Friday, July 27, 2007

Frugal Friday--Recycle Old Clothing

One of the most useful, frugal, and creative things you can learn to do is how to sew. You may not feel very excited when you look at your mending basket, but, like other frugal habits, you can achieve great satisfaction from your efforts. And some mending projects require a bit of creativity to fix the problem, so you get to exercise that part of your brain, too. Some pieces may be beyond repair, but you may be able to recycle them into other uses, either reworking the piece into clothing or something beautiful for your house or for a friend. Reworking pieces might require more than "bachelor sewing skills," so you'll need to take the time to hone more advanced skills. For less than perfect (collectable) pieces, updating vintage clothing is all the rage now, even among teens. There's not a better time to combine your skills and creativity to make something new out of something old. Here are some links to information to help you do just that.

Beginning sewing lessons:
Online Free Sewing Book
Sewing Lessons
Learn to Sew at

Easy Clothing Repairs (pdf)
Mending an "L" tear with iron-on mending tape (video)
How to Mend Clothes from How Stuff Works

Repurposing Old Clothes, Sheets, and Tablecloths
Ideas from Rachael Ray
Recycling Clothing Using Your Sewing Skills
Make diapers, soakers, wipes, & doublers from old clothing
More Clothes Recycling
31 Uses For Old Clothing

Article on the comeback of sewing among young people: Circling Back to Sewing

I hope you're inspired to see what you can creatively recycle and repurpose.

More Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.


  1. What great tips!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tip and if people would like to do more they should check out Wardrobe Refashion and I have a few posts on the topic. A new Wardrobe Refashion group starts August 1st.

  3. I would so love to learn. thanks for the tips. Thanks for visiting me!

    Chrissy T

  4. Here is the greatest thing ever...take some old blue jeans and make them into a little pouch that fits over the back of a chair. Sew pockets into it and you have a very handy place to keep school supplies!

    Maybe I'll take a picture of ours and put it on my site later.

  5. I've made potholders out of the back pockets of dead jeans. It means ripping the seams open to have enough seam allowance.
    Easiest way is to cut a length twice as long as what you want the potholder to be. Fold it outside in, sew all 3 sides except for a very small space to pull it back right side out. Top stitch and you have a potholder that can double as an oven mit because of the pocket.
    It also looks really cool and people LOVE getting them as gifts.
    I'll get some pictures up on my quilting blog very soon.


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