Posts tagged "clothes"

How can I reduce my addiction to cheap clothes?

clothes-shoppingConfession time: I’ve got an awful cognitive dissonance thing with buying cheap clothes – I know about the horrific conditions in sweatshops, I know how cotton production is incredibly damaging to the environment, I know how the clothes produced in sweatshops are (understandably) far from good quality and liable to fall apart quickly, I know how much energy is wasted transporting them around the world and I know that shop employees, especially in the cheapest pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap shops, are treated poorly and paid badly – and yet…

I think I got into “buy them cheap when you see them” habits as a teenager when I didn’t have a lot of money and there wasn’t quite as many cheap clothes around as there is now (those quaint days before Primark and £4 supermarket jeans) – I’d always wear black vest tops, for example, so I might as well snap them up when they’re in the sale whether I need them at that exact moment or not. That habit stuck even when I started working and had a bit more money because, well, it’s a bargain, isn’t it? who can refuse a bargain? plus, I’d still wear that black vest top at some point. Once I’d got through the other 30 in my bedroom drawer of course.
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How can I make wrist warmers reusing or recycling old things?

wristwarmersA few weeks ago, I made passing reference to arm/wrist warmers but I thought I’d mention them again because it’s amazing what a difference they make.

There are hundreds of different knitting and crochet patterns for fingerless gloves – from the very simple (a square folded over with a thumb hole left in the seam) to ones with cabling-a-go-go and separate half fingers to provide more coverage – and they don’t take long to knit/crochet up — but what are the options for non-knitters/crocheters?

Last week, Leethal posted a how-to make them out of old socks and you can also make them from the sleeves of old jumpers/sweaters/long-sleeved tops.

Any other suggestions? Any advice on refashioning them out of existing clothes – what to look for/avoid in the starting items?

(Picture by deb roby)

Interesting Reducing, Reusing & Recycling links

maya-made-coffee-pincushionI’m *finally* getting back on top of my email Inbox & feed reader after a few mad weeks of juggling work and house moves – here’s some super-interesting links I’ve been sent/read about.

How can I make a washing line cover using recycled materials?

washing-lineBecause nothing particularly interesting has happened in my life over the last few weeks – I mean, aside from us moving house after nearly a decade in the old place and my best friend Katherine giving birth for the first time (*hello 14 day old baby Joe!*) – I have been unduly excited by the discovery of covers for outside rotary washing lines.

They’re big plastic covers which sit on rotary washing lines, preventing the clothes from getting re-soaked every time there is a sudden but brief downpour — there are some clear ones that can be left on all the time, ideal for the UK where it goes from blistering sunshine to torrential rain and back again constantly throughout the day. I tell you – unduly excited – I can’t believe I lived three decades without knowing about them. It’s like the broccoli stalks revelations all over again.

The basic concept seems simple enough to make myself from scrap materials – I need a sheet of heavy-duty but flexible waterproof material, ideally clear, in the shape of my rotary line, some extra length to be sides (to stop sideways rain) and possible some cane or piping at the edge between the “roof” and the sides to give it some structure. We got a new mattress when we moved in here and I’ve kept the giant plastic bag that came in, which is a good start, and I’m tempted to befriend a local carpet fitter for some more similar stuff, which they get wrapped around the rolls of carpet. An old tent or gazebo covering would probably work too. Any other suggestions?

Has anyone made something similar for non-rotary washing lines? Once my eyes were opened to the concept, I started Googling around and found these Isle of Mull dryers which combine the cover and the hanging space in an inverted V-shape. Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle silk (and not-silk) scarves?

Leigh sent me an email a few weeks ago and it dropped into the black hole that is my email inbox – I only found it when looking for something else this morning. I *must* get better organised, I *must*.

Anyway, she asked about how to reuse or recycle a number of things so I’ll feature them over the next few days. First up, scarves:

i picked up a bunch for almost nothing at a garage sale, some silk, some not, all different colors and shapes, thinking they would be useful for something, but I’m not sure what!

I’m a sucker for scarves too – they’re one of my favourite things to look out for in charity shops because there is usually a good variety, in as-new condition and often unbelievably cheap (especially compared to buying similar printed fabric new).

One of the easiest things to do with them – particularly square ones – is to make them into cushion/pillow covers. Another no-sew idea for big square ones is to use them to make furoshiki bags.

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by Gerbera)