Saturday, 9 March 2013

Rag Bag Rescue

Several months ago I had a brief moment of plucky-ness and instead of driving past a large local charity shop, I parked up, walked in and volunteered my services as a sorter.  I had been meaning to do this for ages, but it took me a while to build the courage to actually do it, though heaven alone knows why courage was required! 

(Mind you, had I known what some of the bags contain, I might have realised that courage is sometimes necessary - and plastic gloves!)

Now, a few months down the line, I am on a mission to rescue some of the items that are not suitable for sale, invest a little creative time in them and turn them into something that I CAN sell, raising a few pounds for the charity as I do so. 

The germ of this idea came from the Primark jumper challenge that I set myself before Christmas, which resulted in this shrunken jumper...

...being turned into (if I remember rightly) a dozen different items, such as these...



Knitting bag 

...which raised about £60 for the hospice.

So, when this stained on one sleeve and rather washed out Gap man's shirt came in the Wednesday before last, I knew it was ripe for a remake. 

It was a gloriously large size, XXL to be precise.  

This turned out to give adequate width in the back for the unseamed front skirt sections and the two back skirt sections of an age twelve months pinafore pattern (Simplicity 2625).  

One sleeve was enough for the four bodice pieces and the 'continuous lap' piece.  I knew that the straight grain of sleeves should be the centre fold so I knew my pieces would be cut on the grain.

I just needed to cut into one of the front sections to cut the two bands below the bodice.

I decided to have the band wrong side up as I liked the contrast of the two shades of blue.

Having made this pinafore before, I really liked the wide bias strip that can be added to the hem.  It is very practical, as it means that the hem is machine stitched but completely invisible - no catching a hand-stitched hem when playing.  I decided to use some vintage fabric from my stash, and to add a bit of applique.

Although the bias edge was meant to be ironed and stitched under on the bodice edges, I chose to leave it partly revealed, to tie the whole thing together.

Back view...

Flower themed buttons...

I am now selling this, for the hospice.

Age 12 months - 18-21lbs, 26 1/2-31"
or 8-9.5kg 67-79 cm

I will post the receipt on here when I sell it, but I am thinking of setting up a Just Giving page for selling these kinds of items.  Anyone know if you can do this?


  1. Oh Alix you are very creative - the little pinafore is just gorgeous!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. That's beautiful Alix and how kind of you! Looking forward to hearing of your adventures in the Sorting Shed!

    Love Claire xxx

  3. The dress is absolutely adorable..some child will be very lucky to get it! You are really creative!

  4. Wonderful! Don't you get the best satisfaction when you remake something. I do. My mum always said make do and mend....or remake:)

  5. I am really impressed! Looove repurposing and re-dos so this was really fun. Pam in Norway :-)

  6. What a wonderful idea (and a beautiful little dress)! xxx

  7. What a lovely idea and how well you have recycled the shirt. I hope it sells quickly. x Jo

  8. You make such lovely things, and for such a great cause too, well done! :) x

  9. What a gorgeous little pinafore dress. I recognise the felted needle case because... I bought it ! It's so lovely.

    I wish we had you at our charity shop though we do have a lady who makes cushion covers, aprons & peg bags for us which sell so well.
    An American visitor bought several peg bags for her sisters. I knew that in some areas you can't hang up your washing & the woman said they would be used for all sorts of things - keeping shopping bags in etc.

    We are supposed to wear gloves to sort but I get a rash so just wash my hands well. I've found used tissues, a cigarette box, sweets, paracetamol & once a fiver in an old handbag which was given back to the customer.

    The funniest was a pair of sleeves cut from a long sleeved T Shirt. We totally got the giggles & I put on a Monty Python style voice & said we were now stocking sleeves should anyone enquire.

    Happy days - enjoy your sorting xx