etsy · fashion revolution · inspiration

Shop Small : Upcycled and Recycled Businesses

Hello and welcome back to another blog post where I’ve scoured the internet for businesses doing things different and shared them with you! I really love putting resources like this together, and I hope you get something out of it like I do when finding these amazing companies.

Looking for other informative posts?

Read about where to donate/send your old textiles in Clothes Are Not Trash

Shop Deadstock, Reclaimed and Vintage Fabrics for all your sewing projects!

This year has been a whirlwind. I think everyone feels that way. Holidays and gifts are very possibly the last thing on your mind. And if you aren’t gifting this year, consider treating yourself, supporting a small, sustainable business or sharing this post with a friend who may find a new company to love and support. And as always, if there is a business you think should be included in this list, let me know!

(please note different shipping times and each individual shop policy.)

Apparel:

  • Zero Waste Daniel (US): One of my favorite sustainable apparel companies! Zero Waste Daniel is leading the force for sustainable clothing, using fabric scraps in their apparel collections, and most recently, their mask collection!
  • Silly Girls Club (International): I’ve been following Silly Girl’s Club on Instagram for a while now and love the company’s fun fashion! This shop specializes in making clothes, fanny packs and other fun accessories from upcycled kids cartoon bed sheets!
  • Wasi Clothing (US): I found Wasi Clothing from a video on TikTok talking about working with deastock fabric! Their clothing is so cute and I really love the commitment to using deadstock fabrics and sustainable sources!
  • Grant BLVD (US): Apparel company where all the garments are made using reclaimed and deadstock fabrics! I really love their reclaimed screen-printed collection!

  • Archivist (International): Looking for a new classic button up to add to your wardrobe? These are made from upcycled luxury hotel linens! It looks like there’s more to come for this company – so keep an eye out!
  • Miracle Eye (US): An amazing business selling handmade clothes, and straight from their site, “We work with vintage deadstock recycled fabrics as much as possible to remain as sustainable & waste-free as we can”. I got lost by all the fantastic photos on their site!
  • Psychic Outlaw (US): These upcycled quilt jackets and bandana dresses have been inspiring sewists all over Instagram! You can send in a quilt of your own to be transformed or purchase one of their found quilts!
  • Nothing New Shoes (US): Classic style sneakers made with up-cycled plastic. The uppers, laces, tongue label, and footbed liner are all made of 100% recycled post-consumer plastic!
  • Erin Elsie (US): Really fun handmade apparel and accessories made with reclaimed apparel and fabrics!

Bags/Accessories:

  • Scenery Bags (US): So I don’t like to have favorites, but this one tops it for me with creativity and sustainability. Scenery Bags takes retired theatrical materials and turns them into bags based on the show they are from! They also make jewelry from stage floors! And to make this company even cooler, 10% of proceeds from every sale is donated to TDF to take kids to see theatre!

  • Off Chutes (US): Upcycled parachute and paraglider accessories! Wallets, key fobs, tote bags and more!
  • Friends International (Part of the Global Goods Partners) : Fair trade bags made from recycled tires! From their site, “Friends International aims to reduce the number of children living or working on the streets by providing stable jobs and sufficient incomes to their parents.”
  • The Upcycled Movement: (Ireland): Bags and accessories made from wetsuits! This collection of upcycled pieces also gives back – 10% goes to Seal Rescue Ireland!

  • Rareform (US): Rareform upcycles billboards into bags and accessories! Their upcycled products include surf board bags, cooler bags, laptop sleeves and more!
  • Honey Darlin (US): Amy, seamstress behind Amy Nicole Studio, sells bags, apparel and accessories made from vintage and reclaimed materials!
  • Suave Kenya (International): Beautiful upcycled bags where materials are sourced from open air markets!

Home:

  • The Little Market: Glassware made from recycled glass by artisans in Mexico! Shop the entire Little Market site for other fair trade & artisan made finds.
  • Irish Glass (US): Shot glasses, planters and candles made from recycled beer bottles!
  • Vinylux – Uncommon Goods (US): Upcycled Vinyl from coasters to Bluetooth Speaker! You can also shop through Jeff Davis’ site, which has a few different pieces.

Jewelry:

  • Coffee Pod Creations (UK): Maker Vicky Knight transforms used coffee pods into beautiful jewelry!
  • CrapBagBananaHammock (US): Upcycled game pieces – made into jewelry, coasters, keychains, ornaments, etc!
  • MyAlterEco (US): Upcycled jewelry, beautiful tin earrings!
  • Zass (US): Mother/Daughter team making gorgeous upcycled jewelry – check out their “Brew Collection

  • Reasons and Rhymes (US): Reclaimed wood earrings – beautiful product and beautiful packaging!
  • CRAVE by CRV (US): Upcycled Jewelry and accessories made from old clothes and dilapidated kiddie pools!
  • Undone Clothing (US): Upcycled tape measure jewelry and accessories – my favorite from this shop is the upcycled film reel gift packaging!

Kids:

  • Beeper Bebe (US): The sweetest stuffies and plushies! Each handmade piece is made with upcycled materials or eco friendly new materials. A stuffed octopus made from t-shirts? Yes, even as an adult I want one!
  • Green Toys (US): A toy company made 100% from recycled milk jugs! No glue, metal, screws or paint! They feature toys like vehicles, jump ropes, stacking and tub toys, etc!

Other:

  • Lionshed Designs (UK): Upcycled VHS tape notebooks! What did they do with the VHS tapes you may ask? Turned them into planters!
  • Couch Guitar Straps (US): Deadstock and Reclaimed fabrics make up some seriously awesome guitar and camera straps. They are made of at least 25% recycled materials, including deadstock fabrics and seatbelts! Shop also sells belts, wallets and drum accessories.
  • The Ugly Company (US): upcycled “ugly” fruit into dried fruit snacks! Food Waste is a serious issue and The Ugly Company is helping to combat waste by turning it into their products! They offer nectarines, apricots, kiwis, and peaches!
  • Hudson Houndstooth (US): A company for pet accessories! Handmade pieces made with reclaimed and recycled materials including bow ties, bandanas, tug toys and waste bag holders!

Sports Equipment/ Profession Based:

  • Vintage Golf Gifts (US): Some really cool products made from repurposed golf clubs! They have bottle openers, lamps, clocks and even furniture!
  • Recycled Sports Equipment – Uncommon Goods (US): I’ve bought a few things from Uncommon Goods, especially since they like to focus on small business and fair trade options. Here’s a whole section of items made from recycled sporting equipment! (Prices vary but I love the upcycled hockey stick snow brush and BBQ set!)
  • SeshNotStigma (UK): Recycled skateboard jewelry and accessories including keychains, phone cases and clocks!

  • BoardThing (International): This shop specializes in rings made from recycled skateboards!
  • Recycled Firefighter (US): Making wallets, bags and belts out of decommissioned fire hoses!
  • Firefighter Turn Out Bag (US): Sells upcycled bags made from old firefighting gear. You can also send in your old gear for a custom bag! (As seen on Shark Tank)
  • Sword and Plough (US): Upcycled bags and accessories made out of repurposed military surplus and durable military grade materials. Purchases help empower veteran employment, reduce waste, and they donate 10% of profits to impactful veteran initiatives!

One more business to add to this list, mine!

I absolutely love creating bags and accessories with reclaimed fabrics and upcycled fabric swatches. There is so much textile waste in the world, I love helping bring new life to materials that would have otherwise been thrown away! You can shop my handmade pieces on etsy!

Gathering businesses for this list was really exciting. It was so fun to see how people are innovating their products and trying to make our planet greener and I really hope you can walk away from this list saying “no way, that’s so cool!” at least once!

If you know of another great upcycled/recycled business or want to share your own, leave a link down below! Be sure to tell us what you make and the best way to shop!

handmade wardrobe · refashion · sewing

Floral Tablecloth Lander Pants

I’ve had so many projects this year that haven’t worked out. There are a whole bunch of reasons why; using the wrong pattern or the wrong fabrics, rushing projects or starting and losing motivation to finish, the reasons seem endless.

I wanted a project that had a good chance of working out. I wanted something fun and inspiring and not too difficult to make. I also wanted to use this tablecloth I just picked up on Poshmark! In my quest for using sustainable fabric and secondhand sources, I’ve been looking on sites like Poshmark and Mercari for tablecloths and sheets. I saw this piece on Posh but didn’t make a plan for it until it arrived. A tablecloth can have a pretty broad range of feel, and even if it says 100% cotton, there’s a chance of it being thicker, thinner, etc. This tablecloth was a great, medium weight, almost canvas like but a little lighter.

I decided to make a pair of pants and landed on the Lander Pants! I’ve made Lander Shorts before and they come together pretty easily, and I really like the fit so I knew these were just about fool-proof.

I am a skinny jean lover. I used to wear boot cut jeans growing up, but once the skinny jean trend started, I never stopped wearing them! But I like getting out of my comfort zone a little bit – like I did with this jumpsuit – and thought making a pair of lander pants would be fun!

My last pair of Lander Shorts were made in a size 2, so I made the pants in the size 2 as well. The size 2 fits really well in my hips, but has the slightest gap in the back waist. This happens with all of my pants and jeans, and honestly I just haven’t taken the time to figure out how to solve that problem. It isn’t a big deal, and I almost always wear a belt with whatever bottoms I’m wearing, but I wanted to mention it anyway.

I also really love the button fly on these pants. I used to dislike installing jean buttons on anything – jeans, jackets, etc. I was using the Dritz jean buttons because they were convenient to purchase but they were really difficult for me to install. Every time I hammered, the tops would bend, or the screw would bend making my buttons lopsided. Since I started buying a lot more supplies online this year, like my needles, I also started branching out for other supply options. I came across jean buttons from Wawak Sewing and couldn’t believe how great they came out! Just wanted to share that option for anyone else facing a similar issue!

I followed the instructions for the hem, but wound up cutting off 3″ from the bottom before folding up the final hem. For my petite friends – I’m 4’10” and cut the pattern for the ankle fit. I love these pants with flats, and I also really like them with ankle boots and heels, although I won’t wear these with them as often! These pants are bright and bold but they pair well with so many of the basics in my wardrobe – they fit right into my closet!

refashion · sewing

Shirt Dress to Peplum Top Refashion

Happy Sunday! I’ve been busy with sewing projects and finally took a little time for a new refashion! Usually I post refashions on Friday’s but this one is done and I didn’t want to wait until next Friday to share!

I bought this shirt dress secondhand on ThredUp awhile back. I fell in love with the color and was happy to see the size was in petite, so it should really fit. When it arrived, I still loved the color but I wasn’t thrilled with how it looked on me – it felt a little boring. I kept it in my closet for a bit, hoping I would be inspired to wear it, but it just sat there. I really wanted to wear this piece and didn’t want it sitting in my closet any longer so I decided to refashion it! I knew making it into a top would guarantee me wearing it often, and I turned to a previous refashion for a little inspiration.

Back in February, I did a very similar refashion of turning a dress into a peplum top, and I loved how easy the process was, I wanted to do something similar for this top. I had this dress from Zara pinned as inspiration for a long time now, because I really loved how the peplum was connected to the bodice, giving it more of a layered look than just straight sewn on and wanted to recreate that detail with this top. It wasn’t a hard process, and I have the steps down below!

  • If you have a dress with an uneven hem, you will have to even it out.
  • Mark where you want your waistline to be. For me, it was right where the button placket ends. From this point, measure down 1″. Measure this point to the end of your even hem. Mine measured 14.5″. Use this measurement to continue to mark the top of the dress where your waistline will be cut.
  • Seam rip one side seam up to your new waistline and cut the bottom half off your dress. If you have an uneven dress hem, you can also cut off the hem.
  • On the bottom half of your dress, measure the halfway point, mark and cut. With right sides together, stitch one side together creating one long strip of material. Gather this strip to the length of your dress top. Once your strip is gathered, stitch strip ends right sides together and set aside.
  • On the top of your dress, fold the bottom up 1″ around the entire hemline. This fold will be very helpful later on.
  • With right sides together, stitch your gathered bottom to your top hem. I like to divide the gathered piece in 4ths, to properly align the sides and centers.
  • Fold the waist on the foldline from before, tucking the gathering under. I pinned on the front for show, and then switched my pins to the wrong side to sew. Stitch this with about a 1/4″ seam allowance, just enough to catch the waistline and gathering.
  • Complete the waist by topstitching just the folded edge, making sure not to stitch the bottom peplum.
  • Lastly, hem your peplum! I did a 1/2″ hem since my dress wasn’t long to begin with.

I love how this top came out and it is going to get so much wear in my wardrobe! The last step I wanted to do was to add buttons to the top pockets but I don’t have any matching ones at the moment. The pockets don’t need them, but I think they would be a cute touch. I photographed this top with the sleeves cuffed but it looks cute with the sleeves long as well!

I also created a video tutorial! Check it out below! (Music is Voyage by Ikson Music)

Uncategorized

Dress to Skirt Refashion – Rosari Skirt

I’ve been re-assessing my wardrobe, and filling in with a lot more thrifted pieces than handmade! I haven’t been spending so much time on making clothing, and over the past few months I’ve spend a lot of time away from my studio to enjoy Drew being home. But since I’m home I’ve been trying to cut back on my fabric purchases to sew through what I already have. It’s been making me dive deep into my fabric stash and my refashion stash. I found this dress that was hidden away, already partially seam ripped, ready for a second look.

I wore this dress quite a bit in my early 20s. It was a great work dress, but I grew out of the cutesy style of it (and it was getting a bit tight and short!). I still love the print so I was happy to turn it into something else! Originally I was going to turn it into a high waisted gathered skirt with a zipper in back but I have a few skirts like that already in my wardrobe. I remembered I had the Rosari Skirt from Pauline Alice in my pattern collection and thought it would be a great style!

The original skirt of this dress was heavily gathered, so after removing the gathering, there was quite a bit of material to work with. I was able to cut the new skirt front, back and waistband from the original skirt. The pocket pieces were able to come from the bodice. I had to use extra cotton for the button placket facing and the waistband lining, but it all worked out well! I opted for gold snaps instead of buttons for a cleaner finish.

This was my second time making the Rosari Skirt, and it’s a really cute pattern. I had previously cut a size 36, and used the same pattern.

Over the years I have been taking a critical eye to my wardrobe and getting rid of styles that no longer suit me. I was really inspired by Marie Kondo’s method and Kondo’d our house last year. Every so often I go back over my wardrobe to upcycle/donate the pieces that no longer “spark joy”. Doing this has also very much inspired my sewing! I used to want to sew basics, and thought part of my sewing journey was creating the perfect handmade t-shirts and jeans. But now that I don’t have as much time for personal sewing projects, I don’t want to spend it sewing pieces I find a little boring. I love prints – especially floral prints- and that’s what gets me happy to sew. But with my wardrobe still needing basics, I’ve turned to secondhand shopping for everything I don’t want to make. ThredUp has made my secondhand journey so easy during this quarantine when I haven’t felt comfortable going to thrift stores. My shirt and shoes in this post are from ThredUp!

I’ve posted about ThredUp before, and it truly has become my go-to source for all things secondhand. If you are interested, you can get $10 to shop using this link! (My personal referral link, purchasing through here will give you $10 & I’ll get $10 to shop as well!)

And with so many thrift stores turning away donations during COVID, you can order a clean out kit from ThredUp for some extra cash or shopping credit for your clothes: link here.

I have a few more projects I’m working on, a new bag pattern (+ tutorial!), and another refashion that’s taking longer than expected. So hopefully my blogging will be back on track soon!

Uncategorized

Clothes Are Not Trash – Where To Recycle Your Old Clothes

One of my new favorite outfits, a refashioned top and secondhand jeans from ThredUp.

ThredUp recently came out with their 2020 Resale Report, which is a wealth of information about their company and the world of secondhand.

A few stats that were mind blowing right off the bat were as follows: in the next five years, the secondhand market is set to hit $64 billion in revenue, and by 2029 will be a bigger industry than fast fashion. These numbers are huge – and world changing.

There’s a lot about the fashion industry I don’t talk too much about here on the blog, but it’s something I am continuing to learn about every day.

I fight for sustainable fashion by refashioning and hand-making my wardrobe. I share this with the world in hopes to inspire others to do the same. I don’t have a refashion to share today, instead I wanted to take a moment to talk about one other piece of information that still makes me mad.

1 in 2 people are throwing their unwanted clothing directly in the trash. It has also been discussed in previous years that the average American throws away 80 lbs of textiles in a year. Now, let me start by saying, I am guilty of throwing away old underwear, socks, and old camisoles that lost their elasticity. While its been awhile since I’ve done this, I am not perfect in my sustainable journey but I’m on a mission to do better – and want to give you some resources to do the same!

(Please note: Each company may have different procedures and re-opening schedules for donations amid COVID. If you have questions or concerns, contact these companies directly)

Companies That Take Their Products Back

Companies that take their clothing back (and may give you something in return!)

  • Eileen Fisher: a brand that has already been making incredible leaps in sustainable fashion. They will take back your Eileen Fisher pieces and resell, mend or refashion. (And give you a $5 credit to their Renew Store). Check out the Renew Line and their Zero Waste art initiative Waste No More.
  • The North Face: works with a company The Renewal Workshop (more about that below) to upcycle their returned garments and gear. The North Face gives you a $10 credit and their renewed items come with a one year warranty. Check out The North Face Renewed.
  • Patagonia: is taking back gently used Patagonia apparel and giving you credit in return (see the trade in values here). They accept clothing through stores or via mail. Patagonia created Worn Wear for repairing and recycling the returned clothing and gear, which I highly recommend following if just for inspiration.
  • For Days: this company has a very interesting plan to keep the circulation of their clothing under their brand. For Days will swap out your old For Days shirts for new ones, you can read more about it here. For Days works with the recycling partner, Recover, who turns their returned shirts into new ones, making their company a closed loop system. They also offer “Take Back Bags” which you can purchase and fill with any old (clean!) clothes you want to be recycled.
  • Coyuchi: is leading the way in sustainable bedding and closing the loop on their products in the process. You can send your Coyuchi linens back to the company to be repurposed by The Renewal Workshop, and in return get 15% off your next order. You can shop these 2nd Home textiles at their Point Reyes Store. Read more here.
Baggu reusable bag made from recycled sails
  • Baggu: is recycling any nylon or canvas bags by recycling, repurposing, donating or selling to secondhand markets. Unfortunately, they don’t break down the percentage or qualifying factors for each distribution point, but it is an option to recycle some bags. Their site also says to email once sent back to the store and they will send you a discount for a new bag. More info here. In other news, they are currently selling reusable bags made from recycled sails!
  • Uniqlo: takes back their clothing and distributes it as follows: Clothing in good condition goes to refugees, disaster victims and others in need. Unwearable clothing gets recycled into refuse paper and plastic feul pellets for fuel. Read more here! According to their 2019 Sustainability Report, as of August 2019 they have donated 36.57 million items.
  • REI: is taking resale into their own hands by offering used outdoor clothing and gear online and creating a trade in program. REI has an extensive list of no-go’s, and there is currently a wait list for the program, but if your items are accepted, you can get an REI gift card for up to 20% of your items retail price. Hopefully with time this program will do even more, but it’s a great option for gear! Read more about it here.
  • Girlfriend Collective: is a brand I have purchased from and LOVE. They make leggings and other active wear out of recycled water bottles and have a program (ReGirlfriend) where you can send back your Girlfriend apparel to be properly recycled. You will have to pay for a shipping label ($7) but you do get $15 towards your next Girlfriend purchase.

Companies That Accept Clothes from Other Brands

  • Levi’s and Madewell: Both these companies work with the Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling campaign from Cotton. They will take back any denim in any brand and give you 20% off one item in return (Levi’s) or $20 off a new pair (Madewell). The denim is used as insulation (read article here and here for Madewell), however there is currently no specific program to reclaim the denim into new items. Levi’s is encouraging garment longevity by creating Tailor Shops to repair and customize your jeans. Madewell also does repairs and customization (read more here), but are putting in more promotion towards jean resale by partnering with ThredUp and offering secondhand jeans in select stores. (I should note: I asked Levi’s if their recycling program would accept denim scraps and they currently do not)
  • H&M: has had recycle boxes in their stores since 2013 for easy textile recycling of any brand clothing and condition (but please don’t donate anything wet or moldy) and even accepts scraps. Years ago, I donated a bag of scraps because I didn’t know where else to turn. Now, this is not my favorite company because it is the epitome of fast fashion, but H&M has taken strides to answer consumer requests for transparency and more sustainable practices. In 2019, H&M collected over 29,000 tons of garments (that’s over 145 million t-shirts) and according to their sustainability performance report, it was an increase of 40% from 2018. On page 50 of their report I found the following stats for where the recycled textiles go:

— 50–60% are sorted for re-wear or reuse.
— 35–45% are recycled to become products for
other industries or made into new textile fibres.
— The remaining 3–7% that can’t be reused or
recycled are destroyed (prioritising incineration
for energy recovery where possible). Sending
textiles to landfill is not an option.

When a company says re-wear or re-use, this usually indicates selling in bulk to another country. While that can help the economy in other countries, part of the problem is drowning other countries in the textile waste we created. There are pros and cons, but my personal takeaway for this program is to choose another option. The further along the world gets in our goal for sustainability, the more options there are. If you choose to drop off at H&M you will receive a 15% discount card.

Marine Layer ReSpun Shirt
  • Marine Layer: this brand will take your old t-shirts, as many as you want to send them, and they will turn them into new ones. For helping them get inventory, you get a $5 credit per shirt, up to $25. Cotton Tees are ideal, but they will take anything as long as it isn’t activewear. Just request a kit to recycle your tees! (And totally not encouraging you to shop more but their Re-spun collection is pretty amazing) .
  • Knickey: Remember when I said I’m guilty of throwing away old underwear? Well, Knickey knows this is a common problem and they are solving it! Request a shipping label and send in your old intimates! (This includes bras, socks and tights, for men and kids items as well!) They will get recycled into insulation, rug pads and rags, and you’ll get a free pair of underwear in your next order with the company! Read more here!
  • Harper Wilde: is also a company focused on intimates, and when you buy a bra, it comes with a recycle kit to send in your old bras for proper recycling! Some materials become yarns and fabrics, and some materials are downcycled into filling stock or padding. More info here!
  • Fair Harbor: is the place to send your old swimsuits to be recycled! This is a fairly new program so I’m not finding too much information about the recycling process, but you can send in any swimsuit for recycling – just request a label!
  • Nike: has had a shoe recycling program in place since 1990 called Reuse-A-Shoe. Their stores will accept any brand of used athletic shoes to be recycled into Nike Grind – which becomes new Nike products, track and playground surfaces, basketball and tennis courts, and indoor synthetic and wood courts. This is just for athletic shoes (without cleats or spikes with metals).
  • Ten Thousand: has a campaign called, One In/One Out (in partnership with 2ReWear) to recycle used activewear from any brand. While you will need to make a purchase from this site to recycle old activewear, you will receive 10% off a future purchase! Nice Laundry, an underwear and sock company, does the same for socks and underwear.
  • Love Woolies: is a great place to send your old sweaters! This incredible company is taking unloved sweaters and turning them into hats, mittens and scarves, and has already saved over 10,000 sweaters! Send your sweaters here!

Recycle Textiles:

  • Terracycle: this is #1 place to recycle anything you can imagine, but it comes at a cost. Terracycle sells zero waste boxes that you can fill according to category (i.e. bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc) with items that some town recycling cannot dispose of. This is definitely a pricey option for recycling waste, but an option for those harder to recycle items.
Shoddy made from recycled textiles through Fab Scrap
  • FabScrap: for those of us working with textile and textile waste, FabScrap is the best source for recycling. You can recycle cuttings, headers, mock ups, samples, overstock bolts, production remnants and scraps. For those with a lot of waste, you can sign up for Fab Scrap’s pick up service. However, if you are a small hobbyist or just don’t have much to recycle, you can drop off your waste at both their retail shop and warehouse and it will be recycled for $1.50/lb. (Retail store will take up to 10 lbs, warehouse accepts more). I plan on using this service, and I am lucky enough to live within an hour to drop off my scraps (and shop at the same time!). The fabric is sorted by volunteers, some is re-sold, and unsellable material becomes shredded to create insulation, carpet padding, furniture lining, moving blankets, etc. (Currently, this recycling is in New York, Fab Scrap hopes to expand soon.)

Resale Platforms:

I’ve talked previously about platforms where you can sell your own clothes, like Poshmark or Depop, but when you just want it gone, turn to people who will sell it for you.

ThredUP: this is my favorite second hand resource. But I also want to share more of what your clothes can do. When you choose to send clothing into ThredUP, you can choose to get cash or credit for your items that sell, or you can choose to donate whatever your clothes make to charities like Feeding America, Girls Inc, Wardrobe for Opportunity or Help a Mother Out.

ThredUP is quickly becoming a go-to partner for brands who want to work on their sustainability. They are working with brands like Reformation and Madewell to resell the brands products. And they created a program for companies that want to get a piece of selling secondhand in their stores like Macy’s, and Walmart. ( Resale as a Service ) Select Macy’s have small sections in their store filled with curated secondhand pieces that have been sent to ThredUp.

Other Resources:

  • As mentioned above with Patagonia, Eileen Fisher and REI, companies want to take back their brands and resell on their own terms. These companies and others are using Trove to power the resale aspect of their businesses. It is an interesting company and just for educational purposes, I encourage you to check them out. As fashion companies continue to look for more sustainability (and more profit) options, I think we will start seeing more companies integrate resale on their own platforms.
  • The Renewal Workshop is one of the companies leading the way to help brands become more sustainable. They take discarded clothing and turn it into new products, recycled materials or recycling feedstock. As mentioned above, they work with The North Face and Coyuchi and here’s a list of the other brands they work with. They also have an online shop selling re-newed items.
  • While brands want to become more sustainable, they are turning to partners that have already been creating the technology to get there. Several companies are working with big and small retailers such as: Evrnu, Worn Again, and Renewcell.
  • Do you have LEGO’s that need a new home? With Give Back Box you donate used LEGO’s!

Recycling old textiles can feel overwhelming when they are in bags taking over your home. Whatever the item may be, there is probably a resource to properly recycle it and I hope this list helped if you were looking for a solution.

There are many project ideas for old textiles, and so many places that will gladly take your donations. I encourage you to do you own research when the time comes to de-clutter or discard. Check with your local charities to donate gently used clothing, and ask your local animal shelter if they can use old bedding and towels.

I plan to set up a small basket/box in our basement with clothing that is past its prime so I can easily fight the urge to “just toss it”, even if it’s one lonely sock who lost its mate. It is great to see companies taking responsibility and helping to keep clothing in circulation or properly recycle, but real change also starts at home with millions of families doing their part as well.

If there’s a company you believe should be added to this list, let me know!

refashion · sewing

Jeans to Lander Shorts Refashion

I haven’t been thrifting since February, and while NJ is starting to open back up, I probably won’t be comfortable going to a thrift store for a while. Thankfully when I went thrifting pre-Covid, I always picked up all sorts of pieces, for all seasons so I still have a good stash to work through!

When I saw these J Crew jeans in the store many months ago, I gasped. Liberty of London fabric – jeans that look like they would fit me – was it the ultimate score? Sadly not. Upon closer inspection, there was a lot of wear on these jeans, some staining and a less than stellar low rise waist. These were tagged as a size 25, which is one size up from mine. But after washing them and trying them on, they were so tight it was uncomfortable. So to the refashion pile they went.

I was originally planning on making a chambray top with the jeans but after planning it out I knew I would have to incorporate another fabric and I didn’t want to do that. A few months passed and the weather was getting warmer. One wardrobe item I am always in need of is shorts. I buy some of my shorts secondhand, and the last few years I was buying whatever was available in my size, not based on if I actually liked the style or fit. So I thought this would be a fun opportunity to make a pair of shorts!

I went with the Lander Shorts from True Bias since I already had the pattern and I love the button fly and high waist. I cut a size 2, and made no changes to the pattern.

Since the pants were tight, I knew I would need to add fabric. I wanted the front pockets to remain the same on the sides, so adding fabric to the crotch was the only option. To do this, I wanted to start off with a straight line, and cut the original crotch curve off.

This refashion was all about strategic cutting and mirroring. I really wanted to keep the details on the jeans; the side pockets, back pockets and rivets. I also wanted to leave the waistband as in tact as I could, since the buttonhole and belt loops were already made.

Here’s one tip I learned along the way: if you want to keep the back pockets from the original garment (without needing to remove them), use the “pocket markings” on the pattern to line up the pattern piece with your garment. This will make sure that the back pockets won’t tilt in the process of making a new garment.

Realistically, this isn’t a refashion I will do often. I use this method of piecing in other refashions, but never quite to this extent. It worked well because the busy print doesn’t show all the added seam lines, but doing this on a solid or large print would definitely show.

I really love these shorts, and love that I was able to save the pants. I absolutely love the prints from Liberty, but since I don’t want to buy fabric, it was a treasure being able to find something Liberty “in the wild”. This print is available, so if you wanted to re-create the look, you definitely don’t need to refashion some jeans! But I hope this post gave a little more in depth look on how to patch pieces together. I do wish some of the details were easier to see in pictures, like the pockets, so this refashion may not look like a lot of work at first glace, but they were definitely a labor of love!

refashion · sewing · Tutorials

Shower Curtain Lounge Pants – Free Pattern From Trevor Loves Mommy!

Melissa is a talented blogger over at Trevor Loves Mommy, you may know some of her awesome refashions (like this top and this dress), and she recently came out with a pajama pants pattern – that’s free! (Sign up for her email list and the PDF will be sent to your inbox!) I absolutely love free patterns and love telling people about really great ones. I’m so excited to share this pattern with you!

For some reason, pajama pants are not a popular project in my sewing, which is weird because I actually need more pairs. I have one pair of flannel pants and one pair of cotton pants. Both pairs were gifted to me from my mom and I wear one or the other at least twice a week. Elastic waist pants are comfortable to wear, and so simple to make!

I’ve been getting really inspired by border prints lately and working border prints into apparel. There was one piece of material in my home that had a beautiful border print that I thought would shine on these pants; our basement shower curtain! We don’t use the basement bathroom much and I really bought this shower curtain with the intention to one day use it for a sewing project. It lasted two years before I took it down! The shower curtain came from World Market, and is a cotton/poly mix.

To use the border print, I wanted to be sure I didn’t have to hem the pants after cutting, so I made a toile first. This pattern comes in sizes XS-2XL and the pattern suggestion is to cut out your RTW pattern for pajamas (XS for me), but the pattern also includes sizing – and finished inseam! The inseam measurement helped me with cutting down the pattern for my short legs! On the pant “shorten or lengthen” line I removed 3” to start. After finishing my toile, I also removed 3” from the bottom hemline of the pattern. This way, I was able to keep the original hem on my shower curtain.

The only other change I made to the pattern was my elastic waistband. The pattern shows a single elastic waist, but I wanted a little more detail to mimic some of the RTW lounge pants I’ve been seeing. This is a really easy change; here’s a short tutorial! (Please note, I did not have to add any length to the waist, and elastic I used was 1/2″.)

Right after cutting the pants pattern out, serge or zig zag the raw edge of the waist. From the top of the waistband measure and mark 2.5” down.

Iron the serged edge down, and iron down on the 2.5” mark. Sew the pants together as instructed.

Once pants are stitched, turn the waistband down and stitch as follows: Leave a 3” gap on the back and first stitch the top 5/8” down. Next top stitch the bottom down. You may need to stretch the fabric a bit to fit evenly, but it fits. Next, stitch two more channels 5/8” from the top stitching line. I found it best to go in this order, but stitching the bottom down first also works well.

Once all three lines are stitched, feed elastic into each channel and stitch ends of elastic together. Once all elastic is in, stitch the 3” gap closed, and your pants are done!

This pattern was great to sew. The fit is awesome and it is so easy to cut length out for shorter legs. The instructions are detailed and clear, it is very apparent how much time was spent making this pattern! Not only is this a quick and easy sewing project, it is also a great pattern for beginners or if you are teaching someone to sew!

Get the pattern HERE!

Here’s a short video tutorial as well – yes, I joined TikTok!

{This post is sponsored by Trevor Loves Mommy, as always, all opinions are my own.}

#RefashionFriday

#RefashionFriday Tablecloth to Dress Upcycle

At the beginning of this year, my parent’s were downsizing and in the process, donated their dining room set – including hutch, table and chairs. With this went all my mom’s tablecloth linens – which she set aside for me to go through! They had a small square table, and I have a long table so none of the linens can be used in my dining room – so I got some new materials to sew with! I had plans for a few of the tablecloths and runners, but there were a few that I didn’t know what to do with. Including this cute red plaid one. But before I get into the inspiration behind it, here’s the full refashion!

With COVID happening, a lot of smaller thrift stores/vintage shops are putting clothes online to sell, and one shop I went to in San Francisco, Relove, put this adorable dress on instagram. Unfortunately someone beat me to buying it, but that didn’t stop me from getting inspired to make my own! I already had a very similar print – just in a different color – and was looking for a project for this table cloth.

I asked for pattern suggestions over on instagram looking for the following requirements: boxy cut, sleeve cuffs, back button closure, and higher neckline. I was originally going to use my Lou Box Top pattern but after making a mock up, I noticed that this dress would lay best with separate sleeves. (The Lou Box Top pattern does not have a separate sleeve pattern, the bodice connects to the sleeves.) I got a lot of great suggestions but the pattern that fit the most was Fibre Mood Mira.

While the original dress had a longer skirt and lower waistline, I wanted my dress to have a shorter look so my body wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the larger plaid. Mira is a really cute pattern and I only had to do a few changes to get the result I wanted. I added a sleeve cuff, and cut a single tier skirt, instead of the two tiers in the pattern. After I finished sewing and trying the dress on, I noticed it was a little too boxy for me, and looked frumpier than I wanted. I went back in and removed 2” from each side seam. After gathering the skirt, the back was falling a little flat so I added a little bit of elastic to the back seam allowance for just a bit more shape. You can see the difference in the front where I had more gathering, and the back which now has the elastic added.

Using a tablecloth for apparel can be a really great alternative for buying fabric. For this refashion I needed to take out all the finished seams to get the most out of my material. I was hoping to save one of the finished edges as my hem, but it didn’t work out this time. However, if you want to sew with a tablecloth, saving a finished edge could be a great sewing shortcut!

Pattern details: Fibre Mood Mira, size 36. My only issue with this pattern was in the arms. I do not have skinny arms, and this dress has a tighter sleeve pattern. I should have looked more closely before cutting out my fabric, but just a warning if anyone else has thicker arms! I would definitely make this dress again, in this style and with the tiered skirt like the original pattern. It’s a cute, simple dress that has a ton of possibilities. I’m really excited to wear this dress on those days I want something cute and breezy and maybe it’ll see the outside world this summer! Fingers Crossed!

#RefashionFriday · refashion · sewing

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion

This refashion was intended to be blogged a few Friday’s ago during Fashion Revolution Week but day the just got away from me! If you follow me over on instagram, you will have already seen this refashion – but I wanted to share a few details here about it!

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

I picked this dress up at one of my local thrift stores (weeks before lockdown started) with full intentions of upcycling it. I fell in love with the colors and stripes, and really loved the fabric. It was well loved, but still in good condition – making the fabric that perfect washed and worn feel. I didn’t know what to do with the dress at first, but knew there weren’t too many options because it was a pretty short dress! (This dress is size S, brand is Soda Pop. Based on fit and style, I’m guessing it is a junior department dress.)

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

A fabric like this screams summer, and the first piece of clothing that comes to my mind when thinking summer is shorts. Now yes, my wardrobe also needs like, basic denim shorts, but a pair of colorful shorts would be a welcomed addition to my wardrobe! Since this fabric was so bright and fun, I wanted my shorts pattern to be a little fun as well. I used the Paperbag Waist Shorts from Peppermint Magazine for this refashion and cut a  size 8 (the pattern is free, but donate if you can!)

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

This was a refashion that required me to seam rip almost the entire garment. I removed the bodice and straps, and removed the front pockets. I seam ripped open one side of the skirt to work with the material, and let down the hem.

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

In order for the shorts to fit on the fabric, I had to cut the pattern in half before tracing it onto my fabric, and piece together the fabric. Had the skirt been a little longer, or fuller (gathered or pleated skirt) I probably wouldn’t have had to do this. This part was frustrating, because I thought the pattern would fit without issue, and I needed to re-think my cutting. (If you have to cut a pattern piece in half, don’t forget to include seam allowance where the pieces meet!)

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

I was able to use the dress bodice for the new waistband (along with a little extra from skirt leftovers). This pattern has you insert elastic and a little fake tie in the front so I used one of the dress straps for a tie! I also re-purposed the front pockets into back pockets! For the shorts front pockets and hem facings, I used a light pink cotton that was in my stash.

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

#RefashionFriday Colorful Stripe Dress to Shorts Refashion - Trish Stitched

I really love these shorts! I think I made them a little too early in the year but by the time summer rolls around they will be getting a lot of wear!

fashion revolution · sewing

Reclaimed, Deadstock & Vintage Fabric Resources

As you can tell from reading my blog – I love fabric. But over the years I’ve been very conscious about where my fabric is coming from, and what I’m bringing into my stash. Yes I love refashioning, but I also love buying a gorgeous piece of fabric I don’t have to think about fitting a pattern on. Fabric buying can be very easy, and overwhelming; there are so many options out there – from cheap to very expensive. But the more you question content and the process of making it, fabric buying can get difficult.

This list is focusing on reclaimed, deadstock and vintage textiles. There are many shops that offer sustainably made fabrics, but I know how difficult it can be to find reclaimed materials and these are the sources I get asked about the most!

Reclaimed, Deadstock and Vintage Fabric Resources- Trish Stitched

Here are some terms I look for and what they mean:

Reclaimed: The technical definition of “reclaim” is: “recover (waste material) for reuse; recycle.” (From Oxford Dictionary)

My definition in terms of fabric being reclaimed is: textiles that have been previously discarded and are being saved from landfill, burning or other forms of destruction. This can be leftover textiles from designers or fabric stores.

Recycled: There are a few definitions of Recycled Fabrics including: “textilessorted, graded and reused again to make fabrics for different end uses.” (Vivify Textiles) Such as, using plastic bottles to create new activewear textiles. (When fabric shopping, this term is more often used when describing newly made textiles)

For me, recycled fabrics can also refer to refashioning, or taking a pre-existing textile (clothing, sheet, curtain, etc) and transforming it into something new.

Deadstock: Technical definition: “an amount of a product that a company has bought or made but is unable to sell.” (Cambridge Dictionary.)

In textile terms, deadstock can also refer to leftover fabric that may have defects, and is typically sold off to smaller companies. (Deadstock can sometimes be destroyed through burning or be sent to landfill.) Deadstock is becoming a very popular term in fabric and clothing buying, and if you would to read more about Deadstock, check out this post from Virtue & Vice.

Vintage: Vintage is a generic term for fabric originating from a previous era.

Many people have their own definitions for how old something has to be, to be considered vintage. Usually it is fabric that is 20-30 years old and older. Materials usually become “antique” after 100 years. There is also fabric sold as Deadstock Vintage, another term to look out for when shopping.

Destash: “To remove yarn, fabric, equipment from one’s collection.”  (Your Dictionary)

Destashing is very popular in the sewing world and there are many people who clean out their stashes online in hopes of re-homing their materials. Buying destashed fabric is a great way to get second-hand materials at a lower cost.

Thrifted: “Items bought at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization.” (Definitions.net)

This term can sometimes be used when shopping fabrics, but oftentimes it may fall under the reclaimed, deadstock or recycled label. This phrasing is typically up to the seller to use instead of those previously listed, but still a term to look out for.

And here’s the list!

Deadstock, Reclaimed, and Destashed Fabric: 

Fab Scrap: (USA, NY) My #1 resource for reclaimed fabric. They work with designers to sell/recycle their excess or unusable materials to avoid textiles going to landfill. Located in New York, they have a warehouse where you can buy fabric by the pound and a shop in Manhattan which is a little more curated and fabric is bought by the yard. They also sell some stock and mixed boxes online and they have “insta-sales” on instagram. Fab Scrap also accepts remnants/scraps from sewers to recycle but it will cost $1.50/lb to recycle. (It then gets turned into shoddy, which is a product containing mixed recycled fibers, great for stuffing!)

Queen of Raw: (Global) A marketplace where vendors can sell their deadstock materials. A great place for purchasing large amounts of material for clothing lines, etc. They also offer fabrics in 3 yard minimums for smaller purchases. Located in New York but has sellers all over the world.

FabCycle: (Canada, Vancouver) FabCycle works with designers, factories and schools to collect unused textiles to avoid textile waste from entering landfills. This includes scraps, off cuts, deadstock and end of rolls. Shop online or visit their ReUse Center in Vancouver where they also take fabric donations!

A Thrifty Notion: (USA, KS) A shop that offers deadstock, vintage, and destashed fabrics! They take in a lot of donated materials that other sewers no longer want and sell online and in store. They also offer a “friday feature” of “new” materials in store. They also put together a fantastic Thrift Store Locator List featuring many “Re-use” shops, where you can donate materials and notions locally.

Measure: A Fabric Parlor: (USA, GA) Measure Fabrics offers mostly deadstock fabrics, which are available in limited quantities. I personally love Measure Fabrics and they often do fabric features on Instagram as well!

Scrap- Creative Reuse: (Portland OR, Arcata CA, Denton TX, Baltimore MD, Richmond VA, Ann Arbor MI)  No online shop, but lucky locals can donate their items to Scrap who sells it to the public or donates to teachers or organizations that can use the items. Scrap can be a fantastic resource for fabrics and notions!

Matchpoint Fabrics: (Canada) Matchpoint Fabrics is an online shop that offers mostly sustainable fabric options, but they also have a section of Deadstock Fabric. Most of the deadstock fabrics come directly from mills, TV/film sets & designers.

Haines Collection: (UK)If you are looking for a place to buy upholstery fabrics, Haines Collection is the place! Fabrics in this online shop are leftover from designers and manufacturers in the interior industry. Most of these fabrics are high quality, and come with a higher price tag, but Haines Collection sells them at a much lower cost.

The New Craft House: (UK, East London) An online shop & studio filled with designer deadstock fabric. They are located in East London where you can also take a class, set up a private workshop or attend an event!

(Offset Warehouse: (UK) This shop is mainly focused on sustainable textiles, but says they also offer deadstock. There isn’t currently a specific section for deadstock, so you will have to look at each item, but I thought this would still be a good source to add. )

Vintage:

(Shops that have a passion for reducing waste in the textile industry with a love for vintage textiles)

Revival Fabrics: (USA, OR) An online shop featuring vintage fabrics from the 1920’s- 1970’s! This is a great spot for movie costume designers, commercial set stylists, and period re-enactors. They also have vintage pillowcases and sheets still in their packaging!

Olive Road London: (UK, London) A beautiful collection of vintage textiles, including dress fabrics and barkcloths. I love how this online shop allows you to browse by decades! (Olive Road London’s website doesn’t have US shipping but you can contact them directly for purchasing in US!)

Pink Peacock: (Australia) A beautifully curated online shop featuring vintage textiles. Beware, you may purchase more than just fabric here! (Seriously their vintage home wares are amazing!)

Retro Age Vintage Fabrics: (Australia) In business for 15 years, this is a huge resource for vintage fabrics and their online shop allows you to shop by era, content, design, color, or quantity.

Etsy Shops

Craft And Thrift Shop: (UK, Scotland) Amy runs an etsy shop filled with deadstock, thrifted and vintage fabrics. Fabrics are sold by the meter, but she also offers scrap packs and notions. (Amy has become a friend over on Instagram and I personally had a great experience sewing with fabric from her shop!)

Etsy shops that offer mostly vintage fabrics but also sell destash fabrics, vintage sheets and/or sewing notions:

The Estate Stash: (USA, TN) (shop also sells fabric swatch books)

Found Fabrics Shop: (USA, OR)

Life in the Sass Lane: (USA, NY)

Lingon Berries and Moss: (USA, CO)

Dragonfly Cottage Shop: (USA, MN)

Lizi Rose: (USA, CA) (Destash denim scraps)

Bout Flowers: (UK, Durham)

Jaipur Design Shop: (India) (Shop sells beautiful vintage sari’s and recycled fabrics)

Instagram

@shopwellfibre (USA): Sells secondhand fabrics through instagram. (sewing account here! )

@suziesvintageshop (UK Only): Vintage textiles in her ebay shop – and see more behind the scenes on her other instagram account: Suzie Sharp Vintage!

@farmandtablefabrics: Sells through instagram! Posts sales of vintage and reclaimed textiles.

@shopmakethislook: Sells Vintage fabrics, often shown with inspiration garments! Auctions on Instagram.  Follow her other account to see her beautiful makes: Make This Look

@vintagefabricsandsheets (Australia): Sells vintage fabrics and sheets on instagram!

If there’s a shop you don’t see listed that I should add, let me know! I will do my best to update this list.

(Please keep in mind, these are shops focused on selling reclaimed, deadstock, and vintage fabrics. Sustainable textile shops are also wonderful to purchase from but not included in this list. If you are looking for Sustainable shops, please read Halfmoon Atelier’s list!)