I may never elevate my sewing skill to the level of couturier, but I am getting really good at turning old stuff into great, useful stuff. The word “salvaged” is hot, hot, hot right now and I’ll risk being trendy and legitimately use it in this instance. This example of salvaged sewing isn’t exactly a tutorial, as you Dear Readers at home would have to have a very similar rectangle of camp chair mesh available, so I will suggest that this is more a lesson in thinking outside the fabric store and into the realm of making use of what is available to us Wildflowers for free with a little effort and creativity.
A camp chair, close to 10 years old, tore beyond repair and left behind a rectangle of polyester mesh. I cut the mesh-free and washed it in the washing machine.
I folded the mesh hot-dog style, making a long and skinny rectangle. I did this so the zipper of this lingerie-laundry bag in the making would have a sturdy, non-stretch side on which to be attached.
This black mesh is stretchy in one direction and not in the other. The factory seams provided a sturdy place for me to attach a salvaged zipper (saved by my Gram, that I discuss here).
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I used a sort of low-brow zipper installation method. I sewed the seam, opened up the seam allowance, sewed the zipper in by sewing all the way around the zipper, and then ripped out the first, center seam. This is a fast way to put in a zipper. It isn’t invisible, or fancy, but it works really well and you can see in the pictures that I didn’t even have to change my sewing foot.
I unzipped the zipper, sewed the two sides shut, and threaded a matching ribbon through the zipper pull.
Now I have a laundry bag to keep my underwear safe from snagging velcro or metal zippers.
This salvaged sewing project is an example of the “Make Do and Mend” philosophy that sounds warm and fuzzy but is a bit more challenging in practice than many realize. It is so easy to just buy another lingerie bag and would have been faster to toss the whole dang chair in the garbage without another thought. By thinking creatively, I saved a little bit of polyester from the landfill (I think landfills are a gross, dirty thing indeed) and I have a new, free, perfectly useful lingerie laundry bag. And I got to spend a few lovely minutes at my sewing machine as a bonus.
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What have you salvaged by making do and mending, Wildflowers? Share a little inspiration below in the comment section!
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