Posts tagged "sewing"

How can I make a sewing bench/craft station using recycled stuff?

sewing-machineRegular readers of Recycle This (and my personal Twitter feed) may have spotted me talking about an impending house move for the last few months. To be specific, it took five months from our offer being accepted to getting the keys in our hands but the latter finally, FINALLY, happened last Friday afternoon.

We’ve not moved in yet because there is some damp-proofing work needed in our office and since we both largely work from home, it would be good (from logistical and breathing points of view) to have that sorted before we move over. We’re also using this short window to do other jobs that’ll be easier without us, all our stuff and cats there. Expect lots of “How can I…” style questions about house moving, renovations and decorating from me over the next few weeks ;)

First up, I’d like to make a sewing table/bench. There is, wonderfully, enough space for me to have dedicated craft station in the spare room for sewing etc – no more having to use the floor for sewing and pattern cutting, joy!

I think it would be good to have a drop-leaf/expandable table style worktop so it might be worth keeping an eye out for an old/broken dining table for that. Someone has also suggested covering a worksurface with lino/vinyl floor covering to protect it so I guess I should keep an eye out for that too. I already use some old (skip-dived) CD shelves for yarn and am tempted to yoink the shoe rack John doesn’t use for instant shelving – two layers of shoeboxes or ice-cream tubs for holding stuff.

Any other suggestions for useful features or things to make it with? What have you used? What about for storage of those countless tools and random supplies?

How can I reuse or recycle old blunt and bent pins?

pinsWe’ve had an email from Julie:

What can I do with old sewing pins? After years of faithful service, they’re all really blunt or really bent or both (since one leads to the other). I know they’re tiny but what can I do with them?

Most pins I’ve come across are made from steel so could probably be recycled with your normal metal recycling. It’s such a tiny amount of metal though, it hardly seems worth the bother but it’s still better than them sitting in a landfill dump somewhere.

As for reuses, blunt dressmakers pins with plastic heads could be chopped down (with wirecutters) and used instead of push pins on a notice board. I also imagine they could be used in costume jewellery making – any specific ideas?

Any other uses?

(Photo by drniels)

Transforming old clothes into new clothes and other items

A skirt turned into a child’s dressAmy Quarry dropped us an email this week with a link to her blog post on ten ways to repurposing old clothes, reusing as much of the original structure/shape as possible to save time.

Half the list take big clothes and turn them into little clothes: for example, with some pleating around the top and some arm holes chopped in the sides, an adult size skirt can quickly become a child’s dress (right). Or shrinking a woman’s blouse widthwise to make a baby/child’s dress. All very cute.

For those of us without small people (and/or willing cats) to dress, she includes ideas such as making a mini-skirt into a bag and sundresses into aprons (below).

A sundress turned into an apronI love these ideas because I’ve got quite a few items of clothing that I love but either which don’t fit any more or don’t suit me as they are any more – but could easily be repurposed like this. Time to unleash the sewing machine!

(Pictures with permission from Amy’s blog)

How can I reuse or recycle scraps of fabric?

fabric.jpgProof that great minds think alike. An email from Lisa Chown:

We are a manufacturer of knitted acrylic accessories and end up having loads of waste fabric, from the shaping of our products, is there a way that this can be recycled rather than send it to the landfill?

And another one the next day from Katrina:

How can I recycle all the fabric remnants I have lying around?? When I worked in an Interior Design shop in London, I know a charity would come and pick up the fabric waste for recycling. I don’t know who to contact…does anyone have any ideas??

And I also did some sewing on Monday night and had some tiny scraps left over and thought the same thing.

So any ideas? Fabric recycling ideas would be best for Lisa and Katrina since I suspect they’ll have more than can be reused – but what about reuse suggestions for people like me? The scraps I produced were too small to be used on other projects (even patchwork/quilting) – but I guess they could be used for stuffing or things like that… right?

(Photo by CraigPJ)