Saturday, 28 April 2018

Upcycled 70s Rag Doll Poses in Peacock Chair


upcycled 70s rag doll by karen vallerius

Currently undergoing a massive sort out of various sewing projects from the past few years, I realised I had never posted photos of this 70s inspired doll stitched way back in 2015.  All her components are upcycled - her body and head are cut from a tablecloth; her shirred smock style blouse is made from a scarf; denim scraps for jeans (obviously!) and felt scraps for her waistcoat and shoes.

upcycled 70s rag doll by karen vallerius

Her face is styled in a similar way to the faces of 1930s dolls with a sideways gaze.  She even has a little beaded choker necklace, essential back in the day.  Of course she is resting nonchalantly in a peacock chair (which I bought years ago in readiness for doll making, that's when you know you have a clutter problem, when you start buying stuff for DOLLS!!)

Sad to say, her feet were a little bit too heavy and I also adapted the head and body proportions for later dolls (one of whom to my shame remains sitting in her underwear as I still haven't stitched her clothing).  My earlier post about designing dolls is here.

70s style rag doll in peacock chair by karen vallerius


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Monday, 9 April 2018

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion - Stashbusting and Upcycling in One Project

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Stashbusting and Upcycling Pillow Project


I needed to make a cushion to go on top of an old metal trunk so that my little dog had a new place to rest.  I gathered together some fabric scraps (above, the only "new" textile is the tape measure fat quarter), some old T shirts, 2 old flannel pillow cases and a check shirt of my hubby.

Recycled Check Shirt


Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

The shirt was perfect for the backing so I simply pieced sections together to create the right size, keeping the original button front so that I did not need to recreate an opening for the pillow.

Rag Quilt Layers for Strippy Quilt


Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Now I am not the most precise crafter as you will see from the strips cut above.  I figured as this was to be a rag quilt (the type of quilt with fluffy ragged edges), it would be OK if the fabric strips were more or less the same size.

I layered 3 textile pieces for each strip - a piece of flannel pillowcase on the bottom, then a strip cut from a cotton T shirt, then a cotton on the top.  I joined the strips wrong sides together so that the raw cut edges formed ruffles on the top of the cushion piece.

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

 I then stitched the cushion top and checked backing together and turned right side out.

Let's get snipping ....


Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Somewhere in the stash of textile crafting supplies I had bought a Rag Quilt Snip by Fiskars.  These were amazing!  Definitely recommend if you are making a rag quilt.  It made snipping the edges really easy. 

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Washing and hoping


Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

I washed the cushion cover but did not tumble it dry, I just gave it a good shake out once it was out of the washer.  I was really pleased how the edges became fluffy and textured.

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Seal of approval


Rag Quilt Pillow Cushion by Karen Vallerius

Finally, my little dog has given his seal of approval to his new bed (he has one if nearly every room of course ....) x
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