Sustainable Sewing Tip #4: Repurpose and Reuse

The old saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without” is certainly applicable whether you are trying to be more mindful of how you spend your quilty dollars or if you are simply trying to live a greener lifestyle.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

(1) Old t-shirts
(a) Use as packing material
(b) Use as cleaning cloths
(c) Save the good parts for t-shirt pillows, t-shirt quilts or remake into baby/toddler clothes
(d) Donate whole tees or scraps to an organization that makes pet beds for animal rescue groups. Old
t-shirts are often used as stuffing material.

(2) Jeans
(a) Repair old jeans using the visible mending techniques that are so popular right now
(b) Save the good parts of worn out jeans (legs, rear pockets) to be turned into any of the wonderful
projects by designer Ira Rott. Below is a placemat made from old jeans and a Hawaiian shirt:

Cuddles the Hexi Bear Placemat pattern by Ira Rott

3) Kitchen items
(a) Old plastic food containers can be used to corral small bits in your sewing room, or to pack a travel
sewing/EPP or other handwork kit.
(b) Snack food bags (Oreos, Lay’s potato chips, etc.) can be turned into usable zipper pouches with the
addition of some iron on vinyl.

(4) Fabric scraps
(a) Cut leftover pieces into usable sizes to make your own precuts. Look for videos by Lori Holt,
Bonnie Hunter and Pat Sloan for inspiration on how to organize and manage your fabric scraps.
(Target and Hobby Lobby are a great resource for super-cute storage bins).
(b) Use your leftover jelly roll strips as in place of ribbon when wrapping presents
(c) Use your scraps to sew up fabric bags or gift card holders to use in lieu of wrapping paper.