Double Denim and Arm Gloves

Friday, August 31, 2012

Some might say wearing double denim is a crime, I say codswallop.

Today's double denim attempt

Kids Gap jacket - op shop, refashioned shortened sleeves
Scarf - gift
Top - Charity Shop in the UK 
Arm gloves - see below

My humble opinion on double denim?  Denim shirts or jackets and jeans worn with a dash of colour, or an outfit mixed with light and dark denims, can actually look quite stylish.

Fashion designer Marios Schwab in double denim  
Fashion designer Marios Schwab in double denim. 
Photograph: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images 

cameron diaz earnest sewn Cameron Diaz in a Levis Denim jacket & Earnest Sewn Harlan Jeans

Cameron Diaz in double denim
seen here

William Rast Double Denim on the catwalk 2009
seen here

On a separate note, arm gloves; useful for wearing with short sleeve jackets, shirts, or dresses on chilly early Spring day mornings:

These arm gloves were purchased retail, many, many years ago, but they could be easily replicated using the sleeves of an old sweatshirt or jumper.  It would be a case of sewing raw edges of the removed sleeves, and adding a hole on each glove for your thumb to go through.

What are your thoughts on double denim, or arm gloves for that matter?

Shared with Not Dead Yet Style and Ethical Fashion Bloggers

Recycled Fashion Finds will be back next week.

Spring Sewing Dress Refashion

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thrifty dress refashioning has taken a back-burner over the winter, as fellow Melburnian's will confirm this years winter has been far from mild, its been too cold to even consider sewing a dress, let along wearing one.

I purchased a second-hand dress from Biccies op shop in Brighton in the middle of winter, for under $5, I can't recall the exact amount I paid for it.


It has taken be a veeeerry long time to get to work on this, but as temperatures are finally on the up, I did finish this dress refashion the other week, and managed to get some photographs in it outside. Bear in mind that whilst the sun is out, the Melbourne's Bayside wind got the better of me!

The Mummy duct tape dress-form got her first workout too:

The print on this dress, reminds me a little of these trousers I saw on pinterest

As seen on pinterest

I don't have any sewing-in-action photographs, except for the initial sizing up of dresses. I used this dress which fits me perfectly, to get an idea of sizing.

I've chopped off the sleeves and collar to re-design the dress into a sleeveless number.  I've pinched the fabric together at each shoulder, and hand stitched using invisible thread to stay in place, which makes them less boxy.  I saw a similar technique by TwoButterflies on Refashion Co-Op.

 The faux leather butterfly belt, by the way, is a Salvos purchase for $5.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope the weather is being kind to you today.

Shared with Ta-dah Tuesday


Ideas for Recycling a Sari

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lately, I've seen a increase in requests for freelance writers, asking that I publish their guest blog posts on Recycled Fashion.  Whilst this is a good thing to see Recycled Fashion gaining momentum on the world wide web, I am careful in the topics and links I choose to publish.

When Aditi Jain (bio below) suggested a blog post relating to recycling a sari, I could not say no. I am a big fan of sari material, with its shine, colour, sequins, and threadwork, it has to be one of the worlds most beautiful fabrics to wear, or to redesign into something different.

You may remember this inspirational sari polyvore mood board I put together for to second-hand sari silk for re-creation ideas..

Which inspired my blue sari-scarf top made here

So without further ado, I introduce Aditi's ideas for recycling a sari:

Ideas for Recycling a Sari

Saris are so beautiful that it seems a shame to throw them out, even when they are well past their best. Your well-worn sari probably holds lots of lovely memories that you are reluctant to let go. Fortunately, you don't have to! There are lots of ways to re-purpose your sari into other things instead of tossing it away. Here are some ideas for recycling a sari so that it can continue enriching your life with its beauty.

Why Upcycle Your Sari? 

Upcycling - giving a new lease of life to old objects by repurposing them - is becoming extremely fashionable, thanks to a growing environmental consciousness that rejects the modern tendency to throw out items as soon as they start to look a little worn. Stay ahead of the trend by using these ideas to upcycle your sari into cool accessories and home furnishings - you will soon be the envy of your friends.
Saris are so beautiful that it seems a shame to throw them out, even when they are well past their best. Your well-worn sari probably holds lots of lovely memories that you are reluctant to let go. Fortunately, you don't have to! There are lots of ways to re-purpose your sari into other things instead of tossing it away. Here are some ideas for recycling a sari so that it can continue enriching your life with its beauty.

Scarf - Make the most of bright colors and bold patterns on your old sari to create beautiful scarves for yourself, your friends and your family. One sari can be cut into wide strips and edged to make several scarves.

Jhola Bags - Use your well-worn sari to create a useful jhola bag. Choose a sari made of strong material such as cotton. Cut a large piece of material to form the body of the bag. Stitch up the sides of the bag and add a long strap that comfortably loops over the shoulder. If you're skilled with a sewing machine, you can add a zipper and pockets to create a multi-purpose bag that is perfect for carrying everything you need.

Jhola bags source

Ipad Sleeve - Protect your iPad from scratches with a sleeve made from your favorite silk sari. Simply cut a piece of material that is slightly wider and just over twice as long as your iPad, fold it over and neatly stitch the sides into seams. Add some buttons or a drawstring fastening at the open end to keep your iPad secured in place.

 Recycled Sari Pouch source

Bracelet - You can repurpose scraps of silk from your recycled sari into a beautiful bracelet. Create very thin ribbons of silk from your old sari and wrap them around a piece of copper wire to give them shape. The ends of the wire can be fashioned into a catch that opens to fit the bracelet snugly onto your wrist.

Hair Ornament - A boring hair clip or grip can be turned into a beautiful feature by the addition of a flower fashioned from colorful sari fabric. Simply cut three circles of material from your synthetic silk sari, each one slightly smaller than the last. Then, using a pair of scissors, cut a few small slits pointing towards the center of each circle to separate the petals. Your slits should extend only about a third of the distance to the center of the circle. Hold each circle two inches above the flame of a candle to melt the silk so that it crinkles like a flower petal. Do this for each petal, being careful not to let the material burn. Place the three layers on top of each other and thread a hair pin or a piece of wire through the center of the flower.

Check out this hair ornament tutorial for pictures:

Around the Home

Cushion Covers - Old saris make gorgeous cushion covers. You can use the borders of your sari to make piping for each cover.

Vintage Sari Patchwork Cushion source

Curtains - Get more use out of your old saris by using them as curtains in your home. Lighter saris make perfect summer curtains that gently float in the breeze, while heavier ones are excellent at blocking out light and keeping heat in your home.

Author Bio:
Guest post contributed by Aditi Jain, on behalf of Aditi is a freelance fashion writer. She's also studying fashion design and her articles appear on various fashion blogs.


Upcycled Mans Shirt Boys Cargo Shorts Seamingly Part 2

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You may remember, a few weeks ago, I tested Seamingly Smitten's BOYS Classically Cool Cargo Shorts pattern, using a thrifted man's shirt I bought for a dollar?

A recap:

Seamingly Smitten's pattern designer, Jenny, adjusted her pattern slightly from her original design, to allow for deeper pockets, and an additional waistband.  I've made two more boys cargo shorts, size 5 (white) and size 12-18 months (brown), using two short sleeve man's shirts.  Both, are for gifts.  I can't wait for summer to see the little guys in these shorts...

Jenny's pattern adjustment, allows for a waistband, and contrasting fabric pockets if desired.  With my brown 12-18 month size shorts, I went with a simple jersey stretch fabric waist band, and used the same shirt fabric for each leg side pocket, with two reclaimed buttons from the front of the original shirt.

The 12-18 month shorts are obviously smaller than the white size 5 shorts, I am therefore left with more unused brown shirt fabric.  I've chosen to use the leftover brown shirt fabric, as contrasting fabric on the white shorts.  Again, with a reclaimed button for each side pocket.

Additionally, the luck you get when you dig about in the haberdashery baskets in the back of op shops, I was lucky enough to find an iron on cowboy hat motif in Salvos last week, for 50c. 

The Seamingly Smitten BOYS Classically Cool Cargo Shorts pattern is available here (go to the Boys category).  This is such a great project to do for beginners, and experienced stitchers will be able to sew a pair of boys shorts in next to no time!

Shared with Adorned from Above


KeoK'jay: Ethical Recycled Clothing from Cambodia

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How refreshing to find a fashion label which ticks all of the boxes when it comes to becoming an entirely sustainable range.  KeoK'jay (meaning bright green or fresh in Khmer) is a unique ethical fashion label,  based in The Kingdom of Cambodia, which produces not only a range of beautifully designed wearable garments, made with mostly recycled fabric, but also provides employment and opportunity to HIV positive women in the nation's capital Phnom Penh.

KeoK'jay's founder and designer, Rachel Faller, trained and employed 10 HIV positive women to begin making her designs first, and then their own, selling them locally and internationally.

Here is Rachel, interviewed by CNN at the LA Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2011

A selection from KeoK'jay's clothing range:

With a new line of menswear; KeoK'jay for Men.
T-shirts with Cambodian tattoo inspired screen-print

Rachel Faller tells me "We aim to waste less than 5% of all of our materials, in contrast to traditional manufacturers that often waste 40% in the making process before it even gets to the consumer."

Limited edition Lightning T, and a reclaimed wood buffalo skull necklace.  
(T-shirt is exclusive to Cambodian shops)

Catch the first minute and a half of the following CNN news video for a short insight into Rachel's  sustainable fashion initiative:

KeoK'Jay is stocked in a few stores locally and internationally, however, the brand is looking to expand, and is actively looking for stockists worldwide.  Readers, if you are aware of any boutiques that may be interested in stocking KeoK'jay's beautiful range, please do refer to their website, you can also find them on facebook.  I hope we get to see this exceptional ethical fashion label flourish, and find KeoK'jay crafting its future into the global marketplace.


Disclaimer; the review and opinion provided in this blog post is unbiased and unpaid

TShirt Refashions and Recycled Fashion Finds #53

Friday, August 24, 2012

Before we begin with this week's Recycled Fashion Finds link up, I wanted to share with you, a couple of really clever ideas on ways to refashion t-shirts into much prettier, less boring garments, as seen by Love Flow Creations on Refashion Co-op.

Love Flow Creations' T-shirt Poncho


To make her t-shirt poncho, Missy has removed her t-shirt sleeves, and cut open on the sides.  The t-shirts have been cut into rectangles and attached to the sides, and the bottom of the main t-shirt rectangle.  The sides are then stitched from the bottom to most of the way to the top leaving a space for your arms to go through.  Missy explains her inspiration is designer CreoleSha.

Love Flow Creations' T-shirt Sleeve Petal Skirts

Missy's a-line skirts are really clever.  The base is made from a tank top, and the skirt's petals are made from t-shirt sleeves.  She's cut open t-shirt sleeves that she had leftover from previous refashions, which are turned upside down, and sewn in overlapping rows.  A fantastic idea way of using sleeves cut away from old restyled t-shirts, that could otherwise be thrown out.

Thank you for letting me share your ideas on Recycled Fashion Missy!

Have you been thrifting, refashioning, sewing or crafting?  Would you like to participate in Recycled Fashion Finds this week?  Feel free to share more than one project or thrifty find, I always love to see what you've been up to.

And don't forget, if you've an outfit to share, you can also enter it into the BragYourBuys contest, for a chance to win prizes!  Just leave a comment below if you'd like to enter your outfit into the competition.

Click here for Recycled Fashion Find's rules, don't forget to grab yourself a Recycled Fashion Finds blog badge for your blog post or side bar, or link Recycled Fashion Finds in your blog post.

Recycled Fashion

Guest Post: Top 10 Do-it-yourself Halloween costumes

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Halloween may be a few months away yet, but it is never too early to start thinking about an outfit if you celebrate the occasion, particularly if you plan to make your own costume.  The following guest post is written by freelance writer Serena, showcasing some ideas on DIY-able Halloween costumes: 

Top 10 Do-it-yourself Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes can be expensive, regardless of whether they’re being bought for children or adults. In this way, it’s worth thinking of some of the alternatives for buying costumes, which more typically involve making your own using fabric and other materials. It’s possible to have a great Halloween without having to spend a lot of money on costumes, with the added benefit that a uniquely designed costume can make you stand out on the night. When thinking about the kind of DIY Halloween costumes to make, it’s worth looking at some popular inspirations. The following list consequently represents, in no particular order, some ideas for how to approach making your own Halloween costume.

1 - Skeleton Baby

An innovative variation on the human skeleton costume, which involves a black and white, all in one skeleton outfit, this version simply adds a skeletal baby into the stomach of the costume. A great way to make a small
but significant change to a costume without spending much more money on it, and a good idea for expectant mothers.

Skeleton Baby (Image Source:

2 - Comic Book Character Design

An impressive approach to adapting an artistic style for your costume, this comic book look relies on a wig and carefully drawn dots and shades to resemble the look of classic Roy Lichtenstein pop art paintings.

 Comic Book Character (Image Source:

3 - Child Spider

While some people may not necessarily find the idea of turning their child into a human spider for the night a good one, it’s a design that can be easily created. Using a black costume and socks, attach the extra legs using looped fishing wire, and attach hooks so that the child can pull and move the legs.

Child Spider (Image Source:

4 - Rosie the Riveter

Become a classic feminist icon with this simple to achieve design, which adapts the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ image. A red neckerchief and denim jacket, and the requisite pose shown in the accompanying photo, should make this a straightforward but effective look for Halloween.

Rosie the Riveter (Image Source:

5 - Where’s Wally

Many people choose to dress up as the difficult to find Wally for Halloween, and make the most of the simplicity of the costume. All you need is a striped red and white shirt, a red hat, and some glasses. A few good ideas about where to hide at a party can also be useful for making this outfit complete.

Where’s Wally (Image Source:

6 - Ketchup Kid

Again, the appeal of this costume idea does come down to how much you’re willing to view your child as a model for your fiendish Halloween ideas. A cardboard ketchup box can be made for wearing as the costume, which can also be made larger for use by adults.

Ketchup Kid (Image Source:

7 - Colonel Sanders

Representing the famous image of Colonel Sanders from KFC, this outfit involves procuring a curly white wig, glasses, a beard, and possibly a KFC bucket, although generic chicken would probably do just as well.

Colonel Sanders (Image Source:

 8 - Firefox

A slightly more specialist costume, but one that can be very effective once people recognize what it is, the Firefox costume takes on the Internet browser mascot using a fox ears and orange shirt, as well as a
blue globe that can be carried around with you during a party.

Firefox (Image Source:

9 - Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke

A useful costume if you want to go as a pair, Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke in his chimney sweeper mode is relatively simple to create, especially in the case of the working clothes and brush for Van Dyke. A questionable Cockney accent may or may not be included with this costume.

Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke (Image Source:

10 - Lego Indiana Jones

A good way to take on a popular character without having to go the same route as most other people, a Lego Indiana Jones involves the usual paraphernalia of a hat, leather jacket and a whip, but with a Lego head
thrown in for good measure.

Lego Indiana Jones (Image Source:

Author Bio

Serena Grant is a freelance copywriter specializing in the Fashion industry. She would recommend UK company Choice for fashion subjects such as rising brands, different styles of designer clothing and upcoming trends.

Thank you Serena, that was a fun blog post, I'm particularly fond of the Skeleton Baby, Comic Book Character and Lego Indiana Jones.  I wonder what could be used to make the Lego head?  A bucket?!