Has anyone heard of freecycle? There are hundreds of local groups online where people can giveaway the stuff they don’t want anymore to avoid things going into landfill. Or, as was better put on the freecycle website:
“The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process”
You can offer things up and, in the one in my area, can request items under £50 value. I love freecycle and I’ve managed to get some brilliant things that way, including a working Dyson Hoover!
I was feeling a bit fed up about lack of suitable fabric for some project ideas, and lack of funds to purchase anything new, so I sent an e-mail to my freecycle group asking if anyone had any fabric they wanted to get rid of. I had two responses. One was a guy offering me old Santa sacks with holes in… Umm, no thanks. And the other was a lovely (sounding) lady named Wendy. She didn’t tell me exactly what she had but asked me to come round and help her in the loft to have a look at what she had.
When I first got there I was a little disappointed as there were bags of secondhand clothes that could be upcycled and a few scraps from a pirates of the Carribean dress her daughter made. But then down came the loft ladder and out came the hard stuff! Here’s the best of what I took away.
Red cotton lawn- soooo soft and fine. I’m thinking of making and Anna dress out of this as there’s a massive 3.10mtr but I’m a little worried how fine and delicate it feels. Do you think I’d need to line or underline it?
I think this one might be silk but I haven’t tested it yet. Either way, I love the black with the white swirls/flowers?
Beige cotton floral. It’s not my usual colour but it’s lovely and I really like the flowers. Maybe another Emery for this.
Vintage Laura Ashley cotton floral. I don’t usually wear small scale prints; I’m a bold, bright, jewel tone kinda gal; but this is really sweet and reminds me of a dress Maria at Stitching Odyssey made.
Leaf print Cotton. I like this one too. Again, it’s not my colour but the print is so retro I couldn’t resist.
There were two precious pieces she couldn’t part with, both with a lot of sentimental value. There was a gorgeous shot silk damask, shot 7 ways apparently, brought back by a friend of hers travelling in the 70’s. I wish I’d photographed this, it had a pretty, small scale pattern. There was also this lovely length.
I believe this was purchased in Senegal in the 70’s and the flowers are embroidered and had a sheen to them.
Wendy has been keeping these two for years and she wants a dressmaker who knows what she’s doing (not me then!) to turn them into something classic and timeless that she can dress up or dress down. I suggested the By Hand London Victoria Blazer but I’m not sure it’s quite right for the fabric. If there was more body to the floral it might look nice as a Chanel style Cardigan Jacket. What do you guys think? Any suggestions I can throw Wendy’s way?
Anyway, I’m forever astounded by the generosity and community spirit that is out there when you look just beneath the surface of modern life and I couldn’t thank Wendy enough for her gift to me.
Have any of you ever been given amazing fabrics? Or used freecycle?