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USA

Join the USA UpcycleMode Artists!

 

Jennifer Freeman -- Texas

I like to describe my Upcycling & Refashioning as:

Textiles

Wearables

For:

I use:

  • Shabby Chic

  • Magnolia Pearl-esq

  • Hippie/Boho

  • Fairy

  • Renaissance

  • 90's/Grunge

  • Mori Girl/Kawaii

  • Gothic

  • Punk

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Jennifer Freeman

Lufkin, (Houston)-Texas

Life  Is Grand

 

Facebook: LifeisGrand74

Instagram: LifeisGrand74

Jennifer's Creations & Interview  11/28/20

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating Clothing from thrifted textiles?

About 2 years

How long have you been sewing?

Off and on from childhood to now probably 5 years total.

How did you get started in Upcycling /Refashioning?

It started a few years ago because I had an old favorite band t-shirt that had so many holes it was unwearable. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, so I cut the graphics off and sewed them onto a hoodie. It turned out better than I expected, so I did a few more. I'm very sentimental about stuff like that. Also, I wanted to rescue all the beautiful embroidered vintage table linens. I think everyone has a stash of these in their house. So much work went into them, but they inevitably get stained or torn. I saw people using them to make or decorate clothing on Pinterest, so although that isn't my personal style, I love the idea of rescuing them from the closet and letting the artwork be showcased. I'm sentimental.

Why do you Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate clothing from thrifted textiles?

I've always loved fashion, but my family has always been thrifty. I was brought up going to yard sales and resale shops. I love to "dig". I will look at everything at a yard sale. It's like treasure hunting, it's amazing what you can find. I'm fortunate to STILL have 3 of my 4 grandparents, and they were the original "recyclers" They save and re-use so much, it's inspiring. Both of my grandmothers sewed, and when my father's mother passed away 2 years ago I was told I could have all of her fabric and notions.

What type of clothing do you like to create and why?

It's really important to me for what I make to be wearable and comfortable. I've always been small/medium, but I like to wear my clothes baggy and slouchy. I just like that look. Men's jeans cinched with a belt and big cuffs,

What is your favorite textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?

I love velvet, and good worn-in soft denim. Velvet just makes a garment luxurious and you can't go wrong with denim.

What was your favorite project?

I have to say my first hoodie with my REM t-shirt. I wouldn't ever sell it.

I like to describe my Upcycling as:

It's really all over the map. Shabby Chic/Magnolia Pearl-esq, Hippie/Boho, Fairy/Renaissance, 90's/Grunge, Mori Girl/Kawaii, Gothic/Punk.

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Thank You Jennifer for sharing your creations with us!

Please Note: All Answers and Photos are Submitted by the Artist. Permission to use any information or photos must be requested from the individual themselves.

 

Rebecca Jones -- Indiana

I like to describe my Upcycling & Refashioning as:

Textiles

Wearables

For:

I use:

  • Fiber Arts

  • Dye Works

  • Boho/Romantic
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Rebecca Jones

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Fibre Artist

 

YouTube: TheFibreArtist

Rebecca's Creations & Interview  9/4/20

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating Clothing from thrifted textiles? 

I have always been into fabric arts and crafts, but I got into upcycling clothes around 2010.

How long have you been sewing?

I learned as a kid, but didn't become proficient in it until after 2004 when my parents got me a sewing machine when I graduated from college.

How and why did you get started in Upcycling/Refashioning?

I grew up in an upcycling family. My grandma made quilts and rag rugs out of textile waste from the factory she worked in.

Why do you Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate clothing from thrifted textiles?

I do it for several reasons. First, it's custom made to fit me. Second, it's more sustainable than buying new. It's better for the environment and doesn't exploit people in sweatshops. Third, it's a fun challenge to keep my brain sharp.

What type of clothing do you like to create and why?

I create stuff that I will wear in my everyday life. Now that I am working from home, I don't have to look as "professional" as I did in the office. I do shirts, pants and skirts.

What is your favorite textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?

I like to buy clothes from the thrift store and dye them. I look for plant fibers like cotton or linen.

What was your favorite project?

I can't pick just one! Although, a recent hoodie I did is pretty special.

Thank You Rebecca for sharing your creations with us!

Please Note: All Answers and Photos are Submitted by the Artist. Permission to use any information or photos must be requested from the individual themselves.

 

Macaira O'Connell -- Indiana

I like to describe my Upcycling & Refashioning as:

Textiles

Wearables

For:

I use:

  • Revitalized Vintage

  • Contemporary

  • Painted Denim

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Macaira O'Connell Indianapolis, Indiana

 

Gab's Gal

 

Instagram @Gabs_Gal

FaceBook Gab's Gal

Etsy GabsGalByMacaira

Macaira's Creations & Interview 10/3/20

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating Clothing from thrifted textiles?  
Technically I've been upcycling since high school, but I truly began to learn the ins and outs of sewing this summer once I started working from home.

How long have you been sewing?
I've know how to do super basic sewing since middle school, but I've truly become an advanced beginner sewist this past summer.

How did you get started in Upcycling/Refashioning?
I've always had a more artsy style, and I liked the idea of creating something unique. I grew up going to thrift stores and estate sales with my mom. She and I are both artists, and we would always look at our shopping treasures and say "what more could be done with this?" She's currently creating jewelry out of old leather belts.

Why do you Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate clothing from thrifted textiles?
Over 80% of donated clothing ends up in a landfill, so I want us to make the most of materials we already have available to us. Plus I love paying less!

What type of clothing do you like to create and why?
I like creating refashioned tops. Mostly because I understand the construction of tops better than pants, and I feel like I can be more creative with them. Hoping to learn more about bottoms though!

What is your favorite textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?
I love upcycling thrifted clothes that most people would deem as ugly, and then turning them into something awesome! It certainly helps the planet, and I think it's overall a great metaphor that shows you can turn something bad into something beautiful.

What was your favorite project?
My favorite project was taking a pair of white and blue gingham capris from Goodwill and turning them into a two piece set. Capris are typically awful (I've seen just a few that actually work), and I had to rescue that gorgeous fabric. I also loved that project because it was the first time I had refashioned a fitted top for myself using a pattern that I had created!  Another noteworthy project that I did not create, but wore: I used to work at David's Bridal in college, and the tailor knew I was interested in sustainability. He offered to make my wedding dress for me out of reused materials. I sourced some lace curtains and a tablecloth from Salvation Army, and he created the most wonderful dress! That was back when I still was a very basic sewist, and he certainly inspired me to learn more.

Thank You Macaira for sharing your creations with us!

Please Note: All Answers and Photos are Submitted by the Artist. Permission to use any information or photos must be requested from the individual themselves.

Sheila Alexander -- Virginia

I like to describe my Upcycling & Refashioning as:

Textiles

Wearables

For:

I use:

  • OOAK Barbie fashions

  • Purses

  • Vintage

  • Classic

  • Eclectic

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Sheila Alexander

Shenandoah Valley, VA

 

Haven Cottage Crafts

 

Instagram Haven Cottage

FaceBook Haven Cottage Crafts

Etsy Haven Cottage Crafts

Sheila's Creations & Interview 1/21/21

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating?

I have been upcycling ever since I was around 6 years old and my mom gave me a scrap of fabric and a threaded needle and taught me how to make a Barbie skirt.

Do you sew? How long have you been sewing?

I've been sewing as long as I've been upcycling. I learned sewing by making doll clothes from scraps and never quit. As a kid I sold my doll clothes in my family's store to earn a little extra cash, and I've never stopped sewing.

What other Upcycling Skill do you have?

I crochet, mostly with thrift shop yarn. I also upcycle furniture and am a chair caner.

How and Why did you get started in Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating?

I grew up in an environment of people who are known for their frugality. For me upcycling/recycling have always just been a way of life.

What is your favorite textile/non-textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?

Probably fabric scraps, lol. They just have a way of finding me!

What is your favorite item to create?

Barbie clothes! I love anything in miniature scale and creating that in clothing is so much fun. I also enjoy purse making when I need a break from the tiny clothes.

If you had to chose one item you made, which is your most favorite?

Oh goodness, there have been so many. I don't think I could pick just one!

I started a business based on Upcycling/Refashioning DIYing and it's called:

Haven Cottage Crafts

 

How would you recommend someone get started in Upcycling/Refashioning?

Find your passion and what motivates you. I didn't start making purses until not that long ago. I have always loved purses, I'm just too cheap to buy them! I've always thought them to be challenging to make but challenging is what I enjoy so I cut up a thrift store pair of pants and made my first one. I was hooked!

 

I am not all about Upcycling, I also like to:

I've been a life long farmer and have always enjoyed getting out and getting in the dirt, watching things grow. About 7 years ago it was time for something new and I became an antique dealer. The antique business suits me perfectly because I love history and learning about things, and it provides an opportunity to restore and bring things back to the marketplace. The antique business led me to another opportunity to become an apprentice chair caner. I also love books, whodunit TV shows (preferably old black and white shows), and coffee.

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Thank You Sheila for sharing your creations with us!

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Please Note: All Answers and Photos are Submitted by the Artist. Permission to use any information or photos must be requested from the individual themselves.

 
 

Jennie DeVries -- Michigan

I like to describe my Upcycling & Refashioning as:

Textiles

Wearables

For:

I use:

  • Vintage 40's

  • Dresses

  • Blouses

  • Trousers

  • Accessories

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Jennie DeVries

Michigan

 

The Ugly Dame

 

Website & Blog TheUglyDame

FaceBook TheUglyDame

Poshmark Forever4Glam

Jennie's Creations & Interview 1/29/21

Here is a list of the types of things I create:

I mostly create clothing for myself such as dresses, blouses, trousers and also a few accessories. Of course mending and repairing of true vintage to give those pieces another chance at life. All of my me made attire is made with the 40s aesthetic in mind and I try to keep my clothes as authentic at possible. I will use vintage patterns, metal side zippers, vintage buttons, vintage fabrics and anything I can find at my favorite thrift stores. I try to shop thrift or second hand as much as possible. I love it because I never know what I will find.

My style of Upcycling/Refashioning can be described as:
Vintage! My style is definitely vintage. I love the whole look and I find it empowering too. There is something classic, beautiful, simple and powerful about wearing the clothes of the past.

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating?
A long time!! I'm guessing for at least several years.

Do you sew? How long have you been sewing?
Yes I sew and I've seen sewing since I was a little kid.

How and Why did you get started in Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating?
I got started in sewing as something to do and to craft but eventually it grew to sewing clothes for myself. I got into making clothes for myself because I loved the look of the 40s but I could not find anything in my area that had that look I wanted and when I did find it I could not afford it. Sewing was my next best option. I managed to sew up the clothes I wanted, at the budget I could afford and viola!

What is your favorite textile/non-textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?
I love to use thrifted fabrics, especially cottons. I love to use thrifted fabrics and notions because I never know what I will find. There have been times I have used fabrics that I normally would not have used if I had to purchase them from a regular by the yard fabric shop. Vintage or thrifted cottons also have a different texture, feel and look to them that I cannot get anywhere else. They have character.

What is your favorite item to create?
My favorite item to create has to be dresses. Shirtwaist style dresses are my favorites by far. For me they are easy to make, can be styled up or down with choice of fabric or else accessory and are just classic. They can be worn anywhere at any time.

If you had to chose one item you made, which is your most favorite?
My favorite item? That's a hard one! I think it has got to be my red, white and blue rayon sweetheart dress. I found the rayon on ebay, it was 2 yards of dead stock cold rayon in an amazing print. I made the pattern from a 1942 German pattern book to maximize what fabric I had. The dress is really eye catching and I love it. The fabric and notions are vintage through and through.

 

I do tutorials:

I would have to say my best tutorials are my Lutterloh Sew Alongs. I took my collection of 1940s German patterns and showed how they worked from beginning to end. I showed how to scale out the pattern, how to cut the garment, how to assemble and more. I started with one shirtwaist pattern and then I did a whole series of 10 patterns.

 

I keep all of those links under one page on my blog for easy finding:

https://theuglydame.blogspot.com/p/lutterloh-shirtwaist-sew-along

 

Other tutorials I have done focus on small accessories that require minimal supplies and skill. Some of my favorites are for a 50s style floral half hat:

https://theuglydame.blogspot.com/2020/03/50s-style-half-hat-tutorial

 

A small felt flower corsage from a German Fashion Magazine. I was so excited about this one. Felt flowers as an accessory feature mostly as an American or British item but when I saw an example for German I was thrilled. I took the German text and instructions, translated it and turned it into a simple tutorial: https://theuglydame.blogspot.com/2018/05/german-felt-flowers-from-deutsche-moden


I started a business based on Upcycling/Refashioning DIYing and it's called:
So I do sell some of my creations on Poshmark under the user name Forever4glam.

How would you recommend someone get started in Upcycling/Refashioning?
I recommend to anyone getting started in this adventure to just do it. I cannot promise your results will be successful or flattering but you will certainly learn a lot in the process. I know for me I learned I had more confidence in me than I ever thought. I found my confidence in learning how to sew and then wearing my own pieces. Not everyone can wear what they make, it takes a bold person to do that because you are showing true self and capabilities to the world around you. So should you start upcycling and refashioning? Of course, you may learn something about yourself you ever could before.

I am not all about Upcycling, I also like to:
Believe it or not I do not wear glamorous clothes all the time even though I do wear vintage or vintage style clothes daily. I would guess over 90% of my wardrobe is what I have made myself or else true vintage. In real life, I am a blueberry farmer by trade. On the side I do costume consulting for a small movie studio and have spent many years researching women's wear in WWII Germany. I have a modest collection of pattern books, magazines, and photo albums showing the attire of the average woman from the time.

Thank You Jennie for sharing your creations with us!

Please Note: All Answers and Photos are Submitted by the Artist. Permission to use any information or photos must be requested from the individual themselves.