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Sweater Arms to Leggings Upcycle

So I finally finished my two pair of boot leggings up cycled from sweaters I got a goodwill. I hope boot leggings are still in fashion in the fall because I finished these just in time for the end of cold weather.

Striped Boot Leggings Chunky Knit Gray LeggingsOne sweater was a men’s American Eagle, navy and khaki green striped, cotton sweater. The other was a chunky knit gray, women’s sweater from Express made partially of wool. I got both sweaters at goodwill for about 3.50 each. The best time to look for sweaters and coats at goodwill is spring and sometimes fall. These are the times when people are going through their winter clothes and discarding unwanted items. I got an amazing vintage, green wool swing coat with a collar made of real fur. Normally, I am opposed to real fur but since this coat was manufactured sometime before 1970 I don’t feel like my purchasing the coat supports or encourages the fur industry.

I digress, making the boot leggings was simple. I cut the sleeves off the sweaters, with pinking shears, as close to the body of the sweater as possible. I then hemmed my raw edge with a small roll hem and hand stitching. Sewing sweater knit turned out to be much easier than I expected. On the striped pair I added a strip of thin elastic inside the hem because they had too much flare at the bottom thus they were uncomfortable to wear.

I am considering adding some ‘flare’ to the top of the gray pair, maybe ribbon or a button. I will have to contemplate the options and see if anything looks good.

I am almost finished with one dress up cycled from a men’s shirt and my first effort at making a circle skirt. Technically, the skirt is a half circle skirt. I can see a significant improvement in my sewing skills lately. Suddenly everything is just starting to click and make more logical sense. I have not tried anything really difficult like a coat or topstitching but I really want to try a jacket with a peplum in the back, that will be a good test of my current skills and develop some new sewing skills.

Homemade Softblocks

While I was pregnant I attended a homemade baby fair held by Parents as Teachers and from this event I got the idea to make some of my own homemade baby toys. To make blocks like this is simple.

I bought some fabric from Walmart, these require a very small about of fabric. I bought about  six fat quarters and after making three blocks I had a plethora of fabric leftover. I also bought some washable stuffing from Walmart and some jingle bells from Micheal’s. These blocks can be made for about ten dollars with some stuffing and jingle bells leftover.

First I washed all my fabric in baby detergent and I cut out six squares for each block. Then I sewed four squares together in a straight row. Next I sewed two squares onto the sides of one of the squares in the row. Then I sewed all the squares together to form a cube, except for one edge so that I could turn the block right side out and put in the stuffing. Then I hand sewed the last edge.

I added the fabric tags into some of my seams so that the blocks are easier for small uncoordinated hands to hold.

In one of the blocks I put several jingle bells and in another I put a mint tin with beads in it. These two blocks make sound when the baby shakes them. For the third block I wanted it to crinkle when the baby grabbed it so I washed an empty chip bag and sewed it to the inside of the fabric squares before I started assembling the block.

My baby loves these blocks and I like them much better than the soft blocks you buy at the store.

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