Posts Tagged ‘recycled upholstery’

I love Jane Austin and this is my version of a period costume.  She is an art doll I displayed at an Embassy Art show this last weekend.   I call her Still in Rags.  Her outfit is complete upcycled upholstery and drapery fabric.  I did a lot of hand sewing to fit it to her and add the wonderful ruffles.

Upcycled Art Doll

Upcycled Art Doll

I also used my heat gun to melt the fabric into the interesting shapes in her skirt.


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Ok, so I had enough of this little piece of fabric to make 4 tiny little squares… I love this fabric so much, I did a few little peek-a-boo squares with some netting and then added a few rosebuds, I wish I had more of this fabric.  Oh well, this is the downside of working with found or recycled materials – once the sometimes small piece is used up that’s it – time to move on.

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heart necklace

I got into a conversation with a young woman this evening at a craft show, she was very cool and we had an interesting conversation about crafting. Crafting is BACK. For me personally it means new websites, many colorful new books and magazines, inspiration is everywhere. We were talking about the recycled upholstery charms I sew and what it takes to put them together. I asked if she knew how to sew and she said that she’d taken a class but that her mother said her sewing was in need of some improvement.

I can not wait to teach my daughters to sew!!! I can’t wait to encourage them to screw up, make a mess and figure out if it’s an interest for them too. I hope that more moms will encourage their little girls and boys to sew. I believe that even a little skill in an area like sewing makes you a better consumer. If you know how to sew – you look at the the garments in the department stores in a whole new light. The mini t-shirts made of pre-worn cotton with a simple silk screen print are a $25 joke if you know just enough to estimate the cost of the fabric, the amount of work that went into them and the wear you expect to get out of it.

I’ve read a bit about encouraging the artist in my children and the primary lesson is to let them screw things up without offering an opinion, without judging the effort and without applying standards. So basically – set your child up to have some fun and be prepared and willing to encourage a mess. Let’s spend more time encouraging efforts and reassuring children that practice can improve efforts instead of squashing potential with careless judgments or evaluations.

My final comment to the young woman this evening… well I’m a bit older than you are (by quite a bit) and it’s take time to learn these things, don’t give up too quick.

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Have you seen the work of people like Jane Hall? I’ve got a new obsession for decorating my thrift store clothing or swatches of upholstery fabric. I tried a little bit of this type of work and was pretty pleased at how it worked out.

Here is my attempt at a bird and cage.

bird in cage

There was a little trial and error, I had to learn how to fill the bird in without making the texture look really weird. I also had to figure out how to work with the gilt thread without stripping it, I gave up trying to get it through the thick upholstery, and ended up doing some couching to make the cage.

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Here’s a few other pictures of the stuff for the show…



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I’m trying something new, things here on the blog are suffering a bit – I’m so sorry about that :(My big excuse – I am getting ready for a craft show here in the DC area 😉 I’m really excited, it is a Valentines theme show and I am totally into making hearts and birds for the show. I’m taking pictures of everything I can’t wait to feel like it’s all ready for display. More to come!

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I’m still loving the old bracelets, disassembling and recycling old necklaces from the thrift store and adding a few new components is my new favorite thing. I am using new jumprings and eyepins – having them fall apart would ruin the charm I think. I am in love with my little recycled upholstery angel charm on the blue bracelet – it is such a cute little black and white picture. This one is made from about 5 different necklaces – do you love the double chain – I’ve got enough to make a few more bracelets out of that one. I’m a sucker for fake pearls as well.

blue angel bracelet

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