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Recycling clothing — The Grow Network Community
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Recycling clothing

RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 959 ✭✭✭✭✭

Here's a group of ideas for refreshing your closet by recycling unwanted clothing.

I've got some sweatshirts that I want to upcycle to wear to work. Lace patches, easy emroidery.


  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,245 admin

    What a great idea for projects while I am waiting for better weather.

    I go to ther goodwill store on Sunday or Monday when many of ther coting items are 79 cents. I'll look with ther thoguht that something there might add to a new creation of what I have at home.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    It’s been a goal of mine for a year now to reinvent clothes I have and love the fabric or pattern to something that suits my personality. I bought a sewing machine and set up space in my guest room and that’s as far i as got! Lol

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    All of my t-shirts are toast. I need to go to a second hand store very soon, but with our tight restrictions, things get very weird & awkward here.

    My daughter that is still at home has been using used sheets that are still in good shape, unstained, to sew basic Mennonite style dresses for her little sister (so cute!). She plans on making some for her too. I am starting to think that maybe I should go that route too...but I do like my pants, especially through the winter!

    One thing, however, it is very inexpensive. It is also very sustainable. She can do it herself and all she needs is cloth, thread & sewing machine and a zipper. She has pieced dresses together too, which look odd, but nobody at home or in the pasture cares! It's not like we really go anywhere anymore.

    I will be checking out the link above to see what ideas it can give me as our clothing choices in house shrink.

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 959 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Have your daughter take a look at curtain fabric. (That scene in Gone with the Wind actually does happen, frequently.) That will work also. The heavier jacquards that don't have a funky backing on them can work really nice for special dresses. Or check the plus size clothing that might be able to be deconstructed and reused.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl Thanks for the tips. I will pass those on.

  • I love the idea of getting larger clothing to reconstruct for my own! My mom, and hers, made their pocket money by sewing for people when I was a kid.

    I've mostly done decorative sewing, but am branching out. I love the old textiles that can be found at thrift stores sometimes.

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,245 admin

    A lady was getting ready to move here and getting rid of everything. Moving to California from Pa meant it was easier to downsize and move it to someone else.

    Her clothing was beautiful, most with price tags still on, but very large.

    I took it all (free) and we remade everything by just downsizing it or turning shirts into dresses.

    Clothing is one of the biggest material items thrown away in dump sites, to repurpose it is a blessing in many ways

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,245 admin
  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    I am proud. 😄

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭

    So glad that so many are finding awesome ways to reuse fabric in clothing. I saw a list one time on things that folks never threw out a long time ago and one of the items was fabric - it got repurposed and reused again and again.

    I am reading One the Banks of Plum Creek (book 4 in the Little House series) and Ma just got done making curtains for their home from an old ripped sheet and trimming them with calico from an old dress.

    A while back I repurposed the curtain fabric from the bedroom into a pinafore that I wear as part of my living history costume. I love wearing it.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,092 admin

    Old sheets make great curtains!

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @monica197 I think our ancestors would be horrified to think we threw out textiles. One of my little "what if" games that I've been playing lately is mentally repurposing the fabric from garments when I'm hanging the laundry. My granddaughter has quite an extensive imaginary wardrobe!

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 959 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's a couple of other links I found for upcycling in general.

    This is currently the top 40 refashion blogs listed in one place.

    Just one more.

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 337 ✭✭✭

    New fabric is expensive. I save fabric and use it for sewing projects. Sheets make great liners for reusable bags. I also like repurposing clothes - old t-shirts make great yarn for fun projects!

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭

    That is a great idea @stephanie447 - that liner would give it some extra body.

    I tend to a a lot of sheets that I cycle through due to my profession and I have been crocheting them into bathmats/doorway rugs. I have found that 1 single sheet makes a perfect sized mat/rug for that area!

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,245 admin

    @monica197 I love crocheted rugs! They last forever.

  • TaveTave Moderator In the AndesPosts: 680 admin

    Used sheets that are still in good shape make great fabric and so much cheaper than buying it new. I can't believe the price of fabric. It used to be cheaper to make your own clothes, not anymore.

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 337 ✭✭✭

    Yeah, I don't get that. People who don't sew don't understand why I don't want to throw out any fabric from old clothes or sheets - all of that to me is a gold mine in potential patchwork or other projects.

  • WendyWendy Posts: 132 ✭✭✭

    Baby clothes were in abundance here a few years ago. My twin granddaughters outgrew things so quickly. Their onsies and tee shirts even had some minor stains on them. Not being sure what else to do with tee-shirt material in such a small size, my daughter and I cut them into squares for reusable hankies and quick wipes. The grandchildren use them for toilet paper while potty training.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 635 ✭✭✭✭

    My great-grandmother made me a beautiful patchwork quilt when I was little. I loved that thing to bits as it was made of my old clothes. Unfortunately, I contracted scarlet fever and it had to be burned. :(

    I think about that quilt as the years roll by and the grand babies start popping in. Wish she was around to teach me how to make them.

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 393 ✭✭✭

    When my kids were in drama, I would haunt the thrift stores the clothes to make costumes for the plays. Loved doing that.

  • Gail HGail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    I just finished hemming my second handkerchief made from an old cotton slip. I'm enjoying repurposing the fabric.

  • tilathehunntilathehunn Posts: 156 ✭✭✭

    By the time we are ready to repurpose old sheets...they are ready to become drop cloths. What about the microfiber sheets that are so popular?

  • flowerpower *flowerpower * Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle, West Plains, Missouri I agree about the quality fabrics at the thrift stores. I like the 100% cotton printed shirts and the heavy linen or cotton table cloths.

    Actually, a cotton shirt with rolled up arms and a camisole or comfy undershirt is a good substitute for a T-shirt, I think.

    Partly because of hanging out at home and not wanting to put up with the thrift store "safety" measures, I have taken up mending more items. I will hand stitch items when I am on the phone chatting. I also use various fusible backings to mend items. When I am done with an item I often tear it up in rags to use for cleaning.

    Anyone remember the braided rag rugs? I would not mind making some fabric rugs, especially from cotton and other natural fibres.

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,245 admin

    I love the old braided rugs. They last so long and clean easy. Its a great project for evening. And if you use old clothing that was as favorite of a family members it has more meaning

  • SuperCSuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 369 ✭✭✭

    Sewing t-shirt sleeves as extensions onto work pants. Fabric fun! Lovely times

  • ParadoxParadox Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    I've repurposed old t-shirts previously to make children's underwear.

  • BrindyBrindy Posts: 168 ✭✭✭

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing.

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