Look what I found during my clear out this weekend; my recycled t-shirt rag rug. I started collecting t-shirts for this project about 4 years ago and shared the beginnings of it here, back in 2013. Since then it has been tucked in a bag, tweaking my conscience every now and then, patiently waiting for its moment in the light. Yesterday was that day.
I did a little teaching on Thursday evening, a dress-making class to cover for a colleague. Perhaps being around all those eager beginners that rubbed off on me. After a little reacquainting with the process, I managed a few rounds before bed, my enthusiasm for the project renewed. The pattern attaches the strands by hand sewing, but to speed things along, I am machine zig-zagging the rug together. Plait, turn, sew – it’s a steady job. I’m quite intrigued because I can’t remember which t-shirts are in those fabric balls, only that I chose to use mainly pinks and pastels so that it can go in my daughter’s room so there is also a sense of nostalgia and delight as I see the pattern reveal itself as I go.
I am starting to appreciate the benefits of my mega clear-out. Not only am I being forced to reassess work in progress and discovering hidden gems of fabric, I am being reminded of why I do what I do. Of course, I value the recycling element, but I am also showing my family that not everything is instantaneous, or can be bought – that there is value in repurposing and in taking time to make something of quality and to appreciate it anew each time you use it. I know they will recognise and love the stories about the previous life of these t-shirts. I also hope I am making something that will be used for years to come.