Upcycling Fabrics–How I Work

I am always amazed by the mess I make when I design my upcycled garden tool aprons.    I may start out with a few neat piles from my vintage fabric collection, but I always end up composing on a tiny workspace, surrounded by towering textile piles.  work

As much as I hate cleaning up the mess, I think working this way is a good thing–

A sense of play makes designing more enjoyable, and I think the happiness of process shows in the work.

I design by color (of course) but consciously build each piece from different eras.  Contrast is my friend.  Ditto serendipity. I like to trust the moment.

Once I pull fabrics together, I cut or tear and place the pieces on canvas using this quilter’s spray.  It’s acid-free, temporary, and won’t gum your needle.  I also use some anchor pins. work_2

Design takes time.  I never try to produce too many pieces at once.  This session yielded 7 designs.  Here’s a finished look at the first 5 which I’m in process of listing in my ETSY shop now.   Do you have a favorite????

bluebotaincail_1The blue botanical fabric was salvaged from my friend Laura’s breakfast nook.  It took a lot of washing to get the paste off.

browndasy_ecuA 70s bedspread, unfinished cross stitch table cloth and feed sack remnant from the 40s.

brown_bluewideUnfinished dress, circa 1960s, old apron and vintage rick-rack.

pinkshirt_wideMy favorite of this groups has a granny hankie, and a band from a men’s pink denim shirt (complete with buttons)


But I love this vintage drapery fabric and wonderful mattress ticking too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s