Sunday, August 22, 2010

More of my August Re-invention Challenge ideas...

You have been very quiet about the August Challenge, and perhaps that is because I have not encouraged you enough to participate. Could that be it?
I have finished 3 items so far from my 50c linen/cotton shirt, but let me tell you a secret.
This challenge wasn't just about recycling a piece of clothing. It was about taking me out of my comfort zone.
This is the shirt after I cut it up...
...notice the colour? Orange. 
I love to wear bright colours - hot pink, burnt orange, deep teal, sapphire blue - they are all *my* colours. They suit my skin colouring, but I don't particuarly like them in my home. I'm a white or pastel girl, with a bit of washed out blue and red (hence my love for French General fabrics) thrown in too. Those are the colours that come through in most of my designs, and through my house. 
But...back to that orange shirt. 
I wanted to force myself to see outside my colour comfort zone and create lovely things from a difficult beginning. 
I have already shown you the first two projects I made for the challenge - the orange cushion displaying a pretty stitchery I had in my UFO pile...
...and the pincushion/scissor-keep I made for my Christmas gifts box.
Now to number 3.
I began to get quite excited about orange when I finished those first two projects, so today I set aside some time to play some more - after all, I still had about 1/2 a shirt left!
An aspect of the challenge I hadn't thought of was, "do I have any suitable fabrics in my stash to use with the orange shirt?" Initially I thought no, but then I started digging around. That's when I realised the stitchery I'd done had lovely orange variegated thread in it, and the small pile of leftover 'Snippets' fabric also had some orange.
Today I found some more suitable fabric, this time from Amy Butler's "LOVE" range. It wasn't long before another pin cushion evolved in my mind (you can never have enough pin cushions!)
The only hand stitching I can do at the moment (as my hand recovers) is a slow backstitch, so I added the name of the floral fabric, LOVE (also the amazing feeling that swells in my heart every time I look at my sweet husband!).
It took me just an hour to design and sew this. 
So simple, but those colours and fabric really make a statement. I *love* it!
Do you think that over the next 9 days you can remake an old item and send me a photo? Let your imagination go wild and don't be afraid to use colours you normally avoid - you might be surprised at the outcome! :-)


  1. What a good idea Jenny- orange is a colour that is lovely really.Those of us who were young in the 70's had quite a lot of orange in our houses!I remember small orange tiles in the kitchen splashback(uggh). I guess I am far enough away from those days to give orange another try.Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for your post. I sent you an email with a link to my projects! I have been working on this challenge like crazy as you will see from my blog! I linked to you on my blog as well!

    Hope your hand is healing up well!
    carla louise

  3. I am glad for you that you are able
    to do some stitching again.

  4. You are doing really well at spreading your colourful wings. I have the plan for a project in my head, but am struggling for time. I'll try my best to have a project made by the end of the month as It's been something I have wanted to try for a little while.

  5. Jenny - you are doing so well considering your hand condition. Aaaaw I went so mushy when I read "also the amazing feeling that swells in my heart every time I look at my sweet husband!" mmm, no comment I can add to that - it is nice that this sort of feeling still exists - somewhere!!!
    I am with Judy - I remember my kitchen in the late 70's - apple green, buttercup yellow, chocolate brown and a few touches of orange - with a da Vinci Sunflowers poster to top it off - I thought it looked great - especaily for a rented place!

  6. Ah, Jenny, always an inspiration! To sew outside of MY color comfort zone, I have my daughter pick out the fabrics! Wish I was home and could embrace your challenge. I do upcycle old shirts to make my guidebook tote bags. Glad I save all the leftovers! Can't wait to get home and see what I can do with them! ~karen

  7. Hello!
    I've been reading your blog for some time - just LOVE looking at your beautiful stitcheries and projects. This post is no different even though you're featuring a new color palette (go big orange!).

    I was especially excited to see the little pin cushion/scissor holder you made with a touch of lace. I have been trying to think of a little project to make for a friend using a bit of tatting I made recently. She pieces and quilts by hand so this will be PERFECT!

    If you would like to see the lace, it is here:

    Now I just need to clear my sewing table of a couple WIPs and give it a go. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!

    :) Ann

  8. Absolutely amazing. with your bum hand .. You never cease to amaze me. Love orange and love the pieces..

  9. It's just gorgeous Jenny - I love orange, it's such a happy color! Love the stitching you added too.
    I don't think I'll be able to do this challenge - August is so full!

  10. I am just now discovering orange, too, Jenny. I just finished making an orange and turquoise quilt for my grandson and absolutely love it!

    Also, thanks for the link you left on my blog for Alice Springs Beanie Festival. Absolutely loved it. And yes, I can see I am going to have to make a few of those for the grandkids. So much fun!

  11. Ooh there's a lotta love going on at your place at the moment. ;o) Your cushions are beautiful. Your talent seems endless. I love seeing your latest creations. You're such an inspiration. :o)

  12. Lovely happy cushions..... Hugz

  13. Love your new little creation.....if I ever get this quilt done I'll be able to do something else.

  14. Hi Beige Club :-)
    You can send the photos to my email address.
    jennyofelefantz AT yahoo DOT com DOT au

  15. I love what you did with your orange shirt. The last pillow is my favorite. Someone reading my blog suggested yours to me. I just made a Miranda Day Bag from some of my mom's old clothes. If you want to see it go to I have quite a few more pieces of clothes to reinvent, should be fun. Janet


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