Sustainable Fashion - Ideas to Recycle, Upcycle and Reimagine

May 9, 2018

I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to the Bindaring blog this year and share my passion of sewing and dressmaking.


For 9 years now i have been teaching sewing and dressmaking to adults, children and teens. I specifically teach absolute beginners and those who have basic knowledge.  My style of teaching and philosophy is to challenge the perception of sewing.  For it to be on trend, easy and no fuss. Its the only way it should be!


Donating old clothes is generous and cleansing, however have you ever thought about ways to recycle and reuse your materials before they become landfill.  Here are a few things i have made with the absolute beginner in mind.


GrandDad's Ties

My grandfather passed away a few years ago and I had asked the family if I could keep his ties.  I had an idea of stitching them together to make a keep sake.  After a few years in storage I pulled them out recently and decided to make some cushions.  I sewed the ties together, trimmed the whole piece down and did a little bit of quilting before stitching them up as a cushion.  I am thrilled with the result, I've made one for my Dad, Aunty and Uncle, I look forward to gifting them soon.  (See step by step photos of how to make a cushion like this at bottom of this post)



Whenever I hear that word I think of the Bedazzler.  Remember that machine that stuck diamantes onto your t-shirts? Super daggy!

Instead think Pom Poms, tassels, embroidered patches, lace.

On a recent op shop outing with my 10 year old we found this black jacket.  I loved the way it fits however felt it was a bit 'old' for her, especially being black.  I wanted to freshen it up, make it playful, cheery and appropriate for a 10 year old.  So we made some Pompoms to hang around the collar!


Dinosaur Softies


These dudes were stitched a few years ago now when I had found some Onkaparinga blankets from the 70's.  They were not in the best of shape and pretty much needed to go in the bin however I salvaged as much as I could and made these gorgeous characters.  Whilst my children are teens and pre teen, these over sized statement Dinos still make an appearance on the couch and are cuddled often.








If you would like to take it to the next level you can cut sleeves off garments, change necklines, adjust hems and fixe those broken zippers.  These are all skills that you can learn at any age.  There are a number of sewing teachers around Perth and an inspiring active sewing community on instagram - try searching #sewingperth #perthsewing and #sewinginperth for more inspiration, and if you would like to join me I would be delighted to teach you.  I run a range of classes, workshops, retreats and kid's classes.


I hope you are inspired to let your creativity loose. 


Kelly Di Francesco - Miss Mary Sews



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