Sewing ideas: Fabric trash bag and a floor mat for your car

I used to have plastic bags in my car for trash, but as I am reducing the use of plastic I made a re-usable, fabric trash bag. My large selection of fabric remnants was, once again, very useful. I combined grey cotton-polyester fabric and pieces of coated and waterproof fabric which is commonly used in kitchen table cloths.


The bag is easy to empty and to wipe clean after use. It is sturdy enough to stand upright, yet soft and flexible. Since the seams of the coated fabric are not sealed, the bag will not hold larger quantities of liquids.


The bag is easy to place in a car. The grey fabric is in harmony with the interior of the car and the orange color of the waxed fabric gives a refreshing contrast.


With a D-ring and a strap, the bag can be secured in place for example around an arm rest like in this car.


The bottom of the bag is a rectangle with round corners.


A crocheted floor mat makes it easier to relax on a longer journey when I can take off my shoes. Chunky jersey yarn is easy to use, a car size rug is fast to crochet and it feels good under your feet.


I used a thick crochet hook and worked single crochet stitches in rows and edging.


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Sewing tips: Presser foot rest

It is advised to set the presser foot of your sewing machine down when not sewing and put a piece of fabric under the foot. Unfortunately such a piece of fabric has a tendency to disappear, and you always need to find a new one.

I wanted to be nice to my machine and pamper it with a special, decorated presser foot rest! A piece of leather, rat tail satin cord and wooden beads became a presser foot mat that does not disappear as easily as a random piece of fabric.


This piece is in fact quite minimalistic. Should I one day misplace this tiny mat, the next one will be more extravagant!



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Sewing tips: Fabric trash can

When sewing, you make a lot of small trash like all those numerous small pieces of sewing thread. I used to make a pile next to my sewing machine, but it really is annoying to pick them up afterwards, not to mention the mess when they land on the floor.

I took fabric remnants and made a small trash can to be placed next to my sewing machine.


Double fabric and a fold make this cotton can sturdy enough to stand on its own. It is big enough to be practical and small enough to be folded flat and stored inside my sewing box.



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Re-using a leather shirt into a newsboy cap for women

I found a leather shirt at a flea market. Leather is not the most practical material for a garment which you may want to wash regularly, so it was not a surprise the previous owner had donated the shirt. However, the material was clean, thin, very soft lamb hide in very good condition, thus suitable for re-using.


I cut open all the necessary seams and when I had an overview of the amount of leather I had, I chose to make a newsboy cap for women. I cut the hat pattern pieces and glued them to a piece of thin cardboard (for example a cereal box). I added seam allowances before cutting the cardboard. When pattern pieces are made of cardboard it is easy to press them firmly onto the leather and draw the pattern pieces without using pins which make permanent holes.


This lamb hide was so thin, soft and delicate, that I found it necessary to sew the hat crown pieces toghether with thin fabric to avoid stretching or tearing of the seams, and to make the hat crown a bit more sturdy.


A teflon presser foot makes it easy to make nice, narrow top-stitch.


The hat crown is finished. The seam in the middle is thick with several layers of leather and fabric. I often use a hammer to make such spots flat and easy to sew, but in this case it actually was not necessary.


I made a lining using orange thai silk fabric.


This sewing project is not finished yet. The next phase is to sew a peak. Updates will follow.


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DIY Idea: How to make a fur capelet

Does your winter outfit lack something? Why not sew a fur capelet which reminds of fantasy style? Like in TV-series Game of Thrones and the Vikings.


I bought a sheep hide from an interior shop (in was intended as a seat cover) and made a paper pattern.


A dressmaker doll makes it easier to see where darts should be placed. I marked the darts with a pencil and cut them open in the middle. I needed six darts in total.


I used a leather needle, a teflon presser foot and fastened the darts with clips. My sewing machine complained as this was about as much as it could take. It may help to cut the fur shorter inside the darts but you should be careful not to cut anything that becomes visible when the work is finished.


Pieces of black leather hold two large D-rings. The cape is tied with hand-felted wool rope.


The capelet keeps my back nice and warm in wind and snow.


I sell wool rope scarves and necklaces in my Etsy shop.

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How to make a pink kitty ear hat in no time?

It is easy to knit or crochet a pink kitty ear hat, but it takes a couple of hours, and sometimes you just do not have those hours. I had an old, pink kids’ size wool jumper. Arms were already recycled into arm warmers, but the rest was left when I saw that there were protests being organized.

I simply cut two rectangular hat size pieces, finished the edges with flexible stitch and a special presser foot designed for sewing thick fabrics. I fastened the pieces using narrow zig zag and relatively long stitch. Note that seam allowances shift because of the fold.

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Ready to march!


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How to make small holes into leather

When you need to make some extra holes to belts, shoe straps, backpacks, and purses, using a leather hole punch is the easiest way. But if you do not have leather hole pliers with the right size of punches, you can use a drill.

I needed an extra hole to a shoe strap, but my punch pliers did not have a punch which was small enough. I used a 2 mm drill bit to make a new hole, the same size as the original holes.


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