Embellishing

Embellished Teal Blue Knit Blouse

Teal-Blue-Knit-Blouse

This project started out from one of my thrift store finds. I had come across this teal blue blouse that I really liked, but the only thing wrong was that the stripes around the collar and sleeves were faded, which made the blouse look worn out. Looking at the blouse more closely, I knew that I could create a decorative piping to cover the faded black stripes. To achieve this, I used a size I crochet needle and size 3 black fashion crochet yarn (100% Mercerized Cotton).

Blue-Shirt-Old-Trim

I made the crocheted piping (using single stitches) to cover the black faded stripe around the collar and more piping to cover the faded stripes around each of the sleeves. The blouse actually looked better than I thought and I had plenty of black crochet yarn, so I decided to also pipe around the V neckline of the blouse. It gave the blouse an all new look and the best part of it was that it was so fast and easy to do.

Blue-Shirt-Trim

So just pick any item you may want to embellish and just by adding a little bit of piping you can embellish an old shirt back to life. So just have fun and create your own.

Retrobellish Fashion Accessories

These are some of our previous reclaimed fabric projects about fashion accessories. Click on the pictures to read the whole articles.

The choker was made from a leftover red fabric strip of soft thick cotton and a stretchy black netting that I knitted. I knitted the two pieces (using size 8 knitting needles and size 3 crochet thread–12 stitches wide by 36 rows). Next I hand sewed the edges of the finished knitted piece at the edges stretching it as I sewed it across the face of the red fabric to make the stitches wider and show off more of the red fabric. I then sewed on a trim all the way across on both edges.

The finished cuff measured approximately 2 inches wide by 10 inches long. For fabric support, I used a 1/8 inch thick interfacing about a ¼ inch smaller than the fabric’s measurements. I wrapped the fabric around the interfacing and hand sewed the fabric with the seam in the back. I also sewed a small piece of solid black fabric over the seam in the back of the cuff to hide the seam and used a small black snap for the cuff’s closure.

Recycling even the small scrap pieces of fabrics leftover from other projects could produce little fun pieces such as embellishments for other projects. I have a nice casual denim jacket that has an outside left breast pocket. The pocket is square in shape and I’ve always thought it would look nice with some kind of pin, but I didn’t like the look of any of the pins I have. I looked through my fabrics, trims and beads and combined a few things to see if I could make a pin for my jacket. I really liked the look of blue denim covered with a leftover piece of white lace trim. I looked through my beads and found some pretty white pearl beads of all different sizes. A few of the pearls looked nice over the white lace trim and both looked nice against the dark blue of the denim.

Reclaimed Retrobellish Purses

The following articles feature stylish purses made from reclaimed materials. These reclaimed purses were each featured blog posts in recent years. Each article describes the purse in an introductory paragraph followed by a link to the rest of the article including additional pictures.

Retrobellish pink-recycled-fabric-knitted-purse

Make Your Own Recycled Fabric Knitted PurseIt all started when I watched a craft show about knitting with fabric. The show featured a lady who sewed a simple summer dress in a smooth beautiful floral colored cotton fabric. The beautiful summer dress had an empire waistline, and although the top portion of the dress was fashioned in a tube top style, it had the most beautiful braided-like texture, and it tied at the shoulders with thin straps. The lady explained that she had created this beautiful texture by knitting it with strips created from the same floral fabric. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the dress looked. I immediately knew that I wanted to try this technique, although it would probably be on a smaller scale, and I came up with the idea of a small knitted purse.

White-Crochet-Purse

White Crocheted Pearl Purse
Just when I thought I couldn’t find any other type of fiber thread to crochet with, I found this Twisted Mason’s String Line in many colors at our local home improvement store. One of the pros I liked about this nylon string is that it’s very strong and lends itself to making very strong crochet pieces such as purses and straps. Other great qualities about this string is that it’s so soft to the touch and crocheting with it creates a great thick texture and an incredible satin sheen. It’s also waterproof.

Reclaimed Fabric Paris Theme Purse

Reclaimed Fabric Paris Theme Purse
This small evening purse was made from the reclaimed fabric of a bridesmaid dress that I know I’ll never wear again. In the past, I’ve donated bridesmaid dresses, but there were only a few that I just couldn’t part with because the dress fabric was so beautiful. I saved these dresses, took my time taking them apart, saving the zippers, buttons and fabrics. As a big fan of all things Paris, I decided that I would use this beautiful pink silky fabric to make a Paris themed purse. The first thing that came to mind was the Eiffel Tower, so I decided to make an Eiffel Tower of sequins. I really didn’t know how this would turn out, but thought I’d give it a try.

chicago-cigarbox-purse-back

Cigar Box Folk Art Purse
Cigar box purses were once very popular and a great way to reuse these great boxes made out of wood or chipboard that could be used for a multitude of craft projects from jewelery boxes to purses. We used some of these for a lot of our folk art projects where we painted city and farm scenes on the boxes. The box featured here is an abstract rendition of our city of Chicago’s famous landmarks. And although this purse was used as folk art, some of our other pieces were functional purses lined inside with velour fabric and a small mirror.

Baby Shower Corsage

Baby-Shower-Coursage
I have always enjoyed making baby shower items such as centerpieces, umbrellas and corsages using reclaimed items. I was inspired to make this baby shower corsage by looking at pictures of beautiful natural flower corsages. Since I didn’t know the baby’s gender, I decided to use neutral light colors in all the materials I chose. I looked in my craft box and found remnants I had left over from other projects. I had a cream colored silk flower, a small piece of lacey trim, a small piece of white tuling, a few swatches of soft flannel fabric, a small pierced wooden bead for the head, leftover piece of interface and a strand of white ribbon.

Baby-Shower-Coursage2

I started by making a base. I cut an oval shape from a sturdy piece of interface, and then cut a slightly larger oval shape from flannel fabric, then repeated and cut out a second oval shape from the remaining flannel swatch. I placed the interface piece in between the two oval flannel pieces and sewed around the edges to seal the interface inside. I then sewed the tuling and lacey trim remnant all the way around the edge of the base, which softened the look of the base. For a little more texture and color, I cut two small round pieces of flannel–one in pink and one in blue and placed these place behind the flower.

Baby-Shower-Coursage3

I then cut flower petals from a cream colored silk flower, cutting as close to the flower’s base as possible. I assembled the petals in piles according to their size. I placed a large flower petal in the upper center part of the base and hand sewed it onto the base. I then continued sewing the larger petals to either side of the center petal. I continued sewing the next size petals in layers until I formed a pretty floral shape.

Baby-Shower-Coursage4

I painted a little face on the wooden bead using craft acrylic paints. While the paint dried, I wrapped a little shape of flannel fabric into a little roll and sewed the edge to seal the tiny bundle. I then took the painted wooden bead and sewed the bead into one end of the little flannel bundle. I sewed a tiny lacey remnant on the flannel around the head. Next I pulled the sewing needle through the center flower petal, through the base, and through the baby bundle several times to anchor the bundle. I then sewed the rest of the flower petals around the baby bundle until it looked like the baby bundle was enclosed inside of the flower. I then made a ribbon bow and sewed it onto the bottom of the corsage. I was very pleased with the outcome and the mother-to-be really enjoyed wearing it. Although I used leftover remnants, you can use your imagination to make your own special piece.

Baby-Shower-Coursage-Materials

Reclaimed Fabric Gift Wrapping

reclaimed-fabric-gift-wrap
This project is one that I personally have made for many years. The use of reclaimed fabric is one that lends itself for many reclaimed craft projects. In this project I used this soft light flannel as gift wrapping for a Baby Shower, then I used a beautiful pink and blue satin ribbon from a roll that I found in a clearance bin. In the past, I have also used a receiving blanket as wrapping paper around a small gift, making sure that all the ends are gathered on the top center of the gift, then pulled the gathered blanket ends through a rubber band and spread them out through the rubber band to resemble a flower. For even smaller gifts, a cloth diaper or small baby bath towel can be used as well. So just have fun and find some fun fabric to wrap your next baby shower gift.

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