Baby Steps Upcycling Attempt 1

Upcyling Attempt #1 | BABY STEPS

Last week for my lifestyle post, I talked about my plans to upcycle some things that can’t be donated into reusable makeup wipes and another face cloth! I’ve given it a go and wanted to give you a bit of an update on how it went. I won’t keep anyone in suspense. It went… not as I hoped. I think what I’ve created will be functional, but pretty it is not. Still, I’ll give you a quick rundown on how I made them, in case anyone else wanted to give it a go (and probably make something much better!)Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

I think the main problem that I hit right away is that I don’t have a sewing machine, so please bear in mind I had no choice but to do it by hand. So I started out with my equipment. I had several different old tshirts that couldn’t be donated (they were promotional shirts with logos on, or they were really worn and faded etc). These were all 100% cotton because I’ve heard that’s the best for your skin. I also had several different needles and colours of thread, scissors, a pencil, and a round stencil (I used a jar lid).

The first thing I decided to make was the face cloth, because that sounded the easiest. Just a square of hemmed fabric, right? I picked the bright blue with absolutely no logic to it, and got to work. To make my life easier, I tried to use the stitching that was already in place. The bottom hem, of course, is perfect, and I also used the side seam as my second edge, which wasn’t the world’s greatest idea, but hey. It’s functional, not pretty. Please keep that in mind. It’s the mantra of this post. Once I’d cut out my fabric, a rough square with edges about 15cm, I folded over one of the sides I wanted to hem, and pinned it down. Using needles, not pins, because I don’t actually have any pins. The odds were stacked against me from the start, to be honest. Once it was in place, I literally just stitched along the hem. I have no idea what the name is of the stitch I used, or if it even has a name, I just did something that seemed like it would work. I started by putting the needle through the fabric right next to where it was folded, and then I did a straight line up to the top of the folded over section. Then I did a kind of diagonal back to the edge of the fold to move along the fabric. I guess it’s really just a bit of a variation on the standard running stitch, but up and diagonal rather than straight across. I did the same for the other raw edge, this time having the smart idea to use the thread that actually matched the colour of the fabric, rather than the white thread.

I’ll be honest, I was feeling quite demoralised by the appearance of this by the time I moved on to attempting one of the makeup wipes, but I did have a slightly more solid plan for these. I chose the burgundy fabric, again, for reasons completely unknown to man. I drew around the jar lid with the pencil twice, and cut out my two circles. I knew the final thing was going to end up being a bit smaller than the template I used so I picked one that’s a bit larger than the normal cotton pads I use. I pinned (with needles!) the two circles together, and used a standard running stitch to start stitching around the edge. The key to this is only stitching around maybe 80% of the edge. Leave a small section open, and tie off your stitch. Now for the clever bit (is this even clever?). Turn it inside out. This means the stitches are on the inside, and you make a little pocket. I tore of small strips from the shirt I was using, and stuffed them inside the pocket to pad it out a little bit. Be careful not to over-pad it, you don’t want to make a ball! Once I was happy with how padded-out it was, I closed the gap I’d left up. Again, no clue what the stitch is called. Through one side, over the top, and back in the same side, so the thread goes around the edge of the fabric. Honestly I’m so useless at this why did I think I should write about it? Anyway, I was a bit happier with how this one turned out. It’s not a perfect circle by any means, but I think using smaller running stitches and a more accurate stencil would help make it a bit tidier.

I hope this gave you a bit of a laugh at my efforts, even if it wasn’t very useful. I imagine anyone with any kind of sewing skill is going to absolutely rip me to shreds for this, but that’s okay. Hopefully this post will serve to show that anyone with any level of sewing capability can give little projects like this a go. But maybe find a better tutorial than this if you do.

7 thoughts on “Upcyling Attempt #1 | BABY STEPS

  1. I think you did a great job! I probably would never have even thought to attempt this without a sewing machine (I don’t have one either so I basically wouldn’t have attempted full stop). Practise makes perfect, right? This is a great way to reduce your waste x


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! Hand sewing isn’t the easiest or neatest but for stuff like this it’s serviceable ☺️


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