Amy Butler Little Stitches for Little Ones Entry #18: Upcycling with Amy

Amy Butler Little Stitches for Little Ones Entry #18: Upcycling with Amy

Carrie McBride
Sep 30, 2008

Upcycling with Amy

Megan's project is like making lemonade from lemons. Small stains? Frou-frou embroidery? No problem! Megan used applique to upcycle her kids' clothes with these sweet results.

Explain how Amy Butler inspired this entry:
It's impossible to overstate how Amy and her fabric-genius contemporaries have inspired this and all my sewing projects. I'd given up on sewing several years ago because I was frustrated by the fabric choices that were available. Any project I attempted looked either silly or old fashioned. Amy's modern fabrics make everything I create look good, even when I've flubbed up in places.

How did you make your project and what items did you use?: I've made several things from scratch with Amy's fabrics, from curtains to toddler dresses to baby rompers. This "upcycling" project was something I'd had on my to-do list for a while, and Ohdeedoh's contest gave me the motivation to get it done. Among our friends, my husband and I are one of the last couples to have kids, so we often are the grateful beneficiaries of everyone's hand-me-down clothes. The clothes are super as they are, but I'm always thinking of ways I can tweak and personalize them to either bring them up to date or hide little stains (most of which my own children are responsible for creating). What I did here was to applique fun shapes onto the secondhand clothes, covering up mass-produced floral embroidery or the leftovers from last week's spaghetti dinner. I traced images onto interfacing, ironed the interfacing to the fabric, then cut along the lines. Then I ironed the shape onto the old clothes and zigzag stitched around the edges. I also added new cuffs to the purple "'S' is for Snake" dress and had planned to sew a ruffle underneath, but I didn't get that far. The figure on the back of the pink hoodie is of the Space Needle--perfect for our trip to Seattle next weekend. Anyhow, it's not the most complicated sewing project, but it's an easy way to extend the lives of old clothes. Two friends just had babies and I'm planning to do something similar with some (new) white onesies and hats.

Fabrics I used:

  • On the purple dress: wallflower on the cuffs and full moon polka dot on the snake and the "S" (color: cherry)
  • On the purple shirt: coriander on the pear (color: olive)
  • On the pink hoodie: martini on the Space Needle (color: yellow)

Sources for applique images:

  • For the giraffe:
  • For the Space Needle:
  • For the pear:
  • The snake and the letter "S" were my own.

Where I shopped:

  • The Quilting Bee (in Spokane Valley, Wash.)

More Little Stitches for Little Ones: Link to All Entries

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt