Posts tagged how to
How to: Making use of Scrap Fabric - Backpack

Remember the blog post (read it here) of turning the dress to a cropped top? Well there was a lot of fabric (a whole skirt in fact) left over. And not one to throw anything away I did some brainstorming of what I could use if for. The print is really cute and with a trend arising for backpacks I thought, why not! So here is my Scrap to Backpack How to:

I decided to use all of one side of the skirt for this project, but you could use whatever size you like depending on how big a bag you would like. You will also need 1" wide Herringbone tape and 3/8" wide cord/rope, both in colours that compliment the fabric.

Step 1.

Firstly, I folded the fabric in half, right side of fabric together. Pinning the along the edges to hold in place.

Step 2.

You could do this step by hand if you do not have a sewing machine. Starting with short side first, sew 1/2" from the edge all the way up to the hem* of the original skirt.

*If you are using just a square of fabric and do not have an original hem to utilize. Single turn a 1/4" press then turn 3/4" press then sew. This should be done before sewing around the edges.

Step 3.

Turn bag the right way round and decide on what length the backpack needs to be (if you have not already done so). For this I folded the excess over, to act as flap.

Step 4.

Measure out the length of the straps on the herringbone tape. For me, I cut two lengths, 27" long.

Step 5.

Then pin straps to back of back, folding each end of strap 1/2" to secure raw edges.

Straps are set 7" apart. Stitch the straps to the back of the bag to secure.

Step 6.

Next, measure out the length of cord that is needed for around the top of your bag.

Ensure that one side is double knotted and the other is taped to stop if unwinding and making it easier to feed through the tunnel.

Feed the cord through the tunnel, knot the other end and remove tape.

And ta da!

Perfect lightweight backpack for yoga, beach and groceries!

What do you think? Will you try turning your scrap fabric into a new backpack?


5 Top Tips: Seeing Potential in Vintage

Finding that perfect vintage item is always the wish of any vintage shopper but more often than not we are left empty handed. However, it doesn't always have to be this way! Even the most novice of upcyclers can look for the potential in less than perfect vintage. All you have to do is ask yourself these 5 questions:

1. how difficult would it be to change?

2. is there cute details/trims/buttons?

3. does it have a fun print?

4. are there any stains/imperfections?

5. is the fabric good quality?

a great example would be this spotty dress:

Polka dots are always fun and will find their way into any trend. The buttons are cute and slightly asymmetrical and there are pleats down the centre front. It's a lightweight summer fabric, no stains (always a plus). The silhouette is fairly simple, it has lost the elastic waist it once had however making it too large - and looks it. First impressions mean everything.

To breathe life back into this spotty gem i decided to give it back the elasticated waist, giving it more shape instantly.

Next step, i shortened it - always a great way to update. As the skirt has a lining I sewed this first ensuring that the length is about 2cm/1" shorter than the outer layer. Then do the same to the outer layer.

I wasn't originally going to change anything else but after a quick try on (always a good idea) I decided that the sleeves would look better being shorter. I cheated here and just turned, pressed and sewed the fold.

And voila! a wearable and I'd even say adorable vintage piece!

What do you think?

I only needed to use basic sewing skills to achieve this, the trickiest part was knowing how much elastic to use.

Extra tip: If the garment already has a 'tunnel' for elastic at the waist simply remove old one, if any then measure how much elastic is need to go round your waist comfortably and cut it to length. Feed one end through the tunnel (attach to a chopstick, works a treat) and then sew both ends of elastic to the dress to secure.