design. A great design as it does not require a zip but still allows you to use it as a cushion cover if she changes her mind.

Voila!!! One completes project and I am pleased with how it has turned out. A rabbit even fits in with the Easter theme.


  1. These are gorgeous and I love the colours. #Trash2Treasure

    1. thank you, the colours just happen, no forward planning really.

  2. Way to go sourcing curtains and quilt covers, Elaine. Some of our Op Shops have quilt / doona covers, but I have never seen curtains. Your appliqued pyjama cover is lovely! #Trash2Treasure

    1. I tend to buy more curtains than quilts, feel they are less washed and therefore less faded, and I do tend to see a lot of them.

  3. Oh Elaine I'm so glad you got your sewing machine out. I ended up giving mine away as I never used it and was hopeless with it anyway. You can't let a talent like this fester though! Even though I could never do it, I've loved reading your step by step guide and what a wonderful personalized present these make. Good luck with raising your £100, I'm sure you will do it.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

  4. Charity shops are my favourite way of getting unusual fabric. I love your rabbits and the stripy fabric you made too. The zig-zag stitch gives the top rabbit a furry feel too it. I bet Ellie is thrilled to pieces with it. What a great idea to make them to raise money for a charity. #Trash2Treasure


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