Fabric DIY Projects

I find great joy in making something I need with something that was unwanted.   I am not a proficient seamstress, but have been yearning to become one.

For FREE fabric via discarded clothing, I recommend Mission thrift store.  They throw out donations that are unsuitable for sale.   They are more than happy to give those items away for FREE.  They are one of the friendliest thrift stores in town.  If you call ahead, they will set aside bags of clothing for you.   This is a great way to recycle clothing.   The following are random sewing projects that interest me.   Check back.  I will be continually updating this  list.

TEA BAGS AND COFFEE FILTERS

Here is simple project I did with a white 100% cotton tee shirt.  I simply cut the material into the same diameter as a paper coffee filter.  I used tee shirt material because it does not require sewing.    I got the idea from these:

DRESSES

A sewing friend of mine suggested that I find dress material at the thrift store in the form of table clothes.  Salvation Army sells them for $2 each.   At 40% off, I got a cute floral pattern on sturdy 100% cotton.   Another friend is going to help me make a pattern from a well-loved summer dress.  Here are more dress patterns:

SHORTS

DIAPERS AND TODDLER UNDERWEAR

UNDERWEAR

LEGGINGS

LEG WARMERS

TANK TOPS AND SHRUGS

RANDOM PROJECTS

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS IDEAS

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Here is are articles that explains the textile waste problem:

Here are articles that detail a very doable solution:

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COSTUMES

My original reason for holding on to fabric freebies was to make costumes.  I don’t care if they are sewn or taped together.  The following are random costumes designs that my family would enjoy making:

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* * * THIS SECTION IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT.  THE FOLLOWING WAS MOVED FROM PREVIOUS ARTICLE. * * *

I haven’t knitted, crocheted or loomed since my teens.   When my son wanted to learn, we scanned YouTube and Etsy for products we would like to make.  Then we went hunting at our local thrift stores for supplies.  We found knitting, crocheting, looms, looming tools, and skeins of yarn at a fraction of their retail cost.

While cruising YouTube I also learned how to render my own yarn from sweaters, tee shirts, and plastic bags.   Sweater yarn is rendered by unraveling the sweater.   Thrift stores frequently sell sweaters for $1.00 each and sometimes a $1.00 per bag.  The best sweater sales are during the summer.   Rendering yarn from sweaters is an inexpensive way to have cashmere and other pricey yarns for a fraction of it’s cost.

So far, I have made three yarns.  Making plarn (plastic bag yarn) was the fastest.   Making tarn (tee shirt yarn) took the longest.    Plarn and tarn are made the same way, but it takes longer to cut through fabric than plastic with my old scissors.  A rotary cutter would have cut much faster.   Unraveling a sweater for yarn was easier and faster than I expected.

I have seen several ways to cut plarn and tarn.   I do NOT recommend the loop method, because it has a lump where the loops meet.  I do NOT recommend cutting in a spiral because it is ridiculously time consuming.   The best plarn and tarn rendering method is similar to a magic trick I did as a kid.   The trick began with, “I bet I can pass my body through this index card.”  To prove it, I fold and cut the index card in a way that makes a giant loop that anyone can to step through.   This simple trick has lots of useful applications.  It seems like something I would see on a MacGyver episode!

I was going to post my photos on these projects, but the following bloggers do a great job, plus their blog features more fabulous trash-to-treasure projects than I ever plan on making.

KNITTING PROJECTS

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About Hemet Sunshine

I am a homeschooling mom living in Hemet, California. I am interested in building a better community for the ones I love.
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