I did some recycling today. Some might say it's up-cycling. Repurposing old items into a new use.
I've always been reluctant to throw away old clothing. I have fond memories of playing dress up with some outlandish outfits in my mom's extra closet, and (sadly) some of these styles have actually come back. Because of that, I have a tendency to hang on to useless clothes. Chocolate stains or broken zippers or torn sleeves ... Still can't really garbage them.
So today I brought out a huge bag of clothes I had designated for ... somewhere. I poured myself a mug of coffee, sat down in front of my new sewing machine and told my girls to go get their barbies.
We dug through the random clothes, laid out the dolls on top and pieced together some interesting outfits. An old purple-blue cotton sleeve and some black lace trim from a dress shirt became a funky skirt, with an angled hem going from knee height to floor length. A shiny red sequined collar on a tank top became the top of an elegant evening skirt. An old pink shirt transformed into a slinky tube dress. The embroidery settings on my machine turned plain old seams into elaborate embellishments.
Sitting there, cutting old things apart to make new things, made me wonder how it would have been to have to do that as a neccesity. To have to repurpose clothes because you couldn't buy new ones, or that you only had access to material when traders came through town.
My kids didn't care that some were crooked, or threads didn't match. They were just thrilled to pick out whatever fabric they wanted. It was a good kind of recycling. And as I learn all the features on my machine, maybe we will eventually have some new full size designs as well, some kind of crazy patchwork sweaters or nightgowns.