Yes it’s been a fashionable phrase for a while now ‘make do & mend’ but that is what I have been doing.
Having washed most of my clothes now I have come across some tired old things which needed a bit of love, so last week I made pile and have been getting through it.
It started with some good ol’ jeans to take up, not my favourite job actually, I don’t know why, I suppose it’s ok if they have easy hems and its right first time but unpicking and re-doing is a pain, but this little lot only took an hour or so and now we have new jeans to wear which is great.
I also patched up a pair of mine, not just any pair, they have been my favourite pair for about two years now. They are skinny but comfortable, they have faded brilliantly and in fact are quite white on the knees. I’ve decided jeans with naturally faded patches on the knees and thighs etc are definitely the most flattering for my shape, especially when I compare them next to my solid denim jeans, so instead of binning my faves and starting again, I patched the holes up on the inside legs and I should be able to wear them for another year or so now.
Next in the pile was a denim shirt, one I really liked when I bought it but it honestly looked rubbish on me, I had forgotten about it until I unpacked it. Anyway this shirt always looked long and billowy on me, so I took an inch or so off the length, shaped it in at the waist by taking it in at the side seams. By now it was looking a lot better, except when I turned, the back of the shirt was still billowing, not in a nice way so I tried to figure out how to cinch it in.
I thought about ties or a self fabric belt and cinch buckle on the back or darts but then I remembered I have a gingham shirt with small gathers into the back yoke seam the same as on this denim one, which happened to be creating most of the billow effect. However the gingham shirt also had a short piece of elastic sewn underneath at the waist which pulled it in nicely, so I did this on the denim shirt and it worked a treat. Sadly I didn’t take before and after shots, I will have to do that next time so you can see how much an improvement it is.
The next piece of clothing to sew is a vest, it has crochet at the top, then crochet overlaid over yellow drapey jersey and it’s never quite fitted. I bought it in Turkey when I was working there but it always needed an extra inch or so so it would sit nicely under my chest and not pull anywhere. So I found some linen lace which is different but compliments it and I have been hand sewing it into position which is taking a little while, so this is not quite finished yet.
Then for something different. Our kayaks have arrived and they’e sitting outside with a huge potential for spiders and other creepy crawlies to make their homes inside. So I decided it wasn’t going to be hard to make a cover for each, and to my surprise it was easy, usually you think it’s going to be easy and it just isn’t!
Ok so a lot of you will not need or want to do this I know, but this is how I made mine.
1. placed nylon fabric the wrong side up over the kayak and secured it with thick bungee elastic cord, then I pulled the fabric taught.
2. I marked with a permanent pen a. where the ridge of the cockpit was b. just underneath where the elastic was so I knew where to fold the fabric and c. when I pulled the excess skirt fabric up to the ridge where the two met.
3. I removed the fabric, layer it on the floor and cut about 1-2cm away from the outer ring of dashes for seam allowance. I then sewed a tube all the way around, leaving a 3cm wide gap at the back making sure I folded the fabric along the middle line of dashes, this was tricky going around the curves and I had to fold the fabric gradually so that it went around the curve nicely. I went around 2 times, about 5mm apart.
4. I threaded elastic through the tube, tied a loose knot and fitted it on the kayak, adjusting the tension of the elastic so not too tight or too loose and the secured the knot by pulling the cord and the knot tight and pushing the knot into the gap.
I am very pleased with this and the fact there WILL be NO SPIDERS in our kayaks now.
And lastly, I found a friend who I’ve had since I was very little who was looking a bit worn, a bit holey and a bit dirty……my old teddy who is in fact a bunny!
So I sewed him up and now he’s off for a bath and then he will be a very happy bunny. Bunny has lied next to my pillow for years. He’s got a squishy middle which makes him good for cuddling, my sister had a little blue bunny, she used to hold onto his ears and suck her fingers at the same time, our Mum had to wash them and hang them up by their ears to dry on the washing line in the summer and we couldn’t wait to get our bunnies back.
I am slowly making more crochet flowers and putting them in a box and maybe by September I will have enough to join them all together to make the vest I blogged here about a week or so ago.
When I have finished sewing the lace on the yellow vest and made two more kayak covers that will be all the little sewing jobs done and I will start some new things. I have been adding ideas to my sketchbook and working on a big new plan which I recon is going to take some time to get going but I am looking forward to just getting making again, so only 2 months of living in Australia I can now get making.
Oh I’ve also updated my blog pages so they fit in with what and where I currently am, and I’ve added some new photos and stuff so I hope you like them too.
Right I’m for a ride to the beach.