Saturday, 9 January 2016

Old vests and pants have their uses

Hiya gang. I knew I would have a use for this holey flannelette bed sheet one day, and today was the day. I was looking at tea towels yesterday in town, and found some in B & M at a reasonable price, £3.99 for a pack of five. I almost put them in my basket, and then changed my mind. Surely I could make some of those, they are only squares of fabric with hemmed edges. So I had a look in my airing cupboard and found this sheet. Yep, that will do the job. 
My tea towels are in a state, they need relegating to mucky cleaning jobs like washing the floor or wiping the paintwork down or even wiping out the litter boxes after they have been washed. Before I chuck them into the outhouse I'll use this one as a guide to cut up the sheet. I started in the corner and moved it around the outside where the sheet wasn't so worn.

This is all that's left, the hole in the middle. Anyone know what to do with a spare hole?

All I had to do then was to hem around the cut edges with the machine, and bingo, I have six tea towels, plus seven cleaning cloths which will go under the sink and be used as dishcloths and window cleaning cloths.

I really don't know why people buy cloths to use for cleaning jobs around the house. What did people do years ago when microfibre cloths hadn't been invented? They cut up any old textiles that they happen to have in their cupboards and drawers which were no longer fit for purpose. I can't remember my mum ever buying dusters, we used old vests and pants, for buffing up the sideboard, and our shoes.

Hope your walking is going well, I am on track at 3 miles per day. Thanks for popping in. Catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

25 comments:

  1. I love that gingham. It would have made such a pretty summer top.... if we ever see the sun again.... I too am on track with the walking but tend to do 5 or 6 miles at a stretch and then have a day off when it is awful weather. I will walk more regularly when the days are longer and brighter. I hate the drab and grey days of winter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, knickers and vests are used in my house and my parents' too. Your new teatowels look exactly like you'd buy in the shops - very smart. Natalie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Because I love fine quality soap, expensive scent (Hermes and Guerlain being my favourites), flowers in the house at all times, books and magazines, I simply must make economies elsewhere, and so I seldom buy dusters or tea towels. However, because I wash the tea towels on a daily basis (I never allow a damp one simply to dry off as you dry germs into it, it needs a hot wash after useage) they never get really mucky, but when they do give up the ghost they are relegated to my housekeeper's bucket as cleaning cloths. Old cotton pants become dusters, too. Doesn't everyone do this? Well, I suppose only if you wear cotton, sexy silk or nylon underwear isn't any use for polishing with, is it! Old duvet covers (some of ours date back to the early 1980s) become dust sheets when decorating, old towels are cut up for cloths for husband to use in garage (aka man shed) for anything from wiping paint brushes to polishing the car. My old white cotton flat sheets are still as good as new, these never seem to wear out. But in the old days, they would've been cut and re-sewn sides-to-middle, would they not?
    Margaret P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I'm the same in using old tea-towels for other dirtier jobs. It's hard for me to forget my mother's frugal ways and I'm sure I do other things that she did, they become second nature. The only one I can think of that I don't do is to wrap garden shears in the butter wrapping to save them from going rusty.

    Joan (Wales)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a brilliant idea to create tea towels from that cute old bed sheet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely job!! I must admit I do like my Irish linen tea towels. I've always had a thing about them ever since learning this fact at school in needlework, that "cotton absorbs 40% of its own weight in moisture but linen absorbs more" - I could never remember how much more! And I also do like microfibre cloths for some tasks. But I also cut up old sheets - I use flannelette ones for drying off condensation on the windows, and recently cut some into nice neat hemmed squares to use as baby dribble cloths when my new granddaughter comes to visit.I also made pram sheets for her. I too use old pants and knickers for various cleaning tasks. I heard once that the Queen uses old cloths too!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. what a blooming good idea, a new follower here been reading your blog for a while, time to come out the shaddows :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. I cut up old underpants, remove the crotch and worn out elastic, soft, easy to launder and economical.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The tea towel that you used for a guide was printed with a date of 1998 so well used indeed. I like the new towels that you made from a flannelette sheet - why do they seem to often get a hole in one spot?

    I find men's white undershirts are perfect for many cleaning jobs. I would never buy any cleaning cloths. Just seems wrong to me.

    Good column as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi.Very sensible and frugal and dang, they are so cute too!I still haven't gotten around to sewing mine from last year's thrift store purchase of a fabric remnant of linen cotton blend in a very pretty red floral pattern.When I looked at what they are selling them for now I will not ever buy them again.Hubby's Grandmother made hers from flour sacks and they lasted years and years.She was quite a talented quilter also.Thank you for sharing this and reminding me of one life's simple pleasures like sewing,bye for now,D.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My sister gives me an endless supply of tea towels, as she seems to buy new ones every week! In fact, I can't remember ever buying any myself!
    When mine start to look a bit shabby, I use them for all sorts jobs, just like you Ilona.
    I cut them up for dusters, dishcloths, and even polish my shoes with them.
    I hate waste and everything has to have more than one, two, three lives or more!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't think I've ever bought a duster in my life - old pyjamas, T-shirts and, yes, old knickers all get cut up for dusting duties. As for tea towels, I have a drawer full of them and yet I never remember buying any - they must be breeding in the dark!! I do like your upcycled pink check ones, very smart.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I use old teatowels to line the tops of my kitchen cupboards, my kitchen drawers and the drawers in my fridge. It saves me a great deal of time cleaning wise. Most useful things old teatowels.
    Arilx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cut up a worn out pair of DS's cotton knit underpants this afternoon, for more cleaning rags. Doesn't everyone do this? Lovely towels, Ilona!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have to say your new tea towels look very stylish. It'd be good material too for drying. Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  16. have a huge pile of flannel sheet rags at the moment , other half forever sticking his feet through bedding as his pills give him nightmares

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another good one! I don't have a machine, but i do buy second hand towels and cloth napkins etc.. When they wear out, then they become rags. I have a basket full. The problem is getting The Mr. to comply, although he is getting better!
    As for walking; i'm way behind. But, since i've committed, i'm attempting to get it done. We've had ice overnight. I've never been afraid of falling. But, i will need back surgery sometime in the future, so i seem to be more aware these days. I feel like i'm getting older before my time! Hrrmmmft!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. When I worked in the local thrift shop years ago, I discovered one day (while sorting donations) that someone had cut up an old linen tablecloth to make some very serviceable t-towels. The towels were well used, but the give away was the bit of vintage pattern at odd spots on each towel. That gave me the idea, and now I regularly check out thrift stores and yard sales for old but clean tablecloths to make into t-towels. I live in the country and I am quite hard on my t-towels. Good ones are very expensive and hard to find here. The best tablecloths to use are all linen, part linen and part cotton, or 100% cotton. I haven't bought a t-towel in 11 years. I have also made some of the nicest t-towels into wedding shower gifts for future brides. Mary Jane in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I use old tea towels as floor cloths and also cut up t.shirts. Reminds me of the time my sister visited her husbands very elderly grandmother. After drinking a cup of tea, she took her cup to the sink to discover an old pair of knickers being used as a dish cloth.... there are lines to be drawn lol!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Since my last son and his girlfriend moved out 2 months ago, guess who got "landed" with all the stuff they didn't want to take or just didn't have room for. I ended up with 3 huge bags of their clothes after they FINALLY sorted stuff. What could be given to charity I did - our local food bank run by the Sally Army was particularly pleased with the winter coats etc (taken to the local psychiatric hospital) but then there was always the stuff that wasn't "fit" to be given away so I have been adding that to my "cut-up" pile (which includes all the stuff from my ex when he just upped-sticks and left France on 5 days notice). I do it a little differently from you though. I cut a chunk out when I am cleaning. The first go around I use when I do the mirrors, second go around is for what little polishing I do and the final go around is when I do the disinfectant-type washing - stains on the floor or round the outsides of the toilets for instance (although I tend to like to use my ex' clothes for that). Tee hee. Old socks to clean radiators of course. I do think it's a generational thing though. Seeing our parents struggle with little money, many of their sensible habits get ingrained - and rightly so. Keep up the good work Ilona. Anna

    ReplyDelete
  21. I found 2 good white towels in the charity shop this week, so cut one of them into 4 for dishcloths. good quality and cheap!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I do think your piece of cloth with a hole in it would make a lovely cape for a cat ^-^ or dog, if he needs a haircut ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very nice!
    That hole almost looks like a heart.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I also re-purpose fabrics for cleaning cloths. I crochet kitchen cleaning cloths for the dishes and I have re-purposed some worn bath towels to make flannels for washing myself with. Everything can have a second or third purpose if we just stop to re-think. It saves an awful lot of money in the long run.

    ReplyDelete

Settings changed back.