Old clothes? Don't throw 'em away

Every year in November, my friend Larissa and I start rifling through our bags of accidentally-felted sweaters, holey knitwear, and garments who have not stood up to our four little boys, and we get out our scissors and sewing machines and go crazy. We're getting ready for an all-recycled craft bazaar, and we love figuring out new ways to (literally) turn our trash into cash. Sometimes we raid our relatives' and friends' closets, too. Here's some of the ways we've found to make useful, beautiful items out of cast-offs.

Ways to recycle your old clothes
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Old clothes? Don't throw 'em away
What better way of honoring your wallet than making it out of your old baby clothes or torn/stained/unwanted garments? I used the pattern from Amy Karol's 'Bend-the-Rules Sewing' and used pretty bits of fabric from a little girl's dress I found at a thrift store (it turns out I have three boys) and other scraps of fabric from cast-offs.
These sweaters were too flamboyant to wear. But my friend Larissa came up with an easy, super-cute handbag pattern to make 'em beyond wearable. Talk about a new life!
This hat, made from four panels cut from sleeves of felted sweaters, is a cute and warm way to use your suddenly too-small or moth-eaten pullovers.
My friend and I have a great time cutting up accidentally (and on-purpose) felted sweaters to make hats. But what to do with the rest of it all? Why not a fashionable "pulse warmer" with a crocheted edge and some pretty buttons.
Can you use a sewing machine *at all*? You can make a hat out of a sweater in five minutes. Measure your head's circumference (most adults are between 21-23 inches), half that number, and cut two rectangles that width (i.e. 11 inches) and about 15 inches tall. Sew up the sides and top and presto! Hat.
Living somewhere warm and no longer use your great 90s-style scarves? Can't stand the fringe? Gifted a pretty-but-scratchy muffler? Use Martha's idea: make a gorgeous fringed stocking out of your useless accessory.
Got holes? Patch up your kids' clothes with bright scraps of fabric that add personality and (importantly) full knee coverage!
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