Saturday, June 29, 2013

+50 Free Skirt Sewing Tutorials

As many of you know, I've been attempting to sew my own wardrobe... and have been making reaaaaaally slow progress of it. This week The Vicki Arnold blog shared my No Sew Skirt in a crazy awesome round up of over 60+ Free Sewing Skirt Patterns. I'm inspired by: 

icandy handmade: mismatched maxi
the sewing rabbit: scarf to skirt refashion
sew much ado: tulle skirt
I can't wait to bring home my new BERNINA 350 PE and give some of these a try! Heading today to hang out with Penny at The Byrne Sewing Connection in New Britain, PA (Doylestown) to pick it up & maybe even pick out some fun new fabrics too. Be sure to check back, I'll be sharing my experience! 

What are you sewing this weekend?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Star Wars Themed Party + C3PO Oil Printable

Remember last month when we celebrated Tristens May the 4th Be With You Party? I'm excited to finally share all the details(good things come to those who wait!) Head over to Pretty Handy Girl blog for a rundown complete with all the links you'll need to throw a Star Wars themed party on a budget

Hands down one of the most talked about elements at the party was our C3PO H20 and we used a free download from Ashlee at I'm Topsy Turvy but Sam insisted on calling it C3PO Oil. Today I've got a special treat in store- Jess over at Oh My Handmade worked up not one but two free C3PO Oil drink label PDF printables for you to enjoy! They're easy to make too!

You'll need:
Water bottles
Gold Spray Paint (I used Krylon)
Sandpaper (not needed but suggested)
Clear Shipping Tape
Printable C3PO Oil Label

1. Lightly sand the plastic outside of plastic bottle. This helps the paint to stick a little better.

2. Spray paint bottles!

 3. Use tape and add label

Download the PDF Here

Download the Gray PDF Here

Don't forget to check out the rest of the DIY elements to our Star Wars party and complete re-cap over at Pretty Handy Girl. Come back when you have a blue milk mustache and tell me what your favorite part of the whole party is/was! I'd love to know! (It's okay if you don't get the blue milk mustache reference thats why there's a Wookieepedia

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adding a Pocket to Your No Sew Tshirt Skirt

The no sew tshirt skirt is a summer staple: comfortable, casual, and oh so versatile! Have you tried it yet? Whether you're creating a few for yourself, some friends, or the little girls in your life- adding a pocket will give you a chance to play around. Utilize a screen print or logo to show off your team spirit, support a cause, and add a little kick to style. It does require minimal sewing. Need help with that? Here's a video.

You'll Need: 
1 Tshirt (or scrap material)

1. Measure your tshirt scrap (or create a template) 10" wide by 8" high
2. Fold rectangle in half vertically. Mark and cut a 3" arc out of the corner through both layers. Unfold it and center right side out in the middle of your no sew skirt.
Pin into place.

3. Using a running stitch or zigzag: sew along the top, bottom and sides of pocket. (Be sure to remove pins as you go along!)

This template can be used to add a pocket to a variety of upcycled tshirt designs including hoodies, tshirts, halters, totes and more! For more tutorials on repurposing your tshirts visit The Ultimate Upcycled Tshirt Tutorial list and lets connect on Pinterest.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sewing Machine Planter Tutorial

I do love an old (and new) sewing machine. In fact whenever I see one abandoned at the thrift store or longing for a new home at a yard sale it takes ultimate will power to say no. I imagine one day I might end up like a crazy ole cat lady... only with 15 machines around the house.

Yesterday I shared how you can create change & give your old sewing machine another life, by passing along those old machines and providing others with the opportunity to make a living and/or make a difference in their community. Today I'll show you how deconstruct your sewing machine and turn it into a creative planter.

You'll Need:
sewing machine
screw drivers (flat and phillips)
fine sandpaper
rubbing alcohol
krylon spray paint 

Start by removing all outer parts, including needle, sewing feet, bobbin casings etc.
I called in back up (thanks honey!) for the next step, which was removing the case. There are several body clips that you'll need to carefully wedge apart (using flat head screw driver) This is by far the trickiest part and with a little patience and will power you'll get that sucker opened up.
Remove screws. You might find a foreign pattern screw inside, don't panic. You will be able to remove the main section of the machine using a phillips head screw driver.
Teachable moment: The boys LOVED tinkering with the insides of the machine after they were removed. They've spent days figuring out what the gears do and removing/replacing/building.

Use soap & water to wash off any dirt from the surface. Let it dry. Then using a fine sand paper (I used a prograde fine sanding block) rough up the surface, everywhere you'll be painting. Doing this will help the paint will adhere to the plastic. It is much better to apply paint to a dull surface than one that is slick. Wipe the plastic clean with rubbing alcohol to remove any particles or oils before painting.
Paint in a well ventilated area, and be sure to protect the area where you are painting. Be sure to read the directions (The gold paint requires you to shake it until you no longer hear the ball rattle and then shake a little more.) Reassemble machine after it completely dries. 
Fill machine with potting soil and it's ready for planting!

Later this month I'll be sharing a few more tutorials that will help you creatively reuse the insides of the machine. If you love this, I hope you'll share it with friends and join me on my mission to change the way we consume and create with the Create Change Movement. The Create Change Movement is a recycling & consumption revolution, by using discarded materials to create innovative, practical, and wearable works of art + we will change the world. Be sure to connect with me on Facebook or Twitter for all the updates and sign up for TrashN2Tees Briefs Newsletter for tutorials, tips, and goodies delivered to your mailbox.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another Life for Your Old Sewing Machine

I'm sure many sewists are asked why they sew? Lately I've been asked that myself. I imagine we all have our different reasons in the beginning, whether our parents have passed down these skills or they are self taught. Some of us sew because we thrive in that creative space. Others use their sewing machines in protest of fast fashion, to help make ends meet, provide for their families, or purely to bring joy to others. 

Sewing for me as been a self taught journey in effort to provide you with not only quirky and fun clothing designs but doing so with heirloom quality. My machine is a catalyst for changing the way we consume and create. (Yours is too!) Over the years I've outgrown machines, seeking out products that give me more options and growing my collection to include an embroidery machine and serger along with several vintage models. The time comes when your studio begins to resemble a sewing machine graveyard. There has to be another life for those unused sewing machines.

I'm so extremely excited to share with you that I've partnered with Bernina, a company that doesn't view sustainability as a buzz word but rather a cornerstone on which they've built their family owned business. If you have an old machine, any make/model and condition- it can be turned into your local Bernina store now through September. The machines collected will be passed along The Sewing Machine Project and then onto individuals or organizations in/around Gulf Coast, Mexico, Kosovo and Sri Lanka to mend lives and provide opportunities. The Sewing Machine Project believes that when people grow stronger, so do their communities. I believe that too!

While I jumped at the chance to pass along my old machines & help provide others with the opportunity to make a living and/or make a difference in their community- there was one machine I just couldn't part with. My very first one. This quote comes to mind,
"Yet for better or worse we love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colors and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them."

- Junichiro Tanizaki 

After dropping off the collection with Bernina and returned home, I did what I do best. I creatively reused it so that everyone can enjoy it.

Whether you're looking to reduce the studio clutter or make a positive impact in someones life- I hope you'll consider taking part. Tell your friends too Click to Tweet it! How many sewing machines can you use at once anyway, right? If you've got a trusty ole machine or a motley crew collection, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Learn how to DIY here on the blog.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Business Lessons I Learned in Nature

If you're following TrashN2Tees on Instagram then it's no surprise that I love getting out in nature. We're constantly fishing, hiking, camping (not yet this year!) and adventuring into the wild unknown and I share some of those adventures on IG.

Most recently I learned the importance (first hand) of sunscreen. Yeeeouch! I swear my olive skin never burned as a kid- maybe it has something to do with old age (?!) or the depleting ozone?

I decided if I ever do something worthy of a memoir it might be titled Business & Bug Spray. Head over to Oh My! and read my latest post that shares the same name, it's a field guide to business & nature! Dealing with discomfort, pitching a tent, what to do when it rains, and leaving no trace are all parallels in nature/biz. I hope it serves as a valuable reference to guide + remind you of all the great adventures that await for you and your handmade business.

You might also like my other posts on Oh My!:
Why You Need Street Cred & 23 Ways to Earn It  
8 Ways to Boost Your Sales Now 
 Take Care of Your Yourself & That To Do List

Are you adventuring this summer? Whether you're adventuring into the woods, climb the highest mountains, or simply float down stream (metaphorically or physically) I'd love to hear about it. Tell me more in the comments below.


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