India is the third greatest producer of municipal solid garbage in the world, with an annual scrapping rate of over one million metric tonnes of textiles. The results are extremely startling, necessitating that customers practise greater responsibility when it comes to the disposal of used clothing.
Upcycling or recycling old clothing is not only fun but a sustainable way to up your fashion game, giving a makeover to your wardrobe.
Check out these stylish and adorable DIYs to get you started with Japanese technology equipped Usha Janome sewing machines:
Upcycling an old Shirt into a trendy Tote Bag! Upcycling is a great way to breathe new life into old clothes while reducing waste and being environmentally conscious. Have an old shirt with collars faded out? Well, you can now upcycle it to a tote bag, that is versatile and can be used for groceries, running errands, or even as a stylish accessory. In this process, you’ll need some basic sewing skills, but it’s a fun and easy project that you can do in a few hours. Here’s how.
2 full sleeves men’s shirt
Pair of scissors
Take two shirts, one plain and one with checks, open the shirts completely and keep the front of the shirt facing you
Make a paper/ cardboard template 16 inches in length and 15 inches breath, and place the template on the shirts one by one in a way that the pocket comes under the template
While placing the pattern on the shirt make sure to keep the template on the pocket and have sufficient fabric above at least 2.5 inches and at sides at least 1 inch of the pocket
Pin the template with both the layer of the shirt, outline the template on the fabric with the help of chalk, then cut out the fabric and keep it aside
For the belt of the bag, create another template with 2.5 inches width and the length of the template will be the same as the length of the sleeves, you will require three pieces of fabric for it
Place the template on the sleeve and pin it with both layers of the fabric, mark the outlines and cut it. You will get two strips from the 2 sleeves and for another strip use the leftover fabric from the body of the shirt and follow the same process of pinning, marking, unpinning and cutting
You will now have two rectangular pieces for the bag and 3 pieces for the belt/ handle. Repeat the same steps with another shirt as well
For making the belt/handle of the bag, join the top of the first two strips right side facing the right and pin, now take the bottom of the second strip and turn it so that right side bottom of the second strip matches the right-side top of the third strip and pin these together
Moving on to the square pieces, place them right side facing the right and pin all four corners. Stitch all around the square except for the top but make sure to keep an opening of around 3 inches while stitching so that the bag can be turned inside out
Mark the opening with the help of chalk and stitch it using a sewing machine.
Take the strips of the belt and sew all three pinned strips of the belt together. Repeat the same steps with another shirt as well
Lay both the strips (Plain and check) next to each other, place the plain coloured strip on the checkered strip right side facing the right, and make sure to match the corners correctly
Align the matched strip and sew along the longer side, keep sewing till you reach the end. Leave the horizontal end and begin sewing on the other side.
Once done take a loop turner and insert it inside the strip through the unstitched horizontal side and keep pushing the cloth backwards till the loop turner comes through the other unstitched side. Now, hook the loop into the cloth and pull the loop turner out, you should now be able to turn the strip inside out
For the main bag, take the two square pieces that were stitched and lay them side by side. Take the unstitched side and flip the fabric inside out
Take the plain lining fabric and place the check fabric inside it, right side facing right. Push the bag strap inside on the check fabric
Now look at the placement of the three layers, match the seam of the lining fabric with one end of the strip and then match the seam of the main bag fabric with the side seam of the lining fabric bag and place it over the centre of the fabric, this will give you three layers of the fabric ( Note that the strip should come in between the two main fabrics)
Before repeating the process on the other side ensure that the handle is not twisted and pinned in place between the two main fabrics, don’t forget to mind the seems
For extra support, while sewing pin the fabric together at the top on both sides
Now sew all around the top, adjust the fabric under the sewing machine and start sewing. Do a reverse stitch at the end to secure the stitches
Remember the 3-inch gap you left in the lining fabric, use that to bring the main check fabric on the outside. Once Done, close the 3-inch gap and insert the lining back into the bag
Place the top opening side of the bag under the presser foot right side up and do a top stick all around the opening to hold the fold in place
And the DIY bag is ready
A fashionable Sling Bag to oomph your style quotient: Have an old dupatta in your wardrobe that used to be your favourite but has worn off the sides? Well, you do not need to throw it away. Here’s an easy tutorial on how to sew your own sling bag using that dupatta that compliments your outfit and is fun to carry. This trendy sling bag is not only fun to make, but is also great for carrying the little Knick knacks you need for a party or a day out with friends!
A cardboard cut in the shape of an open bag
Fabric 23X13 inch
Fusing and lining felt fabric
Water soluble marker
2.5-inch small fabric strips X 2
A steam Iron
A sewing Machine
Place the shiny side of the fusing fabric to face the wrong side of the printed fabric
Iron out the printed fabric with the fusing fabric placed below. Once the fabrics are fused, place it back over the lining fabric with the printed fabric facing you
Lay open the cardboard draft over the fabric and pin it in place. Outline the draft onto the fabric with the help of a marker
Carefully and precisely cut along the marked lines to get the fabrics in the shape of the draft
You will notice there are two pointed edges on the draft, which are the two points of the magnetic button
Mark both the points on the top layer of the fabric and remove the pins, one by one
Place the draft over the lining fabric to mark the two magnetic button points. Now, carefully hold the magnetic button over the lining fabric, make the marks aligned to the prongs
Now draw two small straight lines about 1.5 inches from the corner aligned with a marker. With the help of a seam ripper, make a quarter-inch slit on the marked lines
Then, insert the prongs of the magnetic button into the slits. Place the button ring from behind into the prongs and flatten out the prongs
The first part of the magnetic button is done.
Let’s move on to the other part of the button. The opposite part of the magnetic button needs to be fixed on the printed and fusing fabric near the earlier marked point
Mark the two prongs of the button part and make similar lines to form two slits
Cut a small square of leftover lining fabric and place the square behind the fabric aligning it with the two slits. Use the seam ripper to make two slits on it too. You can also pin the square piece to secure
Insert the prongs into the slits and place the ring through them with the lining fabric in between. Press out the prongs flat to hold the button piece in place
The lining fabric will help secure the button better. Next, cut out the extra part of the lining fabric
Then place the lining fabric over the printed one with the right sides of both facing each other. Pin them in place
Mark two points four inches apart at the bottom of the fabric, which will be the sewing points
Begin sewing from one point, go around and end at the other marked point. The opening will allow us to turn the fabric right side out once you finish sewing
Now that the prep is done, it’s time for a deep breath and finally start sewing!
Use a sewing machine to sew. Remember to lock stitch the beginning and the end. Ensure that the needle point is in the fabric when you turn around the edges
Remember to take out the pins as you sew along. Now that both pieces are attached, then do a zig-zag stitch along the sides to give it a neat and strong finish
After trimming the extra thread, turn the bag right side out- through the gap you had left. Pay extra attention while turning the corner points inside out (you can use the seam ripper to pull out the corners neatly)
Iron the edges to give them a firm shape. Fold the edges along the open slit and pin it
Fold the fabric in half to give it the shape of a bag and pin it in the centre. Then, sew along all the sides of the bag.
While sewing the side seams, don’t forget to fold the two strips of matching fabric, stitch and insert them at both edges which will hold the chain of the sling bag
Start sewing the top horizontal edge and ensure the back side is not stitched together
After finishing the top edge, sew the side seams together and insert the narrow fabric strip into the chain. Hold the strip and place it between the two side seams and sew along (Pro tip- remember to reverse stitch at the ends)
Continue sewing along the flap of the sling bag and move on to the other side
Ensure the chain is straight while inserting the other strip. Pull the strip and place it between the side seams, and continue sewing the side seams
Once done, trim the extra threads and remove the pins. You can also embellish your bag with a decorative brooch.
Recycling your old garments by making something new and useful out of them is not only environmentally friendly but also a creative and enjoyable way to express yourself. What are you waiting for? Dust off your sewing machine and get to work on your great project! – IANS