Let’s talk about upcycling fabrics!

What is Upcycling?  In a nutshell, it means re-using fabrics to create something new. This can be a great way to save money while being environmentally conscious.

What fabrics work best?

A lot depends on your project:

WOVEN: Sheets, table cloths, and curtains work wonderfully for woven projects like our Bristol Romper, Tammy Dress, and Bridgette Bloomers.  The PJ set below is our Tammy dress made from a flannel sheet.

KNITS: For stretchy apparel, like Shelby or the Little Layette Set pattern, I prefer to upcycle knits like t-shirts, leggings, and maxi skirts.

Shelby is a fun one for upcycling!  The front is perfect for reusing shirts and t’s.

Here are a few Shelby examples:

This knit Little Layette set is 100% upcycled.  The floral is from a robe and night shirt set and the light pink is from an old skirt.

SCRAPS: For smaller fabric scraps, check out our Sunday Brunch Quilt pattern! Quilts are a perfect way to find purpose for pieces you might normally toss. Think of linen napkins, handkerchiefs, baby clothes, or even bandannas.

What should I be wary of when upcycling?

The biggest thing to check for is condition. Are there any stains or rips? These can often be cut around, but if not, they won’t work for your project. You also need to check for mold or a mildew smell. Some fabrics may not be usable if they have been stored too long in a damp area.

What are some helpful tips for upcycling?

Measure the pattern against the fabric you upcycle BEFORE you cut. There’s nothing worse then wasting fabric on a project you can’t use.

If you are working with a gathered garment, cut off the gathered area first so you can measure accurately.

If your fabric has seams, open them before cutting so you aren’t cutting the wrong side.

Save any interesting trim to re-use in your new project.

For a little inspiration, check out the outfit I made for my daughter using two of my old blouses.

I used the harem pants pattern from the Little Layette Set and the headband is our free Jo’s Headwrap pattern.

I can’t wait to see some of your creations! Be sure to share them in our facebook group.

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