Christmas Challenge 2: October’s Recycled Thrift Store Dress!

Good morning!  Even though it’s a little late, I’m so excited for October’s Year Round Christmas project.  It is an embroidered Christmas pillow using a thrift store dress!  I love recycling clothing-especially when the fabric is soooo pretty!

I love all the snowflakes on the red corduroy dress

I found the thrift store dress at Christmastime last year, but since it wasn’t on my ‘to buy’ list, I waited to buy it. 

After Christmas, the thrift store reduced prices on its seasonal items- and the dress was still there!  I was so excited to get the pretty dress for $2-$3!  I just love the white and sliver snowflakes on the red corduroy fabric!

The dress sat while I decided on a project to make with it.  Thankfully, it sat out in the sewing room and not packed away with the Christmas things.  Every time I went in the sewing room, I was reminded to just try a project.

I love the look of redwork embroidery.  It was popular around the 1900’s, when colorfast red embroidery floss became available.   It is worked in a quick, easy stem stitch, so a redwork embroidery pillow framed with the thrift store red corduroy dress was the perfect, pretty but quick, Christmas project.

Enlarging the coloring page and taping the sheets together worked great- I could even add a snowman!

An enlarged, printable kids coloring page was the perfect winter scene- lots of snow and not too intricate for the embroidery. 

It would even look pretty without satin stitching, my least favorite stitch.  I have a hard time keeping the floss straight as I fill in areas with satin stitching.

 My white muslin fabric was thin enough to trace the coloring page picture, though I did use a pencil to trace the picture instead of searching for my fabric pencil.  The sharp regular pencil worked fine, though by the time I finished the pencil outline was fading and getting harder to see.

Actually finishing the embroidery took a few months, but I liked having something to do in the evenings when we were just relaxing. Maybe I’ll trace and embroider some redwork dishtowels- I can always use more dishtowels.

After the winter scene was finished, I framed it with 3 inches of the thrift store dress fabric on all sides. This made it large enough to cover my couch pillows. I am making only a Christmas pillowcase to use with my couch pillows, not a whole pillow-less to store away after Christmas!

Unfortunately, there was not enough dress fabric to cover the entire back of the pillowcase! Thankfully, I asked the middle kiddo about covering only 1/3 of the back with the dress fabric.

“Couldn’t you center the dress fabric? Then, it still might look nice if the pillow is backwards.”

Duh-all I could see was that I didn’t have enough dress fabric, it’s nice when someone else helps. I actually chose outgrown pajama pants (that already had a hem) for the overlapping opening and the rest of the pillow back.

Instead of buttons or zippers, the pillowcase fabrics overlap about 4-5 inches on the back. This gives an opening to insert the pillow, but the pillow won’t show because of the overlapping fabric.

I set the pillow back on the embroidered pillow front, with the right (pretty) sides together and sewed around all 4 sides of the pillow. I even used pins, so the fleece pajama fabric wouldn’t move around as I sewed! The back is in 2, overlapping pieces, so I could flip it inside out when I was done sewing.

Having the opening not centered, and off to the side made it easier to insert the pillow. I have different pillowcase coverings with the opening in the middle, they are much harder to put on.

I am so glad I finished a Christmas project with the thrift store dress. The red fabric with white and silver snowflakes is sooo pretty, I can’t wait for real snowflakes or Christmastime to use it!

Happy Camping (or waiting for snowflakes!!)

Frugal Campasaurus

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