This post was previously published on Think Crafts!
If you knit or crochet you likely have a lot of yarn. I know I do! Skeins of yarn are pretty to look at but yarn cakes are great to knit with and easier to store. I use my Swift every time I buy new yarn. Swifts are great but they’re an odd shape. How to store them conveniently? Make a swift bag that will prevent it from accidentally folding open on its own. Here’s an even better idea-upcycle an old pair of pants to make the holder! This is a great project to upcycle old clothing that is too cute to throw away but no longer wearable.
Old pair of pants
Cut off one pant leg long enough for the swift to fit into.
Sew the bottom part of the leg closed.
Fold over the top part of the leg twice and sew down to make a hem.
Make a tie to close the top part of bag. The old yoga pants I used had a drawstring so I just used a portion of that. If you don’t have one cut a thin rectangle from the second leg of your pants. Fold in edges and sew together to make a tie.
Slide swift into bag and store away until your next yarn purchase.
I’ve been a fan of the artist Katwise for years. Her coats are works of art! She graciously sells pattern tutorials for both her upcycled coats and arm warmers.
Recently I made myself a pair out of old tshirts. They turned out so cute! I’ll definitely be making more. One of them had the phrase “Enlighten Up” which I positioned over my hand. A gentle reminder during this stressful year.
Ursula loves soaking in the sunshine.
As toilet paper became scarce, people started joking about making their own. I had thought about doing so back when I lived off grid in NM years ago but never did. When I saw other crafters posting their homemade TP, I couldn’t resist.
I guestimated a good size for a square and made a simple template. I had a unused linen kitchen towel that I cut up for the experiment.
First I made squares with a 1/4″ seam. The finished look was nice but seemed superfluous. All that pinning just for toilet paper? Meh.
My Serger gave a nice finished edge. No pinning required and a flatter finish.
But the most important point-Do they work? They’re…ok. Yes they work and the cloth is certainly softer on the tender bits. But they’re not as convenient as the flushable kind. I keep them in a tupperware container near the toilet and throw the used ones into a ziplock bag. Since I wash them with Dr. Bronner’s they’re not treated with chemicals like regular toilet paper. So that’s a plus. And I only use them for urine.
Will I keep using them? Maybe. Thankfully, there’s still toilet paper to be bought! However, I really like the reusable aspect of my homemade squares. If I’m in a hurry then flushable TP is the way to go. But why not use a trip to the bathroom as a moment of reflection? Time for breath work, reality testing, etc. That’s when I’ll use the cloth TP.
Upcycle sewing projects are so fun. This kaftan wasn’t my style but I loved the fabric. The length was perfect for pajama bottoms. I used an existing pair of PJs as a template.
After sewing together the four pieces I put in an elastic waistband. The bottom of the pants were the bottom of the kaftan so the hem was already in place.
They fit and feel great! Next up were PJs for Josh.
I hemmed this fun PJ set for Josh and put in a new elastic waistband. The fabric is super soft and warm.
Next up is turning a robe into a purse. I’m on an upcycle roll!
My friend Carrie gave me these cute capris. Besides having a fabulous wardrobe Carrie blogs over at My Several Worlds about travel and chronic illness. I highly recommend checking out her site.
The fabric was super cute but I don’t wear capris so grabbed my trusty seam ripper and got to work.
I cut up an old black tshirt that was wearing out and added triangle sections to make a flared skirt.
The capris had a pocket that I transferred over. I’m so happy with how it turned out. And I think of you Carrie when I wear it!
This project was completed last September. Grad school has kept me far away from blogland. The next month I made a bold move and cut my hair.
I’ve joined the pixie club and love it!
I’m happy that I managed to finished one more sewing project before winter break ended. Spring semester is another heavy load of classes so my sewing machine time will be limited yet again. The above jacket was originally this top:
The elastic created an unpleasant silhouette but the pattern design was quite lovely. The design reminded me of a painting I saw at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Even better it was on sale for $100 NT which is roughly $3 US.
First that elastic had to go. After it was completely removed the top was a loose fit. It felt like an artist jacket so I sliced it up the middle.
The shoulder laces were an odd detail but would be problematic to replace as there was none of the garment underneath. I went to my favorite neighborhood-Dadaocheng to find some trim that matched and sewed it onto the front seams.
I’m really happy with how this turned out! It pairs well with several tops and makes a great cover up that is lightweight and has excellent drape.
Last week I finished another sewing transformation project. This one actually started back in November. Grad school is great but also intense. You can tell Josh took these photos because he’s making me laugh.
These leggings were supposed to be one size fits all but they didn’t fit me. I really liked the pattern though and suspected I could turn them into leggings. I took my trusty seam ripper and took out the elastic waist and separated the legs. After attaching them together by the waist ends, I sewed on some ruffled black trim I bought at a fabulous store on Dihua street that sells trim and groovy patches.
There’s an abundance of art, history and food to explore in the Dadocheng neighborhood but if you love to sew like me it’s Dihua street that’s the gold mine. There’s so many fabric stores with a dizzying variety of textiles for sale. Josh wrote about the neighborhood here.
The legs that became the sleeves were too long so I took a few inches off of them. I’m very happy with how it turned out.
These leggings made a shrug that’s stretchy and comfortable. I can see wearing this a lot in the spring when Taipei is starting to warm up but there’s still a hint of chill in the air.
While walking around Taipei we found this cool street art.
This is an interesting bit of graffiti. The Formosan black bear has become an icon for Taiwan and is portrayed as happy and smiling. This gritty reboot is a new twist.