Today’s Reader ReFash comes from Marije, who has a brand-spanking new blog, called The Adventures of Making. I knew I had to share her latest project with you, as it combines two of my favorite things: Big tote bags and tacky thrift store art!
“Are you sure about that one?” the cashier of the thrift store said, raising one eyebrow while looking skeptically at the items that I was buying. She wasn’t talking about the sweet pair of high heels (new! can you believe my luck?) or the couple of storage cans I wanted to buy. No, the reason for her eye-brow action was a framed embroidered artwork, depicting some medieval, bearded man doing whatever bearded medieval men usually do.
By the look of it, it had been in the thrift shop for ages. I could feel the hesitation of the cashier: the thing was incredibly ugly. But I bought it nevertheless. Was I out of my mind? Maybe, but I had great plans for it: making a shopper bag!
First, I took the embroidery out of the frame. I figured that I needed some extra fabric to actually make the bag, so I looked in my stash until I found a big piece of denim fabric that once was the cover of an ottoman.
Out of this denim I made a basis for the bag, with box pleads at the bottom. If you don’t know what box pleads are, you can either follow the instructions on my blog where I have step by step instructions on how to make such a bag, or think about those triangular, flappy things on the side of juice or milk cartons; it’s exactly the same principle.
When my basic bag was ready, I sewed the embroidery to the front. And because of my awesome measuring skills (okay… luck) it completely filled the front of the bag.
In my last refashion, a question came up that I’m going to address here.
“How do you know when you can turn a garment around and make the back the front of your new refash?”
First off, let’s look at this example by Rebecca:
I am a fan of aprons. If you cook, there is absolutely no reason to not wear one to protect your clothes. While I have a sentimental attachment to my old Starbucks apron from my barista days, you might not have one readily at hand.
Luckily, just about any cotton dress can be transformed into a fun & customized apron!
Enter Meghan with a most practical Reader Refash:
After baking bread for the millionth time and getting flour all over my apron-less self while kneading it, I figured I should probably just suck it up and buy one, or be forever covered in flour. Enter this skater dress that’s been hanging in my closet since high school, and unworn since college:
As I sit here at my laptop in sweats, socks, and slippers (the dreaded cold weather trifecta) looking like anything but a fashion blogger, I can’t help but be jealous of this Reader ReFash by Jessica in Round Top, Texas.
It’s been a year since Jessica has gone shopping in a traditional retail store (yay!). Instead, she scours flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales for new-to-her clothes, shoes, and accessories. This new approach to how she sources her wardrobe has lead to some pretty stellar costumes.
My most recent refash story starts in Round Top, Texas, population 80. Twice a year, Round Top and the surrounding towns host Antiques Weekend: a huge flea market that spans 15 miles, boasts 2,000 vendors, and attracts 100,000+ visitors from all over.
To cap it all off, there is the bi-annual Junk-O-Rama Prom… a very Texan event where shoppers, vendors, and locals mix it up to listen to live music, drink the local brew, and two-step the night away in crazy outfits matched with requisite cowboy boots and hats.
My sister and I (both born-and-bred Texans) have been going to the prom for the past six years, and every year we come up with a different theme for our outfits. Back in 2010, it was 50s housewives:
I’m excited to share a Reader ReFash with you that came to me from a kindred spirit named Anne. She teaches Fashion/Design and Speech/Drama at two junior high schools, which I find impressive given my fear of youths. I obviously love fashion, and I less-obviously hold a degree in Theatre (my professional career has been a winding path indeed). Anne recently challenged her students to upcycle a garment of their choosing, and I hope she’ll share some pics with me, as I’d love to see them and feature them here (with their parents’ permission of course).
I won’t lie. I get a little misty-eyed at the thought of an educator teaching kids to think about what they’re wearing, where it came from, and how they can creatively define their own style. This work is important. People like Anne are changing the world and creating a new generation of conscious consumers.
But I’ve said enough. Let’s let Anne take over, shall we?