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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Retro Re-do: Repurposing a vintage pillowcase


I mentioned in my last post that "vintage" goodies were one of my favorite ways to be "green." Admitedly, my love of vintage goods started before my dive into living a sustainable life. They often have a great aesthetic (um...they look cool!) and represent historic time periods that fascinate me. One of my favorite things to scrounge for in thrift and consignment stores is vintage linens. Sheets, blankets, and pillowcases in fabulously cheery funky floral prints are my very favorite! (And, if you are desperate for some shopping therapy, these are usually super cheap at your everday Goodwill or Salvation Army. At my local store, each piece costs between 50 cents to $1.00!)

So...what do you do with your lovely linens after you bring them home? Most of mine are waiting until I have enough accumulated for a sunshine-y quilt/beach blanket. But this pillowcase was just singing to me with its lovely citrus and lime colors to make it into something new. And what would be better than a market bag to reduce waste at the grocery store? Nothin' much!
Let's do this thing! Start with one vintage pillow case...

Step 1: Fold the pillow case from corner to corner (which corners don't really matter...)

Step 2: Iron along this line so you have a visible crease. Cut alone line...I used a rotary cutter but it is not neccesary. Scissors will be fine since we will be finishing these edges at a later step.


You will now have two long triangle pieces...


Step 3: Fold down the skinny tops of the triangles and pin the edges...


The edges should be folded and pinned down about half and inch...

Step 4: Sew edges down. I did a double stitch thing but this was me just trying to be fancy...it is totally unneccesary and one stitch will work just fine! Sew down both sides of both triangles, including sewing down the skinny triangle parts (as shown on step 3).


Step 5: One of the triangles has it's short end already close up because that was the bottom of the pillow...now we have to make the other triangle the same. Fold the right sides together of the open triangle pillow piece (pin if you need) and sew together. Again, I was trying to be fancy and used a zig zag stitch here-it is a more sturdy stitch but it is not neccesary. Turn the piece back so the right sides are back out again.



Step 6: Line the two short sides of the triangles together...put one end inside the other.

Step 7: This is the only hard part of this whole thing. You need to pin each outside to the piece inside and sew them together.. As shown in the picture below, you will need to stick your hand inside to pin so that you don't pin all four layers together. Sew along you already sewn thread lines, making sure you are only connecting two laters of fabric. It can be the most tricky at the corner.

Step 8: Tie the two skinny ends together to make your shoulder strap...and go! That is it!

This would be where I pose in front of bicycle with a basket in a meadow and have fresh bread and arugala sticking out of the bag...but that ain't happenin'. So you will just have to see how roomy and vintage funky-fabulous this bag is in this cool picture where I am trying to suck in my gut and butt while my husband takes a picture on his lunch break. (There IS spinach inside the bag...just sharin'...)


I know you are ready to go make yourself a couple of these bags for your weekly outing to the farmer's market. But just in case you are all stocked-up with market bags, check out these other great ways to repurpose the extra pillow cases in your house:

1 comments:

Liz said...

love it! want to come over and show me how to do it? *sigh* okay, i'll just have to print this out and follow it step by step. great tutorial!

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