Tuesday, August 18

Lockdown sewing and being more sustainable..

Well, at the start of lockdown you may remember, there was a run on toilet roll... No idea why, I never heard of covid causing stomach upsets, just ridiculous herd mentality I guess. Anyroad, I'd been considering moving to "family cloths" - partially replacing toilet roll for the majority of my visits to the smallest room, so I identified two bath towels that were circling the "too scruffy to be seen" pile, got the overlocker out, and cut them into strips! I overlocked both towels down the centre of the long axis, and then overlocked each into strips using an actual toilet roll for the width. I found a small basket I could keep by the loo in the ensuite, and hey presto - our toilet roll usage is now reserved for the, ahem, rear exit. Having never had to wash nappies, that's one step too far for me because it'd involve the hassle of  nappy buckets etc. The used cloths get tossed directly into the laundry basket in the same room, and get washed along with everything else. A workmate nicknamed them "fanny flannels" which tickled me no end. Well, I'm only 9 underneath... :) Two bath towels made more than enough flannels that I can have some in the wash and some ready to use. 

It takes a bit of a mental leap not to hurl the cloths down the loo - don't do that, bit tricky having a plumber in right now - but once you've gotten used to the idea, it's much more environmentally friendly. Body parts leak anyway - nobody thinks anything of washing underwear for reuse, so why should this be any different? The only thing I would say, 5 months down the line, is that darker-coloured towels are probably best for repeated washing, if whites no longer being white bothers you. I've left the downstairs loo as is for guests though, I'm not totally heartless. We don't get many guests anyway! I think the original article that inspired me to do this, the writer went out and bought specific material. Towelling works very well and why not reuse something that would otherwise get thrown away?

In a similar vein, I had a major sort out of fabric offcuts, t-shirts and knickers a while back. Jersey fabric makes a great replacement for paper kitchen towels - one use and they go into the washing machine to await the next load. I love the fact some of my cleaning cloths have the lacey edging from the undies - stylish! I even made one of those tube dispensers from more leftover fabric, which hangs  on the back of the kitchen door, to keep the rags in. 

Cotton fabric offcuts are great for handkerchiefs - I overlocked them to prevent fraying. Of course, cotton is also great for face masks, I've had great fun running up lots of different ones lately. 


Front view - yes, the bees are upside down!. I added a nosewire as the final step. Probably could use an iron.


Rear view with filter pocket - note use of hair elastics for the ear bits. For really small bits of cotton I have been known to make them into scrunchies... starting to have too many of those though! :) 

Some great ideas here from the Guardian on shopping more ethically. 

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