We all smiled when Sister Maria (Julie Andrews) whipped those curtains off the windows and made clothing for the VonTrap children.
During the Depression, women counted on the flowered fabric found in feed sacks (created ‘pretty’ on purpose for frugal clothing) from which to create clothes and quilts.
Believe me, I down-sized my parents during their later years 4 times. I was the ‘kid in town’ who got LOTS of “Only you might do something with this.” remarks from my Mom. At the time, all this was just box after box of ‘STUFF’. I had no idea how precious these ‘textiles’ would become. As your family life cycle causes similar situations, as you attend family reunions, as you down-size your parents, yourself, as you MOVE (as we just did!)…. PLEASE, look (at least) twice at any and all textiles (clothing, men’s ties, lace, jewelry, purses, dress-ups, linens of all types) for possible creative sewing!!!
STEP 2…ORGANIZE BY COLOR
When I started the daunting task of packing my ‘sewing stuff’ of 25 years collected in our IL home for the BIG MOVE to Tennessee, I KNEW I had to organize and filter EVERYTHING. Instinctively, I have always organized my STASH of fabrics by color, so I really just had to go through and decide which pieces REALLY had creative possibilities. I took many sacks of ‘textile re-cycling’ to GoodWill. In the photos above, the big bins are sorted by color, and further by whether they are knit or woven fabrics. As I sorted, certain pieces just migrated together into PROJECT BINS as seen below. Realize that the contents in these bins are not only fabric, but GARMENTS ties, buttons, threads – any and everything that might be used in a project.
STEP 3…OBSERVE and COLLECT
There’s no excuse to say this is hard with the great cameras on our phones today. Whether you are shopping, watching TV, or shopping online….photos can easily be saved to files, or your Pinterest Boards. I’m still a ‘paper person’, so I’ve found that actually printing my favorite inspirational photos and grouping them according to type of construction/embellishment on IDEA BOARDS helps me access all the ideas faster.
STEP 4…HAVE FUN STITCHING!
Yes, knowing how to sew is great, but with the current casual, no-fit, raw-edge ‘look’, most anything goes. Jump in and have fun!!! I pulled my techniques all together last year at this time in my UP-Cycle Memento Tops Talking Pattern™. Don’t assume all the sewing has to be by machine either, as hand sewing embellishment, stenciling, adding glitz in many ways can be the perfect techniques to use as well.
Below, find several of my most favorite ‘UP-Cycle’ projects. Send me photos of YOUR up-cycling – with stories as well, for a FREE GIFT.
Email your photos and stories to me at: email@example.com – do so by June 30, 2016 for a FREE GIFT! Permission to publish here on my Blog and other social media will be assumed with your submissions.