Monday, August 25, 2014


 The fifth item I've come up with is a DOLL.

I found this antique doll set (ceramic?) at a thrift store. It reminded me of the dolls my grandmother used to sew.

Using the tiny scraps, I sewed the limbs and took the tiniest of the scraps and broke them down into smaller pieces with the scissors. This would serve as stuffing for the doll, and a great way to use up scraps that were too small to sew into anything.

Arms are made, and the chest of the doll and wrapping things up with the legs.

Doll is complete, and now I'm making her a pioneer dress.

This lovely red contrast fabric came from one of the cuffs. You can tell where the crease is, so I had to take the iron to it to smooth it out.

Dress is made, and using the blue contrast fabric (from the button side of front shirt), I trimmed the bottom of the gown to give it some length and to add more style.
The dress now has an apron that ties from the back.

Cutting out the brim for the bonnet from the doubled stitched neckline of shirt. I won't have to hem the front of bonnet.
 Bonnet is made, and I added a blue bow on the hat for decoration.
Doll is complete! Of course, if you were to create a doll, you could use a solid color to easily make the arms, legs, and head of doll, but for this challenge, I am only using needle and thread and just the supplies from the shirt. 100% hand sewn and an example of how a shirt can easily be recycled into so many things.

Just to give you an idea on how tiny the doll is, she's resting against my collection of threads.

Okay, I'm thinking I may be able to wrap up this challenge with ONE more item...


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


This is DAY 4 on the Project Recycle Challenge.  A Barbie outfit.

Using the back of the shirt, I used a homemade pattern of mine to cut out the bodice. The fabric just under the neckline is already doubled with interface. I only needed to cut the bodice once for the two needed pieces. The skirt portion will be from the creased fabric just under the label. This will be turned sideways for the width of gown.

I sewed bodice and skirt together, and hemmed.

I love the contrast blue fabric on the inside of the button holes. This added some color to the gown and is perfect for a decorative bow.

The bow is fully lined to give it a puff, and to add quality.

 Only two buttons left remaining on this project. I used one to decorate the bow...

The final button to fasten the back of the gown.
Remember, this is 100% hand sewn using only THREAD . The goal is to use 100% of the shirt till it is completely recycled with no remaining fabric.
Some scrap fabric still left over!

If you haven't already, you can find updates on my Facebook page - A Slice of Texas - or you can check this blog.

HOMEMADE Carpet Freshener

I am SOLD on this very easy way to keep one's carpet smelling fresh. Not to mention the added benefits of using a more natural and healthier alternative.
We have 3 dogs and you can only imagine how hard it is to keep one's carpet clean and fresh smelling on a day by day basis.


Equal portion of BORAX and BAKING SODA.
Add your favorite essential oil for scent, or you can just use plain borax/baking soda.
My personal recipe consists of 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of baking soda added to mason jar (I punctured lid with nail.)
 For each batch, I added 30 drops of Lavender oil and shook vigorously.
SPRINKLE generously and evenly over carpet and allow to stay until vacuumed.
The added benefit of Borax is that it is a natural pesticide!

Friday, August 15, 2014


DAY 3 has brought us the water bottle holder.

This is actually something I've been wanting to make for myself but had never gotten around to it. This would be perfect for those walks when you don't want to carry a bulky purse.  I designed this with a long enough handle that this can be swung over the shoulder or crisscrossed across the chest.

Handy, lightweight and convenient for carrying a bottled water, car keys, cellphone, ID,  and cash...

The shirt already had the pocket, which was perfect.

 I measured with the water bottle to make sure the length and width would be large enough.

 After cutting the bag into a square, I double and tripled stitched the sides and bottom to reinforce, and to ensure the bag would be heavy duty for a heavy bottle. I also hemmed an opening in the top part, as there would be a drawstring inserted.
 From the scrap sides of the shirt, I cut the strips for the bag handle. I took care to leave the double stitched seams (shaped like a Y) intact, as I'll be needing this for another project.

These 4 strips of fabric will be sewn into one long strip, then folded, sewed, and turned right side out. I also double stitched this for reinforcement.

The bag is now complete, and the drawstring has been inserted, and both ends knotted.

Bottle fits perfectly, and now the bag is ready for the handle.

Bag is finished. Large enough to carry a large personalized water bottle.

 I used two buttons from the shirt to decorate each side of the handle, and to also add reinforcement.

This completes DAY THREE of Project Recycle. As you can see, this is the remainder of the scraps.

Again, I am 100% hand sewing this item, using only thread. No supplies of any kind have been added to these projects. This is a tutorial to show that anyone can recycle, and that ideas are a dime a dozen.

My goal is to not have a single piece of scrap leftover when I'm done. You'll see in a few days how easy (or hard) this can be done.

If you haven't already, come follow my updates and journey on Facebook, or you can check back here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


The second item created is a doll outfit for an 18" American Girl doll.

No pattern needed. I used the doll for measurement, to recreate an identical top like the first one.

For straps, I cut the seams, and didn't have to hem, as they were double stitched on both sides.  These straps are being set aside to be used for the adjustable top, and to be used for the belt of the pants, as I don't have an elastic to use.

Cutting buttons off from the front of the shirt.

Top is finished (sewed the same as yesterday's project), and buttons added. As you can see, I added the garment label "Made in India" as I have to use EVERYTHING from this shirt for this project.

Using a doll pattern, I cut out slacks from part of the front of shirt, and also from a sleeve.

Pants are sewn, hemmed and a small opening in the waistline is left to insert a strap. From the inside, the drawstring is tied to replace the elastic. 
Hair bow is created by two small squares sewn, with a small opening to turn right side. A strip of string was leftover when I had cut from the collar and I was able to tie the bow from the middle and use the string to tie a ribbon around the hair.

Used up all the large buttons from shirt, with a few mini buttons leftover.

Don't forget, this project is 100% hand sewn and my goal is to use every single piece of scrap till the shirt has completely disappeared.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting DAY 3, and after I reveal what the project is, I'll be showing you how much fabric is leftover for the final  projects. As you can imagine, the projects will be getting smaller and smaller :)

Don't forget, I  post most of my updates on Facebook, or you can check back here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


First project was pretty easy.
The hardest part was planning ahead so that I didn't cut any fabric that could interfere with future projects. Sort of like a Rubik's cube -- I kept turning the shirt over, sideways, measuring and re measuring to make sure I would have enough fabric for each item.

My first step was cutting the shirt at the chest.

Since I don't have any young children around for measurement, I used a child's size 3 pattern to get the correct size. The pattern called for the fabric to be placed into a fold, but this wasn't possible. Lucky for me, the plaid lines of the shirt made measuring so much easier!

I was able to place the pattern on the line, and then turn the pattern over to face the other direction and cut the arm/sides.  No folding needed. The fabric was doubled, so that the dress/shirt would have both sides for front and back.

I went ahead and took apart the neck, thinking I would LINE the inside arms of the dress, but decided against it when I realized that I had very little COLOR to add to the plaid. I wanted to save the beige fabric for something special, rather than get all fancy on the dress.

Now what can I use this strip of beige fabric for?

Please be aware, I'm not doing a sewing tutorial, so I may skip a few steps. What I'm mainly showing here is how I'm sectioning off the shirt.

I also needed to cut the sleeves apart, because I'm going to need straps for the dress. Since I can't use any notions for the project (snaps, elastic, etc.) Remember, I'm only using THREAD on this challenge. Nothing else.

FIRST, I hand sewed both sides of the dress together.

NEXT, I rolled hemmed the under arms of the dress.

THEN, I overlapped the neckline of the front and back of the dress so that I could slide in the slaps.

 Again, I'm planning ahead for future projects, so in advance I had already premeasured items. Pictured here, I have the sleeve doubled, folded over so that I can cut. This is to make sure I have plenty of room to sew these into straps.

Folding over to sew strap
 Using a safety pin, I'm turning the strap inside out.

I had to sew two of these straps, as each strap is inserted into the front/back neckline of dress.
I didn't "hem" the edges of the straps as they are rolled into knots.
The straps are now adjustable and can be tied/re tied.
This outfit is perfect as a dress for a one year old, or can be used as a sun top for a toddler up to 5.  

 First project complete!

Tomorrow, I'll be posting updates for DAY TWO of the Project Recycle Challenge.

If you haven't already, you can follow me on Facebook for updates, or check back here.