Paddington Top – Scarf Upcycle

Whenever I see random gloves on the street, I tend to pick them up and put on a nearby ledge in case the owner comes back…. I don’t know if they do, but at this stage its now a habit. Some weeks ago, I was walking home from work and I saw a scarf on the street which looked like it just fell from someones bag…. So I tied it to the nearby railing. At the time, I thought ‘what a pity’ ‘this scarf looks new’…… The next day when I was passing again, the scarf was still there…. And this time I just put it in my bag and brought it home. When I got home the cat sniffed it so much, (ick) so straight into washing machine.

I had thought it could be useful to try Peppermint Paddington Top, but when I went to cut it, the scarf was far tatty-ier, full of pulled threads and also piling. It was also very sheer.

I lined it with some left over muslin fabric, and cut out. The front had to have a front seam which did not look right when sewn up, so I did a panel strip to break up obvious symmetry and think it functions better.

 The pattern is straight forward and instructions thorough so it was an easy quick sew. I think in all it took a few hours including the cut out time for both fabrics.

The elastic used for the sleeves is taken from old bra straps (ultimate upcycle). I had put buttons (from button tin) in the back as per pattern, but they are not at all necessary. The neck finish is white bias ribbon and the hem was finished with a bias strip of left over scarf…. And in the end all that was left of the scarf were tiny scraps.

scarf to a poncho and some print too!

I got these scarves a few weeks ago in the local charity shop.   They were a donation of seconds from a woolen mill in Mayo (this charity shop sometimes gets donations from this mill), and I find it hard to pass up on wool , but I also find it hard to sew everything I pick up so I dithered for a while on whether I should get them at all.  Most of the scarves were thicker, and ‘normal’ size, but there were two wraps that were incredibly fine – and these I could not leave behind.,  I was wondering what to make, and was wondering if I should cut into them, but they work so well as shawls and scarves (I started wearing them pretty much straight away).  I decided to try another poncho!

I thought multi-coloured buttons would be a bit of fun, so got a selection and made a number of buttonholes.  As the wool is so fine, I used scraps of vilene to stabilize, and made all buttonholes the same size, but did not cut them all up the same size until I checked each button (buttons were either 14mm or 16mm).  I did 7 buttonholes each side, but it was only AFTER I thought that the 2 rows of buttons I did for the last one would not look so good here, so I zig-zagged them closed!  (they don’t look too obvious, and as its a line of 7 it has a pattern to it, so I am thinking -wishfully- it looks deliberate!)

Some Print, Some Pattern

We (sewing group) also did 2 workshops for voluntary arts week.  One was pattern drafting, and the other was hand printing fabric.  I did a pattern drafting one for a few of us, and as all good plans, they changed.  I had intended to show skirt drafting, but we ended up trying out the pattern magic book, which was good for me as I keep meaning to try the bamboo shoot top.  So I prepared the pattern again at home, and cut a toile,  printed it, and made it up.  I originally printed it with white but it looked rather dull, so I did a speckle repeat in red/orange/yellow.  The folding and sewing needs some refining, but I am glad I got to try it.  Its unlikely I will make it up as I don’t wear waist seams much, but I may use it again in another context.

The other print I did was on a dress.  The pattern I drafted was for a dress based on one I saw on the Finery London website (I just love their clothes).  I thought it would make a handy work (as in gardening etc) smock style dress, and cut it from a sheet.  I drafted a quick pattern,  and thought to do a plaid style pattern.  The single line looked effective (and out of line) but I left as was, and did the plaid effect for the pockets.  I have not bothered to finish this as I forgot that these shoulder darts can look severe – too much like the 80s and in all the dress is a bit of a sack!



Ultimately, I am not too bothered these are still at toile stage as it was good to change it up a bit, as I forgot how much I like printing by hand, and repeat patterning…. so much so, that we are planning another print session for later in the summer!