Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

DIY add pockets to a vest for a “travel vest”

June 1, 2015

Got this vest for $2 at Goodwill, used some fabric I had already and home, my lovely brain, and my cool snap press and made myself a “hidden” pocket travel vest! 🙂



denim vest from thrift shop

denim vest from thrift shop

I thought about getting a “travel vest”, but they either were really expensive, really ugly, or were going to take three weeks to get to me and I hadn’t planned ahead enough.  So I thought maybe I could make my own!

I opened the vest up and laid paper on top of it and felt for the seams and traced with a washable marker to make templates for the places where I wanted to make the pockets.  I thought it would look best if I tried to make the seams mostly on the already existing seams.


I folded all of the edges under, sewed the top/open edge first, then put the pocket onto the inside of the vest and sewed through the edges to attach the pockets.

The upper chest pocket is a “hanging” pocket–I sewed the upper edge hem all the way around, folded it into a little bag shape and sewed the top/back edge of the open part onto the denim–it is only attached at the top, so it “hangs” inside the vest.

resin snap press

resin snap press

I used my snap press to put resin snaps on the vest and on the upper edges of the pockets so I could snap them closed.

finished "travel vest" with pockets you can't really see from the outside :)

finished “travel vest” with pockets you can’t really see from the outside 🙂

This is the finished vest.  I think it is going to be convenient, not too heavy, doesn’t look like a safari vest, lol…the snaps are a little crooked.  Oh well.  I guess I should have drawn a line.


WOOLYCLAVA–Hooded Cowl Balaclava from recycled wool sweater

February 21, 2015

Yesterday Cat Bordhi posted this spectacular hood/cowl/ski-mask thing (maybe it is a balaclava?!) that she had knitted and made a pattern for

Cat Bordhi Designs Warm All Winter cowl

Beautiful!!! I wanted to make one! But, then I remembered how lazy I am and how my thumb hurts and how it would take weeks and then it would (hopefully) be warm here again. My friend Cathy said she might try it with a recycled sweater and DOH! what a brilliant idea!

Now I’ve made two, I think they shall be called “woolyclava”!

Side story:  I’m a substitute teacher and I have two teenage sons and we had FIVE snow days in a row this week, so I actually had time to fool around online and do crafts, which I’ve been sadly neglecting recently.


Anyhow, I remembered that I have a tubful of sweaters that I’ve bought at Goodwill to use for projects.  Maybe two.  Hush!


The back is all one piece. The front is two or three pieces, where the opening at the face is made with ribbing from the bottom hem or cuffs –down from the top and upside down from the bottom.

I opened one side seam and took off that same sleeve before I tried the pattern pieces, in case I would need to piece parts together for the top of the face.  I traced a beanie hat, compared to my Turtleclava, cut up the sweater and made the thing and put it on and cut parts off and re-sewed.

I used a pretty thin lambswool sweater. I think I had already washed it in the machine.

I think it is about 20″ from top of crown to bottom of cowl. I had to narrow the face from what I originally tried, so that it doesn’t gap too much.

Upcycled wool sweater version (cheater!) of Cat's spectacular Warm All Winter cowl

Upcycled wool sweater version (cheater!) of Cat’s spectacular Warm All Winter cowl



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I used scissors and rotary cutter to cut the sweater– I wasn’t too worried about it unraveling, but I was sewing it right away.  If you might be handling the pieces a lot, they might start to unravel!

I sewed the pieces together, wrong sides facing, with double lines of a very narrow zigzag stitch on my ancient Kenmore sewing machine.  The zigzag will allow for some stretching.  I also have a serger.  I might use that on the next one.  I also ran a row of stitching around the unhemmed edge, so it wouldn’t unravel.


I have some plan to embroider or decorate the seams and edges with wool yarn, but haven’t gotten started with that!


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I made this one for my husband.  When I first saw Cat Bordhi’s knitted creation,  I thought it looks sortof like chain mail, like an arming coif?  Anyhow, in my tubful of wool sweaters was was a black & grey herringbone cardigan…

woolyclava on the husband

woolyclava on the husband

woolyclava on the foam head

woolyclava on the foam head