I recently discovered that Belfast City Council has been putting a lot of emphasis on educating people in the three R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As part of this initiative they are currently hosting FREE craft workshops focusing on another three R's - revamp, restyle, repurpose. Anyone can go along to these workshops that are being run across the Belfast area and be educated by lovely crafty ladies in how to reuse various things around the house, rather than throwing them away!
Their website explains it far more eloquently than I could so let's hand over to them:
Participation is FREE and whats more you get to take home your revamped and restyled clothes, cushions and furniture.
You do not have to have any experience in revamping or restyling to enjoy these workshops.
The Fashion Souk’s talented team of experts will share their top tips on restyling and refurbishing textiles and furniture. Working alongside you they will demonstrate just how easy it is to give items already in your home a face lift and create new purposeful items - without the hefty price tag.
All materials are provided from ribbons and thread to jumpers, cushions, sand paper & paint, not forgetting your very own item of revamped furniture. At the close of the workshops you will receive information packs on how to do everything covered by the workshops enabling you to get creative in your home.
The workshops are labelled 1, 2, 3 & 4 each workshop covers:
1 Stitching, mending & embellishing
2 Repurposing textiles (jumpers into cushions, hot water bottle covers and much more)
3 Revamping furniture - breathing new life into dated items of furniture and soft furnishings
4 Finishing off all your work
I missed the first workshop (as to be honest, they really didn't advertise this as well as they could have done - a friend in work told me about them) but managed to get along to number 2: Repurposing textiles. As the blurb suggests, we spent the evening taking old jumpers (which they provided!) and turning them into cushions and embellishing them as we liked. Again, all the buttons, ribbons and other lovely such things were all provided (heaven!)...all we had to do was find inspiration. And I really mean that - we didn't even have to sew the cushions up!
To explain very quickly - turn jumper inside out and position with ribbed edge to top (so neck is to the bottom). Get cushion and place on top of jumper, just below ribbing. Cut jumper to same size as cushion (no need to leave seam allowance as the jumper will stretch and this will give a nice snug fit). Take top layer and slide down so that it's ribbed edge is in line with the lower part of the bottom layers ribbed edge. Cut off excess from top layer. Sew along sides and bottoms.Turn right side round and flip ribbed edge over - this is your envelop-like opening to put your cushion through. Insert cushion and then embellish as you like!
Hopefully that wasn't too confusing!
Anyway, here is my little cushion: