Yogurt Tub and Denim Drawstring Bag

When I was asked by Earth 911 if I had any good recycled crafts they could share for Earth Day, I didn’t think I’d have any problem digging one up.  I was surprised to find most of my projects that fit the bill were seasonal, and not appropriate for spring.  I really wanted something that was mostly repurposed, didn’t take a lot of materials and was a little unusual.    I think this bag fits. Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 0

To make this, you’ll need a clean yogurt tub (about 24 oz size), a piece of denim (a leg cut off to make shorts will work) and two shoe laces.

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Ok, so I know that’s technically not just yogurt, but have you tried this stuff?  Yum.

Measure around the top edge of your tub.  Add 1/2” to determine the width to cut your denim.  Measure the height of the tub, multiply by 1 1/2 and add 3” to determine the height.  Mine came out to 14 1/8 by 9”.

You can leave a decorative seam if your sewing machine can handle sewing over it doubled.

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Fold the denim with the short sides together.  Subtracting the 1/4” seam you’ll sew in the next step, find and mark the center on both sides.  Unfold.  Measure 2 1/4” down from the top edge at the mark.  Draw a 1/4” line from 2 1/4 to 2 1/2”.  Stitch a 1/4” buttonhole at the line and carefully cut it open.

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Fold the denim right sides touching and short ends together.  Stitch a 1/4” seam down the side.  Press the seam open.

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Stitch over the edge at the top and bottom with a zigzag stitch or serger to reduce fraying.  Fold the upper edge toward the wrong side 1 1/2” and press.  Stitch 1/2” from the edge and 1/2” from the fold.

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Using scissors or a razor knife, cut the lip off the tub.  Slip the fabric tube over the tub, wrong side of the fabric toward the tub and the top edge of the fabric and tub even with each other.

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Using a long stitch and a large needle, stitch 1/4” from the edge through the plastic and denim.  Add a pleat to the denim if you need to make it fit.  If you have any doubt at all about whether your sewing machine can survive this, punch holes in the plastic with an awl and sew by hand.

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Pull the denim up over the tub, turning right side out.  Feed a shoelace into one of the buttonholes, all the way around through the casing, and back out through the same hole.  Repeat on the opposite side with the other shoelace.  Tie the laces together near the buttonhole and again at the ends.  Pull both sides to draw closed.

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I thought I was done at this point, but when I turned around the lid was laying there.  I cut a small flower from it, which I stitched on with a button on top.

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I keep imagining taking this to the beach with my sunglasses, bottle of water and sunscreen in it.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 10

If this wasn’t Oregon.  In April.  Maybe a snack instead?

What to do with those leftover pillowcases

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Last week we went over how to make a beautiful, personalized, one-of-a-kind pillowcase.  Remember?  Now you've got all those old pillowcases and nothing to do with them.  Not so!  Here's some ideas that might inspire you to not only use the ones you have lying around, but maybe seek out some cute vintage ones also. I hope you have one this perfect, because I sure don't.  It looks like it was meant to be a skirt:  Bella Dia

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A little girl's dress from Refashion . There is a very clear tutorial on the site. I think this could also work as a cute summer top or nightie for a bigger girl.  I'm afraid to try it for this adult, but if you do I will admire you completely. 

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Another little girl dress with tutorial from Jen Leheny .

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And if nothing inspires you yet, an entire book dedicated to the recycling of pillowcases:  Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase by Suzanne J. E. Tourtillott .

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One last piece of advice:  drool spots can be covered with applique.  Enough said.

Recycling Jeans Part II - The Purse

I was finishing up the skirt from yesterday, glanced at the remaining denim scraps, and they said "Purse." So I went and ate lunch, because if the fabric is talking to you it's time for a break. I wanted to keep the look of the jeans, so I decided to keep the shape of one leg and cut everything else to match that. You'll need two matching denim leg-bottoms and a piece of lining fabric cut double on the fold…

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Recycling Jeans Part 1 - The Skirt

The jeans I used for this project were passed down to me from my daughter. She was 14 at the time and I was pretty thrilled I could wear her jeans. They should probably have been placed in a shrine somewhere so I could look at them any time my confidence needed a boost but when I went to my closet to find a pair to turn into a skirt, they volunteered.

You will probably want to use a sewing machine for this , although if you don't have one it could be stitched by hand using some strong thread. I think my camera ate some of my photos, so there are portions of this that aren't as illustrated as I intended.

To get started, you'll need a pair of jeans. A little stretch is fine, but try not to go too stretchy. It will affect the shape of your skirt. Try the jeans on and decide how long you want your skirt. Add a few inches, about 4 to 6, and mark it. You can always shorten, but good luck making it longer. Cut off the legs parallel to the bottom hem.

Using a seam ripper or small, sharp scissors, rip out entire inner seam.

Now rip out the front center seam up to the bottom of the zipper.

Rip out the back seam up to a corresponding point to the bottom of the zipper. This isn't an exact science - you're looking for it to lay flat when you overlap the two sides. If it doesn't, go a little higher. It can always be stitched up later.

Find the widest side of the leg pieces you cut off in the first step. Most likely, it will be the back. Cut along just inside both seams so you end up with two raw edges.

Lay the skirt flat. Starting with the front, overlap one side over the other. Pin it together with safety pins. Repeat on the back. Slide one leg piece underneath the overlapped pieces. Pin this piece in place and try the skirt on. Make sure it hangs the way you want it to. If not, adjust overlaps and pieces until it does.

I like to use a product called Wonder Under to hold everything in place until I can sew it. Here's the company's website, with a little more detail: http://www.pellonideas.com/content/view/21/27/. There are other products that do the same thing, such as Heat 'N Bond and Steam-A-Seam, but they are all basically iron-on glue. You cut a strip of Wonder Under to fit inside where the stitching will be and following the instructions on the package, iron it in place. Trim the excess fabric from the leg piece at the bottom edge and inside.

Next you'll need to trim the bottom edge of your skirt evenly. Don't trim straight across. I made that mistake and the sides of the skirt looked longer than the front and back when I put it on. You'll want to trim in a slight curve up at each side.

Sew along the seams as shown. You can trim away the remaining excess fabric on the wrong side. Sew a row of stitching along the bottom edge, about 1/2 inch in. This will stop the fabric from unraveling too far.

Wash and dry your skirt. You can trim the unraveled edge to the amount of strings you want. I did a lot of trimming on this one because I wanted a more even look. You'll probably have to repeat the process the first few times its washed.

Finished! Tune in tomorrow for another project using the remaining leg fabric!