My friend asked me if I could sew denim bag to her out of her old jeans which were low cut and tight, not in fashion any more ;) Project sounded fun so I agreed and she sent me her jeans. Both jeans were the same color; same tone of dye so my first idea to sew a bag with different sizes and colors of denim stripes was not going to work because of the “flat” color hues on the denim. So I looked up from my special japanese quilting technique books and found this pattern which builds up almost in 3d when put together. Quilting it is!
I carefully planned out this bag and measured the right amount of parts also thinking about the dark and light parts of the denim trousers so I could make the most of the pattern. It took some time sewing the parts together and ironing every seam but the end result was worth it.
She also wished for a pocket inside and outside and that the handles were so long that she can carry the bag easily on her shoulder.
Jeans old leather back labels I used upside down on the front of the bag. This cause I do not want anyone to be able to easily read what it says on the labels (small artsy point) but there are there visible to all to remind that reusing and refashioning is the only way to save this planet from textile waste.
The “back” of the bag or reverse side I made out of different sized denim parts, those which were left over from after my first cut. She wished a pocket on the outside so this one is hidden near your body when the “front” of the bag is visible while carrying it on the shoulder.
And just before shipping this bag to her I took it with me on my own photoshoot.
This oversized denim jacket I got from a friend to be used as material for my designed denim bags. Instead I felt like doing something extra bold with it; I decided to sew small pieces of vintage scarfs to make the jacket “float” and “puffy”.
I used vintage scarfs that were a little bit damaged beyond repairing and cut same sized rectangular pieces which I then sew on the jacket. Sleeves I had to take apart otherwise I could not been able to fasten the scarfs.
By separating the colors and sewing matching ones side by side the surface is more interesting and lively. And the number of vintage scarf pieces I used to this jacket… 583 pieces.
Buttons I attached by hand and each one is carefully placed so the colors again flows easily and makes interesting surface.
White shirt, blouse or dress is just an open invitation to me for refashioning or otherwise creating something else interesting out of the “boring” white garment. In this case it was an old, used mens shirt made from top quality cotton. As usual I did not have any plans, just went with the flow. Started by painting the shoulder parts free hand just a little bit over the shoulder seam so it would look like a mistake :)
I took away the buttons and painted half circles starting from small size and painting the circle bigger as I went towards the hem. The collar I cut away cause it was too formal and stiff for the style. I just left the seam like it is so that it would seem that the collar ripped off. It will be interesting to see what washing does to the seam, better or worse. Well I deal with it then.
By cutting off the sleeve cuffs the shirt became more feminine and light. The sleeves I scrunched by folding some parts here and there and sewing the layers together. Same technique I used also to the front of the shirt. By doing this I achieved more eased look for the whole shirt, taking it away from the old formal and stiff appearance.
Gold colored circles on the sleeve unites the look with the front part.
I had a stash of small leather left over pieces in different colors and textures which one day started to grow into a canvas by joining the parts together and this “canvas” suddenly into a bag. Shoulder strap is an old belt fastened to the bag with reused jacket parts. Tassel is my own design, giving the bag unique finishing with a wooden animal as the “spirit” of the bag.
Bum bag, fanny pack, belt bag…here is my version. I wanted the surface to have striped effect and joined leather pieces with zig zag to achieve more handmade effect. Pattern is my own, I used an old belt bag as a base. Zipper is reused from an old jacket and the belt is old canvas belt which I decorated with matching flat decorative ribbon. Tassel is handmade from the same leather as the bag.
Neckpiece from leather and yarn. This piece was inspired by a tie, I thought about a modern tie that could be worn with a blouse like a tie. This black gently u-shaped leather neckpiece looks pretty formal worn with a shirt but can be used also with different shaped necklines.
First I draw a pattern how the neckpiece should look like when worn under collar. I used leather in the u-shaped part and decorated the edge with yarn fringes.
Bought Susan Briscoes book Japanese quilt blocks to mix & match from a craft fair in Finland few years ago and the amount of inspiration it`s given me! This denim bag started from the idea to have just one big quilt block instead of several small ones and the pattern is called Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares.
Struggled a bit with the scale but finally got it right!
Super happy with the end result! All denim used are from old jeans, shoulder strap is old leather belt and the lining is made out of old skirt. So again 100% recycled!
Photoshoot for the bag took place in very mystical surroundings….
This project was started up by two pieces of fabric sofa samples that I found second hand…and one belt. Idea was to make a roomy bag, easy to sew and without any super fancy decorations.
But as the project went on I wanted to do something extra, to give that unique touch to this bag also rather than leaving it just black. I found from my cross stitch stock this “dragon”. It´s almost ten years ago I bought it and now was the right moment for it. By placing it in the middle of the bag it serves also as a pocket. Buttons are vintage too, red ones to boost up the red from the cross stitch.
Canvas belt found second hand had some nice studs on it and looks amazing as handles for the bag. By hand stitching some decor to one of the handles makes it look raw and crafty and the pattern just “created itself” while stitching.
Overall look of the bag is a little bit medieval- maybe thanks to the studs and the dragon. Location to shoot the bag was in this case easy to figure out- it is an old mill from 17th century in Röttle near Gränna Sweden. I think I felt some vibes from times passed by while taking pics there…
Photoshoot took place in Stockholm Sweden (Södermalm). The concrete wall with the nice little artsy window was perfect background for my outfit.
This pattern from a 90s Finnish fashion and sewing magazine Muoti+Kauneus I have used over and over again.
Shirt is easy to sew and by using overlocker to finish the hem makes the fabric fall down in more natural way than using a straight stitch. Black and white checked fabric I found second hand for only 3€.
Remodelling and altering old t-shirts is always better option than buy a new one. Material is easy to find cause second hand stores are piled up with t-shirts, some of which has never even been used. I found my golden Adidas t-shirt years ago and never quite liked the boxy shape so it just waited for the perfect idea how to remodel it. And when I found a piece of black stretchy velour (from second hand store)…I knew what to do.
Idea was to cut off the sleeves and replace them with raglan ones from velour fabric. First I needed to figure out the cutline and the best way to do this is with the help of my mannequin torso. I draw the lines on the shirt and then just cut away the sleeves.
Using the old sleeve as a pattern I cut the new one from the velour and added lenght to the sleeve.
Striped denim fabric I found from Netherlands Delft from a second hand store. There is total 5 meters of this fabric so I have plenty over for something cool in the future.
I wanted to try out a pair of high-waisted culottes. I cropped the waist so that it fits tightly and added a zipper in the side. I also made a belt from the fabric to give the trousers finished and chic-easy look.
Sewing something different from recycled denim. This pattern called chevron needed some time and accurate measurements but the end result is worth all thinking and calculating. I came across this print in Pinterest and used this blogpost as my guide. I was a bit surprised how seamless and floating the pattern is with my three colors, denim fabric is out of old jeans and the white fabric is linen.
For a final touch to give the cushion “a stamp” that it is totally recycled I attached the label from jeans I used as fabric. Pillow has a zipper and reverse side is rigid cotton fabric.
This black leather bag with modest shine is actually a gift so the size of the bag and as well the color combinations are carefully thought trough. Inside the bag needs to fit a smart phone, wallet and home/car keys and the person who is going to to get this likes shades of black and grey…and of course silver color. For easy carrying cross body the strap is longer and a flap with magnetic clasp safeguards carried important items inside the bag.
I took apart my latest second hand bargain, long black leather jacket and cut the parts for the bag from the back and the sleeves of the jacket. Adding silver colored leather stripe decorations (cut out with my Fiskars zig zag scissors) enhances the shape and personalizes the whole bag. I used the same zig zag pattern in strap fastenings and in the lining.
Zero waste clutch bag; made out of old suede trousers and a white leather vest into my all time favourite clean and graphic pattern stripes. Pattern that looks good with almost any outfit you choose. Triangle decorations on the sides add interest and more body to the clutch. By adding the option that I can wear this bag also on my shoulder makes it more versatile, although the solid purpose is clutch in which only the necessary items fits in, such as lipstick, keys and my phone.
Tämä laukku sai alkunsa inventoidessani nahkavarastojani. Löysin palan hiekanväristä nahkaa ja mustaa mokkaa joista leikkasin samanlevyisiä, suorakaiteen muotoisia paloja. Ompelin palat yhteen värejä vuorotellen ja aikani valmista nahkapintaa katsellessani päätin tehdä siitä kädessä kannettavan laukun, clutchin. Laukun sivuihin ompelin tehokeinoksi “kolmio”nahkasomisteen, näin laukku sai myös yksilöllisen ilmeen. Lisäsin laukkuun olkahihnan joka näin muuntaa kädessä kannettavan myös olalla pidettäväksi. Olkahihnaa vaihtamalla laukun saa myös nopeasti päivitettyä asukokonaisuuteen sopivaksi. Irrotettava metallinen olkahihna löytyi kirpparilta mutta hihnaksi käy myös vaikka ohut vyö. Clutch ei ole tilaihme mutta mukaan mahtuu kätevästi kuitenkin kaikki tarpeellinen.
Cross stitching crazyness! Really how can people give/throw away these beautiful and extra nicely stitched piece of art works? I believe there will be a time when these vintage cross stitch handcrafts will be worth gold.
But until that, let`s do a bag out of one zig zag patterned, thrifted cross stitch. It was a pillow cover when I found it from second hand Erikshjälpen Jönköping. Mostly when I come across these old handicrafts they are pillow covers or wall decorations. The colors on this one are bold and I like how the lilac color pops up from the whole palette. I had a piece of brown leather from one earlier project and decided to go towards gold color in the metallic parts and decorations. For the lining I choose sturdy denim so the bag will stay in shape even when empty.
Again all parts fort this bag are recycled from second hand bags. My mission is to buy as little as possible straight from the craft stores but to do a bag with good and functional elements requires a lot of different metallic parts. Such as magnetic closures which I usually take apart from my second hand bags. Handles and straps are also quite tricky; to do a long leather strap requires a lot of good leather and usually that is hard to achieve with leftover leather scraps, so again second hand bags to the rescue!
I am pleased how solid the outcome is, all colors match together and even the gold colored labels fit in with the look.
Watching anime gave me the idea for this bag. I strongly relate to the phrase and I think that the emotions described as “mono no aware” are similar to the ones that are present when I seek for ideas. Beauty lies silent and hidden and it never reveals itself when one is looking for it, beauty happens.
Mono no aware on japanilainen sanonta, jonka yleensä käännetään tarkoittavan “herkkyyttä asioiden edessä.” Sillä viitataan kaihoisiin tunteisiin, jotka syntyvät kauniiden asioiden katoavaisuudesta ja hetkellisyydestä.
Simple denim shirt that I turned into a vest. Metal rings round the neck are thrifted, bag with 30 pieces for 2€. I sew the rings loosely so it is possible to decorate the neckpiece with for example a scarf or more metal accessories. By turning the hem to the sides in the front I created handy pockets.
Denimpusero muuntui jakuksi. Kauluksen tilalle ompelin kaulasomisteen johon pujotin metallilenkit ja kiinnitin ne paikoilleen. Metallilenkkien alta voi vielä pujottaa lisää denimiä tai vaikka värikkään, ohuen huivin. Denim on aina kuulunut suosikkeihini, kangasta voi työstää monella tapaa ja reunoja ei tarvitse huolitella, raakareunat denimissä antavat asuun kerroksellisuutta ja elävöittävät kankaan pintaa. Etutaskut käänsin puseron helmasta.
I often take pictures of my designs by the waterside.
I am so into stripes at the moment. Black and white can not ever go wrong, timeless color combination and easy to mix and match with a variety of other colors and styles. Material for this bag is cut from second hand leather jacket and trousers…the white jacket is already several years old. Stripes are 3mm wide and I joined the pieces together by zig zag stitch.
Lining for the bag is denim that also supports bags structure. Shoulder strap is taken from another bag and the studs and other metal pieces are also recycled from old bags. Pattern and placement of the studs are irregular…it needs to feel like the deco just “rain” on the bag.
This beatiful fabric “Kaktus” is designed by Erja Hirvi for Marimekko. When I bought the fabric over five years ago I had it hung as curtains and now after a long search for a cool fabric for a long jacket I found it from my pile of old curtains that I had statched away.
To the shawl collar I left raw edges and also some of the seams in the jacket are inside out and left on purpose unfinished so that the fabric looks like it is worn and old. Frontpiece of the jacket is right way out but both sleeves and the back part is showing the garment inside out, which in this case makes an interesting look for the whole jacket. Lining is only put in for the front and back, to make the jacket heavier and more comfortable to wear.
I made a matching bag out of the leftover pieces; a bag to have on with the jacket. In the bag I left the name of the company and designer to be seen when I carry the bag, it makes the bag unique and shows in cool way the designers name.
I have always been a fan for all things miniature. These small denim cubes started out as a test to do something three dimensional out of denim but soon I noticed that I had done already few in a row…and really enjoying hand stitching the sides together. Some of the cubes got beads as numbers on the sides- small soft dices and one cube got really attitude after adding studs!
This red checked fabric was a last minute found from a thrift store for 2€ and after this pic I knew what to do out of it. Pattern for the dress is again from 90s fashion magazine Burda with some slight alternations. The dress turned out to be too easy and “nice” so I cut out some free hand patterns and stamped them on.
It was supposed to be tough looking chick wearing a checked punk inspired dress with dr. Martens shoes…but it turned out to be slightly nicer version of that. When you want the picture to be taken full torso and you wearing the dress it is hard if you have to do it by yourself—-but hey let´s use a selfie stick—which is not as easy as I thought it would be…photoshoot took place in the botanical garden of Delft.
Jersey fabric from the golden 90´s with some bold statements on. The words were so cool and graffitilike so I cut them out and sew them on denim. I have a pro camerabag for my Canon but it is quite big and boring and often I just want to carry with me only the camera when I go on a photoshoot- so why not carry it in a cool and funny bag! I padded the bag with foam to secure the camera from getting any hits. Shoulderstrap is long enough to carry the bag across shoulder to hip and it is made from an old canvasbelt. The denim tassel was originally created for another project but by adding a wooden pearl to it tassel was a perfect match with my new bag.
Levi’s, the blue jeans. When I am figuring out how to reuse old jeans I often turn them inside out. When jeans are crafted with finess also from the inside it is a pitty not to show it. Levi’s jeans pockets are one good example of “art” inside the garment. How clever to print the info about the jeans in a pocket! Nowadays it is more and more often for example that the washing instructions are printed on the garment instead of sewing an extra, itchy label.
The pockets I carefully unpicked and then sewed together with a same size denim and installed a zipper. Lining inside the purse makes it easy to use and hides the uneven seam allowances.
Purse with the denim handle; the black triangle edges is handpainted. I gave my friend one of these and she is using it as an mobile pouch. Old Levi’s jeans pocket now travelling around the world as pouch- filled with facebook, twitter, apps and more…what a nice thought!
Two piece outfit that looks together like overall. I found this stretchy black and white patterned fabric when I was looking for material to sew a pair of cool leggins. I draw the pattern for the leggins with my measurements, it is easy, there are many good instructions available in various blogs. Fabric turned out to be not so stretchy as I tought so I had to sew a zipper in the front..well it would have been nicer in the sideseam but I just went with the feeling, crazy pattern crazy zipper! For the top I used “80´s” pattern originally designed for a swimwear and the back was so nice so I wanted to try it out. I just left the bottom part away from the pattern and added a zipper in the sideseam. Ready for the city jungle!
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The lord of the Rings
This was just another of my denim clothes refashioning projects. Crafting with old denim clothes is thrifty and you will have a unique garment; here I sew together a pair of jeans and an old denim dress which was outdated in style and shape. The jeans are added to the dress horizontally from the waist and they make a nice fishtail shape to the front. Stars are added for that final, signature touch.
Out of the remaining denim pieces of the dress, I made a clutch with quilting technique, adding a metal handle and a lobster clasp for funky detail. I love to work with denim, you can simply take some of the scraps from your stash and get creative!
Dyed duvet cover with indigo blue washing machine color. To make an abstract ring pattern, I bunched up a small wad of fabric and placed a plastic ball inside and a rubber band around. The areas covered by the rubber bands created small, abstract rings of white.
Read more about the techniques called shibori dyeing.
Denim bed spread…there’s about 3 whole pairs of jeans in this one, and all sorts of odds and ends. This model was super easy to put together, no demanding quilt patterns just sewing big squares together. Done-in-a-Day!
This jacket is a mix and match from other denim clothes. Back of the jacket is made out of denim quilts and the front out of jeans. Putting together different elements was quite tricky, mostly I had the jacket on me and pinned the parts together without any patterns. I choose not to do a lining in the jacket cause I wanted the seams and different techniques to be visible.
Pitkän, tumman denimtakin uusi elämä. Vanhasta takista on jäljellä vain yläosa, keskiosa ja alaosa takin edustasta on vanhoista farkuista ja takaosa tilkkutyönä tehtyä pintaa denimkankaista. Kauluksen ja rintataskun läpät takkiin irroitin vaaleasta denimtakista. Kaavoitin ja yhdistelin kaikki takin elementit päälläni ja myös mallinukkea apua käyttäen. Takkiin taakse ompelin palan kuminauhaa jotta takin siluetti päälle puettaessa olisi myötäilevä. Jätin kaikki saumat huolittelematta takin sisältä, haluan että kankaan saumat elävät ja kuluvat yksilöllisen näköisiksi.