Recycled Fashion Finds # 60

Friday, November 30, 2012

There are times, when one's life is put on hold. Work and chores are put to one side, not much is thought of, except to get through each day, and spend time with people that matter.

When one's life is paused for reflection, creativity is limited. Recycled Fashion blog posts will continue throughout my creative break, focusing on sustainable fashion initiatives happening around the world. My own refashions will be back, but not until mid January 2013.

I completed the last of my creative pursuits of 2012 a few weeks ago, to weave a circular rug out of old t-shirts and a hula hoop.  Being that this project is not so much a fashion item, I've written up a blog post about it on my poor neglected secondary blog Recycled Sewing.

 More here.  

One way to focus and engage in other global recycled fashion projects and finds, is by way of the fortnightly Friday linkup: Recycled Fashion Finds. You can link up your thrifted finds or upcycled creations, into the inlinkz link below.

So now it's over to you, Recycled Fashion readers.  Have you been thrifting, refashioning, sewing or crafting?  Would you like to participate in Recycled Fashion Finds this fortnight?  Feel free to share more than one project or thrifty find, it's always great to see what you've been up to.

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


Men's Business Shirt to Sleeveless Casual Shirt

Sunday, November 25, 2012

When Mr Recycled rids his wardrobe of unwanted business shirts, I get quite excited, as I get to have a play around with them. (The first time I used one of Mr RF's unwanted shirts, was to make the sh-kirt.)

I found a really cute restyled shirt tutorial on Extra Petite, with a clever idea to reuse the material from each removed sleeve, to create a cute bow neck-tie.

Roughly using the same tutorial, I've make myself a sleeveless casual shirt, from this original business shirt:

A refashioned business shirt to sleeveless top for me. Sleeves removed, and armholes closed with bias strip made from the fabric of cut-off arm sleeve. Dart's added for a better fit.  I did not go with a bow neck-tie, as did not feel the same style would suit this previously formal shirt, so instead, went for a removable straight neck tie, which I can take off if I decide not to wear it that way.

:: In Progress ::

Using masking tape and bias tape market to cut bias strips.  
The masking tape technique, found on Miss P's blog

 I did not take a photograph of the neck-tie in the making.  To explain; I used the bottom removed section of the shirt for this, sewing a long straight line on the wrong side of a doubled over strip, and stitched a diagonal straight line on each end.  I left a gap in the middle of the strip to turn inside out, iron flat, and top stitch.


And I've included darts to prevent bunching on each armhole, which is also explained on Extra Petite's DIY tutorial.

Shared with Ethical Fashion Bloggers up and coming refit challenge


PS There is a giveaway still running here on Recycled Fashion, to win some sets of Vintage-Patches.  You can enter here.

Vintage-Patch Giveaway

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Readers, you may recall this previous blog post in which I highlighted a hole in my jumper, and various options of how to fix it.

Whilst there are many DIY options to fix a holey clothing piece, UK based business Vintage-Patch offer an easy solution; iron on cotton print elbow, knee and other types of patches and appliques, ideal for adding an unusual accent to a remodelled garment or knitwear.

A clever, quick fix solution to holey clothes, or just to add a bit of interest to your boring pieces.  Vintage-Patch patches are very easy to apply, simply iron on, although additional hand / machine stitching would be recommended for machine washable clothing.

Jnr RF has a pair of jeans that fit him so well, but, as with most 4yr old boys that climb and fall over, his jeans have finally given way at the knee.

I've used a Vintage-Patch skull and crossbones kid sized patch to iron onto the holey knee, and there we go, a pair of no-longer-holey jeans, with a funky new look.

The additional little star patch included in the pack, is just the right size to cover up the hole in my cardigan; the cardigan that started the holey clothing conversation!

With pretty floral ovals, heart patches and retro prints, in both child and adult sizing, there are many options to adorn a sweater elbow, jeans, or leggings knees.

I have three patch sets (one matching pair in a set) to giveaway to three Recycled Fashion readers.

Here are the three patch colour sets to choose from:

 (Red patches are heart shaped)

To enter the competition, simply leave a comment below with your preference of colour, and where you'd apply your patch.  Also pop on over to Vintage Patch on facebook to 'like' their page.  The giveaway is open to worldwide readers, and will be live for two weeks.  Winners will be drawn on Friday 30th November. 

*UPDATE* Giveaway now over, winners announced here.


Rock n Roll Night Sacred Heart St Kilda

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Op-shopping and Rock-n-Roll combined to become a social night of live music and thrifty shopping, in what proved to be a popular evening for the Sacred Heart in St Kilda early November.

With a great excuse for an op-shop expedition out of hours, bloggers I Love To Op Shop, A Little Boutique Near Home and I organised to meet at the event, accompanied by what appeared to be most of the population of St Kilda and surrounding suburbs. 

Photography by Amy Lee

As usual, I did not intend to buy anything, merely to document the event for the blog, but, I had an evening of success for my favourite colour (turquoise), and stumbled upon a pair of converse boots in my size for $10:

And a vintage handmade dress for $10, that happened to be the same colour combination.

If all op-shops had the staff and capacity to open out of their usual weekday trading hours, I am convinced they'd become popular after work / school hang outs.

 Photography by Amy Lee

With the added bonus of live music to entertain the crowds, Sacred Heart's late night shopping Roll & Roll night certainly did prove a success.


New Dress A Day Feature

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wow, what a lovely surprise today, to see my skirt-to-cape refashion, appearing as a reader submission on the stupendous New Dress A Day blog. Thank you Marisa Lynch!

Speaking of New Dress A Day, did you know Marisa has recently released a book

"Based on her wildly popular blog of the same name, guerrilla seamstress Marisa Lynch shows you how to easily (and affordably!) transform your wardrobe from frumpy to fabulous! With just a snip here and a stitch there, your basement bargains will rival anything in designer collections. Yes, with a little imagination—and DIY tools like needles, thread, and safety pins—you too can update an outdated castoff."   Her book can be ordered via booksellers listed here.  Amazing!


Enoch and Plonk Upcycled Childrenswear

Saturday, November 17, 2012

For some time now, I've admired the work of Nicola Thomas, and her line of little girls dresses upcycled from t-shirts under the name Enoch & Plonk.  Enoch & Plonk dresses inspired my own t-shirt dress, in adult form, seen here.

Enoch & Plonk design by Rebekah Ginda Design

"Enoch & Plonk loves to surprise, sometimes shock but always be different. It's about 'in your face
fashion'. It's for little individuals who like to stand out in a crowd. For mums and dad's who want
their kids to be expressive with what they wear and be fun, comfy and easycare.
All Enoch & Plonk dresses are created using new t.shirts and stretch fabrics, second hand garments,
recycled fabrics, remnants and thrifted items. Each piece is lovingly created from start to finish
using my own original patterns and the fabrics as inspiration."

A selection of some of my favourite Enoch & Plonk designs:



(available here)

(available here)

(available here)

To get to know 'behind the scenes' of Enoch & Plonk, I've asked Nicola some questions, to share with Recycled Fashion readers.

Where does the name Enoch & Plonk come from?

I had a long list of possible names for what would become E&P. They were just names that I'd plucked out of thin air but none of them seemed personal enough. I could see myself getting very bored with them very quickly. I realised that there had been a name that had been with me my whole life 'Enoch & Plonk'. Enoch was the rather odd nickname my father had given me when I was little, my sister was Plonk.

How did Enoch & Plonk begin its journey?

What began as a business appliquéing t-shirts with funky original artwork in November 2010 developed into Enoch & Plonk, funky clothing with attitude in May 2011. A Change which was much more me. I'd always been a bit alternative and this was the ideal form of expression for me and a great way forward for E&P. 

How long have you been sewing?

I'd made a few items using my own patterns for my daughter Ella and had posted them on my blog with a very positive response. Once I'd refined my sewing skills somewhat, I knew what I can and couldn't do, and items were of a standard I was happy with then I decided to offer them for sale.  I've always been a crafter. I trained as a fine artist and became an art and design teacher in 1994. 

I'd always avoided sewing machines (I was a bit scared of them if I'm honest) preferring to sew by hand. But once I realised I could sew clothes for my kids which could be better and more fun and expressive than what was available in the shops, well there was no stopping me. I still have a healthy fear of my machine but I figured that stops me sewing over my fingers and helps me focus.

What has been the favourite clothing piece you've made so far?
My favourite piece is always my latest creation, but I if I was to pick one or two that I've made it would be Polka Top, Girl and Ever Green. 

Polka Top


Ever Green

What has been your fasted selling item?

I'm very luck to be in a position where most of my work sells quite quickly. My designs are released on my Facebook page or blog first and get snapped up straight away. Those that don't sell am listed in my shops (Etsy, Towards the Stars and Bigcartel

What is the future of Enoch & Plonk?

Who knows. I'd love to be able to grow and expand my business, whether that's possible when I make all the dresses on my own and they are all one-of-a-kind. I never wanted to mass produce my work and still don't. I think that's what customers love about what I do. No one else is going to be wearing what you're wearing. At present I create when I can. I have a disabled daughter and a son who is a handful so time is limited. I'm hoping that next year when Ella starts school I will have more time to make. 

What is the biggest struggle you've faced running Enoch & Plonk as a business?

My biggest struggle has been getting exposure. Getting my designs noticed and spreading the word. When you work at home you do tend to be very insular and find it difficult to connect with the 'big world out there' concepts like advertising, and SEO seems very alien. Furthermore taking a huge leap of faith in your abilities financially is terrifying, especially when you have little cash to splash around.  

At the moment I'm spending time improving my blog/website and have redesigned my newsletter which I feel now is suitably 'Enoch & Plonk'. I also spend an awful lot of time on Facebook chatting to 'likers' sharing designs, personal stories and things I've come across which I feel they will enjoy or find interesting. I've tried to be myself and, to use a very annoying phrase 'keep it real' *shudder*.

You can find Nicola's wonderful work on Enoch & Plonk's facebook page, blog, and her designs are for sale here.

Groupon for Christmas?

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm a little bit bah-humbug about Christmas this year. I fear that time is running out to buy gifts for friends and family, and the thought of buying gifts in haste, that my friends and family may not want or need, leaves me feeling irritated.  I'd love to make gifts for my friends and family as I did last year, but fear I will not have the time.

I've been considering ordering some sort of service or activity as gifts, rather than a physical object. Something like a tour, or a voucher for an activity might be a nice idea?

I've been perusing Groupon, as an option. Groupon is a 'deal-based' website, offering discounted items, and vouchers for services. More on Groupon here.

Here are a few ideas:

Hepburn Springs Spa Retreat
With breakfast, wine tour, spa, food and drink vouchers
$169 discounted from $400

Ok so this one might be a bit extravagant for a Christmas gift, but sounds nice doesn't it!

Three hour swim with Dolphins
With wild dolphins and seals with Moonraker Charters, Sorrento
$79 for one person, or $149 for two, discounted from $350

Mr RF and I went on this trip 5 years ago, and had the best time.

Two-hour Kiteboarding Lesson
Including all equipment, $69 for one person, or $110 for two, with The Zu Boardsports

Great for a sporty / beach loving friend or family member

Groupon is not just limited to Melbourne, there are offers nationwide, with many deals on products as well as activities.  A complete list found here.

Readers, what are your thoughts on buying a voucher for an activity as a gift, rather than an item that may not be wanted, or needed?