Did you know that old clothes represents one of the largest percentage of garbage polluting the landfills! According to the United States EPA Office of Solid Waste, American throw away more than 60 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year, representing 6.4% of municipal solid waste from major cities. It is estimated that 2.5 billion pounds of clothes end up in landfills annually! This is largely the result of the glut of cheap clothing produced by mass market distributers who cater to our "Kleenex" society. Donating clothes to charities is one answer. But we'd like to offer another tiny solution as well.
Consider looking more closely at old clothes for your fabrics and trim resources before tossing them out. OR...consider thrift shops, garage or yard sales, or Salvation Army (Emais in France) or a similar charity organism when searching for interesting (and cheap) materials.
|Lingerie is a great source for lace and trim.|
If the fabric is polyester or rayon and not very pretty, recuperate the lace then use the rest of the fabric for draping or trying out a new pattern. Sometimes I cut medallions or tiny rosettes out of the lace or a nightgown to applique onto another fabric. Old lingerie will also provide you with enough elastic lace for dolly delicates. And to be honest, instead of paying for 50cm of fabric in Paris, I bought a cheap pair of panties at the open air market which I cut up to make the Wrap Dress and the lace dress I made for the Gatsby series, last Spring.
|Gatsby starts with a great stocking!|
I also used part of the leg of a stockings for other Gatsby dresses. The material alone isn't always pretty, however, it can be shirred or gathered or beaded.
|Richard in a sweater from dad's old sock.|
Pocket Hankies and Scarves
|Gail in mom's Irish linen hankies!|
Whether they are plain, embroidered or edged with a bit of lace, most table lines and decorative items like doilies and table runners are made from quality cotton or linen fabric. It probably won't be in the color you'd like, but there's nothing you can't fix with a little bit of dye and hot water.
|Use Christmas ribbon for instant Couture!|
|Sissilie wearing a piece of dad's old jeans.|
|Use the fabric from old T-shirts to make new patterns.|
|Zac's jacket & pants made from a vinyl belt.|
The wide sash (self fabric) type belts are the best. There's usually enough fabric for a top, a skirt and sometimes even a pair of pants. That belt was made by folding the material in half and stitching down. Cut the belt open and press, then lay out your pattern. In fact, this guy's outfit was made out of a single, 3-1/2" wide vinyl belt.
As long as the yarn is not too thick, wool caps easily convert to simplified cocoon coats. Remember this furry cocoon I made a little while back? It's a cap!
An Added Bonus
My own clothing repurposed into doll fashions allows me to play and experiment with a lot more styles than if I had to purchase new fabric each time. And, some times, like many of you living in remote areas, I can't always get to a fabric store. My old garments provide me with a great alternative with an added bonus. When the garment is finished and on the doll, I can look at her and be reminded of the good times that me and my late mother had while wearing the same piece of fabric!
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Psssttttt.......For anyone that needed a little extra help with the Patrick Kelly Cocoon Coat....I have embedded a tutorial video on that page to accompany the text!!! I will be adding more videos in the coming weeks.
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