On Sunday I went along to Guthrie & Ghani’s inaugural “Sewing Bee Sunday” – a chance to go and do some sewing in their workshop, swap patterns and fabric, drink tea, eat cake and raise money for Parkinson’s. Win, win really. I also took Eleanor (big squish) with me, she seemed quite interested in helping me to do some sewing.
One of the things planned for Sunday was an upcycling station with Jenni from GBSB; I was excited about this mostly because I’ve chatted to Jenni online (and interviewed her) but still hadn’t met her yet. I love the idea of upcycling too, but I’ve never done any. Actually no, I did turn one of Andy’s shirts into a dress for Eleanor last year and was pretty pleased with how that turned out. Having just had a major clear out of my wardrobe, I had quite a lot of clothes at my disposal and decided to take along a denim jacket. My Mum gave it to me last year I think, when I was pregnant with the little squish, but it’s never fitted and isn’t really my style. She gave me two, but the darker one is destined to be shortened, with a couple of darts added to give it more shape.
When I showed the jacket to Lauren she suggested a bag or a cover for my tablet. I decided on a bag, I mean who doesn’t love a new handbag?! We decided to keep the pocket as a feature, so the design just evolved around that.
It was straightforward enough to get two large rectangles and sew them together, the only tricky bit was how thick the denim was; I was really scared I was going to break Lauren’s sewing machine!
I was just going to put a plain handle on, but then Claire (who teaches workshops at G&G) suggested plaiting strips cut from the sleeves together. Really simple but so effective. I then had chance to practise my hand sewing skills, as there was no way the machine was going to appreciate about 6 layers of denim.
Awesome or what?! I’m definitely counting this as another entry into my June handmade wardrobe too.
Of course, I just had to get my picture taken with Jenni, who was as lovely as I thought she would be. I gave her the remainder of the jacket, so it’ll be really interesting to see what she comes up with from it. I think I’ve got the upcycling bug now, I keep looking at my old clothes and wondering what I can turn them into. Hopefully I’ll have some more upcycling projects I can share in the future!
UPDATE: I had a call from G&G a few days later to tell me I’d won in a prize in the raffle they held that day. I’ve only gone and won a signed copy of Lauren’s book when it comes out in September!
My upcycling adventures are also featured on Lauren’s blog so head over there if you want to see what the jacket looked like in all it’s former glory!