Old Clothes into Quilted Art

Old Clothes into Quilted Art

Turn old and vintage clothing into a work of art

I don’t know about you, but there are some favorite clothes I hate to part with even when they’ve gone out of style or showing wear in places. The perfect way to preserve them is by using them to make a quilt.

This is a great way to save special t-shirts. I have some that my favorite uncle sent me from his different travels around the world. I also have some that marked special milestones in my own life. These make a lovely soft quilt to display on the back of a chair or even hang on a wall.

I even have a few quilts and quilted pillows that have pieces of family history in their design. Pieces of my great-great grandmother’s dresses, a piece of my great grandfather’s shirt, scraps from my grandmother’s wedding dress all combine together for a fun remembrance that everyone can enjoy.

This is also a lovely gift to share with other family members. And if you don’t have enough for multiple quilts, you can frame it as a focal point on a wall with family photos. Or even put it in a frame with a collage of family photos.

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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Last Second Scarf Saves

Last Second Scarf Saves

The Problem

You need to dress up an outfit fast, and you don’t have a lot of time to do so.
You’re still dressed for work or are just relaxing in something simple and comfy. When GASP, you remember you need to be somewhere in just minutes and don’t have time to change. What’s a girl to do? 

The Fix

Your evening or appointment is saved with a quick fix – a scarf. And no, I’m not talking about an infinity scarf. You want a scarf that is free-flowing and able to drape. A pin is the only other thing you’ll need. A decorative broach or a large safety pin will do.

First fix, if you are wearing jeans, weave the scarf into the belt loops and make sure that the two ends meet just in front of one of your hips. Tie the ends together loosely and allow the ends to drape down your leg.

For the second fix, you are wearing a simple dress. Drape the scarf behind one shoulder while wrapping the scarf all the way around you. You can pin it in place with a decorative pin for a little added sparkle or use a safety pin underneath so that very little of the pin is visible. This tip also works if you want a more modest neckline.

Also, using an oversized scarf as a shawl is always a classic look and can work with almost any outfit.

Need to do something quick with your hair? A scarf can be your quick emergency go-to. Tie it around a ponytail. Wrap it around a bun. Tie it around your hair like a headband.

And there you go – quick, stylish wardrobe pick-me-ups that take just moments to add.

Always keep a neutral-colored scarf in a resealable bag in your purse, and you’ll be ready no matter what last-minute surprises get thrown your way. And you should always have a safety pin or two on hand for emergencies (like a ripped seam).

 

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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Patching

Patching

Bigger Holes? No problem!

Maybe you have a hole or a rip too gaping to darn. Or your favorite jeans have worn dangerously thin and you risk putting a knee through every time you wear them. (This happens quickly with distressed or faded jeans because of the chemical processes used to make them look worn.)


Let’s discuss a number of techniques used to patch holes and sagging rips. There are two major types of patches, overpatching and underpatching, and several different ways to attach the patch that will change the final look.

 

Overpatching

Overpatching is what most people picture when they think of a patch: a piece of fabric covering the outside of a hole. Common methods of application include:

-sewing or serging around the edges,

-using iron-on patches

-using fusible webbing around the edges of the patch.

 

Underpatching

Underpatching is applying a patch to the inside of a hole, so the fabric shows through. This method shows the ripped edges of the hole but hides the edges of the patch. Many people use a patterned or colored piece of fabric underneath for visual interest, lace also works well. Iron on patches don’t work well with this method, but fusible webbing does.

 

Sashiko

Sashiko is a sewing method that works well with both over- and underpatching. Originally a Japanese method for mending kimonos, sashiko involves covering a patch with a repeating pattern of stitches. These stitches hold the two layers of fabric together, disguise the patch’s edges, and look decorative. Sashiko ranges from lines of running stitches, to elaborate geometric patterns.

 

To apply a patch, first pick a piece of fabric and either baste it or use fusible webbing to hold it in place.

Then, sew through the patch and the garment around the edges of the damaged area.

Trim the edges, and, if overpatching, turn them under to create a hem, sew in place.
Lastly, add embroidery or sashiko as desired for extra stability and decoration.

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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Simple Hair Bling Elegance

Simple Hair Bling Elegance

The Problem

You need a quick touch of bling or elegance to an everyday hairstyle.

You know what it’s like; you’ve fixed your hair for the day, and it looks fine. But it’s evening, and you need to update your look to something more appropriate for your plans.

Whether you have an updo, a messy bun, a ponytail, or loose-styled hair, any of these tips can be used to achieve quick results that will be unique to you.

The Fix

Look around your home, specifically your personal space. What can you see? Brooches, Flowers, Decorative Accessories, Christmas Ornaments, and more can all be temporarily turned into fun and unique looks.

You only need a hair barrette or two and a hairpin (or bobby pin). I know it sounds too simple. But I’ve been using these tricks for years and get compliments on these nonhair accessories. 

One of my favorites is Christmas ornaments that have an alligator clip. The butterfly is an ornament that I can clip into my hair whenever and no other items are needed. If you have a couple of smaller butterflies, you can clip them on either side of your head, pulling your hair back like a barrette.

I also use Christmas ornaments that have their hanging string attached to them. These can be placed in the hair with a barrette or hairpins (for an updo).

Artificial flowers that you have in vases are a quick addition to updos. Slip the wire stem into your hair for a colorful splash. And if you are wearing floral perfume, a quick squirt to the flower is a nice touch.

If you don’t have any artificial flowers, you can also make tissue paper flowers; I’m partial to roses because they are easy to make. Save any tissue wrappings that have been used for gift-giving for an on-hand supply for making paper roses. The roses are held in the hair with the yarn used to bind the roses together. Perfect for almost any hairstyle.

Leis can be wrapped around a bun or ponytail for a simple-to-apply but elegant look. 

My final tip can provide the most bling – brooches can add extra sparkle to your hair. Slip the pin portion over the top portion of the barrette and apply it to your like any other barrette and bring attention to your hair.

Just look around your home and reimagine what you have as something else. You’ll be surprised what treasures you have at hand. And soon, you’ll have the hair everyone is talking about and admiring.

 

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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Comments

How to Darn

How to Darn

Does a Hole Spell the End?

It always makes me sad when my clothes develop little holes in them, since I know how fast those teeny-tiny holes can grow into unseemly, gaping ones. And it always seems that the most comfortable clothes wear out first.

But that doesn’t have to happen! Instead of throwing away your favorite shirt or regulating it to the stay-at-home clothes pile at the back of your closet, you can quickly and simply solve the problem by darning the hole.

What is darning, you say? Well, it’s not just an exclamation, it’s a time honored method of mending small holes with a needle and thread, a real wardrobe saver.

Darning is easiest on holes less than an inch in diameter. To darn a hole, you’ll need:

  • the article with a hole
  • a needle, preferably with a blunt tip
  • thread, that’s similar in weight to the fabric which you’ll be using. I’ve found mercantile crochet cotton to work well on thicker fabrics like denim or thick socks, and standard sewing thread on t-shirt cotton and other lightweight fabrics.
  • scissors or snips. It’s handy to have a little pair of scissors or snips on hand for cutting threads, so your fabric-cutting scissors don’t become dull.

First, thread your needle with about 1-2 feet of thread, depending on the size of the hole. There’s no need to knot the thread. Not knotting it keeps the darn flat, and avoids irritating bumps on the inside of your clothes.

Keeping a close eye on the tail of the thread so you don’t pull it through, sew a running stitch in an outside circle around the hole. This stitched circle should be close to the hole, but in fabric that hasn’t frayed or worn yet.

Next, you’ll lay down the warp. You do this by sewing a row of parallel threads running across the hole. Tension is important here. If these threads are too tight, they’ll pucker the fabric. If they’re too loose, the fabric will sag. Don’t worry if you mess up, though, it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. It’s beautiful because it’s functional.

This last step is the most fun. It’s called the weft or the woof, depending on where you live. This is a very basic weaving technique. You run another set of threads parallel to each other, and perpendicular to the warp threads from the last step. As you sew the weft, you will go under the first warp thread, over the second, under again, and so on. When you reach the other side, you’ll turn around and come back. This time, any threads you went under, you’ll go over now, like a checkerboard.

You’ll finish up by tucking the end of the thread into the darn and trimming both loose ends close to the fabric.

This is one of my early darns. I used white for the warp and sparkly blue for the weft. It’s a little loose, I’d sew it tighter if I was to redo it,  but it works!

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

More From This Category

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read more

Comments

T-Shirt Makeover

T-Shirt Makeover

Why settle for a bad fit on a beloved tee?

We all have them. Those T-shirts in our drawer that we love for the graphics or the text on them … but whose cut leaves something to be desired. Maybe they’re just too big, or maybe they’re actually a unisex T, which doesn’t always flatter the feminine figure.

We wear them anyway, because we love them. But sometimes we pass them over because they just don’t look nice enough.

What if, instead, we fixed the problem?

The Problem

The problem with boxy, unisex tees is actually in more than one place. First we have the obvious lack of definition around the waist–that dreaded straight line from shoulder to hips, that does little show our natural curves. But the sleeves are another issue for many of us. They’re too wide, unfitted. If we try to put a sweater or sweatshirt over them, those sleeves bunch up and are uncomfortable.

Fixes for the Bottom Hem

These fixes are quick, easy, and can either be left in permanently or taken out after a day!

Ponytail Holders : Use a ponytail holder to gather the shirt at the bottom and cinch it in around the waist. Quick, easy, and the reappearance of 80s and 90s styles have even brought this look back into vogue.

Safety Pins : If you have a couple giant safety pins, you can create on-the-go ruching at the side seams for flattering gathers across the midsection and a scooped bottom.

How to Create Ruching

Ruching is the technical term for the gathered look seen here. It adds dimension to sleeves and bodices, body to skirts, and also has the benefit of hiding problem spots. Best of all, ruching is super easy to do in some places on existing clothing, especially on garments that are bigger than you’d like them to be. It just takes a few quick steps!

1. Identify how big an area you’d like your ruching to cover.

2. Create an accordian fold with the fabric to guarantee equal spacing between gathers.

3. Test it out with a big safety pin to make sure you like it–just slide the pin edge through the folds, clip, and then see how it looks.

4. If you like the look, thread a needle with thread that coordinates with the garment. Send the needle through the folds just like you did the safety pin. Tie off and cut thread.

5. Adjust the spacing of the folds to your liking on the thread…and if it’s not right, it’s easy to fix, since it’s just a single line of thread! Do it again or take it out entirely with a single snip of the scissors if you change your mind. No risk!

A Fix for the Sleeves

The simplest fix for the sleeves, to give them a more fitted look, is to do a slender roll-up/fold. With the shirt off, roll up each sleeve to whatever height you’d like them to be–I usually fold the width of the bottom seam, turning it twice.

Then, with thread that matches the sleeve, tack it into place both at the inside seam and opposite. This should be enough to hold it in place, but if you notice it trying to unroll, add a couple more small, discreet tacks.

Wait, What’s a Tack?

A tack is quite simply a single stitch or two in one place, meant to hold layers of fabric together but not to create a seam.

Voila!

And there you have it! A quick, basically free fix for those boxy tees that will only take you 5 minutes and will make your favorite shirts all the cuter!

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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