Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

#Stitching Santa Update – Upcycled Cross Stitch


A couple of weeks ago I rescued this beautiful cross stitch from our local charity shop. It was mounted and framed but needed reinventing into something more usable in today’s modern life and was far too wonderful to leave there.

Only measuring a modest 5″ x 7″, I ummed and aahed about what to do with it for a while, having some brilliant suggestions on Instagram.

Ultimately, this is for one of my Stitching Santa recipients (I’m doing both sewing and yarny versions) so I wanted to make it a useful object. This lady is multi-talented across many craft disciplines, as are so many of my blogging pals, and she dabbles in cross stitch herself so I thought this would be perfect for her.

I decided to make a zipped pouch, about the size of a cosmetic bag, which could have a variety of different uses. Maybe for a portable cross stitch project, a small crochet or knitting project, or maybe as an actual cosmetic bag – it is rather swanky, after all!

So here’s a quick run-through of what I did, which might be informative if you have a similar piece of needlework that needs reinventing.

It had been spray-mounted to card and well laced across the back, so all that had to be undone. I then gave it a little steam press.

After trimming the needlework to a useable size, I used it as a template to cut two lining pieces and a back.

Iron-on interfacing was attached to the reverse of the front and back sections to stabilise the bag.

I used the covered tab method for the zip to give as neat a finish as possible (there are plenty of tutorials online on how to do this).

The zipper tabs should be about 1/4″ shorter than the width of the bag to ensure that they don’t get caught in the seam allowance when the bag is stitched together.

After inserting the zip, I topstitched close to the seam through the lining as well. This means that the fabric won’t get stuck in the zip when opening and closing.

OPEN the zip.

With lining-to-lining and front-to-back (right sides together) stitch all the way around, leaving a gap in the lining through which to turn.

Be sure not to catch the tabs in the seam as you sew.

Trim the tabs to reduce bulk.

Cut across all the corners before turning the right way out.

Close the gap in the lining either by hand or machine.

I added a coordinating leather tassel from my supplies.

The sequinned fabric is a small piece cut from a length of fabric that will become a dress later in the week. It adds a touch of glamour.

Some matching blue lining is a nice vibrant surprise when you look inside.

I hope she likes it!

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

44 thoughts on “#Stitching Santa Update – Upcycled Cross Stitch

  1. That’s so clever – it’s turned out really well. I must try using zipper tabs when I next make zipped purses. It gives a much neater finish and makes sewing up easier without the zip in the way at the edge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t bother making zipper tabs on purses as they’re so small, but it’s definitely worth it on anything larger. Smarter, not to mention easier to sew at the zip ends.


  2. Truly Gorgeous! and a great tutorial as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Noddfacrafts and commented:
    I had to share this because all those un-loved needleworks in charity shops make me so sad. What a lovely way of re purposing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this… it’s pretty and functional.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is amazing… It looks great and it’s so cool that it’s now a useable item of beauty

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My goodness – who wouldn’t like it!! What a clever idea to come up with – we’ll all be looking at bits of unloved stitchery with new eyes from now on! Lucky recipient!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s gorgeous! It’s such a pretty cross-stitch design, well done for rescuing and rehoming it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ooh….the recipient is going to love this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun idea! My mom used to cross stitch a ton – I should ask her for some of her old pieces to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is stunning. 🙂 Just the thing one would need to pop your phone in when you want to be really glamorous. I am sure the lucky partner is going to love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Isn’this gorgeous, she is going to adore it, and the lady who first stitched it would be so very happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What a great idea – well done! At least yours was a whole picture, finished and now made into something useful – and I love the sparkly back to it. I hate seeing those half done projects in charity shops, you know, the pack of tangled threads, the half stitched picture, usually the aida or embroidery fabric has a stain or a fold that looks like it will never iron out. I know some shops won’t display such half done items but many still do and I think it takes a very special person to think they can rescue those.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I must say you are one of my go to inspirations, always so creative and such a busy bee. I am in awe!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a clever idea and beautifully made 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just gorgeous! (I’m hoping – along with everyone else on the list – that you might be my secret partner 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This looks wonderful. What a genius way to reuse something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So pretty! A fabulous idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think you have been turning straw into gold!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sheila, what a charming way to reuse this beautiful embroidery. It’s pretty and practical and I’m sure she’ll love it. I know I would. Also, I’ve never seen that method for adding a zip. What a great technique!


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