Upcycled Fashions Are for Everyone!

People are meant to share things and information. I think the most part some good educational information is my page Crazy Quilt Tutorial. I'm working on a new updated version of my Crazy Quilting Tutorial.

I wrote a post on some of the various projects completed with upcycled cloth for clothing,bedding, sweaters etc back here and many of you may have tried to upcycle things around your home. Keep doing it.

Hence, jeans to the rescue. This article is a Canadian report on our wastefulness.

We Canadians are just has bad as many countries with not being thoughful about what we buy and how soon we discard it. Mostly we seem to throw good clothing away into the landfill. Does this sound familiar? 

I can't remember a time when I did not reuse or recycle into something completely different. I rarely discard items with life left in it. Not that I think I'm perfect, if something is beyond a good washing, then for sure, it goes into the garbage bin. But if you can do something with it, then do it before your throw it away.

Pinterest has 1160 examples of things to do with denim.

I have been invited to a challenge and before I forget about it, I wanted to just put this out to you. This wonderful and odd tree has a name like co-dominent, but I'm seeing a map. Trees are something I love and my husband being an Arborist loves trees.

I believe this could be where my mind goes with the idea of challenge around maps.

I see more young people making use of recycled this and that. And occassionally a beautiful woman can be seen at a festival wearing her very own creation dancing in evening air.

 I just love reliving my own hippy chick lifestyle again. Now 4 decades down the road, it fills me with the free spirit of the 1970's.

What do you upcycle? I see that some of you are using the odd item in some of your quilts, I can tell it from the photos even if you don't mention it in your post. Old fabric found at a thrift store years ago is still upcycling to me. Fabric derived from clothing is a great way to remake clothing, but sometimes the fabric is just not suitable for quilting. But that could be a statement disputed by many I'm sure.

My king size quilt is almost ready for sandwiching from the upcycled cotton snippets as seen above.

Last summer, I made a wedding present from denim jeans.

And another crazy quilt is in the works again as seen below. Most of my quilts contain a high degree of upcycled cotton in all of them. I don't need to do this. I can afford even the high prices of new cotton, but its the principle! Everytime, you buy something new, a tonne of chemicals were used in the growing of the cotton, the transportation to off shore manufacturing is loads of energy and then the colors and dyes used are not enviro-friendly.

Just to be clear, I count myself in all of us, who love 100% cotton and buy new cotton. 

So my new way of doing things is in upcycling clothing bits into quilts so that I don't have to throw it out or give to someone else's thrift shop.

This rust colored crazy quilt is coming along to a finish.

But the majority of my quilting has been inside the clothing upcycling fashion explosion that is really happening.

This a short summer dress that has become a favorite, its made from a Hawaiian shirt with batik rayon skirt.

And you may remember this winter dress that is going to be a daily favorite, the Purple Dress. I used a flannel shirt, velvet and satin, appliqued orphan blocks and eyelet ruffle at the bottom. The front botton area are two ties upcycled and all.

Below this dress has been named Gypsy Dress. Joyce named it right away and I think it fits.

 This Gypsy dress combined all sorts of fabrics from many different dresses and tops. Loads of hand embroidery, rick rack and peicing bits as well.

It all started with a black top that was too stiff and hot to wear. While this is still more lightweight, its more of a fall garment now.

Back to t-shirts as in this blue plain shirt below.

This t-shirt that was just too frumpy. I big bag and I added darts and another border area that is more attractive than what I started with. Linen and 100% cotton chunks upcycled in.

This white linen top became a much nice dress. This linen top has been used by me for at least a full decade. It had become stained permanently on parts of the front and needed a full on re-do. I love ruffled layered skirts as you can see?

 The top above is a lovely cool top now. The cream print is rayon/cotton blend, drapes really nice, but I didn't care about the size. I bought it for 50 cents at the thrift shop.

I must be a 'back thing' today. I am a bashful model and my friend Joyce is so goo at it. Sorry Joyce, I didn't get time to do any editing of these photos, but you get the drift anyway.

How Do You Upcycle Fashions?

Adding, improving and doing all the things that we quilters do. Sewing at its basic level is so much fun! If the item is too tight, add in some side treatments to it. Its not for the faint of heart. If you can't bear to take some scissors to the item, then perhaps go slowly and breathe calmly don't go there at all.

Sometimes, its a bottom border added or side treatments or shortening it and adding applique to it.

And I'm writing this today as we  do some last minute repairs to our camper and then its off adventuring around Vancouver Island. Then we're off to camping.
@carlithequilter on Instagram.

This is me posed outside at my son's home in Victoria.
I have some ideas on how to upcycle this top. 
Take care and see you soon!


  1. I have recycled more jeans than I can count - mostly into the crazy quilt inspired jackets I made for so many years. I lost count around 30 jackets and finally had to quit when the arthritis in my hands starting giving me too much grief. I do miss working with denim (but truthfully don't miss making jackets!!). Pretty much all my stash of crazy quilt fodder has been harvested from thrifted clothing - or from clothes that friends passed along to me for re-using. Most of my beading stash has come from old jewelry...I often picked up a really pretty beaded necklace at a yard sale or thrift store for mere pennies and ended up with beautiful beads that would have sold for many dollars had I bought them in a store. My love of crazy quilting mostly came about because the raw materials were recycled.

    1. Exactly! Thank you for doing all your recycling/upcycling too!
      Its a fabulous way to reduce our footprint too. I really have to have a good reason for me to buy new materials. Not that I'm not tempted by all the lovely fabric, but rather the true cost of new fabric is so much more than what we pay at the till. Its my step to my own personal reduction of buying just because we can, but rather because we need it. I'm writing a post on this subject coming up. Love this comment.

  2. Great post....I love your recycling...so motivating!!

    1. Thank you so much, its a new path for me. Its so much fun, highly recommend it.

  3. You are very inventive and have some really great recycled garments to show for it.

    1. Thank you so much! That is a lovely thing to say Kaja. I am so enjoying getting to know you as well. I see your work as very forgiving and peaceful.

  4. Hi caroline...Thank you for the nice comment on my blog...cannot find your email address...I think I am a Caroline wannabee

    1. so funny. email-carli the quilter at gmail dot com
      please do I love meeting new stitchers!!

  5. JUst great...I have put two comments here...age is upon me...xo

    1. Hey no worries. I often work from my phone. My new studio is small. no room for computers.

  6. The fashion in our general public adversely affects understudies. They just consider new fashion and this outcome in going through of a lot of cash.https://buildingrenovation4u.co.uk/


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