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Dress For Sewing

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Not quite what you think! Not a dress to sew but a question, do you dress for sewing? Do you prepare yourself mentally?
dress for sewingIn the 40s and 50s, a woman’s place was very much in the home and there were lots of articles and advice on how a housewife should comport herself.

Some of the advice from this Singer sewing manual made me laugh, but there are a couple of useful tips in there!

 

 

 

 

 

Mentally prepare yourself for sewing

 

Tprepare mentally for sewinghe Singer manual advises “never approach sewing with a sigh or in a lackadaisical manner. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.” Well, I guess if you’re sighing and viewing it as a chore you’re not really going to produce your best work! If I feel like this about a sewing project then I’ll change the project to something I enjoy doing. If I do have to do a particular project then I’ll put myself in the mood by playing some upbeat music and thinking about how I’ll feel when it’s finished (prepare myself mentally). Does some lively music put you in the mood for sewing?

Do the Housework

do the choresCan you concentrate if you have a sinkful of dirty dishes or unmade beds?
I can live with unmade beds, dirty dishes annoy me so I would do these! According to the Singer advice, your mind can be “free to enjoy sewing if all the household chores are done.” It depends what they mean by household chores. A bit of dust here and there, carpets unvacuumed, bath not cleaned? I could sew quite happily without giving these “chores” a second thought!

Dress for Sewing

 

The advice from Singer is to “make yourself as attractive as possible.”  What does this statement mean to you, full makeup, best dress, killer heels? I don’t think I’d get much work done dressed like that! The reasoning behind this is that you’ll be distracted from your sewing if you are not “neatly put together.” You’d be fretting in case your husband came home or you got unexpected visitors. You are also advised to have some french chalk close by to dust your fingers occasionally, (it doesn’t say why!).

Things have changed a lot since those days! So how do you dress for sewing? Do you care if you’re not “neatly put together?” Does the housework have to be done, including unmade beds? I’d love to hear your stories, please leave comments below!

 

 

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Upcycled Clothing Blogs

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I’m always looking for inspiration for sewing and new ideas for upcycling so I thought I’d share my favourite upcycled clothing blogs. I’ve also got a few sewing and upcycling blogs I’ve subscribed to too, love the newsletters and free patterns that drop into my inbox!

Criss cross baby dressOne of the first projects I made for this blog was a criss-cross dress with ruffled pants to match. (you can see it here). The pattern was free, delivered to my inbox from Melly Sews. You have to subscribe for the free patterns but don’t get bombarded with emails. Around one a month, usually with a free pattern included. The patterns are well written and with easy to follow instructions, worth the sign-up for me!

 

 

 

free baby dress sewing patternAnother favourite of mine is Sew Kate Sew where I got the free baby dress sewing pattern. I didn’t need to subscribe for this one, it’s freely available on her site. I decided to subscribe anyway and again, not too many emails, only every couple of months.

 

 

 

Diaper BagI made this diaper bag from a tutorial at Karen’s blog. It’s probably one of the most useful items I’ve made for baby Lilly and has been in constant use since she was born. I plan to do another one for my latest expected Grandchild, a boy this time! Karen has some neat ideas for kids clothes, not many tutorials or free patterns, but I like her ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

the thrifty coupleOne of my favourite sites for upcycling and thrifty living is The Thrifty Couple. It’s easy to spend hours on there looking at all the great ideas! From tips to saving money on diapers to DIY around the home and printable guides it’s a great resource for upcycled living.

 

 

 

diaper cakeThe Tip Junkie is full of ideas and tutorials for upcycling and where I got the idea for making a taggie blanket. I have a long list of projects I’d like to make starting with a diaper cake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

kids activity blogIf you’ve landed on Upcycled Baby Clothes you’ve more than likely got kids or grandkids. Keeping them amused can be a challenge, especially during the winter months. Kids Activity Blog is loaded with ideas for keeping the kids happy. There’s also ideas for outdoor activities. The kids menu is sectioned into age groups making the site easy to navigate. I particularly like the printable colouring pages, a great resource.

 

 

 

Make baby sewDelilah at Make Sew Baby has built a great collection of printable patterns and tutorials. She covers everything from clothes to accessories for the nursery. She also covers baby food crocheting and knitting. I love the baby peasant top pattern and have made that one myself.

 

 

 

 

These are just a few of my favourite upcycled clothing blogs and other resources I use for helping me craft. Please leave a comment below if you’d like to add to this resource.

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Sewing for Charity Projects

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Sewing for Charity Projects

 

sewing for charity projectsIf you’re anything like me and many others who enjoy sewing, you’re going to end up with a large stash of extra fabric and embellishments. Do you go to the craft store and buy reels of ribbon from the bargain bin, off cuts of fabric at 75% off? Charity shop bargains you plan to cut down and upcycle?

You walk into your craft/spare room and start to wonder what you’re going to do with it! Of course, this is all done with the best of intentions and your stash grows to mammoth proportions. Making things for charity is a great way to upcycle and use your stash, so I’ve come up with some sewing for charity projects.

There are numerous charity organizations all over the world that would be grateful to receive donations you’ve sewn yourself. Using your sewing skills this way is a win win situation, you get to do something you love and at the same time you’re helping those less fortunate than yourself.

There is a sewing for charity project out there that will fit your skills and which you’ll enjoy making. You could be a quilter, stuffed toy maker, make baby clothes and toys or just enjoy sewing generally! You can make items, like blankets or pillowcases, for use around the home, anything you might make for your friends and family you can make for a charity organization.

Quilts and Bedding

 

There are many charitable organizations who accept quilts and other bedding items which are handmade. These organizations range from your local homeless shelters to orphanages around the world. With a Google search you can find charities local to you; or larger organisations who organise shipments of useful items to places torn apart by war, catastrophic weather etc.

If you can sew 2 pieces of fabric together then you can make a scrap quilt or “crazy” quilt. These are made from a variety of fabric scraps like old clothing or fat quarters left from a project and are very easy to make. You don’t need any special sewing skills to make these and by following my simple tutorial you’ll have a useful patchwork quilt made in no time.

Another simple project is making pillowcases and I’ve found this great tutorial video (from the Missouri Quilt Company), making pillow cases for charity. I love the technique used to create the pretty trim!

 

Stuffed Toys and Fabric Books

 

fabric bookThere are charities all over the world that help neglected and abused children, donating toys and books is a great way to help. Sewing for a children’s organization is a wonderful opportunity to help others.

Some local police officers and fire fghters carry a supply these toys and books in their vehicles, ready to give comfort to children when a tragedy happens. Children’s toys can be simple to make; like this plush baby toy and handmade fabric books can be easy to sew too; as demonstrated in the video below.

Clothing Projects for Charity

 

pillowcase dressThere are various types of clothing needed for charity which are easy to sew (and knit if you’re also a knitter). This article gives you 25 ways you can make a baby/toddler dress, including one from an old pillow case!

Search in your local directory for charities you can contact for donating your projects; and also for advice on what is needed more urgently.

 

 

Chemotherapy patients appreciate head coverings, and this article describes the importance for self-esteem during these debilitating treatments. Contact your local health authority to find the place to donate these items to. This is another “how to” video on how to make a simple head covering.

 

No matter what your sewing ability, or your financial status, you can sew (or knit) for charity. Whether you make crazy quilts out of old cast-off clothing, or you make chemotherapy caps for cancer patients, your items will be used and appreciated. So why not start today, dig into your stash and start sewing for charity.

I’d love to hear about you your sewing for charity projects so feel free to leave a comment below or contact me and I’ll update this post with your creations.

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Make it easy

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Make it easy, make it easysomething busy Mums (and Dads) like to do whether it’s upcycling clothes, woodworking, or any of the hundreds of hobbies we pursue. Making it easy is what this site is about and the best tip is:

 

Use the InternetWorld-wide-web-logoThere are literally thousands of resources on the web. The 2 most commonly used resources:

  • “Google it” (most people have heard the term). You’ll find pretty much anything with this search engine.
  • You Tube is the most common place to get instructive videos..

You’ll note thoughout my blog posts how I’ve made use of free resources, one of my favourites is at freesewing.com. Free patterns, resources and you don’t get bombarded with emails when you subscribe, always a bonus!

Over 100 free sewing patterns – download as many as you wish!

 

Join a local groupgroup-women-using-electric-sewing-machines-class-smiling-33563232

  • Check out your local library, they usually have details of hobby groups available in your area.
  • Local shop windows are another place where you’ll see notices.
  • Community Centres are a good source for finding local groups.
  • Colleges that do vocational courses are a good place to learn and meet new people at the same time.
  • Some craft shops run their own groups, always a good place to check.

Second hand book shops, car boot sales and charity shops are a goldmine for craft books. I very rarely buy a new book.

If you haven’t heard of Freecycle check it out, everything is free and you can also request items. 3 of my sewing machines came from Freecycle!

Starting your own group is a great way of creating your vision on how you’d like your hobby group to run. The local community centre is the best place to get help and advice on this, most hobby groups run from a community centre.

Lastly, follow my blog, I like to make things that are easy and want to pass on what I learn along the way.

hands on fabric going through sewing machine

 

 

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