the ReFab Diaries: refashion
Showing posts with label refashion

Repurpose: Leather Coat Bag

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I love vintage leather coats and jackets, but they aren't all wearable. So how do you upcycle a leather jacket that's too wrecked to wear? 

When I stumbled upon this fantastic coat refab by Luz (of Luz Patterns) I couldn't wait to share it! Then I had irritating internet issues that shut me down for a bit. But I'm back and here it is. I've seen old leather upcycles before (old round up here) ... but nothing this beautifully crafted. And she shows her makeover in detail.

Thanks to Luz for permission to share!  (PS: She's a crochet, sewing and DIY whiz so enjoy the blog)

I spotted this idea on Pinterest about a year ago and left a comment asking for a tutorial. Guess what? One popped up!  Care of Sheri at Awesome Sauce & Ass Hattery. 

There are so many beautiful, vintage tea towels, placemats etc out there.  I love the idea of using them to personalize a bland t-shirt. Thanks Sheri.  Click through for the complete tutorial. 

I just stumbled upon my new favorite refashioning blog - Charity Shop Chic! In the US, we call them thrift stores ... but I'd argue that they're not quite the same thing. Something just a little more "chic" about what you find in a British charity shop! Anyway, not only are CSC's runway and celebrity-inspired transformations breathtaking (this woman can sew!) but I love her goal: to buy only charity shop clothes then give them a second lease on life by resizing, refashioning etc. Oh, and she's currently a Refashion Runway contestant - fun competition being run by The Renegade Seamstress

Some gems to be sure to check out:

1. A Stella McCartney refashion that's both sexy and wearable by someone who's not Gwyneth Paltrow
3. A Betty Draper inspired wonder made from sheets and pillow cases!

So - this was a good idea. I'm snot sure I love the end result though... it's all a bit, er ... orange? This from someone who loves orange. Anyway, the kid seems to like it. And when you're stuck with a onesie that seems to have been designed for a short, yet amazingly rotund, baby, it's a fun repurpose!

I heard a great story on NPR yesterday called The Global Afterlife of your Donated Clothes. Do you know that 80% of the clothing donated in the US is carted off by textile recyclers? That's about 3.8 billion pounds of clothing every year! Big number right? Now get your head around this number: About 85% of all the clothing sold every year is not donated - it ends up in landfills. 

In the US, we are habitually buying cheap clothing that doesn't last. Then we're throwing it into a dumpster. Or, if we're going to the trouble of donating it, most has to be turned into insulation or industrial wipe cloths. Why? because it's so badly made, they won't even take it to the "needy" over the sea. Apparently there's high demand for used clothing around the world but guess what? It has to be decent quality and we're contributing less and less "quality" clothing.

Ok, rant over. Buy less. Buy quality items that will last. Donate and upcycle whenever possible. Instead of throwing out your old jeans, turn them into a crop top, chop chop! 

If you spend any time on Craftgawker, you've seen Anna's creations. But this men's jacket refab is a standout for me. Complete tutorial here

I seem to be living in perpetual winter. I had a 5 week break in sunny South Africa and still feel like it's been winter forever. Because it snowed today. Today is 25 March. I want to cry ... and hack up all my winter clothes. But that would be bad and wasteful. But just in case I can't help myself, here are lots of cool things I could do with those hacked up sweaters:

Upcycle: Old Satchel ReFab!

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I love old leather satchels. But old brown pleather? Not so much. So hooray for spray paint! Wrapped Up in Rainbows turned this drab old thing into something I LOVE. Actually, it's similar to something I already own. So I'm predictable ... but can one really have too many turquoise / teal satchel-like thingies?  Full DIY.

I love repurposing projects that literally involve re-envisioning. The ability to look past the thing into the crystal ball of its potential. Or something. You know what I mean? If you're Natalie at My Little Secrets, that means somehow "seeing" a sheer crop top in a pair of pantyhose. I think I have a few too many .... um... "curves" to pull off this kind of hugging, sheer thing (I cut up old pantyhose into hairbands). But, it's a no-sew, creative-problem-solving wonder and I'm guessing a few of you will have some fun with it.

Complete DIY here. 

Thrift stores are full of old leather belts, jackets and purses that are so far out of style/size/this decade (!) that no one really wants them. So they're often insanely cheap and begging to be upcycled or refashioned.

Here's my challenge to you:  I've gathered 23 upcycled leather projects for you. If you leave this post without being inspired to dig out that old leather jacket, or rush out and thrift one of those poor old leather items, I'll bite down on something!

Talk about refashioned refashions! The thrifted yellow top was turned into a tank. The black dress went from long-sleeved to short but "needed an update".  Then both were turned into a dress. Go Hulibug

I've decided that Elsie Larson is the inspiration behind "The New Girl" ... every time I visit her lovely blog (A Beautiful Mess) I think of Jess.  Go take a look .... tell me I'm wrong.  And while you're there, learn how to put a spring in your step!

My good friend Lisa (of Poldapop Designs) recently found herself facing a NY's eve date with her hubby, minus the "great new dress" she'd planned to conjure for herself.  Two little girls, the holidays, a small business to run .... and stomach flu (!) had all contributed to this fix.  So what did she do?  She refashioned a dress that had been collecting dust in her closet for years!  Here's the before and after:

Awesome right?  I've "reconstructed" a number of things in my closet over the years ... recently making a Target sweater a little more "Anthropologie" by removing an elasticized hem and adding a big button! You do NOT need to have mad sewing skills to pull this off.  You really don't.  So check out the great round up of projects (21 of them!) recently published at Crafting a Green World.

upcycled t-shirt scarf

I LOVE this!  Two old t-shirts, a little bleach, a little embroidery thread (or "floss" in US english) and voila! 

Very eco-chic ... get the how-to from Joy Beadworks.

dish towel artist apron

Is it just me, or do you also get gifted kitchen (or "tea") towels? Sometimes, really beautiful ones? Too beautiful to use in a kitchen? Well, how about turning one into a gift for the little artist in your life? Not only will the towel get shown off, it's also just the right amount of fabric for a little art smock so... less waste! 

 Full tutorial here care of Obsessively Stitching.  Lots of other fun projects on her blog too.