Remnant Wrapping Redo

It’s never too soon to think about wrapping presents. A big pile of gifts, artfully wrapped and embellished…why, it’s the stuff of a lavish Southern Living Holiday Issue photo shoot! But, psst, we’re living in a down economy, and more people are whispering that it’s not going to be the same as it has in the past…you know, when all of us had jobs, and the cost of living wasn’t so high.

I can remember getting some home-made gifts, and I wasn’t opposed to it. I love to see people exercising their artistic muscles and wanting to share with others! I suppose now is the time to be planning for the holidays, since this weekend is already Labor Day.

I’m going to make some ultra cool and ultra cheap wrapping paper out of Vogue magazine glossy pages. The fact that some of the clothing and shoes in these spreads cost more than our two car payments together, each month, makes me realize that they are fun for the sake of art and drama, but not a realistic gift for anyone I know… but I did have fun reading the articles in Vogue, and looking at the pics, so what am I going to do, just throw it in the trash now that the season’s changed?

Prada and Bottega Vennetta make good wrapping


Fendi and Tiffany's --dreamy!

I sewed the pages together, some complete and some I just trimmed off some columns of text. I made my sheets of wrapping about 3 by 2 pages, then rolled the sheets onto an empty cardboard roll and tied it with a scrap of sheeting that I was practicing a Point de Paris hemstitch onto.

rolled and tied


Point de Paris hemstitch detail on roll tie

So what do you think, trashy? Or tra-shay?
Can you imagine what a little tweaking might do, like—sew together strips or squares, in clashing or monochromatic colors?

Woodworking Tool Roll

OK, I’ve sewn for the babies, the kids, the fashionable daughters and the cats, now it’s time to do a project for the spouse, who is VERY supportive of my hobbies.

The remnant is 7/8 yard of polyester vinyl–I would say canvas, because that’s what it feels like, but the label doesn’t say canvas. My DH asked for a tool roll, so he could get some woodworking measuring tools together and have handy for a project. the red and white poly vinyl canvas I eyeballed the 7/8 yard and decided I wanted the backing to be about 22″ tall and 20″ wide. I cut off a 6″ by 20″ strip from the bottom, and then the side piece that was cut off was cut to be about 8″ by 20″. These two strips would form the tool pockets sewn onto the backing. The 8″ x 20″ strip would be sewn on the cross-grain.
I finger-pressed some hems along the sides and stitched them down.

Preparing the top for hemming

Then I hemmed the two strips on all four sides, and sewed them onto the backing on 3 sides (the top was left open for pockets). I sewed several lines of straight stitching along the vertical lines of the striped fabric on the shorter top pocket, for hubby’s measuring tools to be stored. I sewed some vertical lines of stitching on the taller pocket at the bottom.

Tool Roll with woodworking tools

Then I added a grommet on either corner at the top hemmed edge, so that he can hang it on the pegboard wall in his shop.
I also added a tie, so that the whole thing can be folded, rolled up, and tied and carried to the work site.
I’ve had this ancient American Flag-patterned elastic band for eons; it really came in handy.

Sewing on the flag-patterned tie

American flags are one of his passions, and I thought that the brightness and boldness of this tool roll would stand out in the sometimes dank, saw-dusty, wood-chip laden, clutter of his shop.

Rolled and ready

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.
This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.
This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

Remnants for Appliques

It sounds so obvious, but one sure way to use up remnants is to make them into appliques.
You know it’s true. But it’s so easy.

Here we have the remains of a white cotton remnant that I used to make a collar for a summer dress in a previous post.

stitching the remnant applique


This design is from Planet Applique –it’s reminiscent of a tuxedo. I put it on a black toddler t-shirt and personalized it with the toddler’s name. Why the name? A new year of day care is about to start and the teachers do appreciate that the toddlers’ clothes identify a boy who looks, to them, exactly like his brother.

finished applique

This design, of course, was done in the hoop of an embroidery sewing machine. You could do it on a regular sewing machine by cutting the remnant the size and shape you want, then attaching it to the t-shirt using a column-stitch or an applique stitch. If you have one of the older machines, it can be a zigzag stitch that is very close together. When I had an old Kenmore back in the 80’s, I did lots of appliques with the close-together zigzag stitch.
You can use the smallest of pieces of leftover fabric for appliques. Here’s another example:

appliqued t-shirts


You can buy toddler t-shirts at some JoAnn stores and most of the time they’re $3 or less. I found some on a clearance rack for $0.97. Target has toddler t-shirts in packages, and so does K-mart, although I’m not sure if K-mart will be around.
The tuxedo t-shirts did not fit well in the hoop so I had to cut the side seams and then re-sew them after the embroidery step, better than dealing with the craziness of overlapping and accidental stitching where you didn’t want the stitching to be! Also, if you do lots of applique-ing, you may want to invest in a pair of applique scissors, or at the very least, a pair of those very tiny embroidery scissors. If you applique in the hoop, as I did here, you cut the appliqued fabric off at the edge of the embroidery stitching and without a good set of scissors, you can really wreak havoc! Postaweek 2011!

Swim Suit Remnant project

This week’s remnant was 5/8 yard of dark blue 2-way stretch fabric, along with a leftover piece from “Dance Floor/La Divina” from a previous post. I made a swim suit from the remnant—which by the way, was intended to wear with the dress from the prior project.

the Kwik Sew pattern


I most heartily recommend Kwik Sew 3064 swim suit pattern for these reasons: 1) I couldn’t find another one piece swim suit pattern anywhere, so ordered this one online from fabric.com 2) it’s an awesome pattern, contemporary, easy, has great instructions, and 3) it’s very adjustable.
I used a designated STRETCH needle, size 75. The recommended stitches I used were a reinforced zig-zag for applying elastic, a small zig-zag with a standard machine overlock (not serger, although it is listed as an option) for seaming. Oh, and the pattern calls for a machine blind-hem stitch on the hem of the front wrap piece. I’ve found that machine blind hem process to be more than a bit tricky!

using the right needle saves a hassle


wrap front

contrast color back and panty


So here it is, my postaweek 2011 remnant project.

A midsummer night’s seersucker remnant project

I wanted to get away from the boxy-shaped projects and do APPAREL again. Clothes can be fun to sew, although to me, it’s about as fun as trying to paint a duplicate of the Sistine Chapel using a q-tip. I’m always glad when the project’s over and I didn’t have a stress meltdown.

This project is another rendition of the Simplicity Project Runway dress #2444 that I first did in February 2011. The remnant I used was a little piece of white cotton to make a contrasting collar.

what's left of the remnant

As soon as I cut out the cape collar, Grayzie parked his considerably large carcass on what was left of it, establishing territorial rights. Next project=cat bed?

understitching the collar facing


The main fabric I used was a baby pink and white cotton seersucker by designer Calvin Klein, which I found at Fabric Mart at a too good to pass up price. It’s rather stretchy, so maybe it has a little spandex in it. Still cool and summery. The dress has side-seam pockets, too!

belt is braided non-leather material

back view

I could have added a sash, tied in front or in back, but in the seersucker material, it would have been bulky, like wearing a big ol’ fanny pack. Hence the store-bought little white belt, which I think looks demure and Land’s End-Meets-June-Cleaver-like. Shirtwaist dresses and little frocks like this seem to be making a comeback, minus the bouffant hairdo y’all. Come ahead on, August!

A midsummer night’s seersucker remnant project

I wanted to get away from the boxy-shaped projects and do APPAREL again. Clothes can be fun to sew, although to me, it’s about as fun as trying to paint a duplicate of the Sistine Chapel using a q-tip. I’m always glad when the project’s over and I didn’t have a stress meltdown.

This project is another rendition of the Simplicity Project Runway dress #2444 that I first did in February 2011. The remnant I used was a little piece of white cotton to make a contrasting collar.

what's left of the remnant

As soon as I cut out the cape collar, Grayzie parked his considerably large carcass on what was left of it, establishing territorial rights. Next project=cat bed?

understitching the collar facing


The main fabric I used was a baby pink and white cotton seersucker by designer Calvin Klein, which I found at Fabric Mart at a too good to pass up price. It’s rather stretchy, so maybe it has a little spandex in it. Still cool and summery. The dress has side-seam pockets, too!

belt is braided non-leather material

back view

I could have added a sash, tied in front or in back, but in the seersucker material, it would have been bulky, like wearing a big ol’ fanny pack. Hence the store-bought little white belt, which I think looks demure and Land’s End-Meets-June-Cleaver-like. Shirtwaist dresses and little frocks like this seem to be making a comeback, minus the bouffant hairdo y’all. Come ahead on, August!

Sewing Handicapped

I have at least 12 projects listed on my current Master Plan for summer sewing, and many more floating around in my head. But with the injury, I’m trying to keep it simple. I’ve had limited success:

towel hoodie

towel embroidery


Conclusion: machine embroidery is a good project for me now: just let the machine do the stitching and watch.

pillow from kit

I found this “kit” at Joann’s that consisted of a Spiderman fleece panel with lines along the blue border to show you where to cut for fringe. BTW, cutting with scissors isn’t that easy when you have a big fat finger. “Kit” came with a plain black fleece backing and no instructions. So I put it together as best i could and then stuffed a plain pillow form inside, through an envelope closure in back. Now I needed a 2nd pillow (because the recipient has a brother) so I rigged one up with a remnant, as you see here:

This is the back view

A quickie project, but I have to start back slowly.

cut finger IS healing, slowly

Good news: skin on the fingertip is regenerating! Bad news: the bandage is bigger and more ungainly than I’m used to, so I keep banging it and bumping it and shutting it in the door accidentally. Yeeeouch! Conclusion: I need to be more careful.

Project that I can't handle right now

One project I’d love to get into is for these baby shoes. The pattern calls for 1/4 yard of fabric for each pair, plus lining and flannel soles. Wonder where are all the shoemaker’s elves are hanging out these days?

Towel days of summer

All right, so this is not a remnant project, but I did get a cheap deal on towels at K-Mart, earlier this year: they were 2 for $5 for the bath towels! You will also need 1/2 of a hand towel for each hoodie.
I found this project on the DIY Dish website last year (the episode June 24, 2010 to be exact), and I made 13 of them last year! When I visit the homes of the kids I made hoodies for last year, I almost always see them hanging in the bathroom because they get lots of use and they hold up well, for the most part (I did see one that looked mended!) This year I am planning to make 14!
The towel hoodie is so easy to make, no kidding! Check out the link and make something a kid will love.

megafinger


Some of the designs I used came from EmbroideryLibrary.com and some came with my machine software (Husqvarna Viking). I used Sulky and Robison-Anton rayon embroidery thread.
As you can see, I injured myself, which cuts down on the manual dexterity a bit. Not a sewing accident but a kitchen mishap. That’s what I get for trying to cook again! Haven’t attempted knitting yet.

4th of July Fashion Tribute to B.A. Baracus

Happy American Independence Day! For my remnant project this week, I wish to pay tribute to an all-American TV hero from the 1980’s, the incomparable A-Team great B.A. Baracus. I liked the recent movie with Liam Neeson as Hannibal, but I really feel a rush of nostalgia for the old A-Team reruns that have been streaming on Netflix. It reminds me of when I used to lovingly tuck my young ones into bed after an episode, but of course they were too wound up and had to play car chasing and blowing up stuff before settling down!

Mr. T playing B.A. Baracus: what is not to love and admire? He was so ahead of, yet part of, his time. By way of fashion statements, he sported African batik fabric accents, red knee-high Boy Scout regulation socks, enough gold jewelry at one wearing to stock an entire pawn shop! I wondered if the B stood for Barack; wouldn’t that be cool considering that’s the given name of our current President of the US, and it goes rather well with the last name Baracus? But alas, his B stands for Bosco, although in the series, he maintained that B.A. stood for Bad Attitude. Check out the Wikipedia log of all things BA Baracus.

denim dress from Beall's Outlet

For my tribute I’ve chosen to remake a denim dress that I found at Beall’s Outlet, a store that re-sells all the goods that didn’t get sold at the regular markets; for instance, this dress had a Faded Glory label on it, which is a Wal-Mart brand. What could be more all-American than Wal-Mart trying to sell for $17 a dress made in Bangladesh, not succeeding, then sending it down the line to a discount store where I bought it for $8? And, although I like denim, I like cotton lace accents, and I like machine embroidery, the combination of all three is downright frugly, to say the least.

To make this Independence Day tribute to B.A. (although his character is fictional, I honor who it stands for, an American soldier) I cut off the offending skirt and left a denim vest to embellish B.A. style. First I embroidered Bad Attitude in Chrome Black and Very Red Robison-Anton rayon thread. [hint: what are the colors of B.A.’s rockin’ ride?]

embroidery step


Then I added some African fabric embellishments to the vest (which 1 yard piece I scored from the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo) to give it some character. Now, it looks like the jazz, man.
front

back view

All we’ve got left to do is add the bling and pair it up with some camo capri shorts.

Aint gonna ride in no airplane...what? ZZZZZ.

“Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave over the land of the free and home of the brave?” Yes, thanks to our awesome soldiers, sailors, and loyal patriots who fought the fight for us. Love you! And happy 4th of July!

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