Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Friday, February 9, 2018

5 "Non-Rules" for Refashion Goddesses

Refashioning, upcycling, altered couture - a craft by many names, but whatever you choose to call it, this is a fun way to exercise your creativity while keeping older clothing out of landfills!  This is a sub-genre of sewing that I love.  It makes me feel super creative while I divert fiber waste from the dump.  Here are 5 "Non-rules" to get you started on this creative path.

1.  The sky is the limit (to your collection)!  Unless your storage space is extremely limited (ok, whose storage space isn't somewhat limited?) amass a collection of garments for refashioning.  Sometimes a garment on its own is pretty uninspiring, but when two or three of these ho-hum garments are put together, ideas for what they might become begin to flow!  Putting two or more disparate pieces together yields something I like to call a Frankengarment, because you're sewing pieces from different garments into one.  If you crave organization, put like-weight fabrics into a bin together, or group by colors.

2.  In this case, size definitely does not matter!  By this, I mean the size of the original garment.  All garments are eligible for refashion whether they are miles too small or swimmingly large.  Even a tiny baby dress can be reused in embellishment on an adult garment.  If you love something about it - the print, the color, or the hand of the fabric - you are more likely to incorporate the piece into your art.

3.  The world is your source!  Be open to traditional and non-traditional means of acquiring materials for your art.  Start, of course in your own closet, looking for garments you have not worn in a year or more.  Expand into the closets of your family and even friends!  Thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales and consignment shops are another source.  And, don't forget scavenging and dumpster diving.  With a little fortitude, you can score great items for refashioning.

4.  Forget what the garment is now!  A dress need not stay a dress, a blouse is not always a blouse, and trousers are not forever sentenced to trouserhood!  Open your eyes to the possibilities and liberate the garment within the garment.  While strictly not a refashion in the truest sense of the word, sometimes you can just re-use the fabric from one garment to create another.

5.  Start simple - do what you know!  My first upcycle was the simple addition of an appliqu├ęd dragonfly to a denim jacket.  Years later, I still wear that jacket frequently because I love it.  You, too, can start by embellishing already existing garments.  Wear them out and about.  Soon you'll be complimented on your lovely and unique creations.  Compliments are like crack to the crafter - oh so addictive!  You'll soon want more, and begin to push the creative envelope further and further.  Who knows where your creativity can take you?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Eager to Sew!

I'm back!

It's been a very long time since I've sewn anything, and I'm itching to get back on board.  In all fairness, it was a rough year.  Way too complicated to get into here, but trust me...

I'm starting out 2018 with essentially the same goals I started in 2017.  Since I accomplished none of them, it's do-over time!  I'm really excited to be setting my sewing area up for some great projects for 2018.  I'm also happy to be reopening my Etsy shop, where I'll once again be selling some great vintage patterns, notions, and books!

I've missed blogging, and I can't wait to produce some interesting content for you.  Please let me know if there's something, in particular, you'd like to see, and as always, thanks for your kind support!