Beyond just making new purchases ethically, over the last year or so I have become interested in the idea of only making purchases that are necessary. I’ve become much better at avoiding thrift store impulse buys, and I discovered a local store that sells donated craft supplies (shout out to Indy Upcycle!), which has piqued my interest in upcycling and other crafty DIY projects.
The last time I took a bag of stuff to the thrift store to donate it, I was overwhelmed by the immense pile of donations in the back that had yet to be processed. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of my stuff sitting in that pile for months before making it to the sales floor—I had good stuff in there! That got me thinking about how often I had donated to Goodwill recently and if there was another way I could handle items I did not want for one reason or another. That was when I started thinking about tailoring and upcycling. My goal for the immediate future is to try to work with what I already have, instead of running out to Goodwill to get something new.
I recently had a green button-down shirt that I liked but was too big. It was supposed to be fitted and tailored but it had a bunch of extra fabric flopping around. I thought about donating it, but then I thought, “If this shirt fit, I would actually be fine with it. Can I make it fit?”
After a three-hour marathon sewing session (I have very little sewing knowledge, so there was lots of trial and error), I was successful! The shirt now fits (at least more than it did before) and it’s one less thing I feel the need to get rid of. I like to think Tim Gunn would be proud of how I made it work.
On the heels of this success came another challenge: Last week I got a hole in the elbow of my white cardigan. A sweater with a hole in it isn’t a great donation, so I thought it was destined for my fabric scrap pile when I had a brilliant idea: elbow patches!
I’m only halfway through the project (okay, maybe a third of the way—all I’ve done is pin one patch), but I wanted to share my progress.
Have you done any tailoring or upcycling projects lately? Have you ever saved something from the scrap heap with a crafty solution?