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What You Can Do with Clothing That You Can't Throw Away for Sentimental Reasons

Updated on May 8, 2013

Overnight Bag made from Camo Pants

Bag made from pattern taken from Deena Beverley's 'Brilliant Bags' book.
Bag made from pattern taken from Deena Beverley's 'Brilliant Bags' book.

For one reason or another we all have an item/s of clothing that we can't bear to part with. Whether it's your child (or yourself) who has grown out of something..., or even clothing from a loved one that has passed on.

If you're not handy with a sewing machine you can most probably find a relative or friend who will do it for you, especially in circumstances where someone has passed away. Quilt, doona covers or blankets pieced together with loved ones shirts can be very comforting and can be keepsakes to remember the person by.

One of the easiest things to make out of children's clothes is a simple draw string bag, easily made by a rectangular piece of fabric folded in half and a cut out piece of the clothing stitched on. Provision for the drawstring can be made a couple of simple ways by either folding the top over and sewing not quite all the way around, or another piece of fabric the same length but wide enough to support the drawstring. There are many simple bag patterns available.

I don't know if any of you are familiar with the children's story THE CHERRY DRESS written by Elizabeth Honey. It's about a little girl who has a favorite dress and wears it practically every day until she's too big for it. The dress is cut up and made into a variety of other clothing as she grows out of it. If your child is anxious about having his/her favorite clothing cut up, this book may help your child understand what you're trying to do for them.

Also it's important that if you do start a project that you finish it! When you're working with something of sentimental value you want that sense of achievement when it's done. Don't make the mistake of choosing a project that's so complicated it becomes a burden or worse still gets cast aside out of frustration, keep the good feeling going and good luck!

Making Girls Ponchos

Below is another simple idea. This is taken from a very very old pattern book called 'Under 5 Fashion' possibly 70's vintage, no visible copyright.

Drafting- The pattern is ONE piece. Start at point 0 and rule two lines at right angles. All measurements along these two lines will be taken from point 0 without moving your tape. More construction lines are ruled at right angles to these. Sloping lines are ruled next, then the curves can be drawn, take care not to make the curves too tight under the arms or the fabric will bunch up when sewn.

Cutting- The fabric is folded in four. The shoulder and center edges of the quarter pattern piece, you've just made is placed on the folds of the folded fabric.

Making- Join the underarms. Cut a strip of material wide enough to attach to the neck line. Turn it in and machine it on to form a slot for the drawstring, alternately you could use ribbing for the neckline. Tidy up your hems or you could make lining and turn the front and lining bit under itself or into itself however it goes in easier.

Have a go out of making it from scrap material (an old sheet) first, you'll be surprised how easy it is and it will give you the confidence to embellish your fair dinkum one.

Girls Ponchos 4-6 years

PATTERN | Source
Two examples I've made.
Two examples I've made.


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