Friday, August 26, 2011

a cottage project - revamped boat seats

Our time at the cottage was so wonderful! When our cousins from Kalamazoo arrived, they brought a boat along. Here's what it looked like after we finished our project. Before this, it was in pretty bad shape, including some moss growing on the foam on the front cushions, but after washing it up a bit we tackled it with a staple gun, a scissor and some new fabric.

Lisa and I will always remember the summer we did this project! Maybe a little on the down and dirty side, but it was fun to let loose and not have to be ultra precise for a change. We enjoyed being on the lake doing something creative, and it ended up looking pretty good, even if I do say so myself!

Here's what it looked like before we started and in progress...

Ah, ready for relaxing on the lake! We all piled in and went for several boat rides. One of the highlights for little f was when we ran out of gas. As he began to panic, an older gentleman walked out onto his dock and hopped in his pontoon boat. He drove out to us and asked where we wanted to go. We tossed him a line and he tied it to his boat. Little f could see the propeller and wake up close, so it was quite exciting for him. And we were all so thankful for that gentleman.

"Why that gentleman help us?" little f asked. That's just what you do when you are on the lake. We all help each other, because we might need someone to help us another time. What a cool way to teach him about paying it forward.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

cool kid's clothes made from upcycled t-shirts and such

It was this jacket that first drew me to lilygiggle. I was searching for recycled boy clothes. Time passed and I found the site again, with a similar search. Destiny? Must be. Beth makes all kinds of great clothing patterns, and has the cutest little models! Want to stay in the loop? Check out lilygiggle's facebook page and a FREE pattern when you "like" her page.

And right now for you, my faithful blog readers, she is offering a 25% discount in her etsy shop, just use the code REVAMPED until August 13th.

Turns out that Beth is friends with Jay from chickenhill! Wouldn't be great to sew with these girls?

Thanks to Beth for taking time to answer a few of my questions.

How did you learn/who taught you to sew?
Originally I was a self-taught fashion design wanna-be teenager. I had grown up around very talented seamstresses, both grandmas were amazing at it as well as my own mama so there were always sewing machines around. My grandma would take my goofy 8 year old "fashion illustrations" and create the garment just by looking at a child's sketch. One day I just decided I was going to figure out how to sew and made myself pants that I wore all the time even though they were technically sewn completely incorrectly. Maybe that's why I don't mind sewing a bit "out of the box". It's great fun to experiment. Later I was taught to be a proper seamstress at Savannah College of Art & Design while I was completing my major in Fashion Design.

What was your first sewing machine?
An old Kenmore...good machine...wouldn't mind if I still had it.

How did you start upcycling/recycling?
I would love to say it was because I am so sensitive to the environment (which I do try to be) but, honestly, it was out of being desperately in need of a creative outlet after leaving my job and being home with my children. With one income there were just not enough funds to keep myself in lovely fabrics. The local "by the pound" thrift store became my fabric store of choice. I find that much of my creativity has been sparked first by necessity. I think that people who don't think they are creative probably just never really had to be.

Thank you so much, Beth, for sharing your thoughts with us!

Such sweet flowers and a gorgeous photos too.

This serendipity dress is so cool! It is named with one of my favorite words, so how could I resist? I really want it in my size, but maybe I'll have to settle for making one for my niece... The detail on the waistband is so nice and I love the bows, especially since they are purely decorative, so they can be sewn down once tied.

And this is the perfect gardening skirt! You might already know that I adore pockets. All shapes, sizes and in many places. The buttons on top are like the icing on the cake.

Hope you are inspired to do more sewing!

Monday, August 1, 2011

custom bags for Amanda

One of my favorite customers, Amanda, sent in a bag she bought a few years ago to the recycled+revamped purse spa. It had been used up and much loved! After taking it apart, I took out some of the fabric and used pieces of it in a new, albeit smaller purse. At the same time, I made this bag from recycled office furniture fabric (and a smidgen of Heather Ross's mermaids) with a vintage button and some zippers to replace the large, much loved bag.

There are loads of pockets inside that make it great for getting all your stuff organized, whether it's for work, baby or travel. The smaller clutches were just a little something extra, because you can never have too many pockets!

For those of you in the Traverse City area, check out Amanda's restaurant, Trattoria Stella. It focuses on using all kinds of good, organic food from local farms as well as locally made beer and wine!.

Thank you Amanda for being such a great customer and allowing me to create this fabulous new bag for you!