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I have been teaching myself how to use my sewing machine. While there is so much to learn about it, I only have a little time to spare to my hobby. But when I do, I don't go to the store to buy fabric. I use what I already have. I am currently working on a bathmat made from an old towel and t shirt strips. I have already cut up 5 tshirts for this project and am approximately 3/4 of the way done. I can't wait to use it! It is colorful and cozy underfoot and I will be able to wash it in my washing machine easily as it isn't a huge rug.

I have already made slippers, a sundress, draft dodgers, potholders, hats, mittens and leg warmers. I am finding this both a fun hobby, as well as, a constructive one. It is so rewarding to be able to use things I make from clothing and used fabric already in my house. The cost of thread is microsopic and every time I make something, I learn something new about my sewing machine. I also free up space in my closets by using old jeans, t shirts and I always save my scraps for other projects.
 

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DD is making sellable doll clothes out of king sized (unused) top sheets,ribbons from the new blankets w// velcro. I gave her the bags from my new sheet sets I got on clearance too. Very clever.
She is making a period dress and took the wire out of ribbon and made the collar lace w/ it.

Sewing can be so gratifying when you "upcycle".
 

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Try a rag quilt using jeans and cotton shirts. I have made several..I get old jeans by the garbage bag full for 8.00 at St Vincent's and men's plaid shirts..mades really nice, super durable quilts. They are very warm. People love them, very homespun look.
 

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And now what would make this all perfect is pictures please! Love all the ideas shared!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Bugg: What do you use for the inside of the "Sandwich" for batting? Batting seems to be very expensive in the fabric store. Is there something else I can use?
Try a rag quilt using jeans and cotton shirts. I have made several..I get old jeans by the garbage bag full for 8.00 at St Vincent's and men's plaid shirts..mades really nice, super durable quilts. They are very warm. People love them, very homespun look.
 

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pictures and/or directions for the bathmat please.
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Take an old towel. I used a white one with white thread to attach the strips to. I used my rotary cutter and cut up a bunch of tshirts in 1"x4" strips. line them up on the towel just overlapping each other slightly. Sew down the row, right in the middle of the strips and when you do the next row do them 1 centimeter apart. Otherwise, you will have gaps in the rug. When you wash the rug, the tshirt strips will "curl" on the ends. I watched a video on Youtube on how to make this rug. I, unfortunately, made my rows 1" apart as the woman said to begin with and then 3/4 of the way through the video she said to make them 1 centimeter apart. So, now I am filling in the gaps, and its a pain in the butt. Still not done with it, but will take pic with it and post it here when I am! It will take a long time to make it. I used a hand towel to make it and have already gone through 5 tshirts but might need one or two more to complete this project. My cost was the thread which is next to nothing. You will have to refill your bobbin a few times. I can't wait till it's done. I might never walk off this towel/rug as it is very very fluffy and soft! Good Luck to anyone who makes it.You will not be disappointed! Also, forgot to tell you all to use a disappearing ink to mark where you will put the rows for the strips. Mark it with a ruler, then your rows will be straight.
 

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Most of my sewing projects are like this.

Fabric can get expensive, especially if you are buying enough for an outfit for and adult.

I generally start with an existing outfit and make changes to it. Usually it is a thirft store outfit or something I get from Old Navy when they have the big $5 shirt sales. That way I do not feel bad if it does not turn out.

I do sometimes by new fabric, but it is usually something done for embellishment or accessory. And most of the time that is done when I have something specially in mind.

I do costuming (for SF/fantasy conventions) which can be an expensive hobby, but I try to do it on the cheap. One idea is that my regular clothing can sometimes be turned into a costume with just a few minor additions. And these are accessories I can remove to wear the clothing as normal. Well my regular clothing can be a tiny bit excentric so that helps.

I have also made costumes completely from things I have had on hand. I also like the challange and creativity this brings.
 

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I just finished a quilt for my granddaughter of bluejean squares that was from her late grandfathers pants..I took and sewed them with the seams to the outside and everytime it is washed it gets fluffer..I sewed a flanel sheet as the back and then took yarn and tacked it at each corner..It is really heavy and can be washed many many times..Several of the quilts that I have made I used old bankets that looked worn..I get them from the SA or goodwill for little of nothing..some times I have washcloths that are thread bear and I have used them as filler for pot holders..old bathtowels also work good..My grandmother used a lot of double knit faberic scraps and made me a crazy patch quilt..She made both sides with the crazy patch and put them together and tacked them together..It has worn good and my kids loved getting under it to watch TV..I keep all buttons, zippers , and trim from cloths that arent any good anymore..scraps left over from anything that I make goes into a tote by color..
 

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~I thought this thread was about home waste water containment/processing so I passed it over a couple times. :p :crackup:
So yeah, I'm a frugal sew-er too. It's very fun to re-use old stuff. Almost all my projects are things made from old clothes and sheets. Yard sales seem to be the best place to pick up textiles, when you run out of your own cast-offs to play with. You can really grab stuff for just pennies.
I did make the kids some fleece bathrobes recently from a pattern and new materials. That felt like such a treat! Still frugal though, $23 for two robes and plenty of heavyweight polar fleece leftover for slippers or other projects. :)
Hey, any objection to my changing the post title to "Frugal Sewing"? And I see this is posted in the Challenges forum. What is the challenge exactly?~
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It took me forever last night, but I was able to put a picture of my frugal tshirt bathmat as my "Profile Picture" here on Frugal Village! Go check it out! I know it is tiny, and I still have a little bit of work to do on it. I threw it in the washer last night and then dried it in the dryer. The ends of the tshirts are standing up and curled on the ends. So, when I continue to fill in the gaps, it will be easier to do because the strips aren't wildly all over the place. It is very very interesting and my "Feet" love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The challenge is the hours and hours of time it takes to make this tiny bathrug. I have been working on it a little here and there for a few weeks now. I used an old bathtowel and 6 tshirts so far to make this. The only thing I had to buy was some new thread and a marker that goes away when put in water. It's challenging to me because I am trying to teach myself to sew. I didn't even think of the "Sewer" synonym. LOL. I suppose it belongs somewhere else in fv, but I am exhausted most days and sometimes don't put "Threads" where they trully belong! No pun in tended ;)
 

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Could you post some pictures of it frugalforever? I would love to see it! :)
 

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Duh, I didn't notice your post that you already had a picture posted....thanks nuisance for saying so! :blush: I like the colors too! Very pretty!
 
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