Monday, May 8, 2017

Boro Stitching

So I have a new obsession. It seems to be the "new" thing on my Pinterest feed. Come to find out, it is relaxing and forgiving. While I love perfection, it is nice to just go with the flow now and then.

I have (among other things) an extremely large basket of denim scraps.

Needing a small project to do at night while watching Dr Who (yep, one of my favorite shows) I decided on some little pouches done Boro Style.
Here are two more. Both are available in my Etsy store. Just click on the picture.

The appliques were from cut from various fabrics and a fusible interfacing was ironed to the back to hold everything down while I stitched. I used a heavy cotton embroidery thread for the stitching. 
These are great little projects that should only take a night to finish up. Think gift card holders, cell phone pouch, jewelry pouch. I'm thinking of doing some Ipad covers and some larger purses. 
To see more pictures of these pouches, just click on the picture and it will take you to my Etsy store. I post extra pictures there. 

Want to learn more? Here are a few books from Amazon to help you out. ( They do throw me some pennies if you purchase one. So thanks in advance if you do.)

As always, keep stitching and thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Blog Slacker here. Forgive me readers for I have been a flake. I have not posted since... well forever!
But I"m here today and thought you would love to see what I have been up to.

First, as an upcycler of clothing I have baskets of bits and pieces from the clothes I cut apart. Collars, pockets, sleeves and cuffs for the most part. I thought you might like to see what I do with all of them.

The above picture is of two men's cuffs sewn together to make a sweet little pouch. These are great for gift cards, that secret money stash for emergencies or a jewelry pouch for traveling.

The colorful scraps were from a quilt I made for my son. I can't throw out even the smallest scrap. (I might need that someday.) I iron a fusible interfacing to the underside to help hold it down and then messy free form sew it with colorful variable thread.
My favorite is from Sulky. On the above pouch I used Sulky Blendables color...
It looks very dark here but there are so many colors! You can really see how it looks when you use it above in the pouch. I sell this in my Etsy store. Just click on the picture to see all the different colors.

Moving on..

Here is another one I did.

This on was made from two different cuffs. The flower is from a Kaffe Fasset Fabric with a die cut leaf added in. The applique thread is black for simplicity. Again, just free form with my darning foot.

My next project was with the collar. Not as easy but lots of ways to use those little snippits of leftovers.
I just folded the collar into thirds and opened it up to look like a flower. Then use a heavy needle and thread and tack the "petals" down. The strips are just leftover scraps sewn to the back with a brooch pin.
Here is another.

Great for a shabby chic look. Again, just a white collar and scraps of white fabrics and lace.

I hope this gets your creative thoughts going.
Oh, I forgot about pockets. They are easy. I just sew them onto my upcycled clothing.

Next time... some hand stitching Boro style.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Call Me Blog Slacker

I'm terrible at blogging. I just wanna sew! (whining voice here.)

But I thought I would at least let you know what I have been up to.

But first a quest for help!

I bought these batiks many years ago at a quilt show in California. They were sold by yardage and yes... very expensive. But I would love to find this company and purchase from them again if I can find them.
So... If anyone recognizes the companies designs.. can you let me know?

So Altered Couture contacted me again for submissions. That was very cool. Of course I sent a few things along. We well see if any of them are chosen. The issue they were asking for was the Summer issue. Fingers Crossed! I'll let you know how it goes.

So here are some of my recent projects to let you know... I'm still at it.

My son's roommate in the Marines is a major hippy type and asked me to make these for him.

They are made from numerous corduroy pants I purchased at local thrift stores and ebay. I had enough to make one more pair. You can find it on my Etsy store here at Curious Orange Cat.

I have also started an Etsy store for children's clothing too. Check out

I have been making crossback aprons for little girls from upcycled fabrics mainly. But I am going to start adding aprons from new fabrics as well. As for the batiks I am searching for... this is the latest addition to my SweetRedBird shop.

You can see it in my new shop here...Batik Crossback Apron

So I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Hope to post again soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Another Fine Mess I'm in....

 I have been so lazy bad lately. I haven't posted in waaay too long. Too much going on and then days where I just can't get myself to get anything done at all.
I would try to make it my new years resolution to post more often... but you know how that goes.

Anyway, I had so much fun making this skirt that I had to make another.

Skirt one....

I decided a wrap skirt would be perfect for different sized ladies.

A plain wrap skirt made with upcycled white t-shirt sections. The fabric was oh so soft. I thought it would be perfect for inside a messy and very scrappy skirt.

So now to find all the wonderful fabrics to make it shine.

Yep, piles of lovely lace and other wonderful fabrics.
So then it starts to look like this...

Piece by piece it get sewed on a long strip.

 Total from start to finish was three 5 hour days. So it is a bit of work. Not to mention dealing with booboo's  challenges.

Now to add a little more to hide any open spots. These laces are the expensive ones. You can thank two now gone over the rainbow bridge puppies for having these available. So much for my expensive vintage lace tablecloth.

Okay, so some of the special stuff is new. But check this out!!

Yeah baby. This is the good stuff. A table cloth made from this nowdays would be upwards of $1000. I use it sparingly in my creations. I'll be sad when it is all gone. Thank you Scooby and Zoey.

So here is the finished product. TaDa!!!

I paired it up with this colorful flannel shirt I got for Christmas. I thought this would make a perfect fun western wedding outfit. White lace leggings, boots and a white hat... to die for!!

Of course both are for sale in my etsy shop!
Skirt 1 link...

and Skirt 2 link...
So that is all for this time. I will be working on some smaller fun things soon.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

In the beginning there was.....

I graduated high school in 1975. Yep, that ages me a bit. But I was very aware of the fabulous 60's and the cool fashions that came out of that era. I can remember sewing crochet flowers to my very cool denim navy surplus jeans. Big bells and all. The military surplus store the next town over was the only place to purchase the utmost cool fashions. Pea-coats, sailor pants, army jackets... you name it. Unfortunately it went the wayside to the hipsters and their stock-brokerage firms and high end shopping centers.

So I have this very wonderful and interesting friend in Australia. (They call it OZ. I think that is so cool.) My friend Karen Ellis has a brilliant  blog called RudeRecord. Her and her husband are all about being frugal, recycling and reusing as much as possible to reduce waste. That is the utmost cool thing!

Karen told me about a book she wanted a look see at but it was out of print and not available in OZ. Also shipping from the US was more than she could deal with. Sooo, I checked it out.

With a measly purchase price of $5.98 including shipping, I was up to the task to help her out.

And then I procrastinated..... for a long time. Cuz that's how I roll some days. But she gave me a gentle reminder the other day and I knew I needed to get this done!

So to start... here is the cover.

It was written in 1976 by Diana Funaro.

Multitudes of great information is covered. So much that there is no way I can cover it all. But knowing my friend, I figured anything that dealt with up-cycling or re-purposing something might help.

So back to the 60's. First came the jean skirt. Then of course the inserts into those wonderful big bell bottom pants. The book covers how to do both. I scanned a picture of the jean skirt for you.
Most of the book looks like this as far as illistrations. Not many actual photos. I didn't think they did a good job of representing the garments. So I passed on those. (Sorry Karen.)

The classic jean skirt with the insert. A staple for the 60's gal.

 Of course there was another style of jean skirt too.
The cut off skirt with a different fabric at the bottom.
Shameless plug for two of my jean skirt creations. This is my modern take on the last picture.

Yep, I'm kind of a messy scrappy kind of girl. By the way, I used all kinds of jean scraps to make these.
Any whoooo, back to the book.
(I just realized I got stuck on skirts here.)

So here a couple more pages from the book.

They are about making wrap skirts from tablecloths and such. I love wrap skirts. They are great for dealing with size issues. One size can fit quite a few different sizes.

Here is one more popular skirt. The handkerchief skirt.
This is a very simple one! Just sew four square hankies together, fold and cut a circle for the waistband. Attach a waistband and you are set!

Here is one that would have helped me the other day with a sweater upcycle. (I really need to read more of this book!)
This is taking out a turtleneck collar and changing it to a crew neck collar. Needless to say, I botched mine terribly and it is very "free form" right now. Sigh... now I know what to do for next time.

So these were some of the easy projects I found. There is so much more! It goes into all kinds of alterations and instructions on different embellishments as well. Beading, applique, embroidery and more.
Again, every thing is pretty much line drawings but if you are good at following written instructions (I am not! Surprised?) you should do great.

So hopefully I was able to give Karen in OZ (soooo coool!!!) a good idea about this book.
Now, I need to go and fix that damn sweater collar!

If you just have to have this wonderful vintage book. You can get it on Amazon here...
It is offered at many different prices. Don't let the $0.04 fool you. I think it will cost a bit more. ...

Until next time!
Oh, and my skirts are on my Etsy website along with some pretty cool patched jeans.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yay, it's done and a bit artsy if I do say so....

So today was one of those days in the sewing room. I actually knocked over my big pin box. Think those small little see through boxes and add 3 more. All over the floor and I didn't have a magnet anymore. Sigh.

However my flea market purchase of a very old but sturdy Singer serger was a success.  It works great!  It is unfortunately set at a tiny binding hem. So I had to use my Huskylock on this sweater. It usually bogs down and I end up with a terrible mess. But today it behaved and sewed the sleeves of this sweater perfectly!

So obviously I figured out the sleeve problem. I had this large heavy cotton shirt and the sleeves were perfect! This really was a fun project to make and took me out of my comfort zone. I literately just took the scissors and cut up the front. I had no idea how I was going to fix it.
If you didn't check out my past post... here is my last picture.

I almost left it as a vest. But winter is coming. So sleeves it is.

So here is the finished product.

This is on a plus size manikin size 18/20. Looks pretty good (except for the leaning). I tried it on and I'm a size 16. It looked pretty awesome. It is all cotton and would be prefect over a t-shirt or other shirt. The sleeves are just a heavy cotton. Not a soft flannel. But I love it anyway. I will be adding it to my Etsy store soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Work In Progress...

Trying to get my MoJo back after a bout of just not feeling it. It comes and goes of course. But I'm back to it with gusto!

The weather (hopfully!!!) will be cooling down soon. So time to get those sweaters out that need an overhaul.

I forgot to take a picture of the before on this... sorry about that.

It was just a plain grey turtle neck sweater with long sleeves.

Out came the scissors and I hacked up the front sideways and through the collar.

I had this pair of button panels buttoned together waiting patiently for me to figure out where they belong.  They begged and pleaded to play with this sweater.
I added a triangle of a very heavy green flannel from a shirt I have been cutting off of for a while now. The little black dot on the right is a horse. I might applique something over it because I think it looks funny.

So this is what I have so far. Oh, and I cut off the sleeves.

I know, it is a nice picture with my pretty background. Usually I do it in my messy sewing room. But I was in there anyway....

Here is a closeup of the inserts down the middle.

I sewed one side (the button panel side) with a serger and did a small zig zag stitch on the side with the dark green.

I"m in a pickle as to what to do about sleeves. I cut them off and tried these wonderful heavy black and white checked sleeves but they were too small for the armhole. This may end up as a vest.

Any whoo, back to work! So many ideas!!!