The ol' Skinflint Curmudgeon

Refashion it - everything old is new again

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Refashion it - everything old is new again
101 Uses for.....
Holiday Newsletter 2006

A young mother in the 70s, I still like to think of myself as identifying with the 'earth mother' images of those retro 70s.  Fashionable once again with new definitions, I am tickled to see what is old to me is new again to a whole new generation!  Repurposed or refashioned and trendy for this generation.

 Men's Ties Refashioned into Fun Skirt
And you thought those old ties were good for nothing but the thrift store...
photo from Ballyhoo blog
There are other creative projects for what you can do with men's ties.  Hmm, makes thrift store finds more interesting!
Here is a bit of a tutorial from a woman who doesn't claim to have made a skirt out of men's ties.
-  I would establish the length of the skirt first, and the color progression, then open up the ties lengthwise. Match them at the bottom  and pin them together lengthwise until the waist is the proper measurement. Then sew and put in zipper - or make the skirt's waist big enough to go over your hips and add casing for elastic.
Maybe you prefer step by step instructions - link to Hippie Tie Skirt (no photo)
  Other Projects using Men's Ties
- colorful pillows
- colorful bedspreads

The Curmudgeon could do some refashioning if he wanted to, it's not really just the domain of women.  Who says 'fashion' has to be the latest high style fashions carried in stores?  Fashion can be your personal statement.  Let's see what some clever and creative people can do with fashioning something old into something new.

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        DENIM PROJECTS - Refashion those old jeans
It was always my intention to make a heritage quilt out of the clothing my children outgrew as they got older. So I saved the clothing for decades (can you guess that my children are full grown adults now with children of their own!). Alas, after all those years, a mistake in storage and the saved treasures were ruined with dampness and mold.
That project that I yearned to do won't be happening quite the way I envisioned, with squares of fabric from well loved children's clothing. And I never quite did manage to teach myself how to quilt. Great Grandma's sunbonnet hand sewn quilt, which was my inheritance, still needs to be quilted with a backing. I have some lifetime left, so I still think I may get around to completing this project.

But - there are the grandchildren, and if I can convince my daughters to save their children's clothing, perhaps there can still be a heritage quilt - or bedspread.

For now though, it might be fun to do what
this lady at Sew and So did in making a jean bedspread - squares of jean-denim material. I think I'll need much more jeans/denim than I have, but again, can turn to daughters a
nd ask them to send along old and outgrown jeans.
How about some more denim projects? Denim placemats (use pocket to hold silverware); denim hotpack (from pants leg); denim pocket fridge magnet; denim winebags (from pants leg); denim pot holders (use old sweatshirts for batting)..... see these projects at
 A denim project - Butt Bags - you know you want one!
- The "butt bags" are just the top of the jeans. Cut off the legs just
below the crotch. Sew across the bottom and put some handles on.
Perhaps dress up the outside abit with  trinkets, jewerly, flowers, just about anything you can get to stick  on. 
- The Girl Scouts made sit-upons much the same way one year.  The top of the jeans is also stitched shut and it is stuffed with plastic bags
Here's a link to more craft with jeans denim projects at It's a craft site for kids, and maybe that means some quick, simple projects and fun with the kidlets.
 Denim Photo Frames  - self explanatory
Denim Do-Rag (Triangle scarfs) - decorate with trims, lace,buttons.
  Denim Projects for that Cabin Look
- I got the idea to take the 6" squares cut from denim articles and sew them into a fabric for re-doing the side chairs in our den. The house is done in cabin style. Someone brought in a big box of squares already cut into 6" ones. Also there was a big buch of jeansin the box. Thinking of making a demin quilted table cloth and a couple of pillows for the bed/sofa in the den also.
  Denim Tote Bags
You can make totes out of the legs of denim jeans. Just cut the length you
want, sew up the bottom. put on a strap of whatever, ribbon, different
material, beads, etc. and there you have it. You can google for denim bags
and get lots of ideas from the web.
 More Denim Projects - Refashion those old jeans into something newly functional...isn't that 'repurposing'.
 Plasic Storage Bag Holder; The legs of jeans are great for making those "bags" that hold the plastic bags you get from the grocery store. Aattach or make a loop at the top to hang it and gather the bottom part with elastic... Shove the plastic bags up inside for storage and then just pull them out when you need one...
Small pillow with pocket; The back pocket of jeans, skirts, etc can be left on the "butt", cut out the whole section and sew as the front of a small pillow: perfect for the tooth fairy, little love notes, etc... Even when the pocket is "empty", it is still full of love!
-  String Pouches; The legs also make good draw string pouches in general... and since they are natural fiber, you can store stuff in them that "needs to breathe"
- Carry-All Bag;  Use skirts in much the same way... sew the bottom shut, attach a handle and you have a shopping bag or a handy (and cute!) bag for your children to gather toys into when "picking up"... or take it along with you on your shopping trips as carry all bag.
- Pets Toys - Pet resistant furniture;  Denim is great for making tough dog toys or covering the corners of furniture where a kitty-cat likes to scratch... if you have a fabric covered piece of furniture, use safety pins and replace the denim as necessary...
- Diaper Cover;   If you use cloth diapers, denim is a nice thick diaper cover..
- Add pockets to your bags; . Cut off old pockets and sew them onto or into shopping bags for a place to store a small note pad, your shopping list, a calculator, pen, etc...
- Potholders n Kitchen Mitts;   Layers of denim sewn together make great "pot holders" or "kitchen mitts"...
- Soothing muscle warmer; Take two layers of denim, sew them together, fill with dry rice and add a little lavender and you can microwave it to make a warmer / soother for your neck, feet, hands, whatever... just make certain that there are no rivets, etc, in the pieces of denim that you use!
- Add-on to make decor Primitive;  Long, thin strips of "ragged" denim can be used to decorate "primitive" ornaments, tie togther wooden spoons for a "country" gift, tie back hair, etc... Really unlimited uses on this one.
- Appliques for Sweatshirts; Applique denim "patches" on sweatshirts to make them "country" (and they last longer!!!)... also good for patching the elbows of jackets, other denim shirts, etc...
Suggestions for reusing denim  from listserv posters
- make a duvet cover
- checkbook cover - add some embroidery to make nice gifts
- make a bag, line it inside with other pretty fabric
- cut into strips and make into a rug
- make a small  bag to hold your Scrabble game pieces, or any game pieces
- donate to local Shelters (people and animals)
 Redecorate a room - Western style using denim jeans

Redecorate a room, using old western jean.  Cut the  legs off of one pair, sew across the bottom to make a puch, thumbtack to the wall to hold 'stuff' and the pockets will hold more 'stuff'.  In a bathroom, will hold hairdryer, brushes and such.  In a child's room will hold school stuff or special toys.   
Use the legs to make curtains. Cut the legs open and sew  red bandana material to the bottom. Make tabs at the top with the red bandana material.  Make a crocheted blue, white, red rag rug to set it  off.  Or might be where the thrift store finds come into play.

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Refashion a t-shirt into a dress projects

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