Sewing Sewables

DIY Cloth Napkins Gone Bad

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Old work shirts! Can you guess were I use to work?

One of my crafts that is on my “To Do” list is to up cycle old men’s shirts into cloth napkins. I figured that, hey, I could use my old work shirts! They are just like old men’s shirts. Boy was I wrong.( Did you ever notice how Pinterest makes everything look SO easy and effortless?)

So, I did my first step of creating a template of a cardboard 12×12 square. This sucker if part of a thick UPS Express box so I even made a little 5×5 box from the excess. (Cocktail napkins!)cloth napkins 2

I removed my buttons, neckline and arm  pieces. We won’t need those.

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Then I laid out my fabric and begin cutting with my 12×12 square. Then the frustration started. the cardboard was not helping in keeping a straight line despite its thickness and I ended up weaving a bit and cutting the cardboard. UG! On top of that, because my work shirt were for women, and slightly larger women (because I’m a big girl) they had darts in both the backs and in the fronts that eventually took up most of the fabric real estate for my 12×12 squares. Which means the edging from the darts would be seen on the underside of my little napkins. Oh poo! 🙁cloth napkins 5cloth napkins 4

Eventually I finished cutting up two shirts and decided on going ahead and try to sew up the seams.cloth napkins 6

Now the first thing that concerned me is that this fabric seemed very thin. I had tried this one before with my hubby’s shirts and it did not go well then. I don’t have a Serger so I just tried to use the old zigzag stitch. Didn’t look pretty at all. So this time, I’m using the slanted stitch (?). It’s on my husband’s Singer that he had back in his bachelor days so I’m not too familiar with it, but it was the closest thing to what looks like a blanket stitch.

I decided to first try my luck on my 5×5 squares that I made with this new stitch and although they looked “cute” I can honestly say, they just didn’t look like cloth napkin material. (I’m a craft snob, I So I decided to see if the edging looked any better by using it on the larger 12×12 squares.cloth napkins 7

Still looked crappy. These look more like dust rags or oil rags, not nice casual napkins to use to wipe food from your face. Even IF it was only going to be my most immediate family.cloth napkins 8

I did not try ironing the edges and making them posh looking in that aspect. I was so frustrated with the fabric and the project, that I just threw it away. I will be looking at doing this project again. Perhaps with different fabric or I will try with ironing the edges. I will see. For now, I’m throwing it on the calendar for later.


Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!

So if you remember I got the Generation T  book and my daughter, Amie, was willing to try some items out. We only really got to one. The first thing we did was a bit of dying some things to what we thought was black, but they ended up coming out a sort of purplish gray??? In either case, the results of the new dye jobs that came out were really kewl…I’m sorry. But I don’t have any “before” pics only the resulting piece…In this shirt was a bit stained down the front so we dyed it that “black”. I cut the neck off and the arms and hemmed all the edges so they were smoother and not jagged. (I’ve posted picures but if your reading this via Facebook you will need to click the hyperlink that allows you to see the orginal blog to see the photos, i think) So I took a pic of the after project. Front and back. We left the arms the orginal color since they were still rather white.

I rather like how it turned out and Amie even wore it to school. I think we will try some more ideas when we get the chance.Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!Recontructed T-shirts and Crooked Crochet!


I’m very disappointed in the Crochet Calendar Crochet: 2011 Day-to-Day Calendar that I got. Although I’m not able to get the same yarn on some of the projects I am able to fudge most of them. However, some projects required some highly specialized yarn that I was only able to get from Italy, they do not ship to the US, AND its discontinued. How annoying. I did manage to make the first scarf. It wanted me to use a speclized metlic yarn but I was unable to find anything that would subsistute it so I just got something made with similar materials and the same yarn weight.  What came out was a the green keyhole scarf you see. The reason they call it a keyhole scarf is because it criss crosses through the hole in the middle of the scarf. Its suppose to be alot longer, but I’m not a huge fan of overly long scarfs. Plus, if I was to spread this out you could see the hour glass wobbly effect i had from lack of straight lines. SOmething I feared if I kept at doing crochet by hand. What I think I might do then is stick to my looms and convert the projects with the loom. I might redo this same pattern but with the loom this next time. Right now though, I recently received my sock loom and I’m already starting on learning how to do my socks. I’m following the directins from Isela Phelps  Loom Knitting Socks book as I got one of her families EFG Wonderlooms at DaLooms. I will post pics when I’m done.

This will be a busy month for me with school starting and with all the projects I plan to do to keep me busy. At least I should have plenty of “homemade” presents to give out. 🙂

Until then!