Sunday, January 22, 2017


It's no surprise to most of you who like vintage items, especially sewing machines, that I like to restore other items as well. One of my favorite haunts is Goodwill Outlet and I've got a few projects to share with you in this post.

Tote bags, tote bags, tote bags: can you ever have too many? Apparently not, because I keep picking them up. After finding a great Vera Bradley bag in a black print that I'm using on a daily basis for all kinds of items to tote back and forth to work, I found another one in pink that I figured I could use come spring. What I didn't notice until I washed it was a large ink stain in a bottom corner. I could get it mostly scrubbed out but there was just a residual stain plus the handles were pretty worn. Could I find coordinating fabric? Look no further than the bottom insert of the bag that had matching fabric I could use to patch in on the bottom and again as a type of reupholstery on the handles. Voila! New life for a worn old tote:
Patched over on this bottom corner and handle with a slipcover over worn section
Looking like a tote bag should!
Feeling successful, I picked up an abandoned quilted jacket project. All of the hard work was done with so much piecing and various techniques on display but the final construction languished. It came home with me to be made into...another tote bag? refashioned jacket? It was an extra large so I thought I could get a new jacket out of it and went in that direction:
Back of jacket as I got it: side seams open

Original front: diagonal pieces were not fully sewn on one side
Using a pattern I had experience with, I placed my pattern pieces over the back and front sections: perfect. The sleeves on the original jacket were short and wide since they were drop shoulder but I had fabric left from the other sections to add about 4 inches on the bottom (glad my arms aren't too long).  I only had to sew shoulder seams, set-in sleeves, side seams from sleeve edge to bottom edge of jacket, and it was ready to try on.  It fit but something was missing or off so I folded down the top front edges to make a v-neck and that helped. Lining it would also help and make it more finished:
Needs lining but otherwise cut down and re-sewn
 My husband wonders where I can wear something like this so now I have my doubts but think I will finish it anyway and take my chances. And finally, another tote bag via Goodwill Outlet:
Straps sewn on with a surprise inside
This was one big bag out of a quilted fabric that has the coordinating fabric on the other side so it was easy to sew on the straps and box out the bottom. Guess what I put inside? A sewing machine, of course. It's holding a Free Westinghouse in a custom base:
Free Westinghouse rotary in custom made wood base
Now it's easier to move this heavy baby and she won't get dusty. So that's my big ideas from Goodwill Outlet unfinished or discarded projects. Yea, I have those, too, but once in awhile it's nice to rescue one, or three, for yourself.

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