A collection of easy sewing projects for thrifty moms.
Here’s a small collection of thrifty sewing crafts for moms who like to get crafty by recycling and upcycling their scrappy odds and ends: bibs, rag dolls, toilet roll play set, homemade cards.
Bib Shortage + Pile of Old Shirts = Upcycled Bib Project
For the patterns, I traced a couple of bibs that we already had, adding 1/4 inch seam allowance. I also sandwiched a slightly smaller piece of terry cloth (from an old towel) in between front fabric and back fabrics to give these bibs more “body” and absorbency.
Sew them up, and attach some velcro and ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing. The Hooligans love that they recognize the fabric as pieces of clothing that my family has worn. The best bibs ever though, come from the legs of old jeans. Just rip or cut the leg open. Don’t worry if you get the seam across the middle of your bib. It’s a bib – no biggie. If it really bothers you, you can top-stitch a piece of contrasting fabric over the seam. They’re so durable and they don’t stain easily. I use a tee-shirt or some flannel to back the denim ones, and no need to use terry cloth; the denim makes them nice and sturdy.
Homemade rag dolls:
Black Apple Dolls
Aren’t these the sweetest? I found loads of patterns for Black Apple Dolls online. Most called for short hair, cut out of felt, but that seemed too fiddly for me, so I went with wool. All the fabric was scrap stuff from our fabric bin. I drew their faces on with Sharpies (thank you, Joanne Allair for making me aware of how essential a set of Sharpies is in life). These dolls have an awake face on one side and a sleeping face on the other.
Toilet roll nativity:
Toilet Roll Nativity Sets
Get all the details here. These were quite possibly the cutest things (well, maybe after the Black Apple Dolls lol) that I’ve ever made for the Hooligans. I made a set for each of them last Christmas. Every set had the same cast of characters (Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Angel, a Wise Man & a Shepherd), but I used different fabrics and embellishments so each set was unique.
Cut your toilet roll tubes to the size that you want (I made some characters taller than others). Wrap them in fabric, secure with hot glue, and decorate with wool, buttons, jewels, beads etc. The manger was a toilet roll cut in half long-ways. For the stable, I decorated shoe-boxes with scrap-book paper. At the end of the day, all the characters get packed away in the shoe box.
Sewing with Paper
I was so excited when I learned that you can use your sewing machine to sew paper! The possibilities are endless! Here’s a Valentine’s Card that I made for my honey.
This is such a quick and easy way to make a card! I had a package of blank cards from Michael’s, but you could just use cardstock. Cut hearts or whatever shapes you want, out of cardstock, and fold them in half to crease them. Then just lay them out on your card and stitch through from top to bottom. Secure stitches back-stitching like you would with fabric.