Renew a Favourite Shirt

We have heard about recycling, reducing waste and re-purposing items; and one way of helping is to renew your old clothing.  Back in the day it used to be called “mending”.  

My mom taught me this little trick for prolonging wear time out of an older shirt.  Cut off the sleeves and turn the collars.  Mysweet Handy Man loves his old shirts, ones that really have seen better days; but I thought perhaps I can try this out and save his favourite shirts.

Back or Under Collar

 

As you can see, the top of the collar is pretty worn and frayed while the bottom looks new.

The first thing to do is to carefully remove the stitches.  I used a small ripper.  Slip it between the collar and the band and gently start to pick or slice the stitching.   I only opened the seam as much as I had to, to remove the collar.

Once the collar is completely separate, iron it to straighten the seam area.  Fold the band and pin the center to mark it.  Do the same with the collar.

Mark the Middle

Using the pins as markers, pin the collar back into the band making sure you turn it around so the bottom is now the top of the collar.  Stitch closed with a narrow seam.  Give it one more ironing to fold in the right direction.

Now the shirt looks new again, as long as no one peeks underneath 🙂

Do you renew your clothing?  What have you done to reduce clothing waste?

Expressing Your Creativity

It doesn’t matter what age you are, exploring and expressing your creativity is good for the soul. Best of all, it doesn’t matter how you do it. You might enjoy arts or crafts. Perhaps you have a musical instrument you pick up from time to time. Are you a secret cake baker, or perhaps a wannabe photographer? It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re any good at it or not. It’s about relaxing, expressing, enjoying, and creating.

Some of the most creative people in the world have mundane nine to five jobs. Perhaps their creativity is just bursting to get out. And those that get to work in creative roles probably love their jobs more than most. It’s part of who we are as humans. We need to express ourselves through art, music, and other activities. How long has it been since you spent any time doing your favorite hobby? Why not make this weekend the start of a lifelong interest that you’ll prioritize some time for each week. After all, there are plenty of studies to show that we need these creative outlets for good health!

Sketching and Painting

Working on a new design

Some people knit, others sew. Either hobby is very creative, even if you’re following patterns or instructions. You’re making something and sometimes even designing something. There is something tangible to show for your efforts, and when it’s finished, it’s a job well done. That sense of satisfaction that you get is really good for the soul. If you haven’t dusted off your machine for a while, don’t panic. There are plenty of sewing machine parts still available to get you going at full speed again. Start with something small like a scarf. Then explore more intricate ideas.

Sketching, drawing, coloring, and painting are so therapeutic. They relax the mind by focusing it on the small details. Best of all, there are so many different styles, you can experiment to find your preferences. If you haven’t had a chance to draw for a while, take an hour this weekend to sit down with a sketch pad. You can free-draw. This is when the mind relaxes completely, and your hand just wanders the pencil across the page until something forms. Or maybe you have a subject in mind. Give it a go.

Almost Done

Almost Done

Before you throw out the trash or pile up the recycling, reclaim a few bits of cardboard or containers. Sculpting with trash is cost-free and freeing for your creative soul. You don’t mind your creative projects not working out when you’re manipulating trash instead of clay, art card, or metal. Build something, shape it, nurture it, and express your feelings within it. If you’re not planning on keeping it, be sure to take a photo for a social media pinboard. Keeping a record of your creative activities can be very rewarding.

Finding the time is never difficult when you commit to taking it. Let loose, go wild, and be free to express whatever it is you feel with your arts. Then make it a hobby you can commit to forever.

Making a Sweet Little Apron

My mother taught me to sew back when I was just a nipper.  She had been sewing as a seamstress since she was thirteen.  She made clothing, curtains and just about everything in between.  She had an old Bernia that I learned to sew on and when I had the chance, I bought one very similar.  I love that old machine!  When she got a serger, I learned on that too and when mom moved a step up, I got her old one.

Sewing was a part of my life.  I made clothes for myself, my husband and our children.  At one time I even thought I would sew for a job.  That did not work out!  It was the “can I have this wedding dress by the weekend” on Thursday night call that did me in.

This is a long introduction to something so simple as a Sweet Little Apron.  If you know how to sew, you could use this as a picture tutorial.  It is pretty beginner, I think.

The town we live in does not have a fabric store, but rather a general store with fabric.  Most of their merchandise was for quilting, 100% cotton.  There was some really beautiful cloths and I debated on picking out one that was elegant, but then I saw the owls.  I could not resist those little faces.  I bought one meter (39″ give or take) and a package of wide bias tape to match.

I thought they would have patterns but no such luck.  So I decided to make my own pattern from an apron I had made for my husband ages ago, and add a few girly touches.

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