Re-purposed sewing

Three crafty posts in a row (with more on the way). What's going on here? Must be Christmas! But it's not just that. There is definitely a creative groove in our home right now and I'm just running with it.


Sewing with re-purposed fabrics is nothing new to many of you but I just wanted to share a few projects we've made in the last month or so with worn out clothing and leftover project materials. Firstly, I've been inspired by a couple blogging friends, most notably Nicola at which name? and Lisa at 5 Orange Potatoes to experiment and play with "old things" to make "new things". Other sources of inspiration have been these excellent books:


~ Knee-socks sewn from the arms of a sweater. This was a collaborative project for Celine and I. We found the idea in Sweater Surgery and located the perfect sweater at goodwill, having nothing suitable in our own "worn-out clothing" bin.

~ Denim purse made from Celine's favorite pair of jeans. Celine tackled this project all on her own and from her own inspiration.

~ Bernie, the Hippy Chick, handstitched by Brienne and I using the pattern found in Sweater Surgery. The original instructions call for felted sweaters, we just used new crafting felt. But we found the fabric at our local reusable resources center which collects excess materials, both used and new, from business and industry to re-distribute to schools, educators and non-profit organizations. I have a yearly membership and this is where I get most of the kid's crafting supplies; fabrics, papers, etc...

Bernie's current home as tree topper

Bernie's current home as tree topper


~ Yarn & button stuffed vinyl tree decoration made by me with leftover vinyl from a kitchen chair upholstery project. A bit of funky fun for our Christmas tree. What re-purposed crafting have you been doing? Can you recommend other books or resources?

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

« Decorations from My Kitchen ~ A Photo Tutorial and Other Inspiration
welcoming winter ~ a recommended reading list »
  • Kika

    Kika on Dec. 9, 2009, 5:55 p.m.

    We haven't got very far but have been collecting a few worn out items (ex. favorite pj's) to cut and use for doll clothing. Also, I keep searching the local (small) thrift shop for wool sweaters to use for mittens or other projects but it is slow slogging. I did find one mens wool sweater but then decided to wear it rather than cut it up :) My 9yo daughter has recently used scraps of fabric for patchwork pillows and doll clothes for her and her little sister.


  • jamie

    jamie on Dec. 10, 2009, 3:09 a.m.

    we've been collecting old worn out clothing from us and friends and making all sorts of goodies!! clothes for the american girl doll she's earning, and for dolls made out of sweaters, ornaments... i even made myself a skirt out of an elegant tablecloth!! loving your blog- thx for the inspiration and affirmation that we often need when living a bit "against the grain"!


  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Dec. 10, 2009, 6:40 a.m.

    thank you for the link love, renee! i love all your creations. brienne did a fabulous job, as did celine, although she has already proved herself to be an accomplished sewer! i haven't seen the third book in your list, so thank you for the recommendation. and i LOVE interlibrary loan. it cost us $1 here, which i think is super cheap. newly released books don't qualify, though. i think they must be more than 1 year old. we repurpose a lot. what i wish we had, though, is a fabric recycling place for the materials that simply can't be reused any further. (the stuff that is just too small or is even past "rag" stage.) nicola

    nicola@which name?'s last blog post... corner view: evening


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 10, 2009, 1:26 p.m.

      you have to pay for inter-libary loan, what a bummer. We order a dozen books a month at least, ones for me, ones for the kids. I'd have to be more judicious but I suppose I'd still do it because it's how we learn!


  • Alisha

    Alisha on Dec. 13, 2009, 8:47 p.m.

    I LOVE the socks! I want to try that! And Bernie is toooo cute, too!

    I was also inspired by Lisa from 5OrangePotatoes, with her gremlins. LOL I blogged about it... it went absolutely sitcomic. You can check it out here:

    I have no more words for it, just grimacy facial expressions. But the next post went better.

    So, since we got on the Wall E bandwagon AFTER all the Wall E toys were sold out, I'm making a Wall E out of felt felt given to me, btw and I already made a little Eve, it's on the post after the link above. I have some mismatched and torn bedsheets I'm wanting to repurpose into a braided rug, but maybe after the holidays. Maybe Santa will bring me some nerve...


  • Granola Girl

    Granola Girl on Dec. 16, 2009, 5:51 p.m.

    I am unbelievably excited about those socks. We live in a bicycling town. It doesn't matter if its winter, raining, or snowing (you can get bike chains for your tires) people around here ride their bikes. This means wool socks and wool knickers. Wool knee socks are SO expensive. Goodwill sweaters are not! Oh so excited! Thank you!


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