No New Clothes in 2020 Challenge

Welcome back to Beagle HQ! How are you guys doing? Hope you’re not going too crazy while in Lockdown. We’ve been keeping busy with assorted crafting and home schooling but I finally took some time this weekend to do some sewing.

There’s a group on Instagram which is promoting the idea that people don’t but any new clothes in 2020. We’ve all heard about the effects to much consumerism is having on the environment as well as the people working in factories to keep up with demand.

In the UK, it’s been estimated that we throw away a staggering £140MILLION worth of clothing each year (source: WRAP UK). That’s an insane amount, especially as the bulk of that goes to landfill, where it can take decades, if not centuries to breakdown. No wonder there’s a number of groups lobbying government to take action.

But what can we do ourselves? Well, as always it’s a case of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. I’ve reduced the amount of clothing hubby and I buy for ourselves and try to source as much as I can secondhand for the Lamb and recycle our unwanted clothes with local charity shops. However, there are some items of clothing which I don’t want to throw away, but how to reuse them?

Well, I had an unfortunate incident while wearing my favourite pair of jeans which resulted in a tear across the bottom! They were so comfy I didn’t want to just get rid of them and initially I did my best to patch them but it didn’t look great and I was a little paranoid the tear would reopen so I decided to up-cycle them into a skirt!

It was a super simple up-cycle, if a little fiddly. First, I used my button hole maker to unpick all the stitching from the inside of the legs. It took a lot longer than I was expecting and I did end up with a claw hand at the end of it!

I decided use this fun Star Wars fabric which I’ve had in the cupboard for ages. Lining it up was a bit tricky but worth the effort. I didn’t pin the back properly into place so when I was sewing it ruched a little, which meant some unpicking and another claw hand! Due to the nature of trousers (I didn’t realise there’s curving and tucks) I needed to cross the top part of the jeans over so they would lay flat. If you’re going to attempt this, I’d really recommend taking your time and making sure everything is lined up. Also, check what needle you have in your sewing machine. This wasn’t my first time sewing denim and I learned from past experience to use a brand new needle of the strength used to sew denim.

And here’s the finished result! I’m really pleased to be able to continue wearing my favourite jeans in a new way, especially as the weather has turned sunny! I’ve also received a number of lovely comments on my unique, geeky skirt. Definitely worth all that work!

Have you ever up-cycled any of your clothing? What did you make? Any hints, tips or photos, sound off in the comments below.

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