Button yoyo wristlet

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yoyo wristlet

Refashion Runway: Buttons

This week’s Refashion Runway theme is buttons.  I came up with this button yoyo wristlet.

The challenge of using buttons in refashioning proved to be more challenging than I initially thought it would be.  My original plan was to add buttons to a plain yellow cardigan I wear a lot or to make some kind of jewelry.  Ultimately, I decided that both of these would yield something that was more visually heavy than I was going for.

Buttons and yoyos

I’ve written before that I made a series of twin sized yoyo quilts before I had my machine.  I’ve always loved the texture of them and how the fabric is transformed when it is distorted into that little gathered circle.  So when I have off bits of fabric and time to spend hand sewing, I often make a few yoyos.  It’s my substitute for knitting or crocheting.

When I was thinking about this challenge, I had too many ideas.  I decided to go down to my sewing room and just look for materials.  I saw a jar of yoyos next to all my buttons, and I remembered that I had always wanted to make a little wristlet from yoyos.

Color!

These particular yoyos are made from a sample of Marimekko linen that I bought to see if I would like it as curtains.  Because I decided against the fabric as curtains, I felt no sting as I cut it up.  Out came my Olfa circle cutter and I got to work cutting and making yoyos.

yoyo wristlet

The linen’s vivid yellow and muted gray mixes well with the yellow, gold, and ochre buttons.  When you join yoyos together, there are naturally spaces between them.  You have a choice to back them, or leave them open.  As a purse, they really need a backing.  I pulled out this turquoise faille skirt.  I never wore it much after I made it since it was really just a kind of practice garment, so it was fair game for refashioning.

yoyo wristlet

I love the yellow against the turquoise.  It’s all daffodils and spring up in here.  The faille has the nicest hand and sews up so well.

Construction

I joined the yoyos together in 6 rows of 5.  Some face up, and some show the backside of each yoyo.  I hand stitched down the matrix to the faille with small backstitches around each yoyo.  It sounds like a lot of work, but it actually went quickly.  Because of all my practice at it, I’m really a fast hand sewist when it comes to yoyos.

After that, I cut around the yoyos, leaving a good border of faille so that the yoyos wouldn’t get caught in the seams of the bag.  I made a quick handle and a loop.  The loop and handle are joined with a metal ring salvaged from an old curtain I refashioned into an apron years ago.

The bag itself is just a simple zipper bag.  I added some heft to the faille by basting it to a scrap of canvas.  The lining is a bit of random cotton, and the handle/loop assembly is sandwiched in the side seam.

yoyo wristlet

Button sewing

Sewing on buttons is one of those tasks that I think most people don’t think about.  Usually the thought is: 4 holes, X shape, how fast can I sew on these buttons because I’m so over this project and want to wear my project.  But really, there’s a lot more possibility beyond the X.  These are some of my favorite variations for wearable garments:

yoyo wristlet

The arrow is probably my favorite.

For some button inspiration, I looked to this image from one of my Pinterest boards:

There are so many ways to sew on a button when making craft projects!:

On a bag, you can explore some of these stitches.  You can easily stitch on the outer edges of the buttons because there’s no need to leave the edges free so they can go in and out of buttonholes.   It’s a bit of decorative work that’s just satisfying to work on.

This yoyo wristlet ended up being the kind of quick fun project that started out with few expectations and became a study in materials and possibilities.

yoyo wristlet

Do you work on projects and just let your materials guide your plan?

 

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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Lace mixed media tank

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mixed media tank

This lace mixed media tank is one of the projects I’ve made in the past couple months post baby that I haven’t got around to writing about.  It’s part refashion, part working with available materials, and a whole lotta pattern hacking in between.  The inspiration for this one was this Anthropologie tank:

Laced Montage Tank - anthropologie.com:

I love how Anthropologie uses fabric, but I don’t often often copy their stuff literally.  This tank was an exception.  I like the woven bottom together with the lace stitched on top of the side seams combined with the comfort of a knit top.  The resulting tunic is just the kind of flowy summer top that I was looking to make.

Lace Mixed Media Tank

Pattern(s)

In terms of patterns, I combined no less than 3 patterns to get to my final pattern.  The tank part is Straight Stitch Patterns’ Greenwood Tank.  I liked with that pattern how the shoulder hit well enough to cover my bra line (not necessarily a given with tank patterns), but the armholes were too big.  I used my trusty Jalie 2921 to modify the Greenwood armscye to the circumference I was looking for.  The woven part of the tank is a modified version of the high/low peplum piece from Blank Slate’s Marigold.

Fabric

mixed media tank

For fabric, I used a cotton voile on the peplum leftover from this Mississsippi Ave dress.  I added a CF button placket to make it look like it’s the bottom of a men’s dress shirt.  I cut the same voile in bias strips to bind the neckline and armholes too.

The knit is from an old t-shirt that I’ve had for several years.  I originally bought it soon after my 2nd son was born.  I always liked the color, but not the poofy 3 layered flutter sleeves it had.  They were cumbersome to wear and I couldn’t wear a cardigan with the top because the sleeves were too bulky to fit inside the sweater sleeves.

mixed media tank

 

I carried a little bit of the green down into the sides of the peplum because…hips!  It also is a nice contrast under the lace.

The lace is vintage crochet lace that I picked up thrifting.  It is simply stitched down along the side seams.  I love this kind of lace for its softness and visual texture.  My Mom has always like prints that look like wallpaper.  It turns out I like lace and fabric that looks like (or came from) a tablecloth. 🙂

Project summary

mixed media tank

 

Proportionally the top is overall a bit too long on me.  If I repeat this design, I will definitely shorten the knit and the peplum as well as ditch the high/low element in favor of a straight hem.

Overall, I really love this top.  It was a good challenge to use multiple materials and patterns to get at the final top, and it’s super comfortable and lightweight for the summer heat.

My Monthly Stitch Post on this top is here.

My review of the Greenwood Tank is here.

What’s the max number of patterns and/or fabrics you’ve combined into a finished garment?

mixed media tank

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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