Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Prep a Uniform Top for Repurposing Projects

If you want to transform an old uniform into a new bag start here!

I've made several bags out of uniform tops and pants. In the past I took the short-cut method and cut as close to the thick seams as I could to avoid having to use the seam ripper. What I found was that I had less options when it came to creating a pattern, and when I had to sew over the remaining seams they were so thick that it was sometimes difficult to make the new seam look nice (and my sewing machine hated it!).

What you will need:
1. Uniform Top
2. Seam-ripper or small scissors to cut threads.
3. Patience!

Step 1:

Lay the top out flat and open it to the inside. You are going to seam-rip both of the side seams. 

Step 2:
Start at the bottom of the uniform and cut both stitches with your seam-ripper.

Step 3:
Once you get enough of the thread loose that you can grab it with your fingers, give it a tug and it should unravel like a feed-sack. If it stops unraveling, use the seam ripper to gently brush back the under-threads and it should come loose and you can continue to pull the thread.
This seam goes all the way up the side, over the shoulder and down the other side. When you take both side seams out the sleeves and body of the top will be separated. The arm pit area is a little more work because the seam from the body and sleeves come together.

Removing the stitches in the hem on the bottom of the uniform takes longer because the stitches will not pull out nicely like the side-seams.

Step 4:
Next seam-rip the seam on the inside of each sleeve. Start with the armpit end of the sleeve. If you start at the cuff the thread will not easily pull out, you will have to rip each stitch.

 As you see in the picture below, I cut the threads where the cuff meets the sleeve.
 The cuff is a little more work, you will have to rip each stitch, the thread won't pull out easily.
 Here is the sleeve laid out flat. The fabric is much easier to deal with when the pieces of the uniform can be laid flat.
 Every uniform is a little different depending on size and what branch of the service it is from. This makes it fun because every bag is unique!
I will be posting a tutorial about how I turned these uniform pieces into a bag, stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Linen Ruffle Valentine Wreath

Recently my extremely crafty Granny passed away, and I have made it my mission to finish her unfinished sewing and crafting projects. Granny was always working on a special gift for someone and we all loved being the recipient.
My first project was finding a use for a fabric ruffle and foam wreath form. Since Pinterest has got me on a wreath making kick, I decided to make a wreath for Valentines Day.

What you will need:

~Glue Gun

~Foam Wreath Form: Mine is 11.5" across and 2.5" wide and has a flat back

~Fabric Ruffle: My ruffle is made from linen, 5" wide x 154" long. Granny folded the fabric in half long-ways and created a gathered seam on the raw edge with a serger. The ruffle can be made using a regular sewing machine as well. 154" is the length of the ruffle after the fabric was gathered so I suggest using a longer piece to start out. If your foam form is bigger than mine you would want a longer ruffle as well.

Step 1:
Hot glue ruffle to the inside of the form and continue around until you run out of ruffle. I spaced the layers about 1/2".

Finished Front Side:
If you don't like the look of the raw edge, consider hot gluing a tan/white ribbon around the inside rim.

Finished Backside:

Step 2:
I made felt flowers to pin to the wreath for Valentines Day, but you can use anything! Even leave it plain! I decided to use a safety pin instead of gluing the flowers to the wreath in case I want to change them out for a different holiday later.