So I posted this photo to Instagram the other day...
and declared an #upcycle was about to happen.
If you are not familiar with that term let me explain. For a seamstress, an upcycle is when we take a used piece of clothing or other fabric item and turn it into something new. I have an entire bin of these items. Why? Because I have three children who constantly test my stain removing skills and while I do have "skillz" in this area some nuts you just can't crack. Can I get an Amen? I really do enjoy this challenge and the opportunity for my mind to think outside of the pattern world it so prefers.
This upcycle began with a stained cream t-shirt that Addison wore when she was Allye's current age (2.5). I knew that I wanted this to be a no cost upcycle, which meant I could only use what I had in my stash. After planning it all out and photographing the materials, I changed my mind because my brain started doing somersaults when the words July 4th popped in. Let me give you the image.
These were the outfits I made last year for July 4th. The dresses on the older girls still fit. However, Allye's is no where close and has actually been handed off to a friend so that I will see it again. :) My mind started racing and began the search for every piece of any of these fabrics I could find. When I realized I could make this work I was beyond thrilled. If you don't sew you might not understand just how wonderful this feels.
Here's how it went down. I decided on the final length the dress was going to be and made all of my cuts accordingly. I completed the bottom of the dress entirely before ever cutting off the shirt, just in case I miscalculated somewhere. It happens people. I really put a lot of effort into this and was so thrilled when I got it all put together.
I thought from the beginning that I would monogram the final dress, but was unsure when it was done so I slept on it. I have really cut back on the monograms for the older girls because of the need and desire to pass on the items being worn. Ultimately I decided to go for it. Allye was so excited her "name" was going to be on the dress. She asked to help and I agreed. After getting it set up and ready I allowed her to sit on my lap and press the button, her favorite job. I was smitten from the second it came off the machine. I hung it from the china cabinet just so I could marvel at it. Then yesterday, on her way to the park, Olivia stops by the dress and says, "Mom, who did you make this for?" Momentarily I wondered if she had lost her mind. "Um, Allye," I responded. "Why?" "Well Mom, you put Addison's initials on it." I died right there.
First of all, if you monogram, this is your worst nightmare. Second of all, it is worse than a nightmare to do it to one of your own children. I really can't describe my feelings in that moment. I let it sit there overnight. This morning I put my big girl panties on and figured it out while I played at the beach with the girls.
I saw this idea in my new sewing book, Sew Classic Clothes for Girls, and had been wanting to try it, not particularly for this reason but I knew it was the perfect opportunity. It is a removable monogram so multiple siblings can wear the same item over the years. You simply monogram the piece of fabric and attach using buttonholes. When the next sibling wears it you place their monogram on it. Genius right?
So there it is. A great way to turn something headed to the trash into a keepsake. And in this case, a first time mistake that will be a forever memory. I hope you are inspired to look at something old and trash worthy in a new way. I would love to see it!
---- The Mama