Upcycling

It’s hard to be sustainable all the time. I’m always conscious of reducing my food waste (one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted every year), I prefer travelling by train (when travelling was a thing I could do), and I take care of and love the clothes I have rather than keep up with fast-fashion, and its detrimental effects. However, I’m only human, and sometimes I’m lazy – I could definitely do more, recycle more, eat more organic foods, use less plastic, send fewer emails – the list is practically endless. That’s why I’m ridiculously pleased with myself for realising I could upcycle some old bedsheets and turn them into something new.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

The term upcycling has been around since the early 2000s and became increasingly popular with the rise of Pinterest and DIY crafts and blogs. In reality, I’m sure upcycling has been going on for many years earlier than the Pinterest boom: it seems a product of the “make do and mend” era of my grandparents, the act of making a little go a bit further, in order to serve the family on a budget. I’m very privileged not to have to look at it that way, but the responsibility of not wasting anything that still might have a use is still there.

Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pexels.com

My old IKEA bedsheets had been hanging around in my wardrobe for years. I genuinely think they’re around eight years old, and whilst I stopped using them on my bed a long time ago, I kept them as a spare set for guests. Obviously, with the way things are currently, I haven’t had any guests so a wardrobe freshen-up was needed, and the bedsheets ended up in the ‘to donate’ pile. Obviously donating bedsheets is still better than throwing them away, but itching to get sewing again after my not-quite-right first project, I took the opportunity to save them as spare, practice material.

Channelling my inner Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music, I cut out the pattern of my trousers and was pleased to see I had bags of material left. Thankfully, I’d learned from my previous sewing mistakes, and managed to make a complete, comfy, normal-length pair of trousers out of my old bedsheets.

Now, I’m not sure if I’ll wear them out of the house, more due to the pattern style than anything else, but as a summer pyjama/lounge pair of trousers, they are perfect. It’s definitely a bit strange seeing my old duvet on my legs, but hey, anything that brings me a bit closer to bed is a good thing in my books!

I’m so happy that I saved this material, it really ended up being perfect for my sewing projects. My next sewing challenge will be to make a t-shirt, so I can try and have a matching pyjama set – saving the world, one project at a time.

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