Eco-Friendly Projects

Do you know that American’s send 11 million tons of used textiles to landfills each year?  Many of these items are in great condition and simply get tossed into the trash can.  This averages out to about 65 pounds of textiles (clothing. linens, fabrics, etc) that head straight to the landfill.

Further, are you aware that synthetic (man-made fabrics) take many years to decompose (if they decompose at all-think about it, polyester is made from plastic water bottles and thus is essentially plastic).   It can take 30-40 years for nylon to decompose whereas cotton takes about 1-6 months.  (Clothing decomposes faster if it is cut into stripes).

Imagine, if you will, taking these unwanted textiles/clothing and turning them into something useful-a new creation!

Here are some pictures of jeans that have been rescued from the Goodlwill and upcycled.  What do you upcycle?  And which of these is your favorite (these will make their way into my Etsy shop soon!).  Thanks for stopping by.  Check back for more eco-friendly and upcycled posts!

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Pillowcase Challenge

Have you heard of the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge?  If not, here it is:

Just create a pillowcase to donate to charity and log it on the website.

Here’s a simple pillowcase tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company to get you started :

Go on, now!  Get sewing.    See you next time!


Handmade Doll Clothes

For weeks I have been making doll clothes.  The only problem was that I didn’t have an 18 inch doll to put them on!  After weeks of looking for a used doll,  I bought an 18 inch Our Generation Doll at a  local thrift store.  Her hair had been cut and the only clothes she wore was a simple shirt.  She is still in good condition (I don’t know her name-maybe you can help identify her).

So here are some of the clothes I made for her (The doll and clothes will be my daughter’s birthday present).  I’m also beginning to create other doll items to list in my Etsy shop.  I should be adding doll clothes to my store very soon.

Let me know what you like about these doll clothes!  Do you sew doll clothes?  I’d love to see pictures!

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Up-cycled Toddler Dress

A cute picture of a little girl’s dress made from an up-cycled men’s dress shirt was floating around Facebook a few weeks ago.  Someone at church asked if I could make it for her daughter.

So I bought a few dress shirts on sale at a local thrift store and began to sew away.  The first dress looked like a pillow case dress-not the look I was going for.  But it was cute.  The second dress looked better-I used a pattern I have but made it too small.  The third dress came out much better.  I intend to have my daughter wear the third dress so I’ll make some slight alterations to it.

After trying the three practice dresses, I was ready to cut into the shirt I was given.   I asked the girl’s mom if she had a dress that fit her daughter well.  She had one and was nice enough to let me take it home to make the pattern.  Using the dress as a guide, I cut out a pretty cute dress from the shirt.  The dress isn’t finished yet.  I still have to create the elastic casing around the neckline and the arms.  I hope to finish this dress today.  I promise to post a picture of the finished dress.

What are you working on today?


Little Girl’s Dress

My last post promised updates of the McCall’s Purse pattern I was working on.   The truth is simple:  I haven’t had time to work on the purse because I have my first custom order!  I was asked to create a pillow case dress for a little girl and a dress made from a men’s dress shirt.  I’ve been busy working on both!

The men’s shirt dress looked simple enough.  I figured I’d get that one down on the first try!  The pillow case dress looked simple enough, but for some reason it appeared to be more difficult than it really is.

Instead of showcasing the progress I’ve made on the purse, I’ll share pictures of the two dresses that are finished (these are practice dresses I made for my daughter; not the dresses for my customer). Whether or not my daughter will actually wear them, I don’t know!.




Of the two dresses pictured, I like the purple one best.  The other dress is made from an upcycled  women’s dress shirt.  I wasn’t sure of how to create the neckline so I created a casing and added ribbon using a safety pin.

The (wo)men’s dress shirt dress is a work in progress.  Yesterday I cut out a new dress using a pattern I already have.  The dress seems to be coming together well.  I forgot that dress pattern sizes are different than the clothing we purchase in the store.  Therefore, the dress is too small for my daughter.    (I’m going to create another practice dress before making “the real one”).

If you’ve created a dress from a man’s dress shirt, let me know how you did the neckline!  I’d love to know how to finish this project up.

New Purse Pattern

Last summer I purchased a purse pattern and cut out the pieces for it.  But there were so many pieces, it seemed too complicated for me to make.  So I set it aside.  After we moved, I put the bag on top of my sewing table where its sat for almost five months.

Yesterday I decided it was time to give it a go.  I didn’t get very far  yesterday; I was able to make the pleats and pin the pockets into place.

I realized that the pattern is much easier if you take it one step at a time.  So my next few posts will focus on this purse pattern.  I will take pictures as I go along to show the progress I made.  It really won’t be  a tutorial, but you might take away a few tips for your future projects.

Because this is a test pattern for me (I always test a new pattern before making it for someone else) there will be bumps along the way.   I also decided not to waste my precious interfacing.  It won’t be as stable, but it will give me a good idea of whether or not I attempt to make it again.

I’m excited to let you in on this journey.  Really, this purse has been lurking in the shadows.  I was intimidated.  Until yesterday.  So I’m excited to begin this next challenge.

I hope you’ll join me for my next post where I’ll add pictures and update the status of this purse.  It will take a week  or two to finish because I have other projects to work on.  But it WILL get done!

What are you making this week?  Join me on Wednesday as I update the status on this new purse!