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Scavenge and Save - Build up your sewing stash the thrifty way

By boutiqueuniquedesigns, Aug 6 2017 06:15PM

Scavenge and Save Build up your sewing stash the thrifty way
Scavenge and Save Build up your sewing stash the thrifty way

Recycling or up-cycling is all the rage but what the trendsetters forget is that hard up mums have been doing this for years extending the lives of their children's clothes by turning up and letting down hems or making one thing out of another. 


Do a mental inventory of your home what do you have that is made of fabric but either past it's use or out of favour. Off the top of my head I have a single duvet cover with felt pen on one side, a pair of curtains from our old house that don't fit any of the windows here and a gathered full-length cotton skirt that makes me look like a circus tent! Take another look at these items and you can see I have several yards of useful fabric that I can use to make other things. 



Re use old curtains or keep any eye out for sales.
Re use old curtains or keep any eye out for sales.

We have all had times in our lives when money is tight for whatever reason and quite often this is when people start to learn to sew, but fabrics can be expensive especially if you want something really nice. If you look around we are surrounded by items made from fabric. Curtains, table linen, bedding, clothing it's all fabric. 





Duvets can be made into pillow cases and even lightweight summer dresses
Duvets can be made into pillow cases and even lightweight summer dresses

Many years ago, as a young mum I became a fabric scavenger my most memorable transformation was using my wedding dress to make a christening gown for my daughter creating a valued heirloom with huge meaning. It became a habit that before anything was thrown away, or sent to the charity shop or for recycling I asked myself these questions:


Do I like the fabric it is made of? What else could I use it for? Is there anything else on this I could use, zip, buttons, buckles, elastic?



Keep buttons from old clothes which you are going to throw away
Keep buttons from old clothes which you are going to throw away

Then I would sit and dismantle where necessary removing buttons, zips and trims and unpicking where gathered or pleated to make a flat piece of fabric that I could add to my stash. Old curtains are brilliant for making cushions and bags where it is an advantage to have a firmer fabric and an item that isn't going to be constantly in the washing machine. The duvet cover I could re-cut the unstained pieces into pillow cases, but it could also be made into a nightdress, blouse or use as lining on a project. The skirt when unpicked would provide at least three metres of fabric which could be made into a more flattering skirt, child's dress or any number of crafting and quilting projects.



So, if you want to save money become a fabric scavenger and if you haven't anything at home now charity shops sell curtains bedding and clothing that you could reuse for less than the cost of a metre of fabric.


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Photos used from Freepik Artists - Mrsiraphol, Kaboompics & Javi_indy



2 comments
Sep 20 2017 11:33PM by Cynthia Simpson

I've gotten some nice fabric from Goodwill in large enough amounts to make things other than totes. I started doing this years ago when I went through a period of time when money was desperately tight, and if I wanted new clothes I'd better sew them for myself. I'm plus sized, so didn't often find nice things in my size already made that I liked, and also that I could afford. One of my favorite shirts through that era was made from fabric for which I paid $2 for 3 yards at Goodwill. I wore that shirt for 10 years until it wore out.

Sep 21 2017 08:47PM by boutiqueuniquedesigns

Hi Cynthia being plus sized myself if I want the styles I like I have to make them and I always like a bargain.

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