It’s surprising how much you can get!

 Hello Dear Reader,

In my new slimmed down and time richer life, I am enjoying being able to get on with my hobbies and love of the great outside at the weekend, not just select weeks through the year. I have a pile of old shirts, that I’ve bought off the sale rails in a variety of charity shops for 50p each. If I can find a gent’s shirt, in quite bright colours, or a ladies maternity shirt or dress, on the 50p rail, then I know I’ll get plenty of material out of it. I’m aiming to wash and deconstruct two shirts a weekend and cut into strips or squares. Here’s the fabric spread out in my hall way and it’s good to see how much cotton fabric you can get out of two shirts.

The light isn’t good today and it’s much brighter than the photograph shows. Florals and stripes next to each other in patchwork can look lovely, it has a vintage feel about it with the softer colours. Today, I’m busy with cleaning, cooking and defrosting the freezer but I am going to find time to sit, stitch, sew, cut and create, if only for an hour. If your charity shop has a sale rail, look out for shirts that will make really good fabric for craft or quilting. It’s not often you can have so much fun for £!

Love Froogs


14 thoughts on “It’s surprising how much you can get!

  1. You sound SO happy Froogs – I am glad that you are finding life so fulfilling right now – and look forward to seeing what you do with the old shirts!

    blessings x


  2. What an incomparable luxury time is! I get 4 weeks of paid holiday a year, and once you take off the odd half-day holiday to wait in for the gas man or whatever, it's not a lot. I am so looking forward to my own downshift, which is planned for about this time next year. In the meantime, I shall be really interested to hear about your downshifting progress and hope to learn from your experience. Great idea to use old shirts and blouses for patchwork, by the way – I expect that soft-washed cotton will give a lovely 'handle' to the quilt.



  3. I second ana s's recommendation – as a quilter Bonnie has been a massive inspiration to me – so generous with her time and encouragement and so many free patterns on her website – lovely shirt fabrics – I also love stripes and checks to tone down the sugary sweetness of florals – can't wait to see what you will do with them – enjoy!!!


  4. Morning Froogs you do sound very content and I am happy for you.

    All inspired after reading this morning's post I went rushing round to my local charity shop whose prices in recent weeks seem to have escalated. I went looking along the shirt racks and all were £3 apiece and no bargain rail. So for the time being I have come away with no fabric this time although I did like the fabric of the shirts and it all toned very well together, lilacs, purples, and pinks (isn't it always the way. But I want to keep things frugal and I will look again during the week at the charity shops in town itself and see if I can get any 50p bargains or something similar. I like the idea of doing something like this; so for now I will hold the thought and if I come across anything I will be able to put things into action.

    However I did come across some little pots and some beer bottles for my preserving escapades so did not come away quite empty handed.

    I am now trying to tame the garden so that I can grow some veggies this year.

    Take care




  5. Our local Charity shop now has an “outlet” shop- anything that doesn't sell in their regular shops (of which there are4 all in one spot (books, furniture, clothing and household goods)where they put anything that has not sold in a certain # of days and sell for 99 cents or less..clothes, books, etc. I get tons of sewing supplies, clothing, sheeis, towels, etc. Great for quilting! Yes- look at Bonnie Hunter's site- she is a wonderful person as well!
    Jane, you are lucky to have “only” 4 weeks off- many here in the US get only 1 or 2 weeks, and part timers like me get nothing…take it with no pay….
    Enjoy seeing what you are up to!


  6. I have always liked to use sturdy men's oxford cotton shirts for projects. The cloth gets softer with washing (if it's all cotton) and you can find really big sizes for the same prices as smaller one and get lots of fabric.

    btw, I am really enjoying your success!


  7. Great idea Froogs…what are you planning to make with your budget fabric acquisitions? I've recently made a few purchases online and am pretty shocked by how expensive it's getting. Some material is going for over £15 a yard!


  8. I agree with Angela, you sound so happy, lighter of mood I guess it's lovely to hear. You have had a tough time of it recently and deserve a bit of 'me' time.

    You do get lots of fabric from shirts, but at the moment my Lovely Hubby is claiming all old clothes as rags to clean his tractor and implements, well at least they are getting used and not justs thrown away. (I do manage to nab the buttons for my button box though!)

    Enjoy the weekend.

    Sue xx


  9. I have been acquiring men's shirts too for a future quilting project. I love the colours and the way yo get loads of fabric from a long sleeved shirt. However, I have not found anything on the sale rail (most do not even have one) but am very fussy and have only bought some really nice shirts, albeit for around £4 each. I do have some 'bits' from not such high quality shirts which will 'stretch' it – hopefully not literally!! Good luck to you.


  10. Free time is so great.

    The daily grind of working full hours and just having enough to cook, read for a few minutes and sleep is too stifling.

    My cut back of work hours is amazing. With 2 hours less work per day I am soooo much happier. More time to bike, think, to be frugal and to manage my money better. I LOVE it! It's worth every penny of my pay cut.

    I might work with old mens shirts tonight. Dolly needs a long round pillow to protect from bumping her head at night on the wall as she's a very active sleeper. I'm not patient like you – I could never do a quilt.

    If your readers want to look for my old post from earlier this year (on uses for old shirts) blog readers wrote many amazing ideas on what to do with them. Very inspiring comments that made me want to make everything listed.


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