I have made shorts and blouses from a large bed sheet, also curtains, pillow cases, etc. It's often cheaper than fabric from fabric store.
You can make skirts from neck ties. Take them apart, press with steam or wet cloth, sew together. Put a zipper and a band on it, make a button hole, sew button on band.
I know a gal who buys colorful sheets from thrift stores. She rips the sheets into strips about an inch & a half wide to 2 inches (or so) wide, then, using the biggest crochet hook possible, she crochets these strips of used sheets into wonderful rugs!
I've used sheets as the backing for quilts and throws.
You can make cute aprons from the tops of jeans or skirts from jeans.
There are lots of creative ways to turn one item into something totally different!
Thanks for the necktie tip! My retired husband has about a hundred of them. Maybe I can use them instead of storing them!
I never thought of turning sheets into clothing items. I have only used them for home projects.
I turned a ruined flat bed sheet into a shower curtain. The top had a hole that was beyond mending, but the rest of the sheet was still in good shape. When I get tired of that I'll turn it into something else.
I have also made pillowcases from old sheets.
Another tip for cheap fabric is to look for tablecloths on clearance. Buy the biggest sizes availabe for the most fabric.
If I plan to use one as a tablecloth, I pick up 2. The second one is made into a buffet runner and matching napkins.
I have made kitchen curtains from tablecloths. I plan on making matching appliance covers with leftover tablecloth fabric.
I also made another shower curtain from 2 clearance tablecloths.
Tracey - Jacksonville FL
The Sound of Music recycling tip - you remember Capt. Von Trapp had new curtains made for Maria's room and she used the old ones to make play clothes for the kids.
I needed a lace valance for a bay window and couldn't find the fabric or ready made I wanted. I came across a very old lace table cloth that had belonged to my mother-in-law and my husband suggested I use it. It has holes here and there, but I was able to find enough fabric around the edges to make a beutiful valance. I worked exacty like I wanted it too. What I like it it is not just sitting in a drawer and we can remember her each day.
Hi; Emma Here; I have been doing the above things for a good many years. I still look for old all cotton damask table clothes at garage sales and they make nice napkins, and dish towels. If anyone wipes the dishes any more. I do a lot of alterations and patching for others, and doll clothes, so am always looking for thrift store and garage sales to have as much matchables as I can find. That's my pocket money at 83 yrs old! Save as much as you can this year,and next!
You can also use adult's clothing to make kids' items and kids' clothes to make doll clothes - also most worn items have at least a patch worth of reusable material for other items that just have a tiny hide-able stain or bleach mark.
Today, I salvaged two nice shirts with bird shaped patches from scraps. They look a lot like shirts I have seen in retail stores, except the stitching looks better. I patch my kids' and husband's pants from the inside, unless you have your face two inches from their pants you'd never know they were patched, because I use near matching denim with a bit of fusable webbing and a matching thread. Also, given the worn and deconstructed styles found in retail stores, who could say they didn't come that way? My son and husband especially love being able to wear their favorite jeans "forever".
I used to take adults wool coats apart, wash them, then use the inside of the fabric for the outside of my kids winter coats. I bought new quilted lining fabric for the inside, and usually used corduroy or velvet like fabric for collars. As far as shorts go, it would be much easier to cut off old jeans at the length you want and hem them. The jeans that I see being real popular, I can't see any object in patching jeans. I haven't seen a sheet or tablecloth that I would want to have made into clothing. I guess I have to take that back, I saw a set on QVC the other night that was being sold for something like $70.00 a set, that I wouldn't mind having a top made out of, but by the time they would be used, they would have faded and not been near as pretty.
Making pillowcases out of sheets is a good idea, however they don't have to be old sheets, if my lat Mother saw a pretty sheet on clearance really cheap and there wasn't a matching one she bought it and made pillowcases. For me to make clothing out of used fabric, the fabric has to be in good enough condition to be worth my time. I guess I just figured that everybody used their sheets until they were ready to fall apart. That's the way my family has done it since I was a little kid.
I have had quilts that people have mixed squares of new fabric with squares made out of old clothes and the squares made out of the old clothes always wear out before the new fabric. I've been sewing for about 60 years and just can't see making a garment out of fabric that will wear out sooner than new fabric would.
With all due respect I do not know a single soul who would wear a skirt made from neckties. However, they are wonderful for crafting an old time crazy quilt. In fact they are perfect because they are silk and have beautiful designs on them. I have a crazy quilt that has been in my family for over 100 years. I have made pillow cases from the corners of flat sheets in the past but I have not had a sheet wear out in years since I began buying 400 and 600 thread count sheets.
None of my sheets match because I get them and the pillow cases on sale, a top sheet here and a fitted sheet there. But the higher thread count will give you a sheet that not only feels great next to your skin but one that will last many years. But may I suggest to the person who had the old lace tablecloth, you can have things like that mended and then you can pass them down for generations.
The bedding industry got wise to us thrifty folks. The stores no longer sell bed sheets separately. About 12 years ago I made all the drapes for our house from flat bed sheets. That was when you could buy sheets and pillow cases by mixing or matching colors you wanted.
Now if you buy bed sheets you have to buy the whole set which consists of the top, bottom and two pillow cases.
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