Archive for the ‘eco-wear’ Category

Very cool little bracelet created by designer Tara St. James. You can make your own with nothing more than a broken zipper (who doesn’t have one or two of those around?) and a needle and thread. The complete tutorial is at Ecouterre, a fabulous online resource for anyone interested in sustainable fashion design. Enjoy!

I was so excited to find this great dark red corduroy Juicy Couture jacket at an estate sale a while back. It’s such a beautiful color and the corduroy is so soft … yum! Plus, I had a gorgeous piece of embroidered cotton that looked pretty good with it. The fabric was hideously expensive — something like $112 a yard!!! But there was a small section that was being sold as a remnant for a significant discount, so I bit the bullet and brought it home.

Here’s how the embroidered cotton looks on the jacket from the back …

And here’s the front …

Not too bad, huh? But here’s the problem. Hand-stitching the fabric in place like I usually do wasn’t working, because the edges of the cotton were just not looking very good. So now the whole deal is being restitched around the edges with recycled silk sari yarn to cover the edges. In other words, I’m going to have about 300 hours of work (okay, maybe not that much, but a lot!) into this jacket by the time it’s done. And I don’t think anyone is going to pay what it’s really worth, from a labor standpoint.

On the other hand, some projects have turned out to be much easier than I expected, so maybe it all comes out even in the end. Who knows? Anyway, back to work … it’s too nice not to finish, even if it is a labor of love at this point.

Isn’t this sweet? So much interesting detail on the top — even the little spaghetti straps are great. Maybe because it’s already got a lot going on, I don’t have a clue what to do with it.

Then there’s this one:

Love those little posies or pansies or whatever they are. But they’re so one dimensional. They just don’t have that “ZOMG, that’s so great!!!” thing going on. Unlike the blue one above, though, I know exactly what I’m going to do with this one. Stay tuned …

I like to think she’d wear the new cut-offs I’m working on. Let’s face it — Daisy’s been wearing the same outfit way too long.

Unfortunately, no preview of her new look until later today, when the camera battery is recharged. So for now, all I can say is that the deconstruction/upcyling/repurposing has begun … stay tuned!

Well, maybe not better, but a heck of a lot less expensive. And no recovery time! That’s the idea behind the T-skirt, an oversized T-shirt with an attached short skirt. You can wear it over jeans,  shorts or another skirt — or by itself. It’s designed to be roomy and comfortable, even on days when you’re not feeling much like Kate Moss.

This one’s not finished, but you get the idea. It’s a combination of a Gap tank top with an embroidered silk panel in front and floral printed chiffon from another garment as the skirt, so everything is recycled, or upcycled, which is a nicer way to put it. There are a lot of skirted tees out this season, but how many of them can claim to be environmentally friendly? Hmmm, probably not many …

… assuming I finish it, of course. So far, the back has been destroyed, and believe me, that is a good thing. The back panel of this jacket was an enormous embroidered monster truck — yes, one of those crazy vehicles with tank-sized tires and a hideous paint job that always make me wonder what the owner of that thing could possibly be under the influence of. And, no — I don’t want any.

Anyway, back to the jacket. The new back panel still needs a lot of work, but I do like the way the dark red silk scarf is looking as a background for the strips. It’s sort of fun doing something that doesn’t have ruffles and lace involved for a change.  If only there were more hours in the day …

But in this case, the “we” is actually me. I’ve been so tempted to try combining various sweaters into a Frankensweater and finally just gave in and did it. The result (above) isn’t awful. In fact, I would wear it. Actually, I will wear it, because it’s not salable.  I don’t have a serger, so the seam edges are unfinished, and that’s not very professional looking.

But I like the little details you can do with sweaters that aren’t appropriate for lingerie. Like the funny pockets and the little felt heart on the sleeve.  


Yes, it’s a cliche. But remember, this is an experimental sweater. And then there’s the back, which could use a little more something or other, but what?

Meanwhile, I’m looking for advice on sergers. Suggestions are welcome!

Question: Is anyone really going to wear a partially see-through top?

Answer: I guess we have to wait and see.

This one’s nearly done, so it should debut at etsy in a day or two. It’ll be interesting to see the reaction. This fabric is so sheer it’s almost invisible. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t mind having the whole  world seeing their “bidness.” But that’s the beauty part of living in LA — there are people here who have built entire careers on letting it all hang out, as we used to say.

I bought the little shell top at an estate sale, and am adding the beaded flower fabric. This particular combination seemed to work best, out of the eighteen or so different possibilities I tried. Seriously! Upcycling isn’t as easy as it looks. Or maybe I’m  doing it wrong. But who cares? When you finally get all the elements in place it’s so gratifying that all those “Ewwww, that’s not working” steps along the way are forgotten. Sort of.

I love love LOVE this pale green denim jacket. The cut, the fabric, the seam detailing — they’re all just perfect. But as nice as it was, it was still plain — and truthfully, around here plain doesn’t stand a chance.

So … meet the new, improved version, with appliqued embroidered silk panels in front and back, plus a detachable silk “flower.” The final element, which involves the addition of a beautiful cotton yarn outlining the seams on the right front, isn’t in place yet. Hopefully, I won’t screw it up and it’ll be done soon.

Yes I Can!!

Posted: November 19, 2008 in eco-wear, purse, t-shirt, Tee Bag, tote


Finally work a digital camera, that is. Some proof — at long last, a photograph of the very first “Tee Bag.” (Tee Bag — get it? Like “tea bag,” only … ummm, a t-shirt … okay, just wanted to make sure I’m not wasting my last few remaining brain cells being clever for nothing.)

In a former life, this little tote was a most unattractive tee-shirt, a god-awful XXL number promoting some local radio station. So the scissors were recruited. The Tee was deconstructed and then reconstructed. A little reverse applique, some cotton flannel lining and a self pocket, plus the red corduroy handles and behold! A whole new life as a tote — or something. It’s now destined for etsy, as soon as the real photographer does it justice.