Thursday, October 22, 2009
But I'll have a sailor laddie and dye my apron blue
This evening I attended Re-loved 2 at Craft ACT, a fashion parade with all the clothing made from recycled clothing and fabric. There was quite a range of styles, with several different designers involved. Some was more to my taste than others (of course), but the show was definitely worth a look.
A similar thing goes on, at a more personal level, with Wardrobe Refashion where people pledge to avoid buying new clothing for a set period, instead renovating and remaking existing stuff to satisfy the need or desire for different clothes. I've also recently come across Project Remake, a new group in Canberra who are exploring ways to recycle textiles. And I've been thinking about what textiles and other materials I can reuse and repurpose in the things I make.
Not the best photo but this shrug made from a kimono was gorgeous.
My pears are stuffed before felting so they need a stuffing that doesn't felt, dries quickly and can stand up to rough treatment. I've been using polyester stuffing or wadding (a bit firmer) - both probably quite environmentally unfriendly, though I haven't researched it yet. At times I have also used the stuffing from old worn-out cushions. Now that I think about it, there are probably a couple of misshapen pillows in the cupboards that could be sacrificed this way too. Whatever I use gets such a thorough washing with hot water in the felting process that I don't think there could be any hygiene issues.
This week I'm working on some prototypes for a different stuffed item and this time I'm planning to felt them before stuffing. So I've started keeping little fabric scraps and all the wool ends from various knitting projects, to be used as stuffing.
Of course there is my new button stash, much of which has come from op shops. Some of them are scratched or damaged, which make for an interesting look - but then some of them are better covered up. Some of the covering fabric was from a bag of leftovers and scraps that came to me from a friend leaving town (along with a sewing machine).
Once upon a time I did some knitting with cut-up t-shirts. I thought I might make a shopping or lunch bag with the resulting tough, thick fabric, but I didn't persevere as I didn't enjoy the feel of knitting it, at all. Many people do successfully knit with fabric strips (making floor rugs, for example). Alwen at Lost Arts Studio has instructions for how to spiral-cut a t-shirt. She was using the strips for weaving, too.