Jeanius Pastel Denim Trench Coat

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jeanius

When Portia Lawrie of Makery announced that this years #Refashioners2016 challenge was denim, I couldn’t not participate in the community challenge.  Between my catalog of my own jeans I’ve made and the wide variety of details collected on my Altered Denim board, it should be clear that when in comes to denim, I’m very serious about thinking beyond a basic pair of jeans.  So cutting up existing jeans and making something new?  That’s pretty much about the happiest challenge I can think of.  That I ended up with this Jeanius Pastel Denim Trench Coat–even better.  Who doesn’t love it when a plan comes together just like you want it to?

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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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