Thursday, 29 November 2012

Spring Cleaning


Given that this Saturday is the 1st of December and the start of summer, it's a bit late for a post titled 'spring cleaning'.  But seriously, it has taken me that long to get it all done! And I don't usually go in for the one big spring clean of the year, I prefer to clean when necessary (which with two kids seems to be all the time) but this year one thing led to another.  I had to clean the curtains in our living and dining room because Anna spilt some chocolate milk all over them while jumping on the lounge with a bottle in her hand, and then when the curtains were down I noticed how dirty the windows were.  So I cleaned the windows which took ages since we have a wall of louvred windows which means many, many panes of glass plus a massive sliding glass door.  And then when the windows were sparkling clean I noticed how dusty everything in the room was.......

And as I said in the last post, since we've decided to sell our house next spring I've been on a massive decluttering phase made easier by clearing out my husband's stuff when he's not home! He is such a hoarder - I know I have lots of stuff but at least it's properly stored and I'm (slowly) using it, but he has been hanging on to ratty college t-shirts that are 20 years old, heaps of cricket gear even though he hasn't played for years and several sets of golf clubs even though he only uses the newest ones.

So while he was at work I threw out a big pile of ratty clothes, donated a big bag of decent clothes and when he came home he even thanked me for cleaning up his wardrobe but didn't notice that he had half the amount of clothes he had previously! In fact he even joined in by culling a few suits and a stack of business shirts that we plan to donate to an organisation that assists men trying to get back into the workforce.

I decided to hang onto a few of his business shirts that were too worn around the collar and cuffs but were otherwise quality fabric (my husband loves his designer labels), so that I could refashion them.  So from one of his business shirts that is a thick cotton with a fine blue stripe I made two pairs of shorts for Toby, kept the buttons and chucked the scraps into the bin.




I used Ottobre 3/2009 #14 for one pair, but I found them to be a little too short and too wide legged for my liking.  For the other pair I used McCalls 6016 which I modified the pattern by lowering the waistline, narrowing and lengthening the leg - it is such a big sized pattern for the size marked on the envelope that I almost wonder if the envelope is a misprint.  But anyway I've now made myself a TNT pattern for Toby's shorts that I will use over and over again, because let's face it what else is there to make for little boys?

From my big box of UFOs and wadders, I turned a pair of unfinished shorts I started for myself that failed in the making because they were too tight into another pair of shorts for Toby.  Again using the McCalls pattern all I did was add patch pockets to the back cut on the bias for a bit of interest:

black gingham shorts

Also from my box of clothes to be refashioned, I remade a stretch linen skirt in navy I made pre-blogging days and have washed and worn far too many times:


Big sister Anna wasn't to be left out (not without loud protest anyway).  For her I refashioned a strapless shirred dress that someone gave to me that I've never worn because I don't have the necessary assets to keep a strapless dress up, but it is such a soft cotton with a cutesy cotton lace border that it suits a little girls dress better anyway.  All I did was to chop off 20cm from the bottom and use that to make cap sleeves with a ruffle, and take it in about 10cm down the sides:



Unfortunately all this sewing activity has made little noticeable difference to the amount of stuff in my sewing room and hasn't reduced my stash any, but I just can't bear to waste textiles knowing how energy is embodied in each piece, even the crappy bits.  So to get a bit more wear out of some fabric in a different way makes me happy!

15 comments:

  1. Fantastic reuse of resources. I love the photo of Anna with little fella. So so sweet.

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  2. Great use of some old bits. I can't believe how big Toby is! Anna looks great in her dress.

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  3. From the title of your post, I just expected to hear about cleaning, I didn't expect to see so many re-fashioned clothes. They're very cute, and very inspiring.

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  4. You're kids are sooooo cute! The refashions are wonderful and you're going to have plenty of opportunities in the coming years to use your stash for your growing children!

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  5. High fives from Canada. Well done on all of your recycling! I especially love the check shorts and your daughter's dress. My husband also has a ridiculous wardrobe including all of those gross t-shirts from university. There may be a culling happening over the holidays...

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  6. Excellent refashioning! You've inspired me to do some myself.

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  7. That dress is too cute, Anna too, and the shirt shorts are perfect for Toby. I have been collection some of my husband's shirts to play with as well, if its nice fabric refashioning is well worthwhile.

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  8. What a fantastic little girl's dress you made, creative You!
    Great job on the multiple shorts, too.

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  9. Great kids clothes! Love the boy shorts.

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  10. What lovely clothes and it's even bettern that you've reused the textiles too. They both look adorable.

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  11. Great use of old clothes - and Toby is standing already? ? Hardly seems that he could be old enough already.

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  12. Way to go Kristy! You sure did get a lot accomplished! Well it may not seem like you thinned things down... I'll bet your UFO box is a lot lighter! :)

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  13. These are great refashions - I also hate getting rid of clothes that could be reused, but if I don't, I end up with them sitting in boxes rather than actually getting refashioned... Anna is so big now! She's looking like a little person now rather than a small child (tried to think of a less odd way to say that, but I'm sure you know what I mean. I hope anyway!)

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  14. I love the refashioning! The kids are growing up so much.

    I was interested in reading that you were planning to donate hubby's business attire to the organisation helping men get back into the workforce. My husband has loads of business wear he needs to cull, most of it ill-fitting for him but still perfectly good, and this sounds like an excellent place to send them. Would you mind giving details of the organisation (I'm an inner west Sydney girl too). Usually I snivel hubby's old shirts to chop up for a quilt I'm planning to make for our little one on the way, but some of these things are too good to snip.

    x Amy

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