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'Use What You've Got'

This is how previous generations lived out of necessity.  Clothes were handmade, old clothes were transformed into quilts, food was never wasted and everything possible was utilised in some way.
People used their skills and abilities to make, mend and create the things they needed.

Over the past few decades, increased wealth and prosperity has meant that people have moved away from the 'use what you've got' mentality, and more towards a 'buy whatever you need or want' philosophy.

As a result, skills are being lost and forgotten, and our world is slowly being damaged and destroyed by the sheer amount of waste we are producing.

We have all played a part in creating this problem of environmental damage, but we can all play a part in solving the problem too. 

"Be the change you want to see in the world" (Ghandi)

Individuals can lead by example and teach others how to

 'Use what you've got'

in order to create the life you desire.

So what do I do?

I have spent the past few years developing my sewing skills, taught to me as a child by my Mum and Granny.  I have made toys, gifts, bags, clothes - all kinds of things I've found we needed or wanted. This has not only saved us money, but produced lots of unique items and gifts that will be treasured by us and others for years to come.  
I've also stuck to my philosophy of 'use what you've got' by sewing using old clothing, and fabric remnants, offcuts or charity shop finds.
Every time I make something new, I try to take photos and write tutorials that I share so others can create these things too.

My kids

I am trying to bring up my two girls to use their own creativity to create the life they want - starting with learning to sew so they can make their own pencil cases, bags etc - all those things that are important to young girls. 
I also encourage them to try and learn all kinds of skills, from finger knitting to building cars from cardboard, plastic bottles, elastic bands and CDs! I try to always lead by example, so this year (2016) I'm currently learning a new skill myself - crochet.
Teaching my kids to be creative will not only provide them with hopefully useful physical skills, but also a mentality and skill of problem solving and a can-do attitude that will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.


Upcycling is passion of mine - particularly clothes.  Every year, millions of clothing items end up in landfill. As a lover of fabric and a sewer I find this heartbreaking, and so I'm doing my small part to reduce wastage and encourage the recycling and upcycling of old clothes.

I have an ongoing linky page where anyone can add their own creations and ideas for upcycling clothes

There are currently over 600 links with some fabulous ideas and inspiration. This linky is growing every day.

Over 6 years of blogging I have written and built up a collection of over 100 free sewing tutorials, suitable for all levels of sewing ability. A large proportion of these tutorials are made using upcycled materials.


I have also produced 2 sewing e-books 

One to help teach your kids to sew - and upcycle too!

And another to make your own set of 
Eco-friendly, upcycled and reuseable shopping bags .

In all I do, I try to encourage others to 

Use What You've Got

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Contact Me

If you have any comments or questions about things I've blogged about, my tutorials, or anything else, I'd love to hear from you.

You can email me on:

I hope you will explore my blog - there's so much to find from sewing tutorials and clothes upcycling to recipes and posts abut creativity.
Enjoy and don't forget to 'Use What You've Got'!