Friday, April 30, 2010

Going [a little bit] Green

Had this post typed up several days ago, and became totally sidetracked on the way to posting. Granted, the project (request for vampire bunny, ala bunnicula) which derailed me ended up being run off track by a 2-day migraine from hell... but that's another post.

During my quest for things to keep my hands busy during TV viewing - of which I do entirely too much - I came across sweater repurposing & felting, through a link someone posted to Betz White's blog.

I read some of her posts, and the reviews of her book Sewing Green, then popped over to Borders to pick up a copy for myself.

I'm not generally one to get all warm & fuzzy about recycling, but this particular sort of Green was something which got my attention. This is Grandma's (or Great-Grandma's) way of doing things - use it up, wear it out, and then find another way to put the parts to use. The items White makes are generally useful, and they actually look presentable. Not the sloppy DIY repurposing I often see... great that they're trying, but I'd not want to be seen in public with it.

There are a few general sewing projects from the book I'll be readying for summer, such as the pool bag, which I'll be making from fabric placemats and a towel with the dog-chewed corner. And the cashmere dog & rabbit, if I can ever convince my daughter to give back the cable-knit cream sweater she snatched out of my stash. (She loves that the grownup sweaters shrink to her size in the wash. It's becoming an issue, since my 10-year old has also discovered the joys of a really good merino wool and started pilfering felted men's sweaters. I'm hoping the 80-95 degree days coming up will put a stop to it.)

I've picked through our closets & drawers for a few outgrown, stained, worn out wool sweaters, and have also picked up a few at Goodwill. There are a couple of projects in mind that will take a while - to find the right combo of colors - but I love that I'm able to snag the sweaters off the rack no one wants, and for $1-2 a piece, since the damaged sweaters always sit around long enough for the full price drop. (The red sweater - 100% wool, great quality, had two small holes and a snag in the sleeve - $1.80 at Goodwill.)

That's not to say I'm stockpiling for no reason. There are already a few completed projects:

A heart shaped purse, made for DD's valentine from less than half of the red sweater (above):

And this adorable little hedgehog, made from an ink stained sweater from the back of my own closet and the leftover felt scraps from a school project (free!):

This one is DD's, along with the inflatable flamingo from her birthday party, and the Alice-like dress & apron, made from blue shirts and leftover white muslin. I'll be making a second hedgehog next week, as I prep teacher gifts for the end of the school year. (B2's teacher has a hedgehog as class pet.)

Yep. I'm environmentally conscious alright. Except it's for reasons that have more to do with "fun on a budget," nifty DIY and challenging our creativity, and less to do with worrying about the oceans boiling.


Slamdunk said...

Do I get to call your blog a "tree-hugger" now?

Very creative--hedgie looks great.

mappchik said...

I suppose, if you must, but only because you said nice things about Spike. :P