Recycling Challenge

At the local stitchery group our challenge for 2019 was to re-invent an item purchased from a charity shop. This is a teeny tiny skirt, about a size 6 – but I loved the material – it was just like tweed.

Embroidery Guild Challenge

I decided to use the waistband as a collar for Barney – staffs have very thick short necks, most collars I have bought cause skin irritation.

Charity Shop Skirt revamp

With a little hand sewing it fitted him very well. The poppers were ideal, as he sometimes gets a rash under his collar, so if it was irritating him he could easily slip it off. I tend to use a harness when we are out walking so the collar did not need to be used to hold him.

A nice snug cosy collar

I then took the panels apart and really liked the centre panel, it would make a wonderful little bag.

recycled charity shop skirt challenge 2019

I loved the shape, it would double over and create such a nice little frame bag. I discovered an unusual frame in the bag section of the charity shop and it was just a simple case of dismantling the lacy fabric from the frame and incorporating it into the bag.

Embroidery Guild Challenge

After years of wrestling with a sewing machine being part of the Embroider’s Guild has given me a real love of hand sewing. What I have fallen in love with is the ability to get real accuracy and stitch around objects like frames without wrestling to get it under the foot of a sewing machine. Hand sewing is so liberating and you can also do it in your favourite armchair while watching Peaky Blinders or Vera! (Popular TV series in the UK) in case you are not from our shores dear reader!

The panel made a bag in just the right proportions.
Charity Shop Skirt revamp

I decided to make a little bow but it needed a little more embellishment so made a lovely yellow daisy with silk ribbon embroidery.

unravelling the weave to make leaves
leaves detail on bag, unravelling the woven fabric

I unravelled some of the weaving to make feather like leaves, to sit alongside the flower, they came out like feathers and were a lovely textured effect.

Charity Shop Skirt revamp
Charity Shop Skirt revamp

I used the skirt lining to make a quilted lining for the purse following the curved shape of the bag, it is simply wonderful to realise just how easy it is to make something when you can do it by hand. All those little fabric sleeves to go round the frame were easy to make – no fighting to get it under a foot!

There was still some fabric left over so I decided to make a bracelet pincushion. (I don’t know about you but I never seem to have a pincushion handy!) Using yet another purchase from a charity shop, a pretty bead bracelet.

recycled project bracelet pincushion.

I was rather delighted with this object, the green and pink was a lovely contrast. The bracelet is so easy to clip round my wrist and was just the right size (which is rare for me!). I had the pompom trim in my stash and it made quite a pretty flower in the centre. I packed the stuffing in quite tightly which supported the flower shape.

Recycling project.

I also tried to dye the fabric, which proved very resistant – bleach did not affect it, nor did a week in a strong dye bath. In fact the fabric stayed reislliently the same throughout my various treatments. It turned out to be more acrylic than natural tweed. which was fairly disappointing, but shows just how fantastic some of the modern fabrics are. If I were able to actually wear this garment, it would pretty much resist any stains at all! Great for a piece of clothing but not so great for experimentation.

I did make some Singleton buttons with the fabric left over, I might make a few more things, as I have a few more scraps left but I wanted to share this now.

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