Author Topic: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling  (Read 15674 times)

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Offline becksnyc

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"Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« on: August 26, 2011, 03:42:40 AM »
I've noticed a healthy traffic on the web re: "Green" sewing, upcycling, recycling, re-styling--whatever you call it. It's no wonder, with the economy in shambles & and an increased interest in using earth's resources responsibly.  Etsy's "Trashion" group is amazing!
I don't see many posts along this line at artisanssquare.  Is anyone interested in this kind of sewing?
Any success stories to share?
I posted a photo below of a dress I made from a blouse, yes, a very long, flowing blouse (which is now the skirt). Oh, BTW, I wear it with a cute, shapely black linen jacket (and NEVER take the jacket off---except to show you the dress).

I have a few other posts on sweater conversions in Individual Projects.
Here's a link to my pinterest board on upcycling (some of these will blow your mind!)
http://pinterest.com/becksnyc/clothing-upcycled-recycled-refashioned/

And a blog with some classy re-do's:
http://www.restylistas.com/

Becksnyc

« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 04:05:53 AM by becksnyc »

Offline sdBev

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:15:16 AM »
There have been 2 recent threads on this topic (sorry I don't have the link) as well as frequent posts on the Inspirations thread.  I don't find SG easy to search. I just don't seem to hit upon the right words to do my searches, so I'm not surprised if someone else (maybe you) missed those particular threads.   I do very little refashioning.  I have a stash so big I"ll never use it all. I much prefer to sew fresh from my stash then try to take apart and make new out of someone else's rejects.

Offline becksnyc

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 12:31:54 PM »
Yes, sorry, I did search first before posting.  If can link me to the recent discussions, please post it for me.

I'd love to see a folder dedicated to the topic, but not sure if the interest level is sustainable in this forum?

Thanks for your reply!

Becks

Offline karent

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 01:15:39 PM »
I'm not that great with searching here, either.  Putting in a word to search pulls that word from conversations that often really are not even pertinent to your search (ie. recycling might pull from a conversation about running by the recycling center on the way to a function of some sort.)  Narrow the words you search, if you can, and sometimes it helps to search within a topic rather than the entire site.  (Meaning, open Fashion, Style and Wardrobe and then search there, rather than search the entire site.)  I just put in "refashioning" and pulled out a bunch of threads where this was discussed.  Here is one. Good luck.  K

Offline sdBev

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »
Yes, sorry, I did search first before posting.  ..Becks
Becks no need to be sorry. That certainly wasn't a reprimand and I apologize if I came off that way.  I only wanted to point out that there is some interest.  I hate it when I see a topic from a newby that has numerous reads and no responses.  So even if I'm not much help, I like to provide a little morale support and interest.  I don't want a newby to think they're being shunned.  I'm not too successful with the "Search" feature and I'm always amazed when Lisa or somebody can post several direct links when I searched for 30 minutes and didn't come close.  I do pretty good with Google, but with many in-site searches I have the same problem. So I assume it's me not the site.    I bookmark topics I'm interested in, because that's the only way I can find them in the future.  Anyway, hope karent was able to point you in the right direction.  There are several people who are passionate about your interest.

Offline Joycelyndl

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 05:12:10 PM »
Like many on this board, I'm working from a large stash - much of which came from yard sales & thrift stores, but it is a stash.  That being said, I do have an interest in the amazing items some people can make when "refashioning" old clothing, including following a blog "365 days 365...."  where every day she wears clothing refashioned from thrift store finds or items people send her.  So, as someone who reads far more on Artisan's Square than writes, I do think it's a topic of interest.

Joycelyn

Offline Lisa

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 05:39:13 PM »
Yes, sorry, I did search first before posting.  ..Becks
I'm not too successful with the "Search" feature and I'm always amazed when Lisa or somebody can post several direct links when I searched for 30 minutes and didn't come close.  I do pretty good with Google, but with many in-site searches I have the same problem. So I assume it's me not the site.    I bookmark topics I'm interested in, because that's the only way I can find them in the future.

Sounds like I'm using a better search feature (and if you're using the search box at the top of each page, I am! ;D 8) :smug:)  The search window (upper right hand corner of each page) isn't very useful, but if you click the search link (in the line of links below your avatar at the top of each page), you'll go to a page that has the same search window ::), but a link just below that to the "Advanced Search," which is what I use. 

Separately, while bookmarking topics using your browser is a good idea, if you'd like to link the topics you want to follow to your profile and get notifications, you'll be able to find them whatever computer you're using.  By going to your Profile, then "Notifications" under "Modify Profile," you'll see links to every thread & board that you've elected to get notices on.

HTH, :)

Lisa
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Offline theresa in tucson

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 08:00:44 PM »
I'm with Bev on the refashioning.  I prefer to start from scratch instead of starting from someone else's rejects.  That is not to say I won't take a pair of pants, a shirt or a jacket and shorten hems, add pockets or modify them to make them more usefull to me, but I don't go to the thrift store with up cycle/recycle in mind.  I like using the thrift store to find jeans and shirts I can use for work clothing.  For thirty dollars or so I can normally find enough to last me for a year. 

Offline Laurie

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2011, 01:24:33 AM »
I love making something serve a new use!  My favorite vest was a pleated wool skirt in it's first life, another vest was a skirt that didn't fit with buttons salvaged from my grandma's button box.  I have a throw pillow made from salvaged neckties from my dad (collected over the years when ties used to be cheap enough for kids to get them!) and a 'dogbone pillow' made from my Dad's flannel shirt by my Mom so we each had a memory.  I most often re-make shirts I guess, nothing as creative as your items though.  When my son was small, I couldn't find dress shirts to fit him - took his Dad's shirts with good fabric and used the front/buttonhole/band as it was and used a patterns to cut out the rest of the pieces.  (Another trick learned from my Mom!)  Old jeans became purses or rice bags.  I have also re-made men's pants to fit me.  Guess I'm really basically either very thrifty or cheap = depends who you ask!!!   ;)

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Offline becksnyc

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 01:32:03 AM »
Yes, sorry, I did search first before posting.  ..Becks
Becks no need to be sorry. That certainly wasn't a reprimand and I apologize if I came off that way.  I only wanted to point out that there is some interest.  I hate it when I see a topic from a newby that has numerous reads and no responses.  So even if I'm not much help, I like to provide a little morale support and interest.  I don't want a newby to think they're being shunned.
No offense taken!  I do really appreciate your response.  I have had scant replies to several of my posts, and was beginning to wonder... But I assume that each forum has its own slant and dynamics; it takes a while to see if you fit it.
I used to hang at Gatherings, but it sure sputtered.  Haven't been there for a long while.  My favorite bloggers led me to this forum.  I'm loving what I'm reading.  What an awesome community!
Thanks for your patience with this newbie!
Becks

Offline Raphaelray

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2011, 01:47:37 AM »
Interesting links! I'd love to do some restyling but haven't taken the plunge. I've "restyled" (ok, tailored) some of my blouses to get them to fit better, but that's just been changing seams, not too adventuresome.
- Jill
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Offline dizzymaiden

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 01:39:59 PM »
I call it reinventing...a friend of mine had a shirt that she loved (to death). She came into work with holes in the elbows! At work...I had to rescue the shirt. I cut the sleeves to the elbow, did a simple under cuff and used the buttons from the cuff to embellish the outside. She loved it so much that I started getting requests to "fix" old clothing. I love the feel of well worn clothing, soft from washing. Sometimes there is nothing better for garish colors than a few trips in the washing machine.

I also the love the look of bleached fabric - although I am trying to be more environmentally freindly and not use so much in my wash.

Offline JillyBe

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 04:39:38 PM »
I'm definitely interested in 'Green' anything.  Part of me would like to have the tenacity to sew only with green & recycled materials, but honestly, I'm having too much fun finding fabulous fabrics of all sorts & playing with it.   I could probably sew for the next 10 years from the stash that I've collected over the past year & a half, plus re-making the clothes in my closet, but I know me, & I know I'll be buying more fabric.  Much more, probably.   ::)

That said, the manufacturing processes of some fabrics is a bit disturbing to me, especially when they're labelled "green" (bamboo, for instance)  I loaded up on bamboo from Fabric Mart last year, because I just love the feel of it, the drape...everything about it....until I found out how dirty & wasteful & environmentally unfriendly the processing is  :(

I would say that 1/3 of my stash is from estate & garage sales, one fabulous friend who used to work in fabric stores & left much of her stash with me - I sort of call that 'upcycling'  ;D

I'm happy to see this topic, and happy to use it as motivation to be a bit more committed in my future fabric acquisitions :)
The daily dilemma:  Build up the stash or sew it down?


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Offline Karendee

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 07:47:59 PM »
I haven't done any recycling, but this is an interesting topic. I have a few RTW things I bought and could use changing somewhat. I will continue to read these interesting idea. Thanks for starting it.

Karen

Offline Bunnykins

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011, 08:21:58 PM »
JillyBe - Interesting note about bamboo.  I'm going to check that out, esp as I've been feeling guilty for not buying cloth made from a renewable resource.

I haven't done remodelling any lately, but have some serious alterations to make to store bought clothes that I bought on-line. Downside of mailorder to Canada from the US is returning things costs $$$ in postage. 

I very much like that's it's mostly the younger sewers who are picking up garments and remaking them.  It's adventurous, gives them a chance to experiment without spending too much money on fabric, and makes sewing fun.  Granted, you have to be the age at which you can wear a potato sack and look good for some of these creations, but, overall, I think it's wonderful fun and a great introduction to creating clothes.   Much better than learning by turning collars and letting out/taking in things or making your basic gathered skirt/apron/useless thing you'd never wear or use.

My list has a black knit dress with a not too low scoop neck and long sleeves.  Was supposed to be below knee length, but it's almost ankle length and baggy in all the wrong places.  It's a stable knit, almost doubleknit, so should be good for an experiment or two.  Then's there's the yellow raincoat with the disgusting buttons and nasty navy lining. 

Offline ejvc

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2011, 03:46:52 PM »
I've got a worn out sheepskin coat that's going to get upcycled this winter for sure.  I have been cutting out zippers, cutting off buttons, and trimming off seam allowances on worn-out jeans for a while.  I have a plan to make these into a jacket. 
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Offline Ann

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2011, 11:15:38 PM »
I made this wedding dress for a bride using her grandmother's 1950's and her mother's 1976 wedding dresses. It was an interesting project.


And I do use sari scarves for western wear. They make items gorgeous.

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Offline JillyBe

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 01:51:19 AM »
Ann - define "interesting" please ;D

It looks absolutely gorgeous to me!   And definitely unique.   Will we get to see it being worn?
The daily dilemma:  Build up the stash or sew it down?


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Offline Ann

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 02:56:04 AM »
Interesting in the fact that I merged two dresses into one, designed the underskirt to hide the legs that would have shown with the fishtail and put in new sleeves. It is unique and I will get pictures of her wearing it on her wedding day even if it kills me.

Here are the two dresses I had to work with.


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Offline Hen

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2011, 07:15:23 AM »
That is a wonderful wedding dress!
You did a great job, making it romantic and at the same time modern looking, and it is so meaningful, and green!

Offline blue mooney

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2011, 11:46:35 AM »
Ann, you are so inventive to envision that style from two such different dresses!

I always keep projects gone bad if there's enough fabric to re-make into something else, but seem to rarely get around to the remakes. I'm at least keeping that material out of the landfill, I guess. And today I'm scouting the men's big & large department at an end of season sale...noticed some nice silk/cotton textured fabrics in the shirts there last time I was in the store. The shirts will be on sale for less than the fabric would cost me to buy, and buttons are included!

I don't need more fabric, but the stuff they use for menswear is usually appealing to me. I like the colors, and there is often more texture. LOVE texture.

Becksnyc, that's a clever dress you pictured in your first post. With the jacket you described, you have a pefect outfit.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 11:49:14 AM by blue mooney »

Offline Ann

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2011, 03:01:53 AM »
Robyn, I am going to confess, it wasn't envisioning it. There was a dress on dress form that looked like this dress from the waist down. She wanted it, I made it work. The top of the dress got hardly any changes except for a cummerbund like on her grandmother's dress and those little sleeves she requested. I just hunted in my patterns and found what I needed.

I wish I could find men's shirts on sale so I could go and look to see what they have in expensive fabric and recut them for me. I might look after Christmas at a couple of stores but, with my luck, I won't find what I want.

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Offline sew-n-serge

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2011, 05:22:56 PM »
I enjoy recycling, my family takes our old clothes & makes scrappy quilts with them. That how I taught my husband & kids how to sew. Now my husband does the quilting. the quilts come  in handy in the winter.

Offline Bunny

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 11:53:19 PM »
I love doing this. I find it a really fun challenge to make the original garment into something so different. I don't always use garments either. Here's the recent little dress I made my granddaughter out of a vintage tablecloth. and here is a simple white knit sweater I used to do a knockoff of a 400.00 Anthropologie sweater. It was a plain white knit. I painted it and added the felted embroidered collar: I could add more but that's enough for now. I just really really find this such a fun creative challenge.

I never thought to go into the men's department for new shirts. That is such a great idea. I am wanting to do a nice white shirt and find it hard to buy quality white shirting on line. That is something you really have to see. I think a trip to Marshall's for a 2xx men's white shirt is in order. Thanks for the idea.

I love how you combined the two dresses, not an easy thing to do.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 11:57:31 PM by Bunny »

Offline joan71

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2011, 12:05:37 AM »
DANG, Bunny, your are good. :confettitoss: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline Bunny

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2011, 11:47:36 AM »
Thanks, Joan. Its just something I really enjoy.

Online vtmartha

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2011, 12:23:10 PM »
Wow, Bunny!  Those garments are wonderful.  When I first looked at the pinafore, I thought I recognized the fabric then, when I saw 'tablecloth', I knew why.  ;)

Offline ejvc

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2011, 01:03:21 PM »
Beautiful, Bunny!  I'm about to refashion an unfashionably big boxy 1990s cardigan.  I wear it too often, despite its nature as a fashion disaster, because it's a great colour (oatmeal) and a great weight (middle-weight cotton).  I'm going to cut it apart, shorten it, make it smaller all round, and possibly embellish.  Fun!  I'm also going to change the buttons.
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Offline Bunny

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2011, 04:08:01 PM »
Sounds great. I can't wait to see it. I think this is just so creative.

Offline Karendee

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2011, 07:02:16 PM »
Bunny,

I am awestruck looking at your amazing work. Both of these garments are gorgeous , really more than gorgeous. You are talented in everyway. I am going to try to do something creative today.

Karen

Offline Weezie17

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2011, 08:24:35 PM »
Wow these are some amazing creations!

The wedding dress made me tear up. What a wonderful thing to do to make the day even more memorable.

Bunny, those are both beautiful!

I have old curtains in my fabric stash waiting to be upcycled but I never really thought about other clothes for that possibility. Hmmmm Now that could be fun. Shhhh don't tell my DH. I might be bringing in new "stuff"  >:D

Offline jsews

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2011, 09:12:13 PM »
Gorgeous creations Bunny - you are very creative.

I have been doing a bit of refashioning lately, a friend has gotten me motivated to try it.  she makes the best shirts and cardigans out of old mens shirts from the Goodwill.  You would never know by looking at hers.

Jean
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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2011, 11:45:09 PM »
I always keep projects gone bad if there's enough fabric to re-make into something else, but seem to rarely get around to the remakes. I'm at least keeping that material out of the landfill, I guess.
I have culled mine a bit but have a simialr upcycling pile of my old clothing to repurpose. Every so often I do one, and sometimes they even work. Its a very different style of sewing than making from scratch.
I recently made a cardigan coat, with belt, hat and mittens from a purchased cotton cable knit throw.
That was a fun project, especially deciding the best way to use the yardage/edging to use the fabric.

Offline JillyBe

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2011, 02:28:58 AM »
How many "Wow!"'s can you take Bunny?   That dress is gorgeous, & the sweater is stunning!!!  I bow to your creativity :)
The daily dilemma:  Build up the stash or sew it down?


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Offline Bunny

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Re: "Green" Sewing, Upcycling, Recycling, Re-styling
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2011, 12:34:06 AM »
Thanks. Those are all such lovely comments.

 

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