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.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style White nights, hair Katja Perkkiö (Tina´s), photoshoot Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling and close up craft photos Susanna Kaunisto.
Dress is made out of an old 80´s white leather jacket. Front of the dress is actually the back of the jacket leaving the back of the dress open and making it sensual and feminine. Neckpiece is made out of the same jacket crocheting narrow slices of leather together. Adding a massive silver colored chain into the necklace makes it an outstanding piece and a perfect pair to the simple dress.
Mekko on tehty vanhasta 80-luvun nahkatakista. Takin etuosa on nyt mekon takaosa, jättäen selän avoimeksi vyötärölle asti. Helmaan ompelin somisteeksi ns. “kalanpyrstön”. Kaulakorun materiaali on samaa nahkatakkia josta leikkasin suikaleita ja virkkasin ne yhteen. Tyyli on modernin puhdas mutta samalla rosoisen romanttinen.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Northern Lights, hair Marko Sutinen (HS-Salonki), photo Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling Susanna Kaunisto, Susanoo. Style is called northern lights, futuristic up-all-night-long party style inspired by northern summer light.
I searched my inspo to this style from space, fencing and futuristic styles.
Neck piece is made out of old white 80s leather pants and one vintage H&M jersey trousers. I searched this neckpiece shape and form by first trying it out from paper on mannequin. When I finished the pattern I cut it out from leather and sew together with the shoulder “pads”. Reflecting small pieces on the neckpiece are sticky cover plastic sold in hobby stores.
Shoes are second hand; handled with a coat of black paint and added extra bling with a pair of earrings.
Wristlets are made from plastic and I have one post in my blog that tells more about them.
Vaatteiden materiaalit ovat kaikki kierrätettyjä, kauluriyläosa on tehty housuista, toppi hameesta ja hame paidasta. Kengät ovat second hand ja koriste kengissä pari strassikorvakoruja. Käsikorusta kerroin jo aiemmassa postauksessani. Kauluri on tehty nahasta ja kaavoitin sen tyköistuvaksi mallinuken päällä, rypytetty hihaosuus on ommeltu kiinni kauluriin. Maalasin myös kauluria hopeamaalilla jotta pinta heijastaisi valoa peilipinnan tavoin. Hologrammipalat ovat samaa materiaalia kuin käsikoruissakin. Tämän kuvauksen tyyliin hain inspiraatiota mm. avaruus ja urheiluaiheista.
This bags idea I got from fabric sofa samples which I found from Kontti second hand store in Finland. Here I connected evenly measured stripes together with zig zag seam and created a modern and sharp background for my holographic decorations. I used earlier these small triangle shaped vinyl decorations for my wristlets to Intercoiffure Finland fashion photoshoot and now after few years “resting” they still do the trick in this diy bag.
Pattern needed to have right dimensions for the small sized bag so I tried out different variations and found the one that worked for this design.
Strap is made out of old necklace, really thick but light metal chain. Tassel is the pendant from the necklace. Ones again totally recycled bag, every part of it is reused material.
My friend called the pattern “Iris” – the blue royal flower. I like the name. Let the bag shine like royalty but act cool and streetwise when needed.
Summertime memories from working outside in the sunshine and remaking an old mens silk shirt. The reason why I actually started this project was that I did not have a matching top to go with my new striped jersey skirt…I needed something in black but still summerish and with a classic twist.
The silk shirt I used was long sleeved mens shirt.
First I cut out both the collar and sleeves. I boldly made some fringes to the hem which I gave a rough treatment…ripping the raw edges of the silk makes the silhouette more flowing and not so boxy. Maybe I still uppgrade this “black canvas” with more details, like this designer does!
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.
For this denim jacket refashioning I used one old mens denim shirt (labeled James) and one worn out denim skirt. Shirt I used was size L so I was able to play with the size by gathering some of the excess fabric to the back.
How I did it
Original sleeve cuffs I cut off and attached denim pleats instead.
As usual when I am into these refashioning pieces I do not follow any plans. My way is to go step by step, feeling the fabric and trying the piece on often between different stages just to see how it acts when on you.
my work flow
Adding the belt done with light/dark colored denim pieces gives the jacket more feminine figure. Cotton lace was a last minute fix to hide the masculine front piece.
I am super satisfied how this denim refashioning piece turned out; modest flamboyant with contemporary twist.
Shoe decorations has always been my addiction, a pair of plain white or black shoes works as a blanc canvas for me- I need to take the shoes to another level with the added decoration- make a pair of unique, one-of-a-kind shoes.
Here I have added a leather bow to a pair of NIKE sneakers bought second hand.
And a pair of black leather ankle boots made i Finland (second hand purchase) got a makeover with a leather bow too.
I made my clothes! Referring to the global Fashion Revolution that challenges people to be more aware where the clothes are coming from that we are buying and raising the knowledge how the clothes are made…and check her out.
Back to my recycled denim jacket. Three jeans, one skirt and one old Ikea bed linen…the materials of which the jacket is made from. All materials, including zippers and other small parts are recycled and adding all together total cost for the materials was about 20€. From a finnish fashion magazine dated 1991 I found a raglan sleeve jacket pattern that I used as a base.
From the old jeans I removed the back pockets and ripped open the hems on the bottom of the legs so I could reveal some lovely fades and washes. The whole idea was to use miss-matched pieces and let the outcome and the colors to feel relaxed and easy. I did not plan to line the jacket but it is more wearable and easier to maintain when it has a lining.
I am pleased of the whole outcome of this jacket and the best of all it is one of a kind! The photoshoot took place in Dusseldorf, in front of a cool graffiti wall. Peace!
These earrings started first with bending and shaping black metal cord. Orange suede parts are punched first so it is easy to slide them into the metal cord. Easy and quick technique that is quite often used when leather needs to look ruffled. First it seemed that the shape does not need other decorations but I wanted the outcome to be more playful and childish. So I added wood beads that I painted with orange paint. Earrings looks now chunky modern and playful with a clear handmade stamp on them. Like candy or bubble gum.
I have started to use this way of working with small leather scraps and other materials. First I cut out the shapes I want and glue them on to a piece of leather- let the pieces dry over night- after that I add a quite thick coat of decoupage lack on the surface- after the lack is completely dry I cut out the shape I want. Here I used old leather scraps and one old plastic snake pattern belt. Metal parts are from old bracelet.
These earrings I cut out as half moon shape and added o-rings from an old bracelet to give them more body and movement.
These two pairs of tassel earrings I made out of quality yarns that I always buy second hand from charity/flea markets. Here I combined other elements with the tassel earrings such as old jewelry parts and fake leather from one old belt.
I love old clip earrings and some of my handmade earrings I design in a way that it is easy to slide it into the clip earring. In this way you can change the look of the pair of earrings easily.
The red tassel earrings metal part is from old metal bracelet which I formed into a circle to fit a red bead in.
This is a circa 1960s-70s cross stitch of a painting by “Torino” – Little is known about Torino other than he was prevalent from around the 50s to the 70s and there are a few versions (poses) of this “Gypsy Lady” print.
Came across this cross stitch work at second hand store. There it was lying amongst other finished and half finished needle works just for 3€. I knew at once what I wanted to do from it certainly something that will not go unnoticed. First I was playing around with the idea to really make the gypsy lady fierce with tattoos and make-up but after a few try outs I skipped that idea. The cross stitch work is beautifully done and it would be a shame to hide it. I needed a piece of fabric to go with it and choose checkered black and white, to make the whole look more contemporary. When the two pieces were joined it felt like the bag needs a message. Something to do with gypsy way of life, for example fortune telling, freedom and spiritual things. So I came up with the hashtag sign. Under the # one can imagine these words.
Back part of the bag is done out of recycled leather and handles are from old thrifted bag. The leather pieces that hold the handles are parts from a belt and the black rings curtain parts. So again 100% recycled, remake and zero waste.
Handpainted leather earrings and starched denim earrings.
Denim starched with sugar and hot water gives endless possibilities to form whatever you can imagine after the fabric is soaked with the mix. Even 3D is possible if you have patience to form it first and then wait for 2 or 3 days until the piece is totally dry.
When the starched denim piece is dry you can for example paint, punch or glue the pieces how ever you want. Easy and fun.
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.
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€.
From second hand store found some metal plates in different sizes. I like to combine different materials and as usual I just started to test and try how it would look like when I crochet silk thread around the metal. It was not easy cause the silk is so slippery but I am happy how the silk looks together with the beach glass that I glued on top of it.
By using some hanging leather decorations also covered with stones the whole necklace looks airy and floating. Here I paired it with my white diy t-shirt.
The sand colored smaller neckpiece is done with the same technique only here I wrapped the thread around the metal part instead of crocheting. Stones are handpicked from the shore of lake Vättern.
Yellow thread tassels combined with the metal plate. Card is by emmajansson.se
Idea of this leather bag began when I found a pair of leather trousers second hand. I often buy worn and outdated but good quality leather clothes second hand…of course if the price is ok, under 10€ is still a bargain of a good leather.
In this case I cut out the front and the back pieces for the bag from the leg part of the trousers because leather on the legs were in good condition and I did not have to do any extra seams. I tryed out different motifs on the bag but finally I ended up playing with the swiss cross and by adding black leather squares the pattern looked deeper. Studs are there to “rock” the bag but the style is still versatile to combine with different looks and outfits: preppy, rebel, chic etc.
Because I wanted the bag to have “one piece look” so adding in handles was out of the question. Instead I cut out holes to the top part, folded the seam allowances from the cut out to the back and glued them with a flexible glue. Lining is done out of leather and denim, I repeated the same cut out hole and then I just glued the front and the back together. So more glue than seams on this leather project. Glue I used was BISON transparent, it was really easy to work with and now after carrying various loads in my bag for a week around Paris I can say that the glue hold the leather together super good.
Photoshoot is done in Musée des Arts et Métiers and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Thank you Paris!
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.
Second hand stores are a great place to find material for cheap and personal diys. I have been collecting and buying embroidery thread now for a while in every color. Tassels are easy to do from these threads and Pinterest is filled with great instructions.
Then it is just up to your own taste how to combine colors and shapes…I usually go with the flow.
Taking photos of my designs outside in the nature with my Canon Digital camera is one of my dear hobbies. These pics from my green and turquoise neckpiece are from the beach.
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.
A pair of culottes and one top with denim patches. Culottes is the trousers to have at the moment but being more difficult to style than skinny trousers culottes have not been seen so much on the many…you really need your moment in front of the mirror with the lenght and to get it right. Get some tips here.
Of course my culottes are recycled from old jeans. I found nice fitting jeans that became the base of my culottes and the widening panels are from old denim leftover pieces. First I decided visually where I wanted my jeans to begin widening and after that I ripped the side seams open and inserted a panel that made the jeans as wide from the starting point as in the hem. With culottes it is important to keep the proportions right; the pant has to hit above the ankle.
The top is a patchwork of old denim leftover pieces, cool denim blue hues…and matching these two denim clothes together is a base – by adding colors and layers and accessory it will bring out the personality and style.
The avant-garde (from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore-guard”)are people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture and politics.
Sometimes creative process can begin with only a word…in this case a word I came across printed on a t-shirt and after studying the meaning I could relate to avant-garde easily…being daring, innovative, experimental and stating out your own ideas with a bold or unusual way. If I have a statement written on my clothes it has to be saying something I can truly stand for.
The gray jumper is of course a bargain found on second hand, woolblend mens basic knit which I shortened leaving the hem raw without any sewing. Cuts in the elbows gives the altered knit a rough and worn feeling. By wearing under the piece coloured or textured layers it is easy to make different combos. Lettering I made free hand with silver acrylic paint.
Another garment upgrade I did to a Finnish designers Anne Linnonmaa long cardigan. Found this extra nice piece also second hand and after a while decided to give it more outstanding look, something that complements the piece but makes it more unique. To the back piece I cut out from another jumper a sleeve which I attached with basic zigzag stitches. From the same jumper I also cut out a pocket piece and placed it on the front of the cardigan only on the other side…cardigan did not loose its original shape or look but it became more outstanding and bold.
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.