Reclaimed Yarn by Magic Pixie
Reclaimed yarn by Magic Pixie Knitter

How much more do-it-yourself can knitting, crocheting, and sewing your own things get? By making your own yarn or fabric! But how without learning a whole new discipline for each? Well think about resurrecting some old yarn or fabric for some truly Do-It-Yourself Do-It-Yourself. A great economical and eco-friendly way to save too!

2 Ways for DIY Fabric
Save all old clothes, linens, curtains, etc. Perhaps these fabrics or textiles can be used for sample garments or muslins, a bunch of small zippered pouches or wallets. Or for quilting. I know I have a sea of denim that would be better put to good use than thrown out or donated.

Shop thrift shops, Good Will, or Salvation Army for large-sized garments that can be cut down to harvest their fabrics. You may find that there are many vintage pattern gems to be found and for beyond cheap to boot! Very economical especially if you are experimenting with ideas and techniques. Also great for making sample garments, just look for garments made out of materials that most closely match the final garment you’d like to create.

2 Ways for DIY Yarn
Make some T-Shirt Yarn from some old t-shirts for some unique projects like braided, knit, or crochet belts, necklaces, and accessories. Great for re-dyeing! New Dress A Day has a nice video tutorial on dyeing fabric.

Tshirt Yarn

Buy a sweater at a thrift store to salvage the yarn. Harvesting this yarn will require patient unraveling and soaking in lukewarm water to smooth out the yarn. Drying, then re-winding CraftStylish has a nice write-up on this. With very detailed steps in how to go about unraveling. also a nice tutorial. More on harvesting yarn here on that includes choosing the right sweater and looking for wool rather than synthetics.

Shop it up! Keep your eyes peeled for good thrift shops in your area. The dingier the better because you are looking for cheap prices and large-sized garments less likely to be found in more hipster-style vintage shops. A great way to “shop” without feeling guilty considering you’ll be recycling old garments while supporting your hobby!

Save your scraps! Not for quilting but for swatches. I like to save a swatch of each fabric or yarn in a fabric or yarn book for swatches. Or keep them with your pattern notes. Be sure to include handy information like the manufacturer and pattern or yarn weight and color code. And of course the material or fiber content!