Upcycled Tea Towel Creations

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A common way to upcycle a vintage tea towel is to sew into a display cushion cover, such as the selection seen on Morgan Wills. I've made a couple of things myself using secondhand tea towels, such as this tea towel toy bag, and a tea towel plastic bag holder.  Sometimes though, tea towels can be reworked into fashion pieces, which have been highlighted before on Recycled Fashion with Pie in the Sky's creations.

Zara on her blog Zaranne Handmade wore a beautiful tea towel dress recently, made by Annie of Pearl & Elspeth. Her dress is a mix of native flora and blue fairy wren covered linen tea towels, and features doily pockets and sleeves. Feminine and so summery:

:: Zaranne Handmade's Pearl & Elspeth Tea Towel Dress ::

I have been in contact with Zara's dress maker, Annie of Pearl & Elspeth, to see if she would like to share her tea towel creations with Recycled Fashion readers, and to ask questions related to her designs.

Annie, where do you obtain your tea towels from?
I pretty much get my tea towels from op shops and garage sales, though they're getting harder and harder to find these days.  Luckily I have lots of family and friends all over the place who scout for me.

 :: Vintage Floral Tea Towel Skirt ::

Do you obtain your design inspiration from anywhere in particular?
My inspiration really comes from the women I sew for. I'm lucky that most of my work is custom now, so I really get to build a relationship with the person I'm sewing for, find out what kinds of things they like, or they'll send me pictures (like Zara did) which help to create the piece. It's my favourite way to sew, because that way each customer gets a made-to-measure skirt that is made uniquely for them.

Where can we see more of your work?
People can see more of my skirts, dresses and tops at my blog - pearlandelspeth.blogspot.com - which also has a lot of things about cooking and growing food as well. (sewing and craft can be searched under the relevant blog label tags).

:: Floral Tea Towel Skirt ::

How would one order a tea towel fashion piece from you?
People can email to make an order. I also do gift certificates too, which lots of people like. It's not every day someone gives you a custom-made handmade skirt as a gift!

:: Farm Scene Tea Towel Skirt :

I must say that rather fond of Annie's tea towel bolero's. I've made a similar style of bolero myself once before using upholstery fabric, but would never think to use tea towels!

Thank you Annie for sharing your wonderful resourceful sewing creations with Recycled Fashion readers.



Something Else said...

LOVE these. I have made...cushion covers, a bathmat, a tote bag...umm...a laundry bag...and so on from old teatowels, but never clothes. Fabulous! Makes me want to get home and start looking on the opshops again.

Cucicucicoo: Eco Crafting & Sewing said...

What gorgeous and inspirational creations! :) Lisa

Judy C said...

I love your work. The mix of colors and patterns is spot on to me.

Unknown said...

What a great inspiration you gave me... now I need tea towels... more tea towels!!!
MammaNene @ SergerPepper.blogspot.it

Patti said...

gorgeous! The skirts are so pretty, and so creative.

Unknown said...

A great post! Now I'll be always on the hunt for tea towels!!

Olga Becker @ Coffee+Thread said...

Wow! Beautiful work!

Anonymous said...

Oh I like. I don't know how I missed Zara's dress though, how fabulous is it. I'm with you Hun I don't mind a bit bolero action....I old definitely see myself in one of those.

Xoxo Grandma said...

So fun, how creative these fashions are - if you get caught in the rain wearing one of these items, the fabric should absorb well too!

Gracey the Giant said...

Amazing. Some of the best upcycling I've ever seen!


Nice to see something other than cushions created from vintage tea towels. I have the same rose tea towel with an orange background, except my vintage tea towel has a blue green background. The graphics are stunning and I turned mine into an Anthroplogie style tote. The dresses and skirts are a clever mix of vintage and modern fabrics. I am now going to look at my vintage tea towel stash with new eyes.....thanks for sharing these great creations.

Unknown said...

Oh I want a dress, and a skirt! Not a bolero though, not my style.............

Unknown said...

I laughed when I saw you were going to blog on Tea-Towel Clothes ... but they look amazing! I just love those skirts, they're gorgeous :-) Cheers, Alison

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Wow, these are fab!

AdinB said...

Those are awesome. I bet it would make lovely little girl's dress too.


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