Instead Of Making The Bed…

Strips and Pieces

Strips and Pieces

Earlier this week I decided to have a look through two plastic boxes of fabric that are stashed *ahem, ‘stored’ under the bed in my craft room.

Now, you know how sometimes your memory plays tricks on you? Mmm, yes. Well, apparently that’s what my memory has been doing with me. When I started delving below the surface of the contents of each box, I found things I had forgotten were there. I found some duvet covers, one of which was brand new and had its matching pillowcase with it. I knew immediately what I was going to use the cover for. Obviously, as soon as I saw the pillowcase, I knew I would make a dress from it.

I had already spent some time this week going through my bags of scraps – a major undertaking in itself! I have been sorting the scraps according to size and I have even thrown some of them away! I had to, really, as they were beginning to overwhelm me. The trouble is, I just can’t bear to waste things that can be upcycled or recycled.

Scrappy strips

Scrappy strips

I pulled out lots of reasonably-sized fabric scraps and sewed them into strips. I didn’t worry much about the size or shape: they just needed to be roughly similar sizes and ‘sort of’ rectangular. You can see from the two photos above what they look like. As I finished sewing each strip (just when I’d had enough of adding to it, nothing measured) I gave them a quick snip with scissors so that the strip was roughly parallel but, again, there was no measuring involved. I sewed quite a few strips, of varying widths and lengths but, don’t worry, I still have oodles of scraps in my scrap bags, although the bags are smaller and less profuse!

Once I had finished sewing the strips together, I grabbed the duvet cover and opened it out to start preparing it for the job in hand. Oh! That’s a surprise! It was one of those covers that is a bit like a huge pillowcase, with a turning at the bottom and closed using a series of large buttons. So, off came the buttons and went into my button stash (Click on the link for a peep at my *tiny* stash!) See how frustrating it is, trying to reduce your stash? Here am I trying to reduce my scrap stash and my fabric stash and I end up adding to my button stash! I just can’t win!

Now, where was I? Oh yes, that’s right…

I opened the duvet and began trimming off all of the seams so that I would be left with all usable fabric. The duvet cover was fairly plain but in two shades of blue: the blue, on the reverse, extended up to where it buttoned on the front to the other shade. There was a seam along the bottom of the cover which meant that the contrast colour on the front was a separate length of fabric. Aha! Another lightbulb moment! I immediately knew what I would use that strip for. However, that idea didn’t quite go to plan, yesterday, so this morning I chopped a piece off the length of that piece and made a skirt.

Skirt to fit a baby

Skirt to fit a baby

I used one of my scrappy strips to decorate the skirt. First I trimmed the strip to the width of the shortest scrap. Next I placed the strip, right side facing, onto the skirt fabric along the bottom edge and stitched the top of the strip in place. Then I turned over 3/8″ along the bottom of the strip and pressed it in place. Next I folded the strip up so that the right side was facing, and ironed it in place. Finally, I stitched the (now) top edge of the strip onto the skirt fabric and did a row of topstitch on the other edge of the strip to match.

The next step was to stitch the hem using a decorative stitch and a contrast thread to make a pretty feature of it. The edges that would make the seam were neatened with an overcast stitch. That was followed by making the channel for the elastic, leaving a 2″ gap for threading the elastic. I joined the sides doing two rows of stitching, to ensure the skirt would be fairly robust. Finally I threaded the elastic through, joined the ends together and stitched the gap that I had left previously. And, that was it, finished!

I will write about the plan that went wrong in another post. After all, you know me, I don’t try to hide my mistakes.

The skirt was very easy to make and I am pleased with how it has turned out. It won’t be a surprise to regular readers of this blog that the skirt is destined for a Syrian child. I plan to make several more skirts, each slightly different from the rest, which I shall then deliver to Syria Relief.

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