15 uses: Dresses

This week I am flipping 15 uses on its head and finding different bits of rubbish that could all be used to make one thing. I’m starting off with upcycled fashion and to begin with I’ve chosen dresses. So instead of thinking what do I do with all this (insert rubbish you have copious amounts of) be thinking I want (insert hearts desire) so what can I make it from. I’ve found a brilliant collection of dresses made from other fabrics, papers and some more unusual finds.

dresses fabric


The most suitable way of making an attractive but comfortable dress is to delve into old and tired fabrics  to create new life

1. I love the skirt on this made entirely from old ties. There are plenty of these languishing in charity shops and your dads wardrobe, make use of them.

2. There are plenty of army surplus or fake camouflage to get you hands on, just depends if you want to sport the army look or not. *note probably not good for running in.

3. A classic item that is always getting chucked out is denim, so keep its life cycle going with a cute summer dress

4. Patch work is the original of upcycled fabric crafts, using spare bits of fabric or cuttings off old items to create a whole new one. Normally reserved for bed spreads I think I dress would look equally cool

5. Men shirts are another charity shop staple and should be used more often to create new things

dresses paper


Plenty of it so use it though I see these all for statement pieces rather then general ware, though depends on your fashion

1. Books are a joy but there are endless amounts piling up in our homes, create your own masterpiece with a show stopping dress.

2. Maps are beautiful and would make a brilliant design for a dress

3. Fashion magazines display the best of designers skills but they themselves could be transformed into brilliant dress designs

4. The easiest paper to get hold of and the most flexible but watch out for tears

5. Strips of cardboard packaging, in this case cereal boxes, could make a fun dress and it appears to have more structure to the other paper ideas making it probably the most viable design. I like the belt to make it look more natural dresses unusual materials

Unusual Items

Bizarre ideas but ones that could definitely work as a statement piece. I would advice a fabric lining for all of these to maintain modest and comfort

1. Plastic rather then paper this time. Fused grocery bags in different colours could make a simple dress. Once the plastic bags are fused together they can be worked just like fabric

2. A collection of bottle caps, metal wire and tin plating creates this strange piece though can’t imagine it being a very comfortable experience. How would you sit down?!

3. I like this one made from lids and tops. Its like a colourful flapper dress but once again I can’t imagine its comfy to sit down in and a light slip would be needed underneath unless your super racey.

4. This police line dress looks amazing but where would you get such materials, I’m sure the bobby’s wouldn’t be too pleased if you started snaffaling their tape

5. Using packaging of any kind looks fun and quirky but make sure they are all washed out thoroughly or you’ll start to smell like a rubbish tip


So would you dare to go for the outrageous dresses or stick to the plain and simple fabric ones?


X xxx


15 uses: Fabric Scraps

If you read 15 uses: often or this is your first time readying it, you probably came across this because you were searching for crafty ways to recycle which would make me assume you are already a crafty minded person. Today’s 15 uses are not from regular household waste but are often part of waste from a crafty lifestyle in textiles. As i mainly work in fabric and sew i always end up with lots of little scraps no matter how cautious i am with my pattern cutting, so i am always looking for new ways to use up the little bits of fabric so they dont go to waste. Here i have found the best of the best for turning fabric scraps in to useful and beautiful pieces for organising, home decoration and parties. So enjoy and get crafting.

5 ideas for organising and crafting

1. If you’ve got lots of fabric then you must have lots of pins, why not turn your scraps into a unique patchwork  pin cushion but dont just stick to squares if you wanna go for more indepth patterns. All you need are two squares made up of lots of little squares that are sewn together, sew the two squares together right sides facing, leaving a small gap, turn inside out and stuff with wadding. Sew up the hole and start sticking your pins in it for your next crafting adventure

2.Make a handy key strap so you never lose your keys at the bottom of your bag and help keep hold of them when you’ve got a million and one things to hold while trying to open the door.  Sew two strips of your desired fabric together, you can make them super neat by sewing inside out and then pulling through the right way, then fold them into two to get a loop, sew the end then sew another line about an inch in so you can slip your keychain through.

3. Uses fabric scraps that are all tied into one long strip to weave baskets to store any clutter or things that are needed to hand. They make a great catch all basket near your front door for keys and letters.

4. Pretty up your notice board by covering drawing pins with fabric and gluing in place at the back. A great way to use even the tiniest bits of fabric.

5.  Though the original tutorial uses paper this would be just as easy with fabric and an easier way to get the covered jam jars you need for your Christmas Chutney. Measure a circle round your jar lid that has an inch extra added around. Snip the extra at equal points around the circle, place the lid in the center and fold the snipped extra into the middle while adding glue to attach. If using for food you may want to add a waxed seal to the center to make sure no glue particles get in to the food.

5 Home decoration ideas

1. Create a rag strip curtain for windows, or even doorways when its hot in summer but you dont want the flys in your house. To make the curtains easier to draw and prevent any choking hazard, sew each length of strips together to make one pieces of fabric rather then separate hanging strips.

2. Use fabrics in similar colours to create a collage cushion decoration. Can brighten up plain covers and uses up lots of little scraps.

3. Create a mobile or wind chime (just add bells) for the garden with lots of little scraps. Make bird shapes, stars or leaves as in the example and hang where you want. If creating a mobile, make sure it is well out of reach of little hands and secured well so it doesn’t create a choking hazard.

4. Cover wire or wooden coast hangers with fabric to make wardrobes pretty and the extra padding will protect clothes.

5. Hexagons are used here but any shapes could be used to make beautiful and washable coasters for your coffee or dining table.

 5 Party ideas

1. Create a word for your party or phrase with wire and then wrap lengths of fabric around the wire to create a statement piece to hang at the party. Make the word big enough to see from a far and glue the ends and frequently around the wire to keep the fabric in place.

2. Make garlands to reach across your room or party area to create inexpensive shabby chic bunting for an instant party feel. Would work if you have lots of scraps but just one garland would do for a mantel piece or door way

3. Create a scrap wreath for your front door or to hand on a picture hook. You could use lots of bright coloured fabrics or use whatever you have and spray paint or even dye to the colour you want.

4. Use scraps to make unique greetings cards for your friends and family. The best thing about making your own cards is that each one can be personalised for the recipient making them extra special.

5. Turn cocktail sticks into mini flags for cakes and pastries on a buffet with a scraps cut into flag shapes and glued to the sticks by rolling round the top of one. They look so cute.

Have you any ideas for you fabric scraps?  I always want more and i’m sure other readers would love to know too. For any of the links check out the pinterest board 15 Uses: Fabric Scraps


X xxx

p.s. What did you all get up to on Halloween??

How to annoy the dog


I love my mother in laws little dog, heidi but i don’t think she likes me all the time. When she comes and sits in my craft room i find i get easily distracted, play with her then want to dress her up. It started off with a ribbon here a ribbon there and then after she tried to gobble my hat shaped pin cushion i ended spending a quick half an hour whipping up a little hat to attach to her purely for my amusement. Procrastination to the max.

1. Cut 2 circles of fabric of the same size and 1 smaller cardboard circle. You will also need some wadding, a length of ribbon that will wrap around your dogs head plus a little longer, a little velcro strips and thread in the same or similar colour to your fabric.

2. Stitch a loose running stitch through the edge of each circle, slipping the cardboard disc into one of them. Pull the thread together to create a tight seal around the cardboard and for the other circle stuff with the wadding then pull the thread tight and tie off.

3. Stitch the velcro pieces to each end of the ribbon and then sew the middle of the ribbon to the bottom of the fabric covered cardboard.

4. You can now stitch the top and the bottom of the hat together, it doesn’t matter if you can see the stitches as you can tie a ribbon around the gap to cover it and add more charm.

5. Attach to your dog and try get them to sit still long enough for you to take a photo


Its fair to say that this was a success, for 5 minutes that is. After quickly managing to take a picture, she shook her head to get it off then ripped it apart. :( Sewed it back together but wasn’t gonna let her get her teeth into it again so now its my second hat shaped pin cushion for me to use for Heidi’s next amazing costume…..On second thoughts maybe not. At least i got to use up some scrap material :D



X xxx