I’ve not done a lot this week.  I decided my quillie rug needed more swiss rolls making so I have been cutting up strips from felted charity shop jumpers!  Charity shops are great for getting materials to work with as long as you take time to check the composition of each item. So many times I have found a beautiful wool jumper only to see it is ‘superwash’ which means it won’t felt!

There was a wool blanket in one local shop for a couple of pounds which would make lots of strips for a rug!  I didn’t buy it though as I have been in the loft and reclaimed 3 huge wool blankets which where my mother-in-laws and which we used for camping carpet and play tents when the children were small.  These should felt up nicely!

I also found a suitcase full of my wool from years ago when I knitted and crocheted a lot of things.  It is all in good condition apart from a musty ‘loft’ smell. Same applies to charity shop wool – it often smells funny to me so I don’t buy it.  I don’t know if you can wash balls of wool without ruining them or whether I should crochet them up into things then wash the finished item?  Can anyone offer any advice on how to make this wool pleasant again?   Hopefully I can reclaim this old stash as it must add up to a fair amount of money in today’s prices!

I’ve also bought a couple of really good quality cotton shirts recently which will make beautiful patchwork fabric!  If you’ve never investigated your local charity shops I would recommend it next time you want some fabric. Even a cotton dress for around £3 will yield plenty of fabric for patchwork or to make bags.

I did manage to finish one WIP this week!  A sundress for me – made from an Abakhan remnant and some lilac cotton jersey from my stash and a home made pattern based on another charity shop sundress!  It actually fits and two people have admired it and asked where I bought it!

I’m now off to the Handmade Monday Linky!!


sundress in poppy flower fabric

sundress in cotton with stretch cotton jersey bodice and straps!

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11 thoughts on “Upcycling!

  1. Your dress is so pretty. I love the poppies. I’ve never been lucky enough to find wool in a charity shop but I can usually find a good book. Have a lovely week.
    Ali xx

  2. Musty smell is due to lack of air. So try putting outside, on a dry sunny day, shady spot to see if the smell airs out. This works for moth ball smell, but you have to put in the sun. x

  3. My mam was a secret smoker (she thought we didn’t know that she’d started smoking again…..) so when I inherited all her fabric and needlework things they had a rather wiffy tobacco smell. I bought some cheap bars of soap and put the bars in with the things that were smelly. In no time at all the smell was gone.

    Love the dress xx

  4. You’re a woman after my own heart – I just love recycling. You can unpick woollens, wind them into skeins (I wind them between the gap between my thumb and index finger, and under my elbow). Then, put them inside the legs of old tights to keep them from tangling, hand wash them and use conditioner, then dry them like that, on the clothes line. They might get some strange looks/comments from the neighbours, but it works a treat! PS The dress looks fab. xx

  5. Aww your dress looks gorgeous! You’ve done such a neat job, i’m not surprised you’ve had compliments 🙂

    Charity shops are great for getting really pretty feature fabric to use in small amounts aren’t they, and its exciting because you never know what you will find! x

  6. I buy things in charity shops too, I like to wash and condition with good quality products, they seem to hold their scent longer. Hang outdoors if possible.
    My mum used to wash skeins of wood in tights too. (I also used to wash pleated skirts or delicate dresses this way too) 🙂

    Jan x

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