You may have seen that I’ve introduced some beautiful new plant pot covers to my comfy online store. These creations from used fabric are made by a lovely lady called Hilary from Scrapadoo, who is based not far from me here in Cheshire.

She has the most amazing farm with chickens and she grows her own cut flowers. A very talented lady, she runs craft workshops from her studio at the farm too. Here, she gives us an insight into how she learnt to sew and work with material, something which I have never mastered!

Upcycling and hand me downs

Ever since I was a child helping my mum at the church jumble sales, I have always had an interest in upcyling clothing. Except in those days, it wasn’t called upcycling, it’s just what you did. As one of six children I always wore hand me downs, so new shop bought clothes were never an option. Although my mum was good at sewing and in one evening could turn around 3 matching summer dresses for me and my two sisters.

I was happy with my home made and second hand clothes, until I reached the grand old age of 14 and then I wanted the same as all the other girls in school. Cord wrangler jacket, levi jeans and a Ben Sherman shirt with a penny round collar.

Suddenly, home made was no good, and so I had to get a Saturday job to buy my own clothes. Out went the jumble sales and home made clothes. Instead it was hello Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins.

For the love of fabric

Fifty years later, and I am still into second hand clothes and love a good mooch around a charity shop. The skills my mum taught me have come in useful as I now run sewing workshops and also make things out of upcycled fabrics. I know it’s sad, but I get a thrill out of finding a lovely piece in the charity shop. Duvets are best as there is so much fabric, but large men’s jeans are also good.

For my sewing workshops, beginners find denim and cotton easier to work with, so that’s all I use. Everything goes into the washing machine when I get home so that I know it’s clean and also that the colours won’t run. I absolutely love to work with denim because there are so many variations of colours and designs.

Working with different materials

I use the pockets for cute cross over bags which are perfect for your hand gel, mask and phone. I use the legs for fabric flower pots and the seams to make straps for bags. The leftover bits are sewn together in a patchwork to make a practical gardening apron. Women’s clothes have to be cotton, not polyester so it’s tricky to find good pieces. My favourites are large size cotton dresses in a bright fabric. Ooh, I love them!

Plant pot covers…handy storage too

My fabric flower pots have been a big hit this year. Each one seems to have it’s own character and they are so cute I find myself talking to them. They are all made out of upcycled fabric and I enjoy finding contrasting and matching colours for the outer and lining. They are completely reversible and can be thrown into the washing machine. I make them in all sorts of colours according to my fabric stash. A local lady who makes blinds and curtains kindly gifts me remnants so there’s always a good variety of lovely heavy duty cotton fabrics which team nicely with upcycled coloured bed linen or shirts.

The fabric pots can be used as a container for make up or keys, or with a water proof liner such as an upcycled milk carton, they make perfect plant or flower pots. They make a thoughtful, unique gift and as they come in a variety of colours, some might say random, can match any colour scheme. So, why not take a look at the Scrapadoo fabric flower pots and see what you think.  

Craft in the countryside

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog reading about Hilary’s love of fabrics and creations from used fabric. Perhaps it has inspired you to start a new craft project.

Before you go, click here to take a look at Hilary’s Plant Pot Covers – as a small business owner I really do my happy little dance every time I receive an order.

Gill x