Tag Archives: Freecycle

I Love Freecycle!


Yesterday I obtained some bedding via Freecycle. The man originally said 6 dustbin bags. It turned out to be 19 black bags!!! WooHoo!

These are just some of the items!

I have already filled a 50l tub and a 25 l tub with duvet covers!

So I spent all day sorting through and organizing everything into piles. Curtains, sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, blankets, doilies, towels and pillows. It was great fun for me since with each hand grabbing into a black bag pulled out a mystery object. I haven’t, as yet, pulled out the favourites. Well okay with the exception of a pair of lime green silky curtains that have white vine-type flowers on them. The colour is gorgeous and I love the texture.

One thing I love about this lot of goodies is a lot of the items are very retro. There is even a few of those old 70s style bedcovers … the ones that are like a blanket but have the fluffy lines that make a design (okay will add a photo because this description does not work!).

Chocolate coloured bed cover

The colour combinations, patterns and textures of the oldie fabrics are so different from what is available today. Granted some of it I will be quite careful when planning what to use it for because it has that look and feel of being highly flammable. LOL I do often wonder how many people survived the terrifyingly combustible polyesters of the past. Given what we now know of those materials, in theory thousands, if not millions, should have perished in flames. Mind you, I am glad that didn’t happen … it is just in the scaremongering, over-protective society in which we now live, you would think that this sort of polyester is simply as toxic as asbestos.

Funky flowery polyester curtains

Anyways, I still have to find places to put all of these treasures whilst I plan, organise and create like mad. Or at least until the pile dwindles sufficiently enough to justify going on the prowl for more. Oh drats! That reminds me. I am getting a roll of upholstery fabric tomorrow. LOL I am going to be very, very busy 🙂

Psaryce x


Machine 0 vs. Moi 1


I got another overlocker through Freecycle last night having decided to give it a try instead of continuing the hung for a lower looper for my other one. The kind donor did say it had been given to her but she’d never used it and it had been living in a cupboard for ages.

I got it home and discovered it was filthy! Also someone had ‘borrowed’ the plug. Luckily I had a plug spare so repaired that … spent 2-3 hours cleaning it in detail (cloths, QTips, paint brushes, cleaner, you name it). It was sparkling by the time I finished with it! Then I oiled it generously as the crank didn’t want to turn very well and gave it a new lightbulb.

The needle in it was broken so the next morning (today) I had to find some that fit (sadly my normal machine needles don’t). My first point of call was a friend (June) who has a sewing business (Recycle & Sew) as I thought she would either have some or would know where to get them. My internet searches revealed the machine is American (and ancient) so when I couldn’t get through to June, I began calling around local shops (I’m far too impatient to order online in these situations!) thinking I wouldn’t find them. But to my delight, in the end I did manage to find a place not far away (Eastleigh Sewing Centre – nice people – friendly & helpful).

So I get home with needles and did the struggle to get them into the machine properly – it’s very fiddly and you could do with having multiple, tiny hands for this! The success of fitting them was sadly short lived as the fun of threading it came – Ahhhhhh! There wasn’t an instruction manual but I found one online (Yea!) only it was a PDF of scanned manual and the images weren’t very clear (Boo!) so threading was partially done by guess work. Both of the loopers were tricky and in the end I took one off the machine to clean it to find the hole! So once threaded up, off I went to test it out knowing I’d need to tweak a few bits.

Several hours later … I had discovered it wasn’t picking up the left needle thread so I took that out of the equation … eventually discovered the needle was in wrong way round (the tops are round unlike my normal ones which are flat on the back side so the whole episode of fitting a needle was even more fiddly the second time around) … also found out that I hadn’t threaded the needle threads properly … at one point wanted to chuck the thing against a wall … another envisioned a huge bill to have it serviced … and yet another had me wondering how the nice, friendly lady could give such an instrument of torture to anyone … I even asked friends on Facebook to have the white jacket on stand-by!

But in the end I was victorious! I defeated the filthy little bugger and now it is submissively purring along beautifully 😀 Yeah ME! Okay it took me all day but I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in, I persevered and I kicked its overlocking ass! heehee

The Instrument of Torture

All that is left now is:

A. To think of a suitable name for this minx


B. To figure out what the heck I am going to do with it!!

Suggestions (as always) are welcomed! xo

Hoovy’s Custom-made School Shirt!


The Shirt!
Originally uploaded by Psaryce

Well here it is! I finally finished the shirt this afternoon- phew. Hoovy was getting concerned it wouldn’t be ready for tomorrow and made a few comments that indicated she’d resigned to wearing it on Thursday instead. She kept a close eye on the progress as I re-attached the sleeves and sewed the buttonholes and buttons on. As I did so, she was comparing my work to that of the pajama shirt she was wearing – making sure I was doing it right!

It started out very well until I got to the sleeves. I asked her about how she wanted the cuffs and she choose pleats over gathers. It was simple enough once I got my head around how exactly to do it so they were symmetrical. The real troubles came when I attached the sleeve to the shirt and we discovered it wasn’t just puffy, not even just poufy … it was a mix of mega puffy/poufy! It reminded me of the old Victorian nightshirts it was so ridiculously wide. So the only way to rectify it was to remove the sleeves (grrr – unpicking white on white late at night can make one cross-eyed!). Then I had to re-seam the sleeve (I had opted for false French seams so a bit of extra work there) but luckily managed to taper to the cuff so I didn’t have to re-do that bit!

Once the thinned out sleeve was attached, the rest was a breeze. 8 buttonholes & buttons, a quick wash in the machine to get rid of tailor’s marks, a bit of time on the washing line to dry and finish off with an iron and it was all done. Much to her joy as I know she secretly wanted to wear it tomorrow and so did I. At least I finished it all before she went to bed. She has it all hung up with her other bits ready for the morning 🙂

Recycled Skirt


Pink Recycled Skirt 2
Originally uploaded by Psaryce

I have finally gotten around to adding this blog! This is the skirt I made at a recent Recycle & Sew event in Fareham. The event was great fun and I will post pics as soon as I can. There was a wide variety of people and projects going on and it was very interesting to see what everyone else was getting up to. In the room were large tables set out in a semi-circle for us to work on plus two large tables with the machines (2 normal sewing machines, 2 overlockers and a coverstitch machine) and a huge pile of used clothing and scraps to play with.

Aside from us ladies, two boys who had won a competition at a children’s event were there. I would guess they were about 8 and 11. They were fabulous and so inspiring! One of the assistants helped the elder boy add to his camouflage-style trousers so they fit more comfortably (they were too tight) and the other boy decorated a T-shirt to look like a tux using red sparkly fabrics and other trims. The assistant was most impressive in her dealings with the boys and even got one who was very reluctant to use the sewing machine to have a go on the overlocker!

Another lady re-styled a simple summer dress for her daughter to be Tinkerbell. Others were pattern cutting, one lady brought loads of items to be fitted.

My project was to re-vamp an well loved jersey hooded jacket that buttoned up. I had received it in a bag of clothes through Freecycle and loved the mis-dyed soft pink fabric. It was several sizes too big for me and as I said it was worn out with holes at the pockets edges and along the drawstring casings. So I created a skirt which I still needed to finish the waistband at the end of the day. I feel I could have completed it on the day but kept looking around at everyone else’s work.

All-in-all it was a fun afternoon on a very grey and yucky Saturday. I will definitely to go another event like this and will bring my DD along as well.

Stage 1 of the WIP


Stage 1

Originally uploaded by Psaryce

WIP = Work In Progress

Simple (boring) black skirt … looks so sad hanging there doesn’t it. But consider for a moment that it used to be a pair of trousers, ones I got in with a bunch of other clothes through Freecycle and now it is becoming something more becoming. It is being transformed with love for a lively little girl with (dare I say it) a ‘passion for fashion’. No my munchkin isn’t a Bratz fan but that saying suits her.

Anyways apologies for the photo quality, I don’t have 8 arms but it would help because I use my MacBook’s Photo Booth to take pics with. Still my hand looks very dainty don’t you think?