Not out with the old!

Okay, so my sweaters are old. But I still like them, especially the color. (Did you know that most things are bought because of their color rather than anything else!?) And my kids-pants-knees keep breaking so I have a solution for both! (see my blog from May 2017)

I have turned 2 sweaters into 3 pants with different success-rates. This mainly because I didn’t make a pattern. I decided just to cut and see where I would end up. I like this kind of working because it is quick and might lead to understanding pattern making better.

Out with the old?

First the cutting of the panels. There are currently many pants that have not that many seams and as it is easy to cut and quick to sew I thought to try something like that. I can simply put that pant on the fabric and cut next to the seam.

For the first pants, this is the easiest and I think super funny cause of the use of the sleeves for legs. Note that this cannot be done with all sweaters, but it works with this one because of the lack of shoulder seams in this particular style.

The original pants of which I got the shape are really flat. It has the elastic inside the waistband in one piece. It is approximately size 98. It is very slim-fit, just how it should be for my kid…

My sleeve turning into pants…

The final result was what I was hoping for, although the white part might look too much like a funny nappy or something when he wears it…

Cut and sew!

I was able to cut another pants from this sweater. Smaller. I needed to cut a waistband with it, because the fabric was not long enough to cut out another with a similar flat shape, like the last pants. I also wanted to add a small panel inside the crotch because some of the typical flat shaped pants created a hole after a while wearing at that spot between the legs.

With the example-pants.

I thought I had done everything right, but eventually I found out that the legs were pretty small and the cuffs I had cut were even smaller. I couldn’t have cut them bigger, beause I didn’t have more fabric but I decided to skip the cuffs altogether.

Shape with waistband.

Next up is the sweater with the words. With this sweater I wanted to use as much of the wording as possible. In order to do that I had to also use a bit of cut and sew.

Cutting words up!

I think it worked, decided to go with contrast cuff for a bit of fun in the garment. (This grey rib-fabric was originally not in the sweater, so I cut out two pieces of new fabric for this effect.)

Front view only

I am super happy not having to throw these sweaters out completely!  The weather is starting to be warmer, where we live. So they can be worn very soon.

New bums!

Wrap Work

We have a Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas. It is on December 5th; a tradition of tossing things. Out. Of the window. And after that, for Christmas, another pile. I am talking about gift wrapping. With the help of fabric, I want to try and half that pile, this year, and possibly the next years too?

It is wat is inside that matters!

In order to halt that afore mentioned pile you could of course reuse the wrapping paper. Also there are plenty of wrappings available that you can arguably use again. But made of paper you will see wear on them. Also, this year our family needs to fly with our presents. So even if we do use new wrapping paper it will look second-hand by the time we unpack!

So I am going to use fabric bags to wrap the gifts in. And because of the important part of unwrapping, I need at least a 3 second delay between trying to open the gift and having the gift in your hand. Therefore I will be making the closures a little bit fiddly. Make a zipper, hiding a zipper. Use twenty different buttons. I am thinking about stuff like that. Lets see if I can use bags but keep the anticipation of unwrapping?

So, off I go in search of fun coloured fabric leftovers or used up clothing. As best I can I make a selection of bright colours and make sure I have enough meters. The sizes of gifts nowadays are notable, since there are more and more little kids in our family and the smaller the kids, the bigger the presents. Besides that, making teeny-weeny bags is no use, as the probability of fitting in next years gifts becomes smaller the smaller the bag is.

But there appears to be something missing. I need to make sure it is clear this gift wrapping is in the appropriate theme! There are plenty of X-massy fabrics, but we give our gifts for the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas… And gift giving for Sinterklaas but in Christmas paper is a no-go. So is there fabric with the Sinterklaas theme? Sure, at my (!) Spoonflower store. I didn’t really have any other choice…


Now, next up is your box of buttons, ribbons and other leftover things, make sure you keep it near. Yes, now you can reach out, find the colours on the bottom of your yarn box! Grab them patches of fabric you haven’t seen in years! Take them all out, baby!

Now for some play-time behind my machine! I am making two almost identical bags at the same time, “on the go” withouth much planning. Identical bags, in order to see how the bags work for different sizes of gifts. “On the go” because I like to give room to the unexpected side of this creative process.

Identical bags
Identical patchworked bags, the Sinterklaas-pattern working together with the other fabrics nicely.

As you can see, I patch worked together some fabrics, to create a fun feeling. Than four fabric ribbons. Now some clever wrapping…

Two very different size gifts in idential bags.
Can you see the shirt I reused?

Next up are two big bags, for big gifts. I want to make a kind of a corset-closure by stitching a two ribbons “zig-zag” on a piece of cloth, after which I stich it unto the bag. If you are also giving it a go, make sure the “entrance” of your bags are finished. I have put in an extra piece of fabric so you can not see inside before you have completely opened the bag.

Lace it up!
Lace it up! With these two I particular like the bow.

For some smaller items, I am making two enveloppe-style bags. They are very long, when I want them smaller I just roll over the opening of the bags and voila, a smaller bag!

The row of buttons make that the bag can be made smaller.
The row of buttons make that the bag can be made smaller.

So, there will be a big pile of gifts, together with the paper wrapped gifts.  I will hear in a week’s time what the unwrappers think of the presents like this. I’ll get back to you on that!

Top view of the pile of fabric gifts.

This was a lovely project! If you are going to make “bags for Christmas” than you might find yourself adding some juice to the sacks by using the stitches of your machine that you have never used before. If your audience is a little older than mine, use colours that are more sensitive, for a sleeker look. Maybe use velour or glittery fabric, to make it look contemporary or fancy. It is a lot of fun to make. And hopefully a small success at the Christmas table, this year or next. In any way, I will be wrapping up. (Whoeps)