My Mum always said to use the good stuff, drink from the good wine glasses, wear the good dress, use the best tablecloth everyday. And if you don’t or can’t use it, can you repurpose it?
We all know about Maria making the Von Trapp children play clothes out of curtains. Or Scarlett O’Hara using curtains to make a gown to save her beloved Tara.
I grew up wearing party dresses made from Mum’s out of date gowns, and wear them I did….. bushwalking, gardening, playing in the park, pre-school, going to the beach…. anywhere that required dressing, I was overdressed. I wasn’t just a Princess, I was the Queen. It was here I first learnt to upcycle. (also known as repurposing).
(3 year old Me wearing totally appropriate bush walking attire)
The first garment I made totally on my own was a shell top made from an old tablecloth my Nan found in the cupboard. I was so proud of it, and wore it until I couldn’t possibly squeeze into it any longer. I was 11. Soon after came pulling apart Op Shop finds and making them into something I would be caught dead in. A stitch unpicker became my best friend. Of course the easiest upcycle was to get the old 70’s flairs and hack them off just below the knee, double fold and just like magic….a new pair of shorts, literally cut-offs, it was the 80’s! I just did the same thing for my 12 year old who loves 80’s fashion thanks to Strangers Things and the new version of IT.
Since those early days I have remade lots of Formal and Wedding gowns into pretty girls dresses, Christening gowns, even little boys waistcoats. I love making something special or sentimental into something new and usable. In the past I have hand made such a huge variety of clothing, costumes, gifts and homewares – but nothing compares to the challenge of upcycling a special piece. It truly is a one of a kind creation.
(Christening gown made from vintage lace and beads and silk from a wedding gown. Also has matching bonnet and bloomers)
So go get the good china out of the buffet, polish the candle sticks and pour yourself a glass of wine – in one of the good glasses of course – while you rummage through the back of your wardrobe (or even better, someone else’s) to find something to repurpose.
Do you have a special piece you would like restyle? Grandma’s gown you would love to wear at your wedding but the style is all wrong? Your own gown you would like your daughter to wear? I would love to help you create something magical……….