Wise girl, indeed, although she's never needed much of an excuse. Living in New York City for the past seven years, she's become an expert in rescuing abandoned furniture from curbsides and giving it a new lease on life with a little paint and reinforcement.
But I agree with her that half the fun in reducing, reusing and recycling is seeing what great results you can have for little or no cost. That's one reason I've been utterly fascinated with the projects everyone's doing over at Wardrobe Refashion. Do you read it? I've been lurking there for months, and while I haven't signed up for one of their official challenges, they inspire me almost daily to look at transforming things I already have into something new and useful.
Those clever Wardrobe Refashionistas are always doing things like finding the most amazing printed sheets at thrift stores and turning them into breezy summer skirts and dresses. One gal used an old Harley T-shirt and some ecru crocheted lace and made an adorable baby dress.
I've never actually had much luck with thrift store shopping, but I thought I'd give it a try again as a creative challenge. Lucky me - in the housewares area I found two enormous cotton twill tablecloths in a very cheery lemon-lime stripe. A whopping $3.99 for the pair!
I can't wait to see what these will become. There's nary a stain or worn spot in sight, and they washed up beautifully as soon as I got them home. I may have to make some more little girls' dresses (because, you'll be glad to know, I'm over my angst about sending the clothes I make to the women's shelter. The director there assured me they really do need children's clothes all the time, so I got over my feeling that I was thoughtlessly sending castoff items without regard for need. I really appreciated all of your comments as well. Also, I have another project going for the shelter, too, but more about that as it takes form this summer...)
These tablecloths could also become tote bags or quilt backings - there's a LOT of fabric here -- it'll be fun to see!
I really hit the jackpot on a table filled with other assorted table linens, too. I was particularly excited about these three cloth napkins for 13 cents apiece. (13 cents? Where'd they come up with that? No matter, I was glad to snap them up.)
These seem to go together so well, I'm tempted to slice them up and combine them into one patchwork bag. Hmm....
I won't post all the other photos of my haul today, because I want to save some for before-and-after photos on specific projects. But I was really delighted with the other things I found, too -- including another tablecloth in an adorable vintage-style red-and-white print, a couple of voluminous skirts in cheery florals, and a Liz Claiborne lightweight denim dress that's sort of sack-like on the hanger. But it's not going to be that way for long...
What did I shell out for this big bag of stuff? Exactly $13.71. And this afternoon, I'm going to get started seeing what sort of transformations I can begin with some of it.
Unfortunately, though, I can't start with the striped tablecloths. Abigail apparently has other plans at for them right now.