making flannels

I needed a quick and cheerful sewing project today. Something small enough to squeeze in between (long) bouts of work, and cheerful enough that I could feel like I’d achieved something at the end. And, of course, simple enough that my already fraught brain, having spent several hours staring at a computer screen, couldn’t get wrong.

And so I cut up a couple of old towels to make into flannels. Well, I’ve always called them flannels, but now I think about it, that’s a bit of a daft name isn’t it? Do most people call them face cloths? Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone outside the family call them anything at all!

Anyway, flannels, face cloths, whatever you call them, this morning I only owned one, and often resorted to using the corner of a towel to wash my face. I’ve had these two towels upstairs in my waiting-to-turn-into-something-else basket for a while – the yellow one was dreadfully frayed round the edges, and the white one had a large ink stain in the middle (goodness knows how I managed that one).

I did contemplate folding the hems over twice, but then realised that was (a) rather bulky, (b) too fiddly and (c) taking too long to qualify as quick and cheerful, so I settled for cutting the edges with pinking scissors to stop them fraying too much, folding over once, and zig zag sewing on the machine.

Incidentally, just how useful are pinking scissors? I didn’t realise until my mum bought me some for my birthday last year, and since then I cut pretty much every sewing project with them. Absolutely ideal if you, er, can’t be bothered to sew hems properly. Brilliant.

So there we are, seven new flannels – although I’m now thinking that I actually don’t need eight flannels, and I might relegate the yellow ones to being cleaning cloths as they’re a bit older and less soft than the white.

Don’t you just love making something useful out of something old and seemingly useless? I do. I realise I probably haven’t actually saved any money, since it’s likely I wouldn’t have gone out and bought flannels and instead would have muddled along using the edge of a towel. I’m contrary like that sometimes (or a slob, depending how you look at it). But I’ve made a couple of old towels useful again, made a bit of room in the waiting-to-turn-into-something-else basket, and rested my eyes away from the screen for half an hour. And all for free.

A pretty satisfactory achievement for a Thursday afternoon, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m thinking I now need a few more easy-to-achieve sewing projects for those long hours I’m working in the attic on my own. Any suggestions?

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5 Responses to making flannels

  1. Maria says:

    sadly no suggestions but an agreement that easy-to-achieve projects are necessary and good! I’m also a bit like you in that would not go out and buy something, so have not necessarily saved money by making/bodging it myself, but I still like doing things that way for the fun and sense of achievement!

  2. Footpather says:

    You haven’t made any bunting for a while have you? I’ve got a good pair of pinking shears but they won’t cut cotton material for some reason. I’m part way through several projects and something always brings me to a stop and I can’t get going on them again.

    I found a blog today called 365 jars.com and was fascinated by her little art projects in jam jars that she ‘sets free’ Maybe you could contemplate a little project for a jam jar?

  3. Ooh bunting! What a good idea! And how pretty those little jam jar projects are, thank you.

  4. Lorraine says:

    Kyle needs a sailing costume for tomorrow if you want a quick project!

  5. Er, I’m not sure a sailing costume for tomorrow counts as quick and easy!

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