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The Glastonbury bag dress

Recycled clothing

Recycled clothing

When you walk through the entrance of Glastonbury festival, this is usually the scenario: You’re pulling some kind of trolley or cart stacked up with camping paraphernalia; it’s wobbling precariously, but so far the bungee cord is holding. The rucksack on your back is killing your shoulders and the bag full of cans of cider and snacks is cutting into your hand. Your hoodie, which you only just remembered is tucked under your arm. Your free hand clutches your ticket and by the time you’ve reached the turnstile you realise you’ve over-packed again. You get through the gates and you’re given your programme, then your fine guide; a policeman offers you a collapsable water bottle; someone else gives you a recycling bin bag and then someone from Yeo Valley hands you a tote bag…..

The only thing to do at this point is try and get out of everybody else’s way, let everything fall to the ground and re-organise. You put the programme, fine guide, bin bag, water bottle and hoodie into the free tote bag, and hang it round your neck.

This is beginning to turn into a novel! Anyway, ever since they did away with the Q magazine plastic bag, I’ve been collecting these lovely cotton bags and using them in my work room as storage, hanging off a hook on the back of the door and off the side of the shelving unit. They contained all sorts of lovely goodies such as pale lace; dark lace; Glastonbury bagsstretch lace; leather belts for steampunk outfits; fancy trimmings for circus costumes; fake rose petals to decorate romantic tutus and grosgrain ribbons to be straps for festival bottle bags. Recently I had a bit of a sort-out; bought a couple of nice new baskets to keep my bits and bobs in, and found I had a few Glastonbury bags left over.

No fabric is wasted in this household, so I thought I’d recycle and make a dress. The cotton is very soft and not see-through, so it’s perfect really. I cut the bags open, set my mannequin to my daughter’s measurements, and began draping and pinning the material. I didn’t want to add zips or anything, so I made a design that uses the bag straps as a belt and drawstring to the waist, and laces up at the back for fastening. I didn’t want to hide the fact that the dress was originally bags, so I left the handles hanging at the hem of the dress and actually rather like the way it looks!




Threads of a Fairytale,
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