Category Archives: sewing

Repurposed vintage towels

up cycled vintage towelsvintage towels DIYDuring a major cleaning phase, a friend passed along a whole stack of very stylish vintage towels she had been collecting over the years. I thought long and hard about what could be done with these towels, to maximum effect.  The size of vintage towels is a tricky business. Too small to wrap around most people and comfortably cover all after a bath or shower. Too big to be used as a hand towel. They could be individually spread out throughout the bathrooms in the house for display only, hung up or stacked on shelves.

Then, it hit me- the easiest upcycle job ever- they would make perfect oversized beach towels!
repurposed vintage towelsBasically the easiest project ever- after you’ve collected the materials. Line the towels up in the color and pattern combos you prefer. Look closely before you sew them together, there is definitely a front and a back on most towels.

Most of the towels lined up to be close enough in size to sew right together. Trim and hem the vintage towels that are too long to fit next to the other towels.

repurposed vintage towels
The repurposed vintage towels have definitely become a family favorite. Excellent for laying on  in the sun. Perfect for covering up when you’ve had enough sun for the day.
repurposed vintage towelsSo now you’ve got a great reason to go thrifting! Stand out in all the right ways at the beach, lake, concert in the park or picnic with your up-cycle savvy vintage towel brilliance. And it’s absolutely the easiest DIY sewing project you’ll ever tackle.

Experimental quilting- work in progress

Noelle Olpin

An experiment in every way.

I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head and in my dreams for a while now. With a bit of stolen time each day, I started dyeing fabric with coffee and tea, cutting without a straight edge, stitching blocks and washing fabrics and then arranging blocks.

Noelle Olpin

Then, making up the design and mapping all the blocks together.

No Rules Quilting, as I’ve come to think of it, is harder than you might think. It’s experimental quilting and you can’t do anything wrong, ever. Which is a relief and also a burden.

When there isn’t any one telling you what to do, no rules or steps to follow, the process can be exhausting. A constant mental battle on what you’ve been taught and know to be accepted (no exposed edges or uncut thread ends) within in the quilting/sewing communities and the beauty of irregularity, imperfection and what some might think of as a big mess.

Noelle Olpin

I like the result so much, I’m willing to toss all the rules aside and see what shakes down.

noelle olpin

At this point, the project slows down. The piecing work has been done on a sewing machine so far. I have plans for slow stitching- hand stitching the finish work. I love the look of Kantha quilting, so a lot of that look will be involved.

Noelle Olpin Noelle Olpin Noelle OlpinI’ve been attempting to let the ideas flow for finishing the edges on this experimental quilt. The project isn’t very big, a wall hanging size in fact (22″ x24″).

Perhaps a traditional binding, maybe not? A frame with the quilt stretched across the inside like an animal skin? Hung from a stick with loops? Stapled to the wall?  We shall see…

Now, I carry this project with me wherever I go. Because the beauty of hand stitching is that you can do it anywhere and everywhere. And that’s what audiobooks are for…

Have a wonderful day!

 

Pilgrim Bonnet Sewing Pattern

 make an easy pilgrim bonnet

This DIY- pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern takes no time at all. The size works for an adult or a child and can be reused over and over unlike a paper bonnet. It could be just the thing to ease family tension around the Thanksgiving table this holiday season or make your little pilgrims stand out in their school Thanksgiving performance.  Be sure to check out my Native American Indian vest and Native American Indian headband tutorials too and you’ll have a costume for everyone this November.

pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern

I came across this fantastic Simplicity pattern from 1970 in my collection and thought I would share the pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern.  It has a lovely traditional shape and design to it, perfect for costuming a pilgrim or pioneer.  The pattern says child size 6 but we found it fits a medium size adult head as well.  Read through all instructions before you begin. There are two pattern pieces you will need, the crown and the brim.

Pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern:

pilgrim bonnet sewing patternOn a piece of paper, draw the pattern for the crown. Draw a rectangle 9 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide. Round the corners of your drawing to match the picture above. Cut out your crown pattern piece copying over all instructions, especially “center back, place line on fold of fabric”. Place pattern over your folded over fabric and cut to size.
make an easy pilgrim bonnetMake sure you cut the crown piece on a fold so your crown piece will look like the above picture.
make an easy pilgrim bonnetFor the brim, draw a rectangle 20 inches long by 9 inches wide. Draw in the corners and darts to match the pattern above. Make sure to transfer all markings to your pattern piece. Place your pattern piece over your 2 pieces of fabric and cut them out.
pilgrim bonnet sewing patternCut a piece of interfacing slightly smaller than the brim pattern to go between the two brim layers and stiffen up the fabric.

Crown:
pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern

Press under 1/4 inch on lower edge of crown.

 

pilgrim bonnet sewing patternTurn lower edge to inside along seam line, forming casing. Stitch close to inner edge.
pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern

Cut a piece of elastic 4-5 inches long.

 

pilgrim bonnet sewing patternUsing a safety pin, slip elastic thru casing; stitch ends.
make an easy pilgrim bonnetStitch the ends of the elastic to casing on either side of the crown.

Brim:
pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern

Iron interfacing to WRONG side of one brim piece. Mark dart lines in brim, both sides.
pilgrim bonnet sewing patternMatching dots, sew darts in brim facing.
pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern

Repeat steps on the other non-interfaced brim piece. With the iron, press the darts flat.

pilgrim bonnet sewing pattern
pilgrim bonnet sewing patternWith the RIGHT sides together, stitch facing to brim, leaving notched edges open. Trim corners and clip inside curves to ease fabric when turned right side out.
pilgrim bonnet sewing patternTurn RIGHT side out; press.
pilgrim bonnet sewing patternPress under 5/8 inch on notch edge of brim facing.

Stitching crown to brim:
make an easy pilgrim bonnetWith right sides together, pin crown to brim, matching centers.

 make a pilgrim bonnet

Stitch facing to brim being careful not to catch in brim facing as you sew.  Remove pins as you go, before you sew over them.

 

make an easy pilgrim bonnetThe bonnet is all sewn together and ready for the final steps.
make an easy pilgrim bonnet

Pin the edge of pressed brim facing over seam. Slip stitch or machine stitch into place.

Finishing:

make an easy pilgrim bonnetTurn bonnet RIGHT side out, fold brim over.  Cut two lengths of ribbon.
make a pilgrim bonnet

Sew one end of each ribbon to brim, sewing them at darts as shown.