Going Green with Up-Cycling

 

Up-cycled ladies blouse

Up-cycled ladies blouse

We are all becoming much more aware of the importance of re- and up- cycling. Our wardrobes are often over-full with clothes we hardly, or never, wear, but it is such a waste to throw them out. Often we love these unworn clothes, they have fond memories or we really love the fabric.  I have plenty of ideas on how to re-use all these fabrics and am offering classes on Going Green with Up-Cycling (see my new dates for the autumn).

Up-cycled duvet cover making a lovely summer dress.

Up-cycled duvet cover making a lovely summer dress.

So it is time to think big and find other uses for the hidden stash of fabric in our homes. This summer I have made a really cute sun dress for one of my granddaughters, who lives in Cambridge, using a blouse of mine that had lovely pintucks and full sleeves. The body of the blouse made the dress and the cuffs and sleeves made perfect pockets, add a bit of pretty bias binding and there you have it, a great dress and it only cost my time. The next project is a button-up-the-front skirt.  By coming to my classes, you too can learn how to make the most of fabrics you already have.

A single duvet cover provided enough fabric for 3 sun dresses.  Both sides were different so the dresses were a great contrast.  What lengths of fabric have you hiding in your linen cupboard that could be put to better use?

Skirt made from up-cycled duvet cover

Skirt made from up-cycled duvet cover

One of my daughters had a few circular skirts, which she was never going to wear again; they were a bit short. All they required was replacement of the elastic to make them smaller and they are now twirling around in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and my eldest granddaughter is delighted.

As my grandsons grow, getting a full long sleeved shirt out of Grandpa’s cast off shirts – all that is worn are the collars and cuffs – is proving more difficult, but short sleeved shirts can still be made using some of the sleeve fabric for the collar.

There are always pieces left over to make bunting, patchwork and other small projects. For applique work you always need a big stock of scraps to seek out the perfect piece.

Large T-shirts can be made into a child’s skirt; cut across under the arms and just make a channel for the elastic. It’s so easy. Sleeves can be made into baby’s leggings. Out of a large man’s t-shirt a smaller one can be cut.

T-shirt off cuts make a cute skirt

T-shirt off cuts make a cute skirt

Now you can let your imagination run riot. Maybe you will also be searching the rails in the charity shops in Hadleigh, Sudbury and Bury St. Edmunds. There are also great car boot sales all over Suffolk, including Needham Market, Stonham Barns and Woolpit.  I hope all of these ideas have stimulated your imagination and soon you will be going green with up-cycling!

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To book your place on one of the workboxes or for further information, please telephone: 07749 226299 or e-mail: spinneybrookworkbox@gmail.com