Mad for Plaid | Upcycled Faux Layered Tunic Top

Monday, December 19, 2016


thee Inspiration:



How cute is this? Two shirts in one! or so it seems. Perfect for fall/winter! It looks upcycled too but these are not :/ These were selling on Zulily a while back. They caught my attention because they really do look like they could be upcycled. So it prompted me to want to make/upcycle my own. Of course I'm not the first to do this, here's a cute refashion by Chapter 37, where she added the button down's collar too.


One great thing about doing this is it's pretty easy since the main parts are already done for you.


I found this short sleeve knit top at the Goodwill along with the mens plaid button down. I really wanted a long sleeve sweater but didn't find any. This top is nice though, like new but dated so I think adding the plaid definitely spruced it up.

You want to cut however much you want of the bottom end of the plaid button down. Then of the knit top, cut the sides starting 2" down from the underarm. Serge the plaid pieces across the tops. Pin the plaid underneath the knit top, to both front and back.

Top stitch to sew the plaid in place with the knit top. Then serge the sides, front and back.

Next take the plaid shirt remnant use the back or sleeves if they're wide/long enough. This or these will be your side inserts. Make them however wide for whatever amount of volume you want added. Pin them into place, right sides together.

I left the inserts about a quarter inch longer than the side lengths so that when I hemmed it up, it would line up with the already done hem.

So you have it all pinned you sew it up. Make sure the tip of the triangle insert is sealed. Voilà, godets! Or really mine turned out looking more like inverted pleats but that's okay.

Lastly, hem the bottoms of the added plaid to align with the already done hem. I also added a second button to the bottom opening of the plaid. I thought it needed it.

It's quite the comfy top!


This is another one I did for my mom. Isn't a lovely marriage? It's basically the same process. Except this one actually has longer sleeves so I was able to add the cuffs.

You cut the bottom of the button down shirt and the sleeve cuffs, leaving about a half inch above the actual cuff. Then serge the raw edges of all pieces.

Then you pin it all in place. The cuffs go inside the sleeve so they fold out, if that makes sense. Sew it all up and your done.

I gave this one a little plaid detail on the top since it has a collar. It helps tie it all together too. So there you have it, a simple refashion, perfectly seasonal. I hope you give it a try!

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The Sunset Sunrise Painted Upcycled Bag Time Lapse Video

Monday, December 12, 2016

I'm calling this bag "The Sunset Sunrise Bag" because the resulting art reminds me of such. The color scheme wasn't really planned. I just kept adding colors in front of me. I used non-glossy acrylic and metallic copper/gold paints. The video isn't much but I really wanted to give time lapsing work a try. Hopefully next time I'm able to record the whole bag making process. Until then, enjoy 💜💛💙



The completed bag is available, here 👈


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DIY Upcycled Cat Toy (Menswear Mouse Toy)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

So I end up with small odd shaped scraps of material like all the time. Not a whole lot (because I upcycle them of course) but still, the smaller remnants accumulate eventually.

I found this project idea from MarthaStewart.com after searching for something smaller to do with them and finally got around to actually doing it.

It's a menswear mouse toy for your cats! or snakes? Hey maybe. Okay probably not because they don't really play, or do they?

Anyway, check it out...


Adorable right? and not to mention kind of easy to do as the tutorial is pretty simple to follow. Mine was a plaid blazer for the mouse body and then a denim underbelly with a brown gingham cotton tail.

I made mine fast though. I mean I didn't even add the eyes (I couldn't find any more beads) and its ears are different than in the tutorial but my cats loved it nonetheless.




Now to make another mouse toy so each cat has their own (there's two, Ajax and Athena) because sharing is no fun.

Vintage Finds | Cloisonne and Enamel Earrings

Friday, November 4, 2016

I have a penchant for vintage cloisonne and enamel earrings. Both pierced and clip on, it doesn't matter. In fact I find clip on earrings to be more comfortable.



I especially like Laurel Burch designs. You can always tell by the signatures on the backs.


My collection is not what it use to be though. A while ago I started selling some off with the idea that I had too many. Several pairs were sold and gone. I have since regretted doing so. Luckily they're not that hard to find. The majority of mine I got from my grandma and the rest are from the flea market. Recently I've found a lot on Etsy too. I think it's time to add to the collection. Here's some of my favorites so far...

Sources from top left to bottom right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Sources from top left to bottom right: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

12 Upcycled Crafts for Fall / Autmun Decor

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Refashion | Vintage Floral Maxi Dress

Monday, June 20, 2016


The before:

I bought this dress at a thrift store. I love the simplicity of the allover floral print and the type of material. I usually seek out this kind of fabric. It keeps really well, it's durable and hangs nicely. The brand is called Virgo II and it also has an ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Worker Union) tag. Oh and this dress came with side pockets. It's awesome.


So this dress is from 1974 - 1995 based on the colors of the tag.

"In 1974 the labels were changed to a red, white, and blue color scheme. This was in conjunction with their efforts to urge Americans to not buy imported goods: Buy American: The Job You Save May Be Your Own. The ILGWU remained active up until 1995, when they merged with another union, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, to form UNITE." (Vintage Fashion Guide)


I didn't mind the sleeves on the dress but since I was going to take in the top part anyway, I took away the sleeves too. I used the sleeves as bias tape for the new armholes. It feels much less stuffy since it is high neck and long length. Doesn't it look a little more modern as well? I don't know but I like it much more now.


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Upcycled Painter's Purses and a DIY Painted Wooden Plank Photo Backdrop

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Recently I've been making painted bags. I had painted on bags I made in the past but not like this. They're my upcycled purses adorned with acrylic abstract artwork. Like "painter's jeans" but purses. If you follow my instagram you know that's what I've been working on.

I don't usually use patterns but I really wanted to make a bag that involved little to no hardware (and I didn't feel like figuring it out myself lol). I came across the Laney Hobo bag by Swoon and gave it a try.

The first upcycled painter's purse I made, available here. At first I wasn't really sold on the shape but it has grown on me. It's a really practical bag, spacious and comfortable.

Paint splatter can get a little messy but it's fun.

The one upcycled painter's crossbody / messenger bag so far, available here. The button is vintage and just perfect because it looks like a glob of gold paint.

This is the second upcycled painter's purse I've made, available here.

I had also been wanting to make a new backdrop for picture taking. My dad found some old wooden planks and I had him come up with this.

The condition of the wood is pretty good. We're not sure how old the wood is or what it was used for but since I was going to paint over it, it didn't matter too much. I did sand out some spots though because I didn't want splinters.

So I wore gardening gloves to paint...and of course (dumb idea) the paint seeped through the cloth. It really sucks washing off oil based paint from the skin but got it all off eventually.

Finally, the new backdrop works great! In the future if I want to extend the wall to the floor I can easily add more planks. Most, if not all, my bags aren't very long though so for now it's fine how it is. I'm still undecided about using a decorative wall hook (like in the pictures above I used this floral wall hook I have). I like to keep things simple and let the bags speak for themselves but I don't know I'll probably keep doing both with and with out.

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where to find me

thee Kiss of Life Upcycling © . ☮♥♻