Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

I always try and teach my children the importance of minimizing our footprint on the Earth. I try and practice just that with my sewing and crafting. I recently made 7 pairs of pajamas for my nephews, my children and a cousin’s child. The result was 7 pairs beautifully made pajamas and a ton of fabric scraps, both fleece and flannel. I looked at the pile of scraps and felt defeated. I was certain there wasn’t enough to make anything for my kids.

I contemplated making a fitted diaper for the youngest but after some measurements decided there wasn’t enough of any one single fabric. My daughter begged for me to make her Barbie and LaLa Loopsy doll pajamas that matched the ones she got. I knew this would only use a small portion of the scraps but I set some aside for that. I was once again back at square one trying to figure out how I could reduce the amount of waste, and set that example for my kids. I had the scraps folded up and set on my sewing table so that I couldn’t ignore them. Than it came to me; as I was sitting folding diapers I heard a familiar call from the back of the house… “Can I get some wipes back here?” AHA! WIPES!

While our diaper stash is quite large and can last us nearly a week we have only about 2 dozen wipes. Those wipes are generally used up within a couple days. So I started at it; I laid out the fabric and started cutting it into wipe sized pieces (5-6"x8"). It was tedious work but I was happy to do it. I knew that the wipes would be of great use and it would greatly reduce the amount of scraps left over. Some of the fabric was used up entirely others all I had left was the selvage, and a few small scraps which were perfect for my daughter to use on her sewing machine. The amount of wipes in the house has increased significantly and there is still a stack waiting for me on my sewing machine waiting to be top stitched. The fleece well some scraps were used to make the skate soakers and I’m thinking about fleece socks for the kids.

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