Monday, April 11, 2011

saving my (thrifty) Hungarian bag

Hello again everyone!

It's been a while since I post something in TGR. Here's my latest project, saving my dying thrifty Hungarian Bag, purchased on a flea market for 60 cent on 2000. The labels sewn inside says "Made in Hungary", "Hand Embroidery" and "55%wool 45% cotton". Even the labels was handwritten! I don't have picture of the original bag, but it was something that looked like this :
I got bored with tote bag and on 2004 I change it to a sling bag with cotton webbing strap. But the bag looked uneven due to stretchy woolen material the bag was pulled to the north a bit and the bag never seen the day again.

Until last week, I was tidying up (switching our summer clothes to winter clothes) and I saw this poor old thing. A bit snip in here and stitch in there, I got a brand new bag which I really really love. I can wear it as shoulder bag or sling bag.

The complete Tale of the (thrifty) Hungarian Bag can be read here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Old sheets into a tablecloth and summer skirt

Hello! I've just joined you all and wanted to introduce myself. I'm an American in Paris, mommy of two (and thus blogging as "Mommy en France") and have recently returned to sewing after a very long hiatus. I am interested in refashioning, adapting ready to wear to my own shape and style, and in extending the life of my kids' clothes. I'm also slowing starting to sew "properly" from patterns, although this terrifies me a bit. Oh, and I blog over at Two little cabbages & cie.

I have a great stash of old sheets from my French mother-in-law and I have been starting experiement with dying some of the less ornate ones, then turning them into things. This weekend I dyed a few green and made a tablecloth and a skirt.

The tablecloth was very simple. I just folded a large sheet in half, ironed it flat, sewed around almost all four sides, very close to the edge, then turned it right side out (like you do when making a pillowcase), ironed it flat and sewed shut the opening. It's a lovely colour and a nice heavy old cotton fabric and looks good on the table, without being too fancy. The kids can spill on it, I can throw it in the wash and it will be fine. It's lasted at least 75 years as a sheet, so I'm sure it will make it a bit longer as a tablecloth.

The skirt was more fun to do. I used another sheet I'd dyed green and this "Super Easy Patternless A-line Skirt" tutorial from Sarah at Boulevard Designs. The sheet itself had a cool pattern of embroidery and cut  outs along one edge, so I used that as the front hem. I recycled a hidden zipper from a dress in my "refashion" pile and I made a tab to cover the top, using buttons I already had and an old hair elastic of my daughters. So the cost of supplies was almost free - I only had to spend money on the dye. Thirteen euros (about 15 dollars) for a box of Dylon, which resulted in a tablecloth and a skirt. You certainly couldn't buy them here for that price!

More importantly, the skirt looked pretty good and it only took me about two hours. I'm sure it would take a more experienced seamstress even less time.

 A shot I took myself of the front hem...

...and a shot my husband took. As you can see, the fabric wrinkles easily. But the skirt is a nice shape! Please excuse the boots - it poured earlier today, so we all wore our wellies to the park  this afternoon.