I spent a lot of time this past weekend sorting through the clothes I've set aside to donate, looking for ways to recycle fabrics for sewing projects. And since I tend to procrastinate when it comes to hauling stuff to Goodwill, there was a lot to choose from.
When dress standards at work changed to business casual, I packed away most of Dave's shirts, and all of his sports coats. I sorted through them and set aside my favorites of the sports coats, especially the tweeds and small checked fabrics. From the shirts I set aside the wool and flannel and corduroy; these heavy fabrics will be great for tote bags, and the cottons from his button-down shirts will be perfect for linings.
From my own discards I set aside the clothes made from really good fabrics, and saved the unique buttons and a lot of the zippers. I will still keep the clothes I really loved, the navy challis floral skirt and the autumn print jumper, the black polka dot dress with the inverted front pleat and white collar and wide red belt, the teal wrap-front dress, the Gunne Sax dresses.
I also saved all the fun and unique labels from our clothes. When I have enough, I'll arrange them in a sort of crazy quilt design, stitch them to a dark backing fabric, and use it for the front of a tote bag.