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Tips & Techniques > Recycling fabric

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Posted by: Julia Graham

About Julia Graham star
Member since: 4/12/02
Reviews: 50 (tips: 2)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 29 people
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Posted on: 2/7/03 8:34 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
I just reviewed Vogue 7369, and mentioned that I had made the garment out of two thrift-store garments, a skirt from Talbots and a dress from Laura Ashley. Georgene suggested I mention this here. Because the garments were high quality to begin with, the fabrics were still in good condition -- even used, they were better than a stiffer, cheaper fabric would have been new. I didn't buy these garments with an eye to cutting them up immediately, but I have actually done that. A full skirt or full-skirted dress can yield enough fabric for a shirt, or a differently-styled skirt or dress. Look for larger sizes. I sometimes buy the fabric for my "wearable muslins" this way -- especially KNITS. Even with the internet I have a lot of trouble finding substantial and interesting knits. Now that close-to-the-body styles are in, it's possible to buy an 80's tunic (like from LLBean or Lands' End) and use the nice fabric to make something smaller. It's fun in a treasure-hunty kind of way. For knits, look in the men's section too.

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sewinbaby said... (4/3/03 9:37 PM) Reply
I once made a denimn dress out of a pair of my husbands jeans he could no longer wear. Turned out Cute with a little bit of another fabric around hem, sleaves and neckline
Tessa said... (3/13/03 6:06 PM) Reply
I haven't done this much with fabric, but I have bought suede and leather jackets and coats to make mitts out of. I've also acquired lots of buttons this way!
Geena_Vee said... (2/10/03 3:24 PM) Reply
I do this all the time, too. I look for good quality fabric in the larger sizes section. Wrap skirts in plus sizes work well for many garments. I recently found one made out of a beautiful lightweight suede. Look for great buttons and other hardware, too.
mugsisme said... (2/10/03 3:26 AM) Reply
Great idea. One more reason for me to go shopping.
Dale C said... (2/9/03 7:08 PM) Reply
Good idea. Sometimes I recycle old jeans and clothing for craft projects and accents on garments, but never a whole garment.
kittykate said... (2/8/03 11:50 PM) Reply
I'm glad you wrote this up as a tip. I recently made a skirt for my daughter Simplicity 7191 out of a couple of pairs of jeans that my husband had worn/grown out of (he declines to remember), and the denim fabric had all the nice wear to it, instead of buying new fabric and distressing it. If I run out of our own jeans, they're about a buck a pair at the local thrift store.
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