Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Upcyling Fabric for your projects

Some of you know that besides my passion for designing fabrics, I love to upcycle fabrics as well!

You can often find me haunting the local (and not so local!) Goodwill and Community Thrift shops for goodies.

My very fave are wildly colored mens striped shirts!  I just love em!  Fortunately, Florida seems to have a lot of loud shirt wearing guys :)  Thank you, gentlemen!

Want to see how I get 'em ready for sewing projects?  Have a lookie-loo here at this lil something I put together for y'all:

More often than not, the shirts are 100% cotton.  But if they have a bit of poly (say, up to 25%)  I don't let it bother me.  Of course the bigger the size the better- more fabric for the same price.  When I find a XXL shirt in a great color, you will see me doing a happy dance in the aisle.  Can't help it.  The kids do pretend not to know me, that's all...

Are women's shirts fair game, you ask? Why yes they are!  There are some fab ladies shirts out there.  Just be prepared to get out your seam ripper- most women's shirts have darts in the front and the back to make them more fitted.  And most of the time, those darts are just 'sewn in.'  Meaning that once you unpick them, you'll have an expanse of fabric to use.  But sometimes, especially on cheaper brands, those darts have been 'cut' in.  And when you unpick them, you'll end up with a bunch of small (less desirable) sections of fabric to work with.  Just beware.

So you've gathered up a stash for yourself?  Now what?  Use them in all kinds of projects!!   I love to challenge myself to make projects using 100% recycled fabric.  I also like to combine upcycled fabric with new commercial fabrics.  

Some of my favorite projects were put together in Kaffe Fassett color workshops:

Big Bang quilt (pattern by Kaffe Fasset and Liza Lucy)

Kaffe Fasset during critique of quilts in Big Bang workshop

Floral Snowball quilt made in Kaffe Fassett workshop

Detail of Floral Snowball quilt made in Kaffe Fassett workshop.  Many recycled fabric is this quilt- note the striped shirt cornerstones.

Kaffe Fassett during critique of quilts in Gridlock (pattern by Kaffe Fasset)  workshop
Rosita quilt (pattern by Liza Lucy) made in Liza/ Kaffe workshop

Upcycled fabrics are also great in smaller projects:
Asian Fan purses (La Todera pattern) incorporating upcycled stripies.

Slipper Orchid (La Todera pattern) incorporating upcycled stripies.

Camelia Gigantus Brooch (La Todera pattern) made with a ladies striped shirt.

Have you used upcycled fabric in your projects?  Would love to see them!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the awesome tutorial and inspiring pictures!