Sewing for the home

Sewing non-garment items didn’t really appeal to me when I rekindled my hobby, but I’ve recently found it quite enjoyable and a great way to use up those awkward scraps left over from other projects. There are a few other bonuses: quick gratification, no chance it won’t fit, great to make gifts, a way to use fun prints without worrying about wearability. Here are a few things I’ve made recently.

Make-up bag

A handy make-up bag using a fat quarter of Birch cotton and lined with a scrap of chambray. I used Flossie Teacakes’ tutorial, adding a boxed bottom by stitching across the corners so it sits up nicely. I used this over Christmas as it fits my essentials in perfectly. I especially like the sturdiness given by interfacing the fabric and the pro finish the bound zip ends provide. I’d like to make one in a laminated/oilcloth fabric for taking larger toiletries in too.

Ironing board cover

A much-needed new ironing board cover. Our old one was very sad and stained, so I removed it and used it as template to trace this new one. I overlocked the raw edge and folded it in 1cm to make a channel, through which I threaded thin elastic to keep it taut. Really easy! The fabric’s been in my stash for ages – I bought it in Tokyo in 2009 – so it was good to use it for something where I’ll see it often. The printed lines also come in handy as a guide for pressing up hems. I find ironing a real chore, even for sewing, so this might encourage me to do it with a bit more enthusiasm.

DIY footstool

A footstool/pouffe for our living room. I’m pretty proud of this – would you believe it’s upcycled from a stained old double duvet that I didn’t know how else to get rid of? It’s just rolled up into a sausage shape, padded out with quilt batting, covered in a jersey knit ‘skin’ and finally a cute quilting cotton cover.

DIY footstool

I added a couple of handles to the top for easy moving around, and a pocket to the side for the remote control.

DIY footstool

Considering how it was nearly free and I totally winged the construction I’m pretty pleased with it, as is Small Cat who immediately claimed it for her own. (You just know that if I actually bothered to make her a bed, she wouldn’t go near it.)


I’ve got plenty more ideas and tutorials saved on my Destash ideas Pinterest board. Next I’d like to make myself a new shoulder bag with canvas and pleather, and some handy fabric buckets to store my knitting projects. Anyone else enjoy making non-garment projects from time to time?

18 thoughts on “Sewing for the home

  1. AvatarMel @ Subversive Reader

    I love the footstool . . . I have an old quilt (duvet) sitting in my craft room right now . . . :)

    I went on a bag craze at Christmas time, big totes, little totes, zippered pouches, side ways totes, weird but functional gift bags. I’m thinking about making some more to practice some skills – I think I could learn to do welt pockets on the inside of a tote :)

  2. Avatarsewlittletime

    awesome ideas! how great is the the striped ironing board cover? how fab to get your hems pinned up neatly without a seam guide! and the footstool is genius. i need to make one of those!

  3. AvatarAnnie

    the pouffe is awesome – what a great way to use up unwanted stuff! Unfortunately for my boyf, I’m a serial cushion maker. Might need to branch out a bit more :)

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Oh god, me too. I had to have a cushion amnesty and chuck half away just so we could actually sit on the sofa again.

  4. Avatarcrab&bee

    The pouffe is so cool! I always feel awkward buying filling, especially when I look at my scraps bin. Maybe I’ll follow your lead and make one of these out of them!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Yeah and storing it is such a pain, isn’t it? I tend to use whatever I have to hand instead! Shredded scraps, tights, yarn, etc etc.

  5. AvatarFabric Tragic

    They’re great little makes! My cat would also shun something specifically made for her! I’ve got a little zip up bag that I take my knitting project everywhere in – it’s purchased, but I use it so much I think I’ll make another for my 2nd and (cough) 3rd WIP’s….. Bunting for gifts is another great scrap buster.

  6. AvatarKathryn

    Wow that is some pouffe, I love it! I’ve just made one too but now I’m tempted to make another! Great idea with the lines on the ironing board cover – that would be such a help to make straight hems!

  7. Avataremily marie

    Nice work! I love making things that are really utilitarian, and using recycled materials definitely ups it a notch. The fabric you used for the ironing board cover is perfect, I love having nice straight stripes on my board to help with pressing.

  8. AvatarGinger

    Ooh, these are all so lovely! I’ve never been able to motivate myself to sew for my apartment (although I lucked out a few years ago as my sister sewed me a shedload of curtains right before I learned how to sew), but I love all of these makes! I particularly like the ironing board cover– I really need one. You’ve motivated me to dig through my stash and see if I have anything suitable!

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