Upcycling a Towel and an Apron into Bags

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Happy Tuesday! I've started going to the Goodwill outlet on a regular basis, and it's been such fun hunting for treasures, especially textiles. I need to put together another adventures in thrifting post soon, to share all the things I've found lately! Today I want to share two projects that I made using textiles that I salvaged from the outlet. I loved working on these projects and it's inspiring me to continue to upcycle more textiles!

I have a real soft spot for vintage towels and I've amassed a good collection of them over the years. We use them every day! I got excited when I spotted this one, only to realize that it had been altered. It was amongst a bunch of vintage aprons, so I believe it had been turned into an apron at one time. It was so cute, I bought it anyways and figured I'd come up with a project later.

I ended up turning the towel piece into a dopp kit! I was inspired by Joanne Sunny K and her work with vintage towels.

This is a larger version of the boxy pouch from my Triplizip Zipper Pouch Pattern. I also left it unlined. The dimensions ended up a bit big since I wanted to use as much of the towel piece as possible!

I love that if I spill something in this bag, it's a towel! It feels so practical. Would also make a great beach bag. My gears are turning for other towel bags!

I reused the original tag as an embellishment on the back.

This was such a fun project, I loved making it. I really like the way that the floral pattern lines up around the zipper. I kept things really simple to finish it up and used some webbing for the handle.

The second bag that I made was a drawstring bag! This is the project size from my Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern.

I found this vintage apron on the same trip as the towel piece! I really liked the fabric, but I don't wear aprons very often, especially not half aprons. I grabbed it anyways, knowing I'd probably unpick it for the fabric.

I did end up unpicking most of the apron, but left the pocket! I was able to center the pocket on one of the exterior main pieces, which was lucky.

I paired the apron fabric with a black and white gingham for the accent. I love how it ties in the black ric-rac on the pocket! For the lining I used a white solid.

The apron had a personalized maker tag on it. It was so cute, I really didn't want it to go to waste! I added it to the back of the bag.

I went with black ruler twill tape for the ties and 1" beehive wooden beads, both available in my online shop!

Happy Sewing!

Shop News: Vintage Sheet Fat Quarter Bundles

Monday, July 1, 2024

Happy Monday! I have some exciting shop news to share today! I have added a limited number of vintage sheet fat quarter bundles to my online shop!

I've been working on collecting vintage sheets specifically to make bundles for the last five or so years, and I'm finally diving in! It's been a long time since I had my vintage sheet etsy shop, but it has all come back to me, just like riding a bike! I'm hoping to be able to share vintage sheet bundles regularly, but it will of course depend on what I can find. This time around I have rainbow bundles of 8 fat quarters each!

These are perfect for any project, but would be especially nice for a Giant Vintage Star Quilt.

Here are the bundles that are currently available (there are multiples of each style!):

Bundle A

Bundle B

Bundle C

Bundle D

Bundle E


Shop Now: Vintage sheet fat quarter bundles

Happy Quilting!

DIY Ikea Poang Chair Slipcover

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to share the cover I made for a thrifted Ikea POÄNG chair! I'm including my measurements and a quick tutorial if you want to make one too.

Last week I found this Ikea POÄNG chair at the thrift store. It had been marked down to $15, which was just too good a price to pass up. I've always liked the look of these chairs and they're comfortable too, so I stuffed it into the trunk and slowly drove it home! I think I saw it there weeks earlier, but the encouragement of friends pushed me to finally buy it. The red color of the cushion is honestly what made me overlook it.

After bringing it home, I first tried dyeing the cover, but it did not go very well. There was just so much fabric and it wasn't taking the dye evenly. I looked to see if Ikea sold slipcovers for this chair, but they don't! So, I decided to make one myself.

I took some quick measurements and decided to use a sheet to cover it. I knew that's what would best fit the style of the room and also would be plenty of fabric. I took advantage of the narrow hem of the sheet for the back of the cover, it avoid needing to hem in. I wanted this project to be quick and easy! The cover is just a really simple envelope style pillow cover.

DIY Ikea Poang Chair Slipcover

Want to sew your own slipcover for your POÄNG chair? Here are the details:

3.5 yards of fabric (or a flat sheet)
1 yard of velcro
Coordinating thread

Cut (1) 56"x25" piece for the front.
Cut (2) 31"x25" pieces for the back.*

*If you're not using a sheet with a hem for the back pieces like I did, add to the 31" measurement for the hem you want.

Use a 1/4" seam allowance.

Place front piece right sides up on your work surface. Place a backing piece right sides down, lining up the raw edges with the sides and bottom of the front piece. Place remaining backing piece right sides down, lining up the raw edges with the sides and top of the front piece. The two pieces should overlap in the middle. Pin around all four sides.

Sew around all for sides, securing the backing in place. Finish seams with a zig-zag stitch or serger if desired. Turn cover right sides out and press. Stuff cushion into cover.

Place cushion on the chair frame to determine where to add velcro strip. Attach velcro to the back of the cover according to manufacturer's instructions.

Because I used a thin fabric and I made the cover snug, the stitching lines from the cushion underneath show through! An added bonus. I have yet to add the velcro strip to my cover because I didn't have enough on hand. It's perfectly functional without it, but I am still looking forward to wrapping this project up and getting it installed properly!

My scrap pouf is filling up and makes for a great foot stool to go with the chair! Read more about that project here: Scrap Pouf in Progress

Did you know that Ikea has been making the POÄNG chair for more than 40 years? I love how this chair is fitting into my sewing room! There have been armchairs in and out of this room over the last year, and I was really missing having a comfy chair in here. This has been a wonderful addition. In the end, I'm glad my dyeing experiment didn't pan out, because I love the sweet floral cover I ended up making for it!

Happy Sewing!

Minny Muu Patchwork Baby Quilt

Friday, June 7, 2024

Happy Friday! I have a recent baby quilt finish to share today!

A couple years ago I made a big quilt from Minny Muu* fabrics using the Prism quilt pattern that's in my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle. I had collected fat-eighth bundles of Minny Muu Spring 2014, Spring 2015, and Fall 2015 all by Koko Seki for Lecien. Read more about that quilt here: Patchwork Essentials: Minny Muu Prism Quilt

I had scraps leftover from making that quilt, and I had mostly kept them together. A few pieces here and there were used in small projects. This Spring I decided to pull all those scraps (plus a few Minny Muu prints from my stash) and piece them into a baby quilt.

Since Baby was born, I've realized that you really can't have too many quilts! We use them constantly, so I knew if I put this together, it would get used! As a bonus, she loves looking at all the cute prints (and I do too!).

This was a super simple make, just patchwork. The squares are 3.75" unfinished.

Nothing fancy for the quilting, just a diagonal grid! My favorite on simple patchwork quilts.

For the binding, I chose this adorable strawberry print by Sevenberry* from my stash. The backing is a 1" black and white gingham also from my stash. I believe it's Carolina Gingham by Robert Kaufman*, but I'm not positive! I've had it for ages.

Ironically, I originally bought some black and white gingham to back my large Minny Muu quilt, but didn't have enough and had to change course at the last moment and use a wideback! So it was nice to use a gingham for this quilt.

Finished off the quilt with one of my custom tags.

This was definitely a feel good finish! I started collecting Minny Muu over ten years ago, it was satisfying to use up the last bits in this quilt.

Fabric: Minny Muu* by Koko Seki
Pattern: None, simple patchwork

Happy Quilting!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Vintage Floral Singer Featherweight 221K Travel Set

Friday, May 31, 2024

Happy Friday! Today I want to share this travel set I made for the thrifted Singer Featherweight 221K sewing machine!

In case you missed it, earlier this year I had the thrift find of my dreams! I found a Vintage Singer Featherweight 221K sewing machine at my local Goodwill! For the full story, see this post: Thrifting a White Singer Featherweight 221K

As it happens, I already had a white featherweight of my own when I found that one. Obviously I didn't want to leave it behind, but I decided pretty quickly that I shouldn't keep it. Lucky for me, my Mom had just mentioned she was going to set herself up to sew in the living room and was going to use a little machine. So, I gave the thrifted featherweight to my Mom for Mother's Day!

Giving her this machine was the perfect excuse to make a travel set for it! I used my Sew Portable Travel Set Pattern, which includes a tote bag, extension table cover and a drawstring bag for holding the foot pedal and cord. For the main fabric I used this floral fabric that I found at the Goodwill Outlet store. It seemed appropriate!!

I took this project as an opportunity to adjust the extension table cover to fit the 221K's shorter table. I've updated the pattern to include this modification. The original table cover for the black 221 machines is still included in the pattern. I also just generally refreshed the pattern, giving it a layout similar to my newer patterns. I'm glad I took the time to do that!

On 221K machines the power cord and foot pedal are permanently connected to the machine. This makes the drawstring bag even more needed! We don't want them to scratch up the machine bed.

The accent and lining fabrics I used were all from my stash, all chosen to coordinate with the main floral.

This is the fourth travel set I've made! See the others here:
Nordika Sew Portable Travel Set
Dreamin' Vintage Sew Portable Travel Set
Sewing with Singer Sew Portable Travel Set

Pattern: Sew Portable Travel Set Pattern by me
Fabrics: thrifted quilting cotton, mauvelous pure solid by art gallery fabrics*, peppered cotton by studio e*
Notions: 1 1/4" cotton webbing, binder's board*, cotton twill tape

Happy Sewing!

Vintage Sheet Plus Quilt

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Happy Thursday! Today I want to share my finished vintage sheet plus quilt that I made during the Plus Quilt Along!

I had so much fun working on a soft and subtle plus quilt on a larger scale. I made a baby quilt with all low-contrast vintage reclaimed bedsheets earlier in the year, and I just can't get it out of my system! It's bringing me so much joy to work with these fabrics. Since making the first one, I thrifted a few that made it into this quilt which is fun!

Wow, this quilt is big!! It doesn't sound that big (80"x88"), but it's so much bigger than what I normally make! I mostly make small throw (like 60"x80") quilts or baby quilts. I forgot how much longer each step takes on a quilt of this size. This quilt was too big for both of my go-to spots for taking flat shots! I plan to bring it home with us to Ohio this summer so that I can photograph it on my parent's barn. For now, this will have to do!

Because this quilt was so large, I kept the quilting as simple as possible. I quilted lines 1/4" away from all the seams.

I'll admit, I struggled to quilt this quilt. I thought I did a good job basting, but the layers were sliding all over the place on me. I'm not sure if it was the weight of the quilt or a mediocre basting job or some mysterious third reason! Leave it to quilting to continue to humble me. Thankfully my troubles were mostly disguised with a good wash and dry.

Sometime last year I thrifted two King size flat sheets of this brown butterfly sheet! It holds a special place in my heart, I used this print to make a dresden pillow back in 2011 that we still love and use today. Since the quilt was so big, I pretty much had to use a King size sheet to back it.

For the binding I used leftover fabric from the back, my current favorite choice.

My last two quilt finishes I forgot to add one of my custom tags, so this time I made sure to add one!

In the end, I love how this quilt turned out! I wish the quilting had gone a little better, but maybe next time! It did make me realize that this is a bit too big of a quilt for me to quilt myself. I think I'll stick with smaller throws and baby quilts for a while!

Vintage Sheet Plus Quilt
Arithmetic Quilt Pattern (Double size, 4.5" squares)
Fabric: Vintage Reclaimed Bedsheets

Happy Quilting!