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There are so many incredible DIY craft tutorials out there to try – but how do we scratch that creative itch without compromising our earth-loving-ethics? That’s what the “Greening Martha” series is all about! I take some of the most lusted after Martha Stewart tutorials and give them an eco-friendly makeover, making you feel better about indulging your crafty cravings!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was high-time to get some seasonal tutorials going. This month I’m bringing you a DIY twist for dressing up your holiday table: the Eco-Chic Autumn Table Runner.
Designed after Martha’s “Festive Fall Felt Trivets“, my rendition of this uber cute seasonal decor utilizes leftover fabric scraps from sweatshirts and t-shirts instead of virgin materials. By using textiles that you already have lying about your home you can spice up your Thanksgiving spread without purchasing new fabric, which wastes valuable resources and pollutes the environment.
For an in-depth account of the full effects of the textile industry, read this report from the Indian Textile Journal, which documents each step of the fabric creation process and its impact on the planet.
So in the true spirit of the “Greening Martha” series, here’s a fun eco-friendly tutorial that will have you jumping for joy with your Thanksgiving table design, while feeling good about your conscious craft choices.
Eco Chic Autumn Table Runner
+ Various fabric scraps or used t-shirts, sweatshirt and other textiles
+ A sharp pair of fabric scissors
+ Fabric chalk, marker, pencil or crayon
+ A leaf (go get one from outside!)
+ A threaded sewing machine or old fashioned needle and thread
- Gather up your fabric, paying particular attention to the color scheme. Warm, earthy autumnal tones are best. Also try to find a variety of fabrics to create a more rustic look. Think cotton, knits, fleeces and other cozy textures.
- Grab your leaf and set it down on your first piece of fabric.
- Outline the leaf’s shape using fabric chalk, a marker, crayon, or anything else you may have lying around.
- Cutout your leaf outline – doubling the fabric if you want to be extra efficient.
- Trim up your leaf cutout to ensure it’s look even sharp.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with your other fabrics.
- Once all your leaf shaped are cut out, set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch pattern. If you’re stitching by hand – skip this step.
- One leaf at a time, stitch across the surface of the shape, lining up your next leaf just after you hit the edge. Alternate the orientations of the leaves with each new shape addition to ensure a more natural pattern.
And that’s it! In fifteen minutes or less you can have an eco-savvy, super chic table runner with which to adorn your Thanksgiving spread. It’s an easy, affordable, and of course, earth-friendly way to liven up your space without compromising your ethics.
Is there a sustainable how-to that’s caught your eyes for the holidays? If so – share the link in the comments below!
My obsession with sweatshirts continues with this new and uber-comfortable pullover design!
Handmade from pre-loved men’s tops, my new “Sweet Stitch” ladies fit sweaters have the cozy goodness of fleece with a cute cut that flatters and smooths. Including a subtle hi-low bottom hem, 3/4 length sleeves and a loose fit, these sweatshirts are trendy while retaining a classic winter chic.
Embellished with a hand-cut, hand-stenciled design that boasts fun geometric shapes, each top is also embroidered with a contrasting stitch, giving them a detailed charm. Great for wearing with jeans or dressing up with a tunic, leggings and boots, these sweatshirts make a great gift for any green gal this holiday season!
I love love love fall! The leaves are shifting hues, the air is crisp and cool and it’s the perfect time of year for layering up in cozy clothes! So when thinking of which design to feature this week, the choice seemed easy: My handmade No Sweat cowl tops! These uber comfy sweaters are upcycled from oversized sweatshirts – giving each piece a green spin and soft feel.
Mixing an edgy shape with the casual feel of cotton fleece makes each piece utilitarian yet comfy. And with the oversized turtleneck and lacy touch – it has just enough class to make it wearable to work! Great with skinny jeans and boots or a pencil skirt and leggings – this is one of my favorite designs for the season!
We’re getting more sweatshirt love!
My classic Pierogi Picnic design, “Sugar Free” was featured on the ultra sweet blog Sweet Sincerity in a spread on fashion pieces for fall. I love the collection as it brings together some adorable and whimsical pieces that really invoke the season. Check out the spread here and enjoy!
You know it’s truly autumn when all your cool weather items are the hit at every event and are being featured on blogs and treasuries. The latest (and I think greatest) of my designs is currently highlighted on the fantastic site “Handmade Men” which sets to bring the handmade lifestyle to online shoppers.
In a feature entitled “Hot Picks! Handmade Hoodies” they included my “Sir Cycle” upcycled cowl hoodie. This is a piece that I handcrafted for a customer’s boyfriend last winter, and it’s since become one of my all-time favorite designs. So I was thrilled that the creation made it into this style savvy site. Be sure to take some time to explore the entire site for more chic and casual handmade creations.
Spring is in full swing in Chicago – which can only mean one thing – nutty weather! That’s why having lots of layer-ables is key in the windy city this time of year. The Sir Cycle design was created with this kind of versatility in mind.
I crafted this particular men’s cut after receiving a convo from a Pierogi Picnic fan, asking if I had any hooded sweatshirts for guys, which I didn’t. She specifically wanted something that her boyfriend could wear while biking – which meant it would have to be comfortable, convertible and warm – all at once.
And that’s how the “Sir Cycle” design was born! With her help, I crafted a soft yet stretchy men’s piece that can be used with a hood, cowl, or none of the above when unbuttoned. It’s now one of my favorite pieces to custom create, and my own biking hubby can attest to it’s style and function.
This adorable blazer was handmade using an upcycled grey sweatshirt. I slimmed down the seams, shortened and reshaped the sleeves and transformed the front to have an adjustable collar.
The reason why I love it is two fold: The fabric is incredibly soft and feels great against the skin. I also love it’s versatility! Leave it buttoned for a classic blazer shape, or undue both of the top ones for more of a cardigan feel.
This unique piece is currently discounted as part of this week’s “Moving Sale.” Take an additional 30% off at checkout with the coupon code “movingsale2012.”