Meet my new shorts. The only thing – and I really mean the only thing – that is new about them is the thread. And their, well, existence as an entity.
I’ve not always done a lot of sewing, but with more time at home recently it’s become an important part of how I try to maintain a sustainable approach to dressing myself. Here’s what these shorts are made from:
I always keep an eye out in charity shops for high-quality fabric items (bed sheets & curtains), but with that options closed to me during lockdown I discovered the joys of ebay’s ‘used’ tickbox. Instant second-hand gratification! These were once curtains used on an exhibition stand at a business fair.
I actually bought this fabric to make some cushion covers for our sofa, but as I had a fair bit left I thought they could be fun for shorts too. That’s where this project started.
My family have always hoarded small things “that may come in useful one day”. This absolutely includes buttons. Three of the ones on my shorts are from my own collection (you can never start hoarding too young), and as I was short one my mum chipped in (with some help from my nieces).
I was given a cardigan by a friend (always ask a friend if they want your clothes before you give them to a charity shop!) which is now one of my solid favourites, but it had these weird zips on the pockets. A few unpicked stitches later, and the zip made its way into my sewing box – and then onto these shorts. If you look closely, it’s navy blue and doesn’t match anything else on the shorts…
And finally, as no item of clothing is complete without pockets, I cut up an old bed sheet (one that had worn out and torn in the middle – when the middle is worn there’s usually a lot of wear left in the edges) to make the pockets.
I’ve recently made a few items by copying items I already own that I like. There are some great posts out there that tell you how to do it – I tend to use pins to mark the edges of fabric pieces that make up an item, pushing them through the fabric to newspaper underneath, and then cutting the marked newspaper into pattern pieces. These were based on some utilitarian shorts I inherited from my sister in law. I played around a bit to add the buttons and belt to get a more fitted look.
Now… if you’ve ever up-cycled thread, or you’ve successfully used recycled thread in any sewing projects, let me know!