Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Confession




So, today’s confession is a real one: I have never repurposed a garment.

I first learned about repurposing from Becky’s blog (those pictures are from one of her projects). It’s such a cool idea – it’s like the Reese’s cup we get when the sewing movement (aka the chocolate) and the green movement (aka the peanut butter) collide. ;)

And now it’s popping up all over the place – from blogs (for example, Sew and So and Repurposed) to internet magazine articles (e.g., Suite101.com) to online sewing communities (e.g., ThreadBanger and Wardrobe Refashion) to popular daytime tv shows (e.g., The Rachel Ray Show).

So, how about you? Have you done any clothing repurposing projects? If so, please tell us a little bit about your experiences! If not, do you think you’ll try someday? What do you think about this movement?

12 comments:

Cindy said...

I refashion all the time because I hate spending money. We consume so much in this country. I try to simplify my life by trying to only buy things that are needed and recycle old into new with so many different things.

I don't do it as much now that my kids are older but for a while there I was turning his clothing into hers. I would add girl fabric, laces, buttons to his jackets, pants and shirts. When heeleys (shoes with wheels) were popular and since they are a lot of $ - when he out grew them I girled them up for her with paint.

I also save old blue jeans because you can do so much with the fabric. With the legs we make pencil holder in summer camp. I've even made a lunch bag for my daughter.

I'm recycle queen :) I use sheets, table cloths, pull zippers and buttons off old clothing. If you really think about it there's so much out there that can be reused instead of just tossing it away.

Karin said...

I don't refashion that much. I have to confess that most of the time I just look for some new fabric for the clothing I make. Although, I did make a t-shirt a little while ago for my littlest one, and made that from an old t-shirt of my own. And I even made a frocky-kind-of-thing a while ago (inspired by all the blogs you already mentioned) from an old sheet of my grandmother's. To be honest though, I only did wear it once, when I just made it...

I do save a lot of my old clothing. But I have to confess: Most of the time it is just laying there in a big trunk, sadly forgotten...

Faye Lewis said...

I've not gotten into refashioning although I admire things that others repurpose.

meredithp said...

I plan to...someday. I did one major refashion that is waiting for a re-hab. I had a skirt made out of a gorgeous border print that got oil stains and just plain wear near the waistband. Refashioned it into sort of culottes/skirt. Unfortunately, I used that horrible "draw up the elastic string" elastic (which was old to boot) which soon lost it's stretch. I've been "unstitching" that elastic for years. But when it's done and replaced, I'll be wearing those culottes again. Mind you the fabric was probably purchased in the late 70s. I even took photos of my before and after when I did the remodel.

Uta said...

I haven't repurposed so far, but I may be getting there. Now that I'm sewing so much more than I used to, I feel that not every project needs to be "shiny and new (fabric and patterns)" to make sewing fun. Also, I'm thinking about recycling some adult's clothes into kids` stuff, because I sew so much for my two little children. Two caveats: I have a hard time cutting up a perfectly good (though unloved) garment; I'd rather give it to the Red Cross. Two, I wouldn't sew something that didn't meet my aesthetic requirements; if I hate a garment for its fabric, I'm not going to reuse it. That doesn't leave so many recycling opportunities: I would need a garments made from a fabric I really like, which I haven't worn out. That doesn't happen very often, since I don't change my style or size a lot.

Uta said...

I meant to add: said loved but unworn garment also needs to be something I wouldn't give away. That really only leaves something with (one!) big stain or hole!

sewducky said...

Sometimes. If there's a lot of fabric in a garment I can turn into another one (like the 70's blue dress on my own blog is going to be a shirt soon), or new curtains/linens/caftans, I will. General clothing? Not unless I make it myself first and I love the fabric too much to give it away, but these items have never been worn and so whatever I make from them looks new.

All I do is use patterns I own or draft, place them on cut apart garments and make like usual. I have issues with spending time to get my clothing to look just right and using textiles that are worn. If I want a garment that looks used, I save my time and energy and buy used clothing.

mamafitz said...

i've refashioned t-shirts in that i made them flattering, but i've never taken one garment and made it into something completely different.

Sarah said...

I refashion occasionally when it's something I love love love and can't really let go.
And I also alter a lot of fun consignment finds.

It's friendly to my wallet, gets my creative muscles flexing, and gives me a unique something to add to my wardrobe.

Summerset said...

I've refashioned many things successfully. I prefer that a refashion look like something purposefully done and like a new garment rather than something cobbled (and sometimes poorly sewn)together from many discarded garments.

V. said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks for featuring me in your blog!

I still have so many ideas in my head and so little time to make them happen!

V.

http://www.repurposed.wordpress.com

goodworks1 said...

I've been refashioning for more than 50 years (uh oh, now you can guess my age! lol) and I always look at used clothing (my own or thrift shop stuff) as potential stash. The only bad thing about this is that I not only have a new fabric stash, but also a 'repurposing' stash.

My favorite part is when two or more pieces show up in my possession that are absolutely perfect to use together in a new garment. One year I found both a cotton bulky-knit sweater, an old sweatshirt and a smooth cotton woven shirt that were exactly the same teal color; I combined them featuring the cabling, etc of the handknit sweater on the yoke of a pullover for my sister. And I was able to integrate a sort of hidden shoulder pad/batting that de-emphasized her radically sloping shoulders. It was a great success and a lot of fun. Occasionally she explained to someone how the top came about, but most people didn't believe her.

I often recut shirts to fit better, but that's not really repurposing so much as altering to fit. I do use high quality pima golf-type shirts to make underwear for my dh; there's KwikSew pattern review at PatternReview.com where I explain this further.