Sunday, March 29, 2015

Deconstructing Thrift Store Finds

Deconstructing thrift store finds. 
It's the time of year to find wool clothing marked down. 
 I found 6 lovely black, wool and cashmere blended coats 
and several skirts.
Choose wisely, check labels carefully.

When I have a large batch like this I want to get the cleaning and fulling done quickly.
(remember not to bring used wool clothing into your home, keep it in your car trunk or garage until you are ready to clean it) 

For coats, I snip into the lining and rip it out as quickly as possible.
Removing the shoulder pads and any other inside constructive pieces.
I do not do this work inside my home or garage.
 I choose a nice day, or find shelter and get outside.

I've found that if I take the time to open every seam and remove interfacing I will have small pieces that bunch up in the wash. Ultimately with permanent scrunches or folds 
that I can't steam iron out.
My quick method is to leave the garment in one piece,
 interfacing intact.
And the bonus is you can store the garment 
on a hanger until ready to use!
I like to save the wool mark and designer labels, is that just me?

Remove the buttons and cut out the zippers.

Skirts are much easier.  I quickly cut out the zipper first. 
Then cut off the waistband and remove the lining.

Toss all parts in for a warm wash, cold rinse.
Keep like colours together.  
If you get a "bleeder" you don't want to accidentally over-dye the other fabrics.
Afterwards, I painstakingly remove the fabric from the zippers,
but easily trim and open the waistbands.
These smaller wool pieces will be cut into small pennies.  No waste.
The zippers go into my zipper stash for other projects.

If you think the fabric needs more felting,
 try a hot wash, cold rinse for a second wash.
Always use just a tiny bit of soap or you'll have a washer full of suds.

Remember to clean your lint traps after every load.
Most importantly, remember to have fun!


  1. I usually throw the whole jacket in and then cut, helps to keep the allergens down, for me.


  2. Regarding the lint trap in the dryer, I started doing this a few years ago. I save the lint and use it in my pincushions. It's wool after all. :-) Often there is a LOT of lint. I tried putting it out for the birds, but they are not too fond of it.