Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Recycled, Refashioned And Repressed

Back in 2008, one of my earliest blogposts [my tenth, to be precise] was about a skirt I had made from fabric purchased in John Lewis in Oxford Street. I have loved this skirt, and worn it every summer since then. It still fits, but the fabric around the top is wearing badly and there are a couple of small holes, and places where the print is fading. So I have reluctantly relegated it to the Stash Bag.
On Wednesday afternoon, a young friend came round for a couple of hours whilst her Mum was busy elsewhere. She brought Lucy with her. So we got out the machine and made Lucy a new dress [and some pink knickers, as she was seriously lacking in underwear!]
I was careful to cut the pattern against the hem, so we could incorporate the satin binding. 
Lucy is NOT the same shape as American Girl Dolls, so we had to create the pattern from scratch. However we did label it carefully and it has gone into my file, in case Lucy visits again with her owner.

My other bit of recycling last week was to make myself a new ironing board cover. I've been given a bag of 'transferwork' pieces. These were really popular in the first half of the 20th century. You either bought a ready printed piece of cloth, or brought the transfer sheets and ironed them on. Then you spent your evenings embroidering traycloths, table cloths, pillow cases, napkins, and more. Injured WW2 soldiers were often given them as therapy during convalescence! Popular patterns included flowers, the 'Willow Pattern' and crinoline ladies.
In my bag was a large linen tablecloth. Clearly very old [price tag in shillings and pence] but sadly the pattern had faded in some places, and was badly smudged in others.

I gave it a good wash, and re-pressed it. The transfer faded quite a bit with the wash.Then I carefully measured out a piece to make a new cover for my board. I put the fabric pattern side down, but it doesn't show through.
The current one is exactly 3 years old, and I felt like a change. Somehow I think this ecru linen looks more French Country Chic. Perhaps I ought to replace my plastic laundry basket with a lovely linen-lined wickerwork one?
This one is rather lovely - but £45 is definitely an unjustifiable expense!


  1. The old transfer patterns are quite rare now. What a good idea to make your friend's doll a pretty dress, I'm sure she was very happy.

  2. I went back to your earlier post about making an ironing board cover. Did you ever find something to do with the rest of the tablecloth?

  3. Some of the cloth went into bunting, some covered my smaller 'tabletop board' some became tissue holders and some became shoelaces [http://angalmond.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/what-shall-i-do-with-my-other-half.html] There's just enough left to make another dolly dress I think!!

  4. This post made me smile. One of the best things about recycling things is the stories they gain as they move along. Especially fabric.

  5. Every girl needs a nice pair of pink knickers

  6. £45??????

    What excellent recycling!! Well done to you!


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