Starting with T-shirts

The Phoenix Centre in Buckie was the venue for the first series of upcycling workshops, with a warm and welcoming setting. We got under way with something for absolute beginners, to lay the foundations for more advanced activities. We started with preloved T-shirts, trying out simple ways to transform them into a triangled scarf with fringes. No special skills were required – just cutting, pulling, beading and overhand knots to secure beads. It was an enjoyable process for everyone involved.

T-shirt fabric has properties that make it an excellent source of upcycling potential. It’s easy to cut, doesn’t need to be hemmed and stretching it only makes better.

Next came survival bracelets, where we learned how to apply simple weaving techniques, using yarn that we cut out from T-shirts, after first laying them down flat and then cutting strips out horizontally and stretching them.

We followed by drawing feathers out of denim, embellishing them with some old pieces of beads and sewing buttons.

We rounded off this series of workshops in the Phoenix Centre with fabric flowers sewn together with the help of scrap fabric, leftover ribbons, old beads and buttons and re-used laces, matching favourite colours for a special day out.

One of the group made a poppy to add in to the huge array gathered together onto a vast “waterfall of poppies”, each individually made from wool or fabric and donated from many crafters from round the UK, to be suspended from one of the buildings by the War Memorial in the town square. This initiative to replace plastic poppies by handcrafted ones, made from more natural materials, both reduces plastic and brings an added personal dimension of care and involvement.

We have really enjoyed the visits to the Phoenix Centre, and the great interest from the participants to make something new and learn new skills and to look at waste material in a new light, and the very pleasant and welcoming staff and environment.

Project supported by Moray Leader.