How to Use Fabric Scraps: The Hair Clip

Felted Wool Sweater Blue Heart Hair Clip/Pin

I go through a lot of felted sweaters. Like, A LOT. I scrounge for wool sweaters at the ARC or Goodwill at least once every week from September until March (which according to thrifts stores is sweater season). I felt and cut up sweaters once every month or so and organize all my pattern pieces so they are easy to grab and use. My goal at this point is to throw away as little of the sweater as possible, so I’ve had to get creative over the years.

Plaidypus felted wool coffee cup cozy in the making

I started by only using sweaters to cut out patterns for my Coffee Cup Cozies. But there were all these parts left over. I began using the sleeves to make scarves, which helped ease my guilt, but I still felt like I was wasting some good scraps. I started looking online for small accessories I could create, and realized that hair clips were a worthy investment.

I found inspiration for the pattern I eventually made on the internet and at home.
After searching the web I found a few tutorials and photos that I really liked and tried to figure out why I liked them. For example, Here’s one that I liked because of the layering effect they used.

I also had a few hair clips at home that friends and family had bought me over the years that added to my inspiration and designs. Inspiration really is everywhere. Plaidypus felted wool hair clip pinI knew I wanted layers and I knew I wanted buttons (because I like buttons on everything. Who doesn’t like buttons?) so I messed around until I made something I liked and then stuck with that and made a bunch more.

Because I was just using up scraps that I would have thrown away otherwise, I was keeping costs low and could therefore keep the price lower for customers. Also, I felt better about not throwing away so much good wool (because wool is getting harder and harder to come by as acrylic and acrylic blends take over the sweater market).

If you don’t use sweaters, you can still make hair clips or pins out of other scrap materials you have laying around. I also use a lot of t-shirts and end up with a lot of scraps from that and I’ve been thinking about making hair clips from those scraps as well. A lot of people have scraps from quilting or sewing projects, and those can be made into hair clips just as easily. Here’s a website with a bunch of great collection of hair bow ideas that you can make with your fabric, yarn, and ribbon scraps.

Scrap yarn crochet flower headband featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair bows featured on Plaidypus blogScrap fabric hair flower bow headband featured on Plaidypus blog

 

Bonus: Plaidypus pink and purple felted wool sweater hair clipHere’s one of the first hair clips I ever made combined with the moment I realized how difficult it was to take photos of myself with an SLR camera. At least my hair looked fabulous.

 

6 Books for Recycled/Upcycled Clothing and Accessory Patterns

Making your own clothing and accessories is fun. Well, I think it’s fun, at least. If you are like me, then you probably hunt the internet and bookstores for projects you can create using your old t-shirts or jeans.

They’re great not only for the patterns but for the inspiration you can find. Some of the things Plaidypus sells were based off things found in books like these or on websites (someone remind me to do a post on websites…) So here are some of my favorites. You can find them pretty easily on Amazon.com, but I linked them for your convenience.

1. Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

This is one of the first sewing books I bought. It looked like fun and I had a lot of old t-shirts and all the patterns looked really interesting. Still one of my favorites. You can freshen up old t-shirts or turn them into something completely different with the patterns in here, and they’re all pretty easy, too.

2. Generation T: Beyond Fashion: 120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt

I liked the first one so much, that when I saw they had just come out with a second book, I bought it immediately without even having to look inside. Was not disappointed. It’s more fun clothing and accessories.

3. Jean Therapy: Denim Deconstruction for the Conscientious Crafter

This one has some patterns as well as photos of more intricate ideas that they don’t give you instructions for but that might help inspire you to go further with the old denim. It’s nice because they tell you how many pairs of jeans probably go into the different patterns. I’ve used the patterns in this book directly, as well as tweaked the patterns for my own purposes.

4. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim

There are options for everyone in a book like this. With 99 patterns, you’re hard-pressed to not find something to your taste. I haven’t gotten to explore this one as much (hey, there are a lot of patterns to look at!) but from skimming through it looks pretty awesome.

5. The Sweater Chop Shop

I like to use wool. You see, you can felt wool and it doesn’t fray. And I like fabrics that don’t fray, so I use felted wool a lot. Wool sweaters are a great source of material, because you can find them in your local thrift store pretty easily (check the tags to make sure they’re at least 80% wool if you’re going to felt it).

6. Sweater Surgery

This one has more accessories whereas the Sweater Chop Shop has a lot of clothing that you can make. So if you want smaller things, this one might be your best bet. It’s got some cute clothing patterns and ideas in it, too, though.

 

How to Drink Coffee in Style: The Coffee Cup Cozy

How to Drink Coffee in Style: The Coffee Cup Cozy

I know, I know, it’s summer and no one wants to be drinking scalding coffee, right? I thought that, too, until I realized that most people who drink coffee keep drinking coffee, even in the heat! Something about caffeine addiction or something.

Anyway, if you drink hot coffee, and you don’t want to touch the hot cup (because, let’s face it, you’re already consuming the stuff, so you may as well not double up on the heat), then why not try a coffee cup cozy? The ones I create are made of felted wool sweaters (the ugly ones, not the nice ones) and a pretty, big button.

If you’re local to Fort Collins, you can find these babies at Wadoo (in old town). If you live anywhere else, then feel free to order one on my etsy site! I can even try to do custom colors (assuming I can find the sweaters).