A Pair of Giraffes

Back in the summer my baby cousin turned 1. His mum organised a jungle themed party and invited everyone to come in fancy dress. Little Lady and I love dressing up and decided to go as giraffes. Okay, so maybe not technically a jungle animal but they are my favourite animal so they won!

We had yellow t shirts but I did buy yellow leggings due to being pressed for time. Using masking tape I marked off lines on both the t shirts and the leggings and then painted the spaces brown.

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I put a piece of cardboard up inside the t shirt to ensure the paint didn’t bleed through.

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Once it had all been painted I peeled off the masking tape and left the paint to dry.

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It’s so simple yet so effective. Little Lady and I had a lot of lovely comments on our matching outfits.

Mending

Bit of a confession before I start. I have chubby thighs. I know we barely know each other but it is relevant to the post I promise.

Chubby thighs run in my family and us ladies suffer from what I term “chub rub”. It’s a nightmare in summer when everyone else is wearing skirts and dresses and I’m still in 3/4 length trousers to avoid walking like John Wayne. But it also affects my clothes. I practically live in jeans and after a while I find that the denim, no matter how thick, starts to wear in between my legs.


These are my favourite summer trousers. They were originally upcycled from a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee and have since been patched and repaired between the thighs. The last time they were repaired it was a rush job as I found the hole as I was getting ready to go out, so I grabbed the first bit of fabric I could and patched them quickly so that I could still wear them.


To be honest I actually like the fact that the patch is much brighter than the denim although the downside is it draws attention to a body part I don’t really want people looking at! So I decided to make it a design feature. I put patches on other parts of the trousers for no reason other than to make the inner thigh patches look like they belong and are not there to hide chub rub holes!!


These trousers still have a lot of wear in them and by patching the holes I have prolonged their life. Do you have any clothes that could be mended instead of being thrown away?

Bagging it up

No one can go completely zero waste in one go. It takes time and it takes effort. The good news though, is that small things can make a big impact. Small things like bringing your own bag to the shop.

Since the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge here in the UK, there has been an emphasis on reusing plastic bags or even bringing your own cloth bag. Most of us now have a wide collection of “bag for life”‘s under the sink. But how often do we remember to take them with us?

How many of us have left a shop juggling our purhases because we don’t want to have to buy yet another bag?

Hmm, yes I thought as much 🙂

So……for the first day of this year’s ZWW I’m going to help you make a shopping bag that you can keep in your handbag. As long as you remember to put it back in your handbag once you’ve used it, you can tick off “refuse plastic bags at the checkout” from your Zero Waste checklist. Result!

You will need:

  • a piece of fabric (I used an old quilt cover)
  • Needle and thread
  • sewing machine (or you can handsew if you prefer)
  • an iron
  • A button
  • A piece of elastic/ribbon 8cm long

Instructions

  • Prewash your fabric if necessary
  • Measure and cut 2 pieces of fabric, 2 handles and 2 pieces of lining (not shown in picture) My fabric measured 45cms x 35cms and my handles measured 60cms x 6cms


Handles

  • Fold the straps in half lengthwise marking the centre fold line. Open up and fold the edges in to touch the fold line.

  • Fold in half again and press to conceal all raw edges

  • Sew all the way down the open edge

Main Bag

  • Measure 8cms in from both top edges of your main bag fabric and pin the short strap edge, taking care not to twist the strap
  • Pin the elastic/ribbon to the centre of the top edge on one piece.

  • Lay one bag piece right side (RS) to right side with one lining piece. I’ve used an old piece of fabric for the lining as it was what I had to hand. An old bedsheet is perfect for lining bags like this.

  • Sew (I used a 1.5cm seam allowance (SA) along the top edge catching the handles and the elastic. For added strength you can sew the very edges to the SA on the lining

  • Lay the “half bag” you have made down flat RS up and place the second piece RS down on top.
  • Match up seams and sew all the way around leaving a gap the width of your hand at the bottom of the lining (between the two black lines on the picture)

  • Clip the corners to get a sharper corner then turn right side out through the gap.

  • Sew the gap closed and tuck the lining into the bag.


  • Place the bag on the table with the elastic side up
  • Mark a dot 10cms up from the bottom of the bag in the centre

  • Sew a button at this spot. Make sure you sew it well as it will take quite a bashing if you use the bag a lot.

Folding your bag:

  1. Fold on long side into the centre by a third
  2. Fold the other side in over the top
  3. Fold the bottom up a third to reveal the button
  4. Fold the top down and tie the button.

(Or you can follow the picture below)

  • Pop in your handbag and voila!

I’d love to see pictures of your bag if you make one.