Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Uses for Old Things

Every change of season means a trip to my kids’ closets to clear out all the clothing that no longer fits them or suits the weather.  Many of Katy’s things go directly to Bayla’s closet, while most of Bayla’s things get bagged up for a trip to Goodwill.

When I got my sewing machine, I started holding back some of the clothes from the donation bag to use as scraps for sewing projects.  I found a book called Sewing Bits & Pieces by Sandi Henderson, and it is giving me plenty of ideas for using all the scraps from the girls’ old clothing.  Not only do I have fun playing around with fabrics, but I end up with little projects that are mementos of the girls’ younger years.
One super-simple project turned an old tank top of Bayla’s into a little set of fabric gift tags.
In this project, Sandi has the crafter lay a piece of plastic wrap between a piece of card stock and the fabric scrap.  By ironing this “sandwich,” the fabric adheres to the paper.  At that point, I could cut out my shapes and add crazy, free-form stitching around the edges.  I added eyelets and embroidery floss to some, but not yet to all, of the tags.
The project was fun, but once I added the machine stitching, I kind of felt as though the plastic wrap part of the process was a little unnecessary.  But it’s fun to try out a new technique, even if it doesn’t turn out to be one I’m likely to come back to again and again.

As a second little scrappy project, I used Sandi’s strawberry-shaped templates to turn a baby onesie and a summer halter top into refrigerator magnets.
I didn’t follow Sandi’s directions exactly for this project, as she had readers layering double-sided adhesive, stiff interacting, and fabric, then clipping around the perimeter in order to fold the edges down to the back and later cover them with a piece of felt. 
Instead, I simply put some interfacing between two scraps of fabric, ironed them together, and cut out the shape, gluing felt and a magnet in place to the back.  You can see the white interfacing when you turn the magnet to the side, but with the light-colored fabric, it doesn’t really show much.  I just know I would have been dissatisfied with the folded-down edges in the book’s directions.

So now I have some cute tags and magnets that help me remember some of the little-girl clothes my children have already outgrown!
What artful things have YOU done to preserve or “recycle” your children’s outgrown things?

If you are interested, you can check out a post here where I re-used old jeans to make some fun projects.


Janet said...

Really cute ideas, Andria! I like that you aren't afraid to alter directions to fit your needs and what you like.

Carin Winkelman said...

Very nice. I especially like the tags/labels you made. Good way to recycle and keep memories alive at the same time.

scrapwordsmom said...

Super crafty!! What a darling idea. You know I never learned how to sew...oh,not because my Mom didn't push me to try...she even bought me a sewing machine...I just don't sew...I have my reasons...I think I feel a blog post coming on!