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Clothing Recycling
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Thread: Recycling

  1. #1

    Recycling

    My friends know me for piecing together things to make clothes that I like. Especially in lengths that I like. I have a preference for long full skirts but haven't been abke to wear them for years due to life circumstances. But life has changed. More recently I've been using the yoke of pants that I like and attaching skirts of different styles. And there are plans for making a few pairs of long, full split skirts.
    So far I have a lovely yellow cotton gauze skirt with a dark brown yoke. A green swirl skirt with a brown yoke. And a pure work skirt that is strips from the pants legs sewn together to make a full skirt attached to a black yoke. Oh, and a denim yoke with one tier of what will be two to make a pair of split pants.
    Anyways, one of the "background" ideas has been to make tiered skirts using squares of material from old shirts. Mainly knit.
    A few months ago I discovered square quilt rulers and my life became simpler. Today I decided it was time to take care of the three bags of stuff that was waiting. So now I have one bag of trash and one bag of nicely cut knit squares. Along with some of the knit from necklines and sleeves. And there's a tote of material hiding in my son's closet to add to today's harvest.
    Now, even if these don't make it to skirts, I have uses for each size for household things. But I'm looking forward to a few new skirts as well. And I've got a few pieces for swirl skirts to get cut from some denim curtains.
    The one fabric I'm wondering about is the stuff from the under armour shirts that my son outgrew. I have a feeling that as a full skirt it will be pretty shapeless. But it may make a comfy house/garden skirt. Or split pants.
    So does anyone else do stuff like this?
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West central Georgia
    Posts
    17,575
    Those skirts sound really cool!! I'd love to do that. The closest thing I've done to that is many years ago when I cut off bottoms of t-shirts (under the arm) and sewed them onto the hem of other t-shirts for my girls.
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  3. #3
    Loose denim dresses for women can make good bib aprons. Just a bit of cutting. Most of the sewing is already done for you.

  4. #4
    I remember seeing patterns years ago for making blue jeans into skirts (in fact they were the "in" thing when I was an older teenager in college).

    I find using modern industry produced fabrics (like t-shirts) to be really iffy to reuse in craft projects because they stretch and get holes in them so easily (but then we do have cats).

    But I am thinking of cutting up some of my really old (25 years plus) flannel and cotton shirts (mostly intended for men so a higher quality of fabric - it pains me to say that but it is true of most modern Western commercial clothing) and using them for very simply patchwork or quilting (of which I have done almost none in my life so it will be a new experience).

    I really like the look of patchwork especially for skirts and tops, so we shall see; I've got a number of other projects first although bagging up the actual fabric that needs to go the recycle center needs to happen pretty soon.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  5. #5
    The quilt squares help a lot. Since I'm a large woman, I plan on using the 12" and 9" squares for me. The 6" and 4" will be for smaller friends and a few household things.
    I've seen the adapted blue jean skirts but every pattern results in a pretty narrow skirt. I really don't like skirts that limit my movement. And since I garden and do lots of other things that require movement. I tend to stick to circle or 3/4 circle sizes.
    I like the idea of flannel. Especially for winter. We just don't wear a lot of it so I don't have any to cut up. Although I may splurge when there's a good sale. I'm already looking for a sale to get pieces of fleece to make a skirt or two. I've become sensitive to cold the last few years. I do some flannel from sheets that might work.,
    The bonus to this material is that if it survived my son and I until now, it's pretty sturdy. And I cut around any bad spots. One thing I miss from my college years is the thrift store that would let you dig through the pile of "not resellable" materials for $5/garbage bag. Old clothes, table clothes, curtains, etc. I didn't appreciate it near as much then as I would now.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    The best cottons for patchwork (lap quits & comforters) I've found, cheap, is to get men's plaid shirts from the Goodwill - watch for the half-price days, or color-coded tag sales. It's amazing how many varieties of blue plaid, or tan stripe, or navy and red check, for example, can be found. Cutting off the button placket (spelling?) and sleeve cuffs, and collar, leaves a very good amount of plain fabric to cut into squares. I am so "Scotch" as my grandma would say, I can't throw away the buttons from them. Jars of buttons waiting to be needed But the shirts also make great recycled tote bags for grocery shopping, I keep a few in the car so I can avoid the plastic bags.
    The skirts sound lovely, what fun to design and wear them!

  7. #7
    I can't find the image of the green swirl but these are the other two. The stripe one is a most comfortable work skirt.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,940
    Kyrsyan, Try looking at thrift stores and yard sales for decent fabrics to reuse for tiny money. There might be a thin spot in an elbow but the biggest parts, ( backs and fronts) and upper arms are still good. I laundered them and cut them apart or desewed them while watching TV of an evening. I used these pieces with patterns I like to cut out clothing pieces for new outfits.

    Quilt squares can be cut from found clothing as well. You have preshrunk fabric to make new and wonderful things. I used to make newspaper patterns of a piece of clothing that I liked but was getting a little too small for my babies. I would find some nice clothes at yard sales and make something all new. Dresses with full skirts were my favorites. Lots of yardage. Of course, shirtwaist dresses are only now coming back into fashion so not too many of them in the used market

  9. #9
    I comb the local thrift for linen and silk. A bit still comes in. Mostly that store is now synthetic blend knit cast-offs, so the haul has been getting smaller by the years. Synthetic blend t-shirts are icky to wear and hold BO.

    I really need to get a sewing machine, because my clothing gets torn up pretty quickly with the dogs and livestock. I've hand sewn entire wardrobes, but too time consuming, and the clothing from that end up a bit too good for day to day goat milking, and gardening.

    Last time I purchased a sewing machine from the thrift, I had to return it. Could NOT get it to work. I'm not picky - just give me a decent straight stitch on standard cottons/wools, and good tension. I'll do the button holes by hand, and hate zig zag finishes, so I don't use that either. Been around a few sewing machines - those were the ONE thing my mother splurged on, and I told her the ONLY thing of hers I wanted was the Singer machine from the 50's (it was well cared for, and had all the accessories). Unfortunately, all the machines and sergers were gone when my brother and I went to clean out the house after her death.

    Knitting bags are a "thing" on Etsy, and even You Tube. I haven't done any, but they look like an easy way to recycle creatively, and possibly earn some extra money.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    16,291
    Quote Originally Posted by kyrsyan View Post
    My friends know me for piecing together things to make clothes that I like. Especially in lengths that I like. I have a preference for long full skirts but haven't been abke to wear them for years due to life circumstances. But life has changed. More recently I've been using the yoke of pants that I like and attaching skirts of different styles. And there are plans for making a few pairs of long, full split skirts.
    So far I have a lovely yellow cotton gauze skirt with a dark brown yoke. A green swirl skirt with a brown yoke. And a pure work skirt that is strips from the pants legs sewn together to make a full skirt attached to a black yoke. Oh, and a denim yoke with one tier of what will be two to make a pair of split pants.
    Anyways, one of the "background" ideas has been to make tiered skirts using squares of material from old shirts. Mainly knit.
    A few months ago I discovered square quilt rulers and my life became simpler. Today I decided it was time to take care of the three bags of stuff that was waiting. So now I have one bag of trash and one bag of nicely cut knit squares. Along with some of the knit from necklines and sleeves. And there's a tote of material hiding in my son's closet to add to today's harvest.
    Now, even if these don't make it to skirts, I have uses for each size for household things. But I'm looking forward to a few new skirts as well. And I've got a few pieces for swirl skirts to get cut from some denim curtains.
    The one fabric I'm wondering about is the stuff from the under armour shirts that my son outgrew. I have a feeling that as a full skirt it will be pretty shapeless. But it may make a comfy house/garden skirt. Or split pants.
    So does anyone else do stuff like this?
    All the time Kyrsyan. I go to the local Salvation Army stores every few weeks and just look for things I might use to make something new or alter in some way. It's like a game for me and some of my favorite clothes were born this way. A few years ago I had a friend visiting that I don't see for years at a time and showed her the skirt I had just altered. It was a long A line in white and gray with small splashes of yellow. I dyed it a deep purple and cut it off at the knee. Then I took the remainder of the bottom and stitched two ruffles around the bottom. When I was done it matched a top I already owned and showed it to my friend. She was blown away at how good they looked together and said "You really should be selling this stuff." lol

    It's alot of fun to do those kind of projects. I often go through the white and lighter color tops looking for one I like the style but know I'd like it better in a color. Once in awhile something doesn't dye properly but for the many it does. I haven't bought new clothes unless it's from a thrift shop in decades. I alter pretty much everything or make my own from scratch. That's how I live!
    "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." Hippocrates

    Who is Q?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    I comb the local thrift for linen and silk. A bit still comes in. Mostly that store is now synthetic blend knit cast-offs, so the haul has been getting smaller by the years. Synthetic blend t-shirts are icky to wear and hold BO.

    I really need to get a sewing machine, because my clothing gets torn up pretty quickly with the dogs and livestock. I've hand sewn entire wardrobes, but too time consuming, and the clothing from that end up a bit too good for day to day goat milking, and gardening.

    Last time I purchased a sewing machine from the thrift, I had to return it. Could NOT get it to work. I'm not picky - just give me a decent straight stitch on standard cottons/wools, and good tension. I'll do the button holes by hand, and hate zig zag finishes, so I don't use that either. Been around a few sewing machines - those were the ONE thing my mother splurged on, and I told her the ONLY thing of hers I wanted was the Singer machine from the 50's (it was well cared for, and had all the accessories). Unfortunately, all the machines and sergers were gone when my brother and I went to clean out the house after her death.

    Knitting bags are a "thing" on Etsy, and even You Tube. I haven't done any, but they look like an easy way to recycle creatively, and possibly earn some extra money.
    If you were closer you could try the Singer touch and sew stashed in my garage. It's likely headed for craigslist or marketplace. I prefer my old machines and just can't seem to adapt to it.
    I tried a more modern machine once. It went back in less than a week.
    I have some things done by hand and others done by machine. Just depends on life at that moment.

    I love thrifts but they've become an issue for my son. So when I get respite, I tend to hit a few. I'm hoping that he'll settle down some now that life isn't quite as topsy turvy.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,919

    Old jeans

    I took a pair of dh's old jeans that could no longer be repaired in the legs and wala. The inside has several pockets on the partitions as well.
    Attached Images

  13. #13
    I never throw out old denim; too many uses.

    Women used to wear roomy tie-on pockets under split skirts. I've been wearing a pair of tie on pockets based on the old patterns for about a year. Am currently wearing out my second pair. Wire cutters, pen, paper, an emory board, sm scissors, and an extra knife....is hard on linen. The next pair I make (and it needs to be soon) will be cut from the legs of an old pair of jeans. Per 18th century style, I always intend to embroider the pockets, but never get around to it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    44,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    I never throw out old denim; too many uses.

    Women used to wear roomy tie-on pockets under split skirts. I've been wearing a pair of tie on pockets based on the old patterns for about a year. Am currently wearing out my second pair. Wire cutters, pen, paper, an emory board, sm scissors, and an extra knife....is hard on linen. The next pair I make (and it needs to be soon) will be cut from the legs of an old pair of jeans. Per 18th century style, I always intend to embroider the pockets, but never get around to it.

    where did you get the pattern?
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    where did you get the pattern?
    From trial and error, I made the pattern based on Google images for these pockets. Many elaborately embroidered ones are preserved museum pieces, but the shape is simple. Most are elongated triangles with the top tip cropped, and the bottom corners rounded, about ten inches to a foot long, and maybe eight inches wide at the base. Plenty of variation. A slit for the hand goes up the center on the front layer (you'll see - they are very straight forward). I use bias tape, and cut the slit slanted, and starting more toward the back for ergonomics (NOT historic) - many extant pockets employ a center seam down the front that becomes the slit.

    Pockets can be single, worn on one side, or with two sewn on the same cord (half inch wide cotton twill, or a sturdy ribbon...whatever you like), one on each side, over each hip. I carry too much stuff to just have one pocket, and usually tie the pair on over my skirt, and under my apron. Mostly I'm at home. I throw them into my nylon back pack if I'm going out somewhere in public.

    A search for 18th century clothing tutorials should eventually yield a pattern from someone's blog, but by then you probably won't need one. These things seem to have gone out of fashion sometime around the civil war, when even the poorest people seem to have all taken to fitted clothing. They were traditionally worn under the petticoats, which for apparently for at least a couple centuries (more?) were slit down several inches at the side seams, and tied around the waist, front and back separately. I have a skirt like that, and I like to wear it. Very practical...one size will probably fit you all your adult life.

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