Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Absolute Best Way to Reduce Textiles in Landfills!

In a previous post we talked about the fact that the average American family discards approximately 68 pounds of textile waste into landfills annually.  I am doing my best to decrease this amount, both personally, and hopefully I can influence a few other people as well <winking at you!>.

It should come as no surprise that keeping used clothing and other textiles out of landfills begins with...

...SHOPPING LESS!  Shopping has become an end in itself in our culture.  A pastime or even a hobby.  In part, we're responding to the siren song of advertisers and even our government about the need to keep the economy moving through spending.  And, I often wonder whether we're harking back to some primal hunter-gatherer instinct basic to the human psyche.

I often find sustainability closely linked to frugality, though I am far from immune to consumer culture.  My name is Dee, and I am (at times) a recreational shopper.  I have lofty goals of spending minimally and strategically.  I won't shop at stores which support policies and politics which I cannot support (examples would be Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby), though I realize that I'm not always aware of all hidden agendas.  I buy re-used and recycled whenever possible, and I'm obviously a huge proponent of DIY.

I am far from perfect... but, instead of hitting the mall, I go to yard sales, thrift stores and used goods stores. I also frequently use Pinterest as a shopping substitute - just because I pin it does not mean I have to buy it - and I can go back and look at it whenever I want!  What strategies do you use to decrease your urge to shop?

Next in this series:  Knowing When to Let Go: 7 Reasons to Remove an Item From Your Wardrobe!

Shared at: My Repurposed Life

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Milestone and a Giveaway!

In the greater scheme of the world of Pinterest I suppose it's a minor accomplishment at best... I've reached the milestone of 150 followers!  In a world where some are followed by thousands (and even 10s of thousands) this may not seem like a very big deal, but to me it's fantastic and unbelievable!

I've always been the shy one - the wallflower, the shrinking violet - so for 150 of anyone to pay attention to me is truly astounding... SO, to celebrate, let's have a giveaway!  Up for grabs are these fab vintage patterns, courtesy of my good friend, Adorna (I got a box of Adorna's patterns at an estate sale, which you can read about here.).

First, there's Simplicity 7512 in size women's 38 (bust 42).  It seems Adorna and her mom really loved shirt dresses. This one is from 1967, and features a special how-to guide on setting in sleeves.  There are both full skirt and a-line skirt options.

The second is Simplicity 4213, a cool vintage apron pattern, also from the 60s,  Aprons are so popular right now, and this apron could be adapted so many ways!

To enter to win these lovely patterns, simply follow my pinboard Sew Inspired, or if you prefer, my inspiration pinboard Seams Sustainable, and leave a comment below.  The winner will be chosen at random on April 28th, one week from today.  As always, thanks for coming by!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Favorite Store in the News!

I speak often about my favorite store for great estate finds in my area.  I was so pleased to see an article in out local paper about the store. Not only is this store an excellent Sunday afternoon browse, but the people behind it are some of the nicest people you will ever find in this type of business.

When my husband and I bought our new (to us) Victorian home, we were faced with a few problems in furnishing it.  First, it is much larger than our previous home, and second, we wanted to restore it to some of its previous Victorian era glory.  We turned to Chris at Tops.

This chair was found in the basement of the store!

These lovely and comfortable chairs had just come into the store the day before we made one of our nearly weekly visits!

My husband fell in love with the Victorian era armoire and the heavy four poster bed.

We found this Victorian birdcage soon after buying the house, as well as the side-by-side secretary below.

 Almost every stick of furniture in the house was obtained from Chris, all at fair and reasonable prices.  Had we gone to snootier antiques dealers, we would not have been able to afford all of the wonderful furniture we now enjoy (not to mention my two wonderful vintage Singer sewing machines!!!), not to mention the many other non-furniture decor items we purchased there.

Please visit Chris at Tops! See the link to the article for store location and hours.  What's your favorite source for new old stuff?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Isn't That Pinteresting? - 6

My pin this week is central to the very theme if this blog!  It leads to a wonderful post by Sarah at The Fuzzy Square, where the author condenses a ton of great ideas for recycling and upcycling clothing onto one easy and inspirational page.

As you know, I do not like to see clothing and textiles go into land fills.  I much prefer that they be donated to others, or, if you're of a creative bent, upcycled into another garment.  I have (literally, I think) a ton of clothing I need to get serious about refurbishing.  If I run out of ideas, this pin will jump start my creative engines, and I hope it inspires yours as well!  What are your favorite upcycle ideas?

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Day Off

A day off has such potential doesn't it?  So little time and so much to do!  I have one today because I have to go to work this weekend :-(.  I'd like to be able to tell you I've been all kinds of productive, but I'm afraid that's not really true...

I had breakfast out as a special little treat to myself, then browsed an antique shop.  I had serious sticker shock there, so I went to Target to accomplish some weekly errands.  Then I did the week's laundry and worked on another of the laundry room curtains.

Love the burlap and the lace.  Like many of my projects, this one gets a little done on it whenever I get the chance... two valences to go.  I'm undecided on whether I should make cafe curtains to go on the bottoms of the windows, or remain au naturale.  

I'm trying to do some blog work, too, as you can see.  I actually learned how to get rid of the little borders around all the pictures on the blog here (Thank you!). That had been puzzling me.  And I created a new signature without the annoying white background.  I'm sprucing up the place for spring.  You see, I'm hoping to post much more frequently... and more pithily!  The slightly crazed ramblings of the frustrated and time crunched sewist!