More Upcycled Tops!

Since i’ve not had much of a chance to make stuff for myself recently (or much time to blog about making anything!) i thought i’d take the opportunity of having a little free time to look back on a few refashions i did a while ago. I realise i have done quite a few posts on the pants refashioning front and not put much up about the tops i’ve done. I don’t have ‘before’ pictures for all of these i’m afraid so you’ll have to use your imagination :)

First up is a plain orange top which i combined with a floral-print top in similar colours ….

to create:

Another plain strappy top got some embellishment in the form of a cutout from an old band tshirt:

And another band tshirt was refashioned into a strappy top using a well-fitting top as a template and my first ever (TERRIBLE!) attempt at bias-binding, or rather stretchy binding made from scraps of another tshirt. it has too many seams in it to look good, but in principle it seemed to work ok. The skirt in the bottom photo is another refashion, story for that one coming soon when the other bits i made from the same original item are finished…

Wow, my room was even messier than usual that day… :p

This is a refashion i am frankly not too keen on. Basically i love the top but the straps had stretched out a lot, so i was lazy and doubled them over, then decided to add a bit of a crochet edging to hide them…thus making lots more work for myself. And choosing the ridiculously fluffy yarn for this edging was probably not the best plan either, since although it’s interesting enough, it is a bit overwhelming, not to mention itchy! The ‘lace-up’ bit at the back didn’t really work out how i imagined it either. Suffice to say that i haven’t worn this top since deciding to refashion it a few months ago, so i think it may be up for another round. Maybe i can use the cute little picture as an appliqué on another top (if the photo isn’t good enough for you to see, the writing says ‘Ouchy, love hurts’)

This next is a full-on refashion, from a large skirt into a long-sleeved top. i used a vintage 60s off-shoulder top as a pattern and was pleased with the result.

Sadly the refashioning work is not completely done – after i’d finished sewing i noticed a small stain on the top. Luckily it’s in a place i can reasonably add some embellishment to cover it, so it’s now sitting in my ‘add some little crochet bits to make it prettier’ pile. (not kidding, this pile does exist!)




Gecko top to Lacy top refashion

Somewhere amongst all the house-sewing i have been doing recently, a couple of ‘me’ projects worked themselves in :) One was this top.

I started with an old and well-loved strappy top of mine with a faded gecko print and a couple of holes in the front, and a pink stretch-lace cardigan-thing from a charity shop, which i’d bought purely for the fabric. (The dress is another old item of mine which is soon to be upcycled but i didn’t get round to today – its story will be continued later!)

I decided to dispense with the front of the gecko top as it was really too worn and holey, so the back of the top was now to become the front and vice versa. I started by unpicking the binding joining the straps to the gecko side of the top, so that i would get a bit of extra length on the straps before i cut them. I then snipped down the side seams leaving just the back (the new front) of the top, which was plain black, with two long straps attached.

I used the old gecko side of the top as a guide to cut out a panel of pink lace that would become the new back to my top. I used the existing bottom hem of the cardigan, and cut it straight across at the top rather than shaping it like the original top, to make it easier to sew. I hemmed the top by turning over 1cm then another 1cm and straight-stitching it down (my machine does a kind of 3-part straight stitch that allows the fabric to still stretch a little once it is sewn, if you didn’t have this then a zig-zag would give the same stretch though it would look a bit different).

While i was messing about with the pink lace fabric it occurred to me that it looked very nice placed over the plain black. For a while i toyed with the idea of covering the front of the top with the lace as well, then decided that would be too much. I cut out a heart shape and appliquéd it to the front using a stretch straight stitch and leaving the edges unfinished (it doesn’t look like the kind of fabric to fray but we’ll see!).

It was then just a case of pinning the new front and new back of the top together and stitching (again with the stretch straight stitch – rather than zig-zag over the raw edges as i normally would, which can make them wavy and thus more bulky, i did 2 rows of straight stitch as an experiment to see if that alse helps prevent deterioration. neither fabric is particularly fragile so it should be fine). I pinned the straps to the back and tried the top on to check their length and positioning was ok, then sewed them on. The finished product:


Not the world’s best pictures, sorry, but you get the idea! I’m pleased with how this turned out, and it ended up taking a lot less time and effort than i had expected. Bonus! Now to find something to do with the rest of the cardigan….

Upcycled Oven Gloves!

I have been truly rubbish at posting here lately, i’ve recently moved and seem to have been spending most of my free time making stuff for the house – although none of it is completely finished yet, when it is i promise it shall appear here! Which also means that making things for myself, gifts etc has taken a bit of a back seat. Until today! Some friends are having a housewarming party this weekend (seems like everybody’s moving at the moment!) and their housewarming gift from us will be some oven gloves i’ve made, some brightly-coloured silicone bakeware, and some recipe cards for my favourite cakey treats. Here are the oven gloves:

They are made from a lightweight denim dress which came from a charity shop, and some reasonably heavy duty cotton fabric from my stash. The wadding (which is in the hand parts only, to give the rest more flexibility) is cut from an old towel, which had a few holes in and wasn’t great to use as a towel any more.

I really love these double-ended oven gloves. They are so much easier to use than single potholders or oven mitts – they’re easier to pull on, protect your wrists and arms, and you can’t lose one ‘hand’ as they’re stuck together! There is a great tutorial on how to make them here. I changed a couple of things – namely having the wadding only in the hands, and not using bias binding (because i didn’t have any and didn’t want to go and buy some) – i just pinned everything right-sides together, stitched around the edge leaving a gap in the middle opposite the hook, turned it all the right way round and topstitched it.

If i were to make more of these (which i think i will as they would definitely make good Christmas presents and are a nice way to upcycle some of the old towels we currently have taking up space in the garage) i’d have a go with bias binding as i think it would help to make the hand bits more flexible. I might even try making my own!