The Sunset Sunrise Painted Upcycled Bag Time Lapse Video

Thursday, December 29, 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.

Mad for Plaid | Upcycled Faux Layered Tunic Top

Wednesday, December 21, 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. VoilĂ , 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!

Found New Life As: Upcycled Owl Bags

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Honestly, I cannot recall exactly how this came to be. I've always liked owls though. They are perfect subjects for abstract interpretation. The way I do the ruffles on these bags is suppose to be like their feathers but I think that's obvious. The first owl bag I made I listed and sold over on Artfire.

That bag was pretty simple, it was smaller than the ones I do now. I used a vintage eyelet cotton trim that came pre-gathered. Along with that bag I made one zippered barn owl inspired bag. Main reason for that was I wanted to try out a different kind of owl. I don't remember why I never made more of it but I went back to the original owl. I started incorporating the jeans hems after I had saved a good amount of them and have kept saving/using them ever since. For the most part, earlier owls consisted of vintage and thrifted cottons. These are owls from 2011-2012:
I did try once more to make a different kind of owl, where the flap was the top of the head and beak all in one. I wasn't convinced but it was cool to try out. I've never really used patterns. Using patterns is a more recent thing with me. I have realized how much time they save. Back then, every time I made an owl the measurements of the bag would be different. Some bags would come out so big and others way small. At first it was okay because I was trying to use materials without piecing them together. Some whole pieces were just smaller than others.
One time I made this custom owl that had depth to it. Only made that design once too. As I'm going through my pictures of past owls I am reminded that I used to use Ric-rac trim around their eyes. I stopped doing that because I ran out but honestly I didn't want to keep adding it. It was a nice touch while it lasted.
Eventually I did draft myself a pattern. I want them to be more uniform in size. It no longer matters if I have to piece together materials for their faces or the backs. I try to make those seams indiscreet not to take away from the rest of the design. That hasn't been too much of problem though.
One problem I have tried my best to make better is the weight. The weight of the bags was fine at first, using mostly cottons and non-denim materials. After I started involving more denim, that's when it became an issue. If a bag starts heavy with nothing in it then it's only going to get heavier with your belongings in it. For example, the owl with the medium-weight crochet lace over lined denim wings, never again. Sure it looked pretty but I know that was added weight that could've been avoided. I wish I would've given that a lot more consideration since the very beginning. I like to think I've resolved that issue by being careful with the amount of denim and heavy materials I incorporate.
I know these bags are a novelty, boho whimsy, not everyone's cup of tea. They may not look like they are all that practical but I have always tried to make them as functional as possible, like by giving them a good amount of pockets. I love pockets. Also by having shoulder and cross body options. This goes for all bags I make, not just my owls. There has been trial and error but that's what keeps you progressing.

A while ago I had someone tell me they were tired of my owls, they were "just saying". I wasn't quite sure how to take that. I'm well aware that if we never listen to feedback, we’ll never improve but what even was that? Well sorry, not sorry, I'm not tired yet. This isn't a trendy fad. It's like my whole mission statement being completely ignored. I make these bags as an on-going upcycling effort, not to mention artistic endeavor. So as long as there is clothing to be upcycled, I will continue.

Thank you for reading. You can check out the owls I have in the shop ready to ship, here.