*Renew * Rebuild * Revamp* Redo*

With a few thrift store treasures and some basic sewing skills, you can create original one of a kind additions to your wardrobe, unique gifts, beautiful handbags, adorable hats or anything else that tickles your fancy.
I love hitting up my local thrift stores looking for treasures. They are fun to explore and often help spawn new ideas and inspiration for projects. Reusing once loved goods is one more way to help our planet stay clean. When thrifting always make sure to bring along a friend, the more eyes the merrier!


Friday, December 10, 2010


Time seems to go by faster and faster these days!! My sewing machine stopped working and needed to go into the shop which I thought was going to put a halt to my sewing, but thanks to a very gracious friend I was able to continue my projects with the use of her machine!!! Thank you L!!!

So I have been working on completing my recycled owl bags to add to my collection. I occasionally work craft fairs and decided that I needed more owl bags so here they are.
They are made from upholstery samples, which were destined for the trash. I'm also planning on new designs with squirrel appliques!! Once I get my machine back from the shop, I will get started on those.

Friday, October 8, 2010


OK, so these are some costumes I have made but not from recycled materials.

Several years ago I was into belly dancing and thus made all of my dance outfits. Not all of them are here but I will eventually get around to posting the rest of them as I go through my photo collection.

This silver belt shows the front view on the left and the back view on the right. It was all hand beaded and has a matching bra top, alas I need to get a picture of it still.

This was a Halloween costume I made for myself (Little Red Riding Hood)

Home Grown Handbags

As a side project I reclaim upholstery samples that are destined for the dump to create these one of a kind recycled handbags.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My love of knits

I made this dress about 3 years ago from old t-shirts that I collected from friends and family. It was a tedious process but fun none the less. The whole thing was pieced together on my dress form and all of the black and white rosettes were stitched by hand. I made this piece for a class I was taking at the time and never really intended on it to be worn aside from the student fashion show it was in.
This is the bottom portion obviously. I had wanted to make enough rosettes to fully encircle the hem edge but it was taking so long to make them that I ran out of time. The cut out side of the dress is held together with t-shirt strips made from crochet.
The top reads Detroit across my heart which was where I was attending school at the time. Anyway, I love it for it's gaudiness and it gave me an opportunity to really get to know my serger. It was very time consuming but I loved working with the fabric choice. It was a great way to recycle old t-shirts that were destined for the dump and I can never pass up free materials!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

What to do with unloved clothing

When clothing becomes unwanted, consumers have several options for disposal. These options include: recycling the item by transforming it into something new, throwing it away, using it as rags, giving it away to a charity organization or other family members, or reselling it through the internet or in yard sales.
Many treasures can be found hidden within thrift stores. With a keen eye, a little time and some basic sewing know how, most any garment can be transformed from dull and boring into something new and exciting.
These are the before photos of three thrift store dresses that were my first attempts at creating face lift fashions. As I continue to explore and create I will track my progress here.

Here I took the existing animal print dress, shortened the hem, cut off the collar and shoulder pads then removed the sleeves. I added black trim to the neckline and used the tan linen dress to create a wrap to compliment it.

This is the front and back view of the plaid dress. I cut off the entire top portion and remade it from an old pair of jeans. I shortened the hem and added a little flower detail on the front. I used a portion of the jeans waistband to cinch the back of the dress and reused the jean pockets as well.

So the remakes may not be totally fabulous, but they are an improvement from before and I did wear the plaid number here to a recent event.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Environmental Knowledge

There is an abundance of disposable fashion overflowing from malls across America. These easily accessible goods contribute to high levels of consumption. Tempting prices allow for guilt free shopping and thoughtless disposal. Consumers dispose of clothing for many reasons including boredom, changes in physique or simply because there has been a change in fashion trends.

As consumers continue to purchase, waste continues to grow, thus further contributing to the problem of what to do with unwanted apparel and home textile products. Nationwide, over four million tons of post-consumer textiles enter the waste stream every year (Council for textile recycling, 1997). The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste is thus collected and prevented from entering directly into the waste stream. Tax incentives are offered to consumers who donate household goods to charities.

Quality thrift shops stock constantly changes. It's possible to find fine fabrics like wools and silks, that you might consider unaffordable as a new purchase if you went to a fabric store. Sometimes the clothing is brand new or just as good as new, with no signs of previous wear.

It's possible to create great additions to your wardrobe by thrift store shopping. Combining thrift store clothing and your sewing skills, you can create a beautiful and original wardrobe. This is what I like to refer to as REGENERATED COUTURE.