Monday, April 6, 2009

What WON'T you Recycle?

Wow, we have lots of different responses to the whole "refashioning" issue. Some people are totally for it, saying "anything that gets people back into needle arts is a GOOD THING" and others say it reminds them of the bad old days, "unfortunate memories is of my grandmother fashioning clothes from flour sacks".

So what won't you recycle? People have strong feelings about this. It surprised me, but I suppose it shouldn't have. It is a very personal issue. We had a lively discussion at the dinner table last night. My daughter was against refashioning pillowcases, but said she had happily turned sheets into curtains for her apartment when she was in college. They were already hemmed!
Mr. Hunting Creek helpfully suggested making nighties out of used dryer sheets. I don't know about that idea. He reminded us that Scarlett O'Hara successfully made a gown out of her mother's draperies; an early example of successful refashioning.
Crazy quilts and scrap quilts were our grandmothers' methods for dealing with small pieces of fabric, old clothes and scraps.
As mentioned below, I won't refashion a pillowcase. I was strongly against cutting up old embroidered things - why? It really bothered me. The ones I inherited from my grandmother remind me of her. I can't cut them up; and they are too fragile now to even use as pillowcases. I still have them, too fragile to use(we used them for over 20 years) but I keep them with sweet smelling soap in the linen closet. They scent the other pillowcases and I think of my grandmother whenever I put the laundry away.
I would not re-use old underwear or pajamas. Old t shirts make great cleaning rags. Old sheets I use as dustclothes once their sheet days are done. When towels get raggedy they get assigned to car wash and dog bath duty. Old cloth diapers are famous for streak free window washing.
Old clothes get donated to the Salvation Army. I very seldom cut them up and turn them into anything else because I think someone else might enjoy them in one piece. I have a bunch of old suits that I never wear any more (I work at home now); a friend suggested Dress for Success or a battered women's shelter as a good home for these.
I have recovered pillows and I recovered my dining room chairs.
I have bought clothes from the second hand store for their buttons, and used the fabric from a old prom dress for Christmas angel dresses when I was in high school.
And like any mom, I have made Halloween costumes out of materials on hand. Not just to save money, but to make something unique. The kids still talk about the time we made a Darth Maul costume out of black lining fabric and an old turtleneck and some makeup. And won the Best costume prize!

So where do you draw the line? What WON'T you recycle?


Myra said...

I don't know what I would not recycle in the needle arts area, just that I have to like it. I have seen some recycles that I am like "why?" or "you're kidding", but that's my opinion. I do recycle rarely worn or unworn RTW shirts of mine into shirts and capris for my daughter, at a child's 8, there is usually enough fabric to make a shirt for her, if I like it and if she does. My rarely used or unused pants/capris also work out to just enough if the pattern is placed right. I cut pants into shorts, long sleeved tshirts into short sleeved ones, esp. for the boys, but only if they are still in good shape and appropriate weight. It has to look right, though.

gwensews said...

I won't recycle needlework--embroidery, for example, especially if it's of setimental value. I won't recycle my husband's pants or shirts. I won't recycle anything that won't be better than the orginal.

Elizabeth said...

As a young bride one of my husband's first request was that I darn his socks. I was shocked- I didn't know that anyone actually darned socks. He was shocked that I didn't darn socks, in his family this was a necessity not an option. It has been 30 years and I have yet to darn his socks. When it comes to donating an item I ask myself if I would care or be ashamed if it was know that the item belonged to me, can someone use it and it is in good condition. For example, after my mother went into a nursing home I put 3 of her bras into my donation box. I do keep garments made of quality fabric that I like and can envision using again and you can bet I snip off lots of buttons and I've reused zippers. It stretches my creativity to complete a project like a costume for my grandaughter without purchasing a single item. With our country facing difficult economic issues perhaps it is a good time for everyone to reconsider how we use all our resources. I'm sorry for going on - I do hope I haven't violated any blog etiquete but this is something that concerns me. Oh, last week, without remorse I threw away a pair of tennis shoes.

fourkid said...

I love remaking items. I am in thrift stores more than any other store. I think underwear is the only item I wouldn't reuse - the rest is all fair game. I buy garments for their parts - I gave up matching silverware and just buy it from the thrift store as needed - table linens, curtains, dresses from fine fabrics, are all cut apart and remade.

All those saved dollars are used for the rest of life - and eternal investments.