Thanks for the ideas!

When I posted the double giveaway at the beginning of December, I asked entrants to share what they did with me-mades they fell out of love with.  Now, apart from having people comment on something specific vs. random comments, I really did want to know what you all do with things that you hate now, after being in love with either the idea, the fabric, or the result for a little or a long time.image Because this is a problem of mine.  I do love to sew.  I love to try new patterns.  But I confess to being an incredibly lazy sewist, which is probably why I’ll never master that copy of a McQueen or Westwood garment that I would love to waste 10,000 hours creating for my closet.  This inherent laziness produces a lot of clothing, which is wearable in the mass-produced ill-fitting RTW sort of way, but becomes abhorrent after 5 or 6 wearings to the woman in the mirror’s keen observation.  Or is it comparison?  Y’know, to all those beautiful things you see walking down the runways that would be perfect in my life.  I usually send all unlovelies to the thrift shop, only, if I’ve really fallen into abhorrence, after cutting out my label.  I mean, I wouldn’t want said ugliness traced back to me, right?  So I was thrilled with some of the ideas from those of you that left comments.  Here are the ones that alighted little light bulbs over my head:

Aaminah says: One of the ways I recycle clothing I no longer find useful or just don’t like anymore is to cut up the fabric and turn it into something else. Right now I am in the midst of doing just that for sewing purses. I really want to start getting into refashioning clothing though.

Recycling into another garment or item is a great idea, one that I have done perhaps a handful of times in my sewing life.  But the practical side of me says, “You already have an overflowing stash,  and you’re going to add to it?”

Sertyan says: I would love the fabric. I sew for my little girl and currently myself. If my little girl outgrows her clothes, I don’t think I will give them away, I will keep them as a keepsake! Hopefully when she’s older I can show it to her and let her reminisce.

This I have done, and will continue to do with the garments that I truly am pleased with.  And that means the interior, construction, finishing and fit of the garment.  Oh, and the fabric must be something extra special.  I have given a lot of the dresses that I’ve made for my daughters to my mom, who has handed them out in Haiti over the years.  But I have kept some in my cedar chest for the little people in my future.

Mary says:   Hi TiaDia~ I sew a lot, and tend to give things away in batches. I donate to the Crisis center in town, as women arrive with only the clothes they are wearing. Sometimes I will make up a baby outfit, or a small child’s tee to add in. I like to “give back” to these organizations, and I like to keep my closet spare. I use half of my small closet for clothes, and half for accessories.

Now this was a brilliant idea.  Why haven’t I thought of this before?  There is a shelter very close to my home that we have helped in other ways, so why wouldn’t I think of doing this before?  Perhaps because I think my clothing is a bit out there sometimes.  I mean, how practical is this dress, for example?

And I do like to keep my closet manageable.  I do not have the space to keep a museum of outfits, and although I sometimes think it would be fun to keep some things for my kids to wear or laugh at, the practical part of me wonders what the value is of storing something for 30 years that isn’t a collectible Prada or LV.

SewLindaAnn says:  I would love the fabric, it’s beautiful. What I did with unloved anymore items would depend on the fabric and sentimental value. If it was very loved I would make patches into a pillow or something to remember it by. If it would work, I’d cut thin strips and use it to crochet small rugs or creatures. I do love re-purposing my stuff as well as others discards.

Hmmm…. strips for crocheting.   Now I do know someone who likes to crochet. This may be an idea for future rejected projects.  And do have this ridiculous idea that all the fabric in my scrap box will be used to make my children crazy quilts one day… when they leave the house… and go to university.  Or something like that.

Judith says:  Well, first of all they get delegated to the ‘one day’ pile – you know the pile you think that one day you may come back to, when hopefully you give them a second chance! If they sit in that pile way past their use-by-date then they are given a quick trip to the local charity store – surely not everyone would dislike them!!!

The “second chance”.  I have done this occasionally, and have two recent items in this pile.  The first is the fringe dress.  I hate the neckline.  It does nothing for my face or arms, for that matter.  This was in and out of the thrift pile several times until I came to the decision to re-do the neckline.  Probably as a very deep scoop.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll salvage the fringe and thrift the dress.  Or maybe thrift the entire thing. image And the pants made from the same chocolate brown fabric.  image I just really hate the fit of these pants.  I’m going to redo them into capris like these ones. And the shirt was recycled, too.  I just tired of the colour combination and loudness of the print, never mind the ill-fitting through the bust because I was too lazy to do the FBA side seam darts and gathered the fabric into the side seam instead!!!

mireillemcguire says:  hello! I try to give things-i-used-to-love to friends who’d appreciate them. Barring that, there is a thrift organization that offers a quarterly pickup. Sometimes I have charity-remorse and think mournfully of things I’ve given away

Now I have had charity remorse.  Specifically wide leather 80’s style belts that I have longed for years after giving away.  But clothing?  Well, the only thing that I wish I hadn’t thrifted was a black taffeta ball gown skirt that I used for performing years ago.  I have wished that was still in my closet the odd time.

Gill says: I tend to cannibalise(!) anything I no longer wear! I take off all buttons,zips etc and the garment is cut apart and goes into my scrap basket to await the perfect project!

I do this all the time!  Well, when I don’t actually give the entire garment away.  I like to re-use notions when I can.  The sewing hobby is expensive, especially when you put the time and effort into making a garment that should have been muslined in the first place, but wasn’t.  🙂

4 thoughts on “Thanks for the ideas!

  1. Thanks for sharing the comments, and your own response. One of the drawbacks to blogs is that we tend to comment and then move on (even with the email notification). It’s cool to come back and see a response to a comment. 🙂 You make such interesting clothes, and I would guess it is hard to let some of them go.

    1. Thanks, Mary. I *am* drawn to the more unusual styles sometimes, but they are usually the ones to leave my closet first. I confess to a small part of myself that can be shy of standing out in a crowd. Other days, I’m quite happy to be the one dressed “way out there”!

  2. Giving to a woman’s shelter sounds like the best idea of all. Some years back I did a clear out of my work closet. (A lot of dour suits etc.) My mom took them all to a clothes closet where low income women could “shop” for a professional looking suit for interviews as part of a back to work scheme. My clothes were particularly valued because they were size 14s and there are never enough larger sizes apparently.

  3. Ooohhh, definitely re-work the fringe dress. A new neckline will make it into a stunning dress, or ‘chop it’ halfway and make a skirt – this isn’t a charity case at all!!!
    As for cutting up garments into fiddly little strips and crocheting them into something productive, well…. let’s just say that’s not for me…


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