SUNDAY SEWING with Janome: an eco friendly upcycling project

Well our May long weekend is turning out to be rather grey and wet – well at least here in Vancouver, BC it is. But the silver lining to those clouds is that it is the perfect time to sew!

Today I am sewing on the Janome Sewist 740. Why? Well because hubby wants me to spend time with him instead of tucked away in my sewing room so we are watching TV and I have this smaller Janome model on my lap!  Laptop sewing…..I have a wonderful sturdy pressing board which I use to sit the machine on and then I have that board on my lap. It works rather well. I think the Continental M7 might have been a big heavy to do laptop sewing?!

I have been pretty impressed by the Janome Sewist 740DC. I currently have this machine at home as we have been filming videos for our NEW You Tube channel (called Janome Life). This Sewist 740DC has some great features, sews beautifully (as do all our Janomes) and is lightweight.  You might want to check out the links to our website for more information about this computerized model or the videos we have published on our new You Tube channel. More videos are coming soon.

What is on the Sunday Sewing menu? I have been thinking about being more eco friendly and saw some pins on Pinterest where people are making make -up remover pads from flannel and soft cotton. I cut up an old hand towel which was super soft as well as some flannel fabric I had and then serged a 3 thread hem on all 4 sides of my little squares using the Janome Four DLB serger.  I used a 3 thread serge stitch so that there was not a thick ridge around the edge but I did shorten the stitch length a little so that the edges were well covered. I left the terry toweling as a single layer but doubled the flannel as it was a bit thinner. Nothing fancy but it will get the job of face cleaning done; and I will not be sending both store bought disposable make up remover pads to the land fill, nor will that old towel end up there too. Win, win.

And please note that there are videos on the Four DLB serger on our new You Tube channel  as well.

I then remembered I had a UFO bag somewhere with larger terry towel cloths cut from a robe I had some years back and which I no longer wanted to use after I got my fabulous minkee robe.  I opened that up and decided today was the day to finish that UFO!

I had already cut and joined strips of BIAS tape approx 2 inches wide in a purple 100% cotton fabric. These needed to be bias stips as the terry cloths I cut have curved corners. Next up was to pin this bias tape right side to the BACK of the terry cloth – just like you would with quilt binding. I used wonder clips but pins would work too.
Sew all the way around with approx. 1/4 inch seam leaving tails to join the binding – again just like you would with your quilts – only this is on a much smaller scale.

Once the binding was attached and joined, I turned the binding to the front and pinned in place with my wonder clips. As the binding is cut on the bias it should lay nice & flat around the corner curves.
Notice the crease in the towelling? Gives you some idea of how long this has been languishing in a UFO bag!

Next up was to sew all around the wash cloth. I could have used a straight stitch but I thought a zig-zag stitch would be better to hold those layers together around the edge – as the wash cloth will be used and washed frequently. I guess a triple straight stitch would have also worked.Voila! I now have 5 new wash cloths ready to use. The terry towelling is lovely and soft as it was upcycled from a robe that had been used and washed often. Bleaching during laundering of my new wash cloths will not be an option as the purple binding will lose its colour. However, bleaching is probably not a good idea anyway as it is not kind to fabrics……and probably not very eco friendly either.

Pretty sure these won’t end up at my kitchen sink – they have already found a spot in my bathroom cabinet.  Can’t wait to test drive these! And more silver linings to the clouds: another UFO  became an FO! And my tray of wonder clips grew in size – I had completely forgotten that so many of my clips were tucked away on this UFO. They are now back in circulation. Yay!  And yay to a bit less going to the landfill.

What is under your needle today?

Are you having fun creating a new project?

Or are you, like me, at last getting UFO’s completed? 


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3 Responses to SUNDAY SEWING with Janome: an eco friendly upcycling project

  1. Annette Schultz says:

    Working on a gift for my daughter. Just a little wall hanging. I have also been working on a few UFO’s over the last weeks. A good feeling to do both.
    Great ideas, thanks Liz.
    Reusable make up pads where stocking stuffers last Christmas, great to have on hand.
    In stitches


  2. Mary Frances Ballard says:

    I love these ideas. I had made some flannel make up remover pads because the “cotton” disposables were leaving fuzz on my face. When I have used several, I wash and dry them in the machines in a mesh bag. Once you make the switch to these reusables, there is no going back!


    • lizafrica says:

      Excellent, Mary. Good tip to put them in a mesh bag in the washing machine. I was hoping it was not going to be too tedious to hand wash them and have them drying all over my vanity. Your idea is better – thanks for the tip.



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