Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scrappy Rug

Another conference is looming at work so I'm not doing much evenings. This is the start of a project from a couple of old dresses of mine. In 1997 when I was about to have my hip replaced, I knew what getting dressed would be like (no bending forward at all) and I knew what getting about on crutches for an extended period (about 4 months) would be like, so I bought myself a couple of simple cotton dresses from Sears that would be easy to put on, wouldn't ride up or untuck as I walked, and would be good for summer. I came to love those dresses and when they began to shred this year from wear, I decided I needed to replace them. I haven't yet settled in to the replacements, but they'll be okay. Or not.

I wore these dresses all of the time at home. They had paint, glue, bleach, ink--all sorts of things got on them. They lost their color. One had been chambray blue with little white flowers and the other a blue and pastel plaid. I did not want to give them up and by now they are so very soft.

I've been reading Spirit Cloth and others about reusing-recycling and I grew up with quilts with patches from this dress or that shirt. So it wasn't much of a stretch for me to decide to reuse the dresses. Last weekend I deconstructed them. The skirts were each a panel of nearly a yard square. (sometimes it pays to be hefty!) I also cut the bodices and pockets to have fabric for something quiltish I feel lurking about. But I ripped the skirts into 1-1/2" strips and began making a mat with my Aunt Philly's Toothbrush tool.

After I got going I realized I don't really use place mats and so I thought of a bathmat but we have a nice rug I like in the bathroom. Then I realized that I've been using a folded in half throw rug in the narrow space next to the bed. I needed a narrow rug for next to the bed.

So I turned the oval shape, which would be much too wide, into a rainbow kind of shape (the photo above). It was getting a bit awkward and curly. When that looked to be too wide too, I began to add on at the ends. More on this below.I ventured out with the camera early this morning (before 7am) and caught our neighborhood bunny at breakfast.This is a second generation of mushrooms in this nook. The first was tucked in next to the tree root. They don't last long. We've had a lot of rain this year and mushrooms are sprouting up everywhere--the lawns are full of them. I've never seen it before.So, here's my finished rug, photographed on the dewy lawn this morning. It had rained last night but was gorgeous today! I added strips on the end and then did one last ring all around. It's not quite 3' long. I think it will feel good under my feet.

As I was ironing my clothes for the week later on Sunday, I was eyeing some of my work dresses with greed. There's a vest with pretty machine embroidery... Some cotton pants are getting old... Puts a whole new perspective on things!

I'm looking at a road trip next weekend and thinking about what kind of project I could take. I can knit and crochet in the car, so I may do that and hope my hands hold up.


terryb said...

This recycling thing is very interesting. You buy something you like, wear it out, reuse it for something useful and then go shop for more clothes with preplanned reuse already set. Maybe your standards for "worn out" become a little more lax and you get to shop a bit oftener. Aside from the work involved in creating the new object, I could live with this :)

Lelia said...

Oh my, every time I read a post about these rugs --- I start itching to chase up to South Bend for the instructions & needle-thingie!!! LOL

What fun to rip up older clothing and create rugs --- and such a great excuse to buy new clothes!!!!

Rachel said...

And the real bonus is that you can look at your recycled things and maybe remember something from when the dresses were still dresses..

Moonsilk Stitches said...

It's certainly changed my way of looking at my current wardrobe and I have to be careful because shopping is not in my near future.

I did feel a real connection with my grandmother and great-aunt as I made the rug. I really enjoy that feeling.

And I do remember all the things, good and bad, that those dresses saw!