Many regard shopping as recreational sport at this time of year with sales everywhere – yet shopping is ultimately unsatisfying because there is always more bright, shiny, new merchandise to buy.
OK, I did send Mr Darcy into the fray this week for new pots so we could pension off old ones that have seen decades of service and too many burning experiences. There was a need, not just a want.
Reducing consumption of new stuff is at the heart of this counter-culture Sew it Again project, which is exploring ways to reuse existing clothing and textiles rather than always buying new.
I admit to bulging wardrobes, which I’ve been trying to whittle down all year and only made a small dent in. Most of the stockpile is natural fibre-clothing from op shops which I can re-donate at any time, in the same way I bought it, so no harm done. Continue reading
I believe in creative, individual dress that doesn’t exploit people or the environment.
I believe we can extend the useful life of existing natural fibre clothing by mending, adapting and refashioning them to suit ourselves.
And I’m living what I believe every day this year by posting resewing, repair and refashion projects as a way of demonstrating ways we can individually reduce our clothing footprint.
Today was difficult because my sister Jo and I finalised our late brother Paul’s estate – including his Mercedes Sprinter Van, right. Thank you to those who have helped along the way. Losing a much-loved younger sibling makes us think a lot about our purpose in life and how best to spend the limited time we have on Earth. Continue reading
This upcycle was done in stages with the cotton dress shortened then dyed in a hot pot with green leaves. The skirt offcut becomes a waistband tied with a bow and eco-dyed silk is added to the neckline and sleeves to disguise stains.
I woke this morning to a beautiful view across a dam into a green canopy of tinglewood trees at our friend Jan’s place at Walpole in south west Western Australia. The beauty of the place is tinged with sadness because it was while landscaping Jan’s place that my brother Paul lost his life in an excavator accident here a year ago. I’ve returned with some jarrah timber which we hope in time and thanks to the Walpole Men’s Shed will become a seat somewhere along the Bibbulmun Track that Paul enjoyed walking from end-to-end several times.
Today’s textured pink silk two-piece suit has a simple frill added to enhance its plain neckline, after the skirt bottom was recast as the collar.
Reusing material from nature has been a theme today. My brother’s friend Marcus and I spent the morning at Gingin north of Perth working out a future for the mountain of recycled jarrah timber my brother Paul accumulated over years as a builder.
I guess that’s the problem with upcycling. It is one thing to have an intention to reuse natural resources – but they need to be in the right place in the right hands at the right time to be useful. Otherwise they become a burden. Continue reading
It was only after I took this op-shop find home that I identified it as a square shape adapted as a shawl by folding on the diagonal, buttoned at front and armholes hidden in the layer below.
I’m posting from Western Australia at the moment – having prepared a few weeks’ worth of upcycling ahead of time. My purpose in being here is to finalise my youngest brother Paul’s estate, after he died in an excavator accident a year ago. He’s left a few mysteries for me to solve – and one that remains outstanding is a single key attached to his Mercedes vehicle key which none of his friends know to what it belongs. We may never know. Life’s like that – uncertain, mysterious and ephemeral. Continue reading