Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Franken-Tunic, Part II

When last we met, the tunic was looking pretty much just like what it is: two men's shirts sewn together.  So I decided to alter the sleeves and the neckline.

I added some pretty button covers, but you could just as easily change the buttons altogether.

Then I added a beaded applique medallion I had in my stores.

Here's the full effect:

It could have been altered or cropped more to be more fitted for those with that hourglass figure. Personally, I'm kinda shaped like a box, so I opted to leave that part alone.  I plan to wear it with jeans!

Thanks for coming by to see the end result.  Let me know what you think, and what you might have done differently!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Franken-Tunic, Part I

Today I began an upcycled tunic. It is made from two men's shirts obtained at a thrift shop. Her's shirt 1.

And here's shirt 2.

Together they make tunic 1!

But, not yet. The neck and sleeves need to be restyled.

I hope to finish this restyle tomorrow or the next day.  I'm not sure yet how I plan to finish the neckline and sleeves.  And embellishment is open right now as well.  Please tune in later this week to see what I do.  And if you have ideas you'd like to share about how you'd do it, please feel free to share that in the comments!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Top 3 Finds of the Day

Today was my first real yard/estate sale foray of the season!  I love these sales for a lot of reasons. First, since many of the things that do not sell at a yard sale end up in the trash, I feel as though I am diverting things from landfills. Second, they are a wealth of raw materials to the crafter or sewist. Today was particularly productive for me.  I hit about five sales, and purchased things at three of them.  Here are my top three finds, which were all sewing related!

I just love this little pewter finish Timex sewing machine clock.  I'm not certain of the age of the item, but some quick online research says sometime between 1970 and the present.  The replaceable battery sits under the base and is reachable with a tiny screwdriver.  This is a welcome addition to my little sewing room!

The second sale at which I made a purchase yielded these lovely vintage linen pieces.  I just love vintage linens.  I use them around the house, and I also use them in crafting and sewing.  These do show some staining and wear, so a little bath is in order to see how these will be used.

Last, and possibly the most exciting to me is this large haul of sewing patterns.  I scored about 250 patterns in one stop.  Most of these are 1960's and newer, but nothing that looks to be newer than 2000.  You are seeing them after I transferred them into these wire baskets.  They were stored in a large cardboard box which was coming apart at the seams, and in a plastic garbage bag. In other words, not really stored in an archival manner! However, the treasure trove here is incredible.  Children's, women's, men's ... Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCall and a few smaller brands ... day clothes, evening wear, accessories and even a few craft patterns.  I will be keeping some to use myself, but the vast majority will be posted for sale in my Etsy shop!

So, I had a productive morning (back home by noon)!  Leave me a comment sharing what your best yard sale find has been!  Oh, and please let me know how you feel about the new design of the blog... good? Or do I need to keep working on it?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Little Girl's Upcycle

Just knocking around the sewing room on Saturday, when a little inspiration came to visit!  I have a few piles of old clothing in need of remakes, but there's nothing like a little visitor to get the creative juices flowing.  In my stash of clothes to restyle I had a rayon long sleeve top from Chico's with a grease stain...

...and a really cute skirt with an under-ruffle that I just think is a little too young, or prep, or something for me to actually wear.  It was originally a Christopher and Banks, but I believe I got it at a consignment shop with the idea of recycling it.

Using the subject's chest measurement, I cut out a bodice, retaining the original neckline.  I sewed the side sleeves and used ribbon as a bias finish on the armholes.  Next, I measured and cut off the amount of the skirt I wanted to use, retaining the original hems.  Gathering the skirts, I then attached these to the bodice and Voila!

She loves her new dress, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it!  Thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Seams Sustainable Etsy Shop

I've been working on re-opening my Etsy Shop by the same name as this blog.  If you love ephemera, vintage sewing patterns, vintage sewing paraphernalia, and an eclectic mix of stuff I've made and stuff I've found, please stop by, and thanks!

More on other projects soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sewing Room

Here are another few shots from around my new sewing room.  I'm still in the middle of organizing and setting up, but you can see that it's spaceous.  The walls are painted a light sage green.  There's one window, and sun actually filters through in the afternoons.

I really love spending time down here!  There are so many projects calling me!

There's space enough for both of my antique Singer machines, as well as two modern machines and my serger, which I just cleaned and prepped for the actual 1920s dress I'm working on for a friend.  The muslin on that is finished - once the fitting is done I'll be working on completing that dress!

There's also plenty of space for my bins and bins of fabric and supplies!

Here's a view of the actual sewing table.  In the foreground is the maple dining table I got to serve as a cutting table - no more crawling around on the floor to cut!  Also you can see in this picture one of the two Ott Lights I got for Yule.  These make everything I'm working on as bright as daylight - which is great because, as a basement room, it can be a little difficult to light for close work!

I'm so happy to have this sewing and crafting haven in my home.  Thanks for popping by to look!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1920s Gown ala Downton Abbey Style

It's been a very, very long time since I've had any time to catch up with you!  I hope you have been well. I've been terribly preoccupied with a day job which no longer fit my needs, so I'm back with you, able to blog once more!  I'm very excited about the project that I am working on for a dear friend.

It's number 5941 from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library, a 1920's evening gown.  These patterns are tricky.  As stated in the materials enclosed in the pattern envelope, "the original instructions consist of two diagrams and eight lines of simple instruction".  Sewists contemporary to the era of the pattern would have needed little instruction for constructing and finishing this gown.  Included in the envelope is a tutorial for a muslin, but there are no instructions for a finished gown, so a lot is left to me.

I cut the pattern from the muslin material (a flat King sheet I got for a couple of dollars - great source of fabric for muslins when purchased cheaply at yard sales or flea markets) last week, and began construction yesterday.  This will not be a wearable muslin (alas) as I'll be using the deconstructed pieces as the final pattern - this one's for fitting only.  It's also helpful for identifying all the raw edges that will need some sort of finish. Here's what I've got so far!

The actual fabric I'll be using is gorgeous, with a lot more fluidity and drape than the sheet.  It's some lovely Sari silk, which I'll show you in the next post on this dress.

I also realized that I have not shown you my new sewing room!  For Yule this year, my husband had a room in the basement finished for me for sewing.  Here are two little peeks at a couple of the furnishings.  The first is a cabinet we found in the basement of the home when we moved in.  All cleaned up, it makes a great bookcase for many of my sewing and craft books.

Then, for pattern storage, we picked up this antique catalog from TOPS in Hudson Falls (my favorite second hand store, where estate finds are mixed in with new furniture - here's an earlier post about this wonderful business!).  I'll show you more, when the room is cleaned up a bit and more presentable!

I'm looking forward to sharing more on this gown project, the sewing room, and many other projects in the pipeline!  Thanks for stopping by!