Gonna be on the Telly

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In two hours time, 5:30pm, I shall be appearing on Coxy's Big Break on Channel 7.

Story Title: Op Shop Tour
Melbourne Op Shop Tours

I'm a bit nervous to tell you the truth.

Boot Fix

Thursday, April 28, 2011

These boots were purchased 3 years ago. They were my ultimate boots throughout pregnancy during winter months.

I wore them to death, look at the state of their heels...

I haven't worn them since the heels were damaged, at the end of last winter. I wouldn't be able to donate them to the op shop, as no one would really want to buy damaged shoes? Rather than see my beloved boots end up in the bin, and subsequent landfill, I had an idea to fix them, after seeing a tutorial on Burda Style; fabric covered shoes.

Taking some fabric from my stash, which used to be material covering a toiletry bag in a state of disrepair. 20c op shop purchase of course.

I used newspaper and chalk to trace around the heel shape, and cut pieces of fabric to the appropriate size.

Then using Mod Podge glue/glaze and a paintbrush, fabric pieces are stuck to heels, like so...

I used some black ribbon from my craft box to use as an outline around the fabric, again stuck down with Mod Podge. I left my boots out in the sun to dry for half a day.

They look little like Osborn shoes don't they? Perhaps that was my inspiration for chosen fabric.

Happy boots!

Do we wash our clothes too much?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You may be familiar with a nursery rhyme The Mulberry Bush, first recorded as a children's game in the mid nineteenth century, in which the second, third and fourth verse relate to washing, mending, and ironing ....

"This is the way we wash our clothes Wash our clothes, wash our clothes This is the way we wash our clothes So early Monday morning"

"This is the way we iron our clothes
Iron our clothes, iron our clothes This is the way we iron our clothes So early Tuesday morning"

"This is the way we mend our clothes
Mend our clothes, mend our clothes This is the way we mend our clothes So early Wednesday morning"

Image c/o amazinga

Monday is for washing, Tuesday for ironing, and Wednesday for mending clothes. Before the invention of home appliances and the conventional washing machine, cleaning clothes would be a long and tiresome task, heating vats of hot water, using scrub boards, hanging garments over stones, bushes, or around the house to dry out. It is no wonder washing clothes would be dedicated to just one day a week.

American, James King patented the first washing machine to use a drum in 1851, the drum made King's machine resemble a modern machine, however it was still hand powered. It was not until 1951 when production of Europe's first automatic washing machines began. Further information on the brief history of the invention of washing machines found here

With the convenience of washing machines in most of our homes, and in some cases tumble dryers too, is it possible we wash our clothes too much? Throwing our laundry into the machine after minimal wear, because it is easy, and we all like freshly washed clothing?

Canadian College student Josh Le undertook an experiment. He purchased a pair of untreated denim jeans by Nudie brand for $165, and wore them 330 times without washing between September of 2009 and December of 2010.

"My professor mentioned that she researches on textiles and bacteria, so it piqued my curiosity there," Le said. "I half jokingly said we should do a bacterial analysis on them [Le's jeans] and that's where it sort of started."

The 20-year-old student carried around paper towels to dab out stains. If the jeans smelled, he might stick them in the freezer overnight or let them hang for a few hours.

Le's jeans were then swabbed and tested for bacteria, enlisting the help of his professor, Rachel McQueen.. "There did not appear to be differences in the bacterial carriage depending on whether the jeans had been worn for 15 months or only 13 days," McQueen's findings read.

The following youtube video shows Josh's Nudie Jeans 15 Month Time-Lapse, from week 1 to week 67.

Information obtained from abcnews.com

An article found on Master Plumbers Association of Queensland (believe it or not) provides useful water saving laundry tips and facts, indicating if we reduce our clothes washing by one wash per week, this could save approximately 65 litres of water, and if every household did this, we would save 25 million litres of water a week across the city (Brisbane I would assume?). More water saving tips can be found here.

Family history

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

♥ A scanned photograph of my late Grandparent's wedding. One can't help but look those lovely hats, gorgeous coat's, white ankle socks and Mary Jane shoes. ♥

(click on image for closer look)

Reconstructed Clothing

Monday, April 25, 2011

Designers who are rocking the refashion/reconstructed clothing genre..

Sleeves for Pants: crafted from One Mens Business Shirt

High waisted pants made out of a single men's business shirt. Button cuffs, originally for the wrist. Designed and handmade by morgancolour

Checked Dress

Short Sleeved Grey Checked dress with gathered panel detailing to left hand side. Designed and handmade by Francesca Warren of UnButton Fashion; Zero Waste Womenswear.

Jumper Dress

Created by Love Me Again, an independent fashion label that uses entirely recycled textiles.

Greg Lauren Army Tent Jacket

Greg Lauren Army Tent Jacket

Twill high collar jacket made from vintage army tents. Designed by Greg Lauren, nephew of fashion giant Ralph Lauren available at Barney's

Back to front butterfly shirt

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I've been working on a butterfly printed shirt I purchased a while ago for $4 from St Andrews Op Shop in Brighton.

Pretty butterflies

An interesting one, for it is, believe or not, a man's shirt by fashion label English Laundry. It amazes me that someone originally bought this shirt at all, for a women, maybe, but for a man? Surely not.

Shirt before, ick..

Inspired a little by this silk shirt refashion by one pearl button..

I used the front of butterfly shirt for the back of my new top, removed the collar, plus added some bias tape from my sewing stash for the neckline...

Shirt back - now front

Shirt front - now back

Using my cherry shirt as a rough guide for cutting to appropriate size..

And adding a hand-sewn fabric flower, made with excess material cut from the side...

I had to include a small clasp right at the top of the (new) back of my top, to stop it gaping were the collar had been removed..

Unfortunately, I have created a sleeveless top for the wrong season, for Melbourne's autumnal weather brings cooler temperatures, therefore I have to wear with a long sleeve top underneath till warmer weather returns.

In an attempt to minimise any waste, I am working on a few projects to use up the excess fabric from this shirt, which I will blog about once complete.

Advice from anyone with sewing knowledge, would it be better if I were to include two darts at the front of my top? Or leave it as is? Sewing darts is still a fairly new skill to me, only done via following patterns previously...


Worn on Self Stitched Sept, Day 24

Linking up here

Pillowcase boys hoodie

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I finished making a hoodie for my son, using a space-themed pillowcase I got from Savers a few weeks ago.

$1 pillowcase

Not quite Munster's Galaxy T-shirt I have been inspired by, but pretty cool I think? I used jersey stretch fabric from my thrift-fabric stash for the sleeves and hood.

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Free Fashion Challenge Assignment One

I have joined the Free Fashion Challenge along with other fashion obsessives around the world, in an attempt not to buy any new fashion garments for three months. Anyone following my blog will know, I only ever buy second-hand clothing. As I am partial to the dollar bargain, and fancy fabric, it is time to reflect on my current wardrobe, use up some of that thrifted fabric, de-clutter, and refashion what I already have.

The Free Fashion Challenge comes with a series of assignments, that we can choose to complete if we so desire. My first assignment, is a series of 9 questions which determines who I am, and my relationship to fashion. Here goes...

1. What makes you happy?

2. What is your favourite source of inspiration?

Reflections on international, humbling travel moments

3. What is your signature item?

Refashioned clothing. I like to buy thrift garments, and refashion them to suit my size and style.

About you and fashion

4. What’s the first garment you have memories about?
I am not sure if this is my own memory, or one that my parent’s frequently remind me of - a pair of red wellington boots. I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. My shoe obsession obviously started at the tender age of 2

5. I need fashion because…

It (fashion) helps me express my creativity by styling second-hand outfits, and sewing my own garments. Some people like to watch TV, others read books, I like to sew.

6. What would be your dream collaboration in the fashion/creative industry?

An ideal collaboration would be one which creates fashion from recycled materials, with a percentage of profits donated back to a sustainable project in the developing world.

About you and the project: stop shopping for three months

7. What’s your largest fashion addiction?

8. Who would you like to have a swap-party with?

Blogger Desiree from Pull Your Socks Up! Her wardrobe is so much fun..

9. What do you contribute to a sustainable future?

I am a vegetarian, I try to buy organic when possible, use natural cleaning products, I recycle as much as feasibly possible, I have not purchased any fashion garment from a retail outlet in the last two years, and have no intention of doing so in the future. (only second-hand clothing)

Almost a week into the challenge. I haven't stepped foot into an op-shop all week. I fear temptation will be too much. Will I last three months without buying a garment? We'll see.

In Other News

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In today's news

Image c/o weheartit

1. Have you entered the fabulous recycled fascinator giveaway c/o Delight Worthyn? Entries into the competition close on 30 April.

2. Vintage Fur Debate

Thank you so much for everyone that has taken part in the 'Vintage Fur; Yay or Nay?" blog post by giving your view, and voting. The debate very interesting; 36 votes at time of writing, 24 people would not wear vintage fur, 11 people would, with one 'other'. The blog poll remains open for anyone that would like their say.

3. Upcycled By Ash Auction

The plastic bottle cuffs I made and donated to Upcycled by Ash, are for up for auction to raise funds for the National Wildlife Federation, an organization that was pivotal to the animal rescue efforts in the Gulf.

There are some other wonderful upcycled goodies up for auction too. I am rather fond of this little Plover bird, donated by Michelle Fahmy, made almost entirely of recycled materials, isn't he gorgeous?

4. Local fame

I have a little appearance in the Bayside Leader as tour leader for our newest Op Shop Tour Bayside route. My next tour will be on a Friday this time; 10th June. You can book here to join me.

5. Fashion Less Waste 2011 Competition

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about The Australian Museum's (Sydney, Australia) annual fashion competition; Fashion Less Waste 2011, which aims to encourage a more sustainable fashion industry, to help fashion a less wasteful world. This year, entrants are invited to be inspired by the birds of paradise.

I decided to enter this year's competition, entries close tomorrow. I will wait until judging is complete before I show the outfit I made. Wishful thinking that I will get to the final's in Sydney, as the open category encourages Fashion Designers to enter. But you gotta try, right? It's been really good fun designing an outfit made almost entirely from materials that were originally bought and used for a non-clothing purpose.