Refashion Workshop

I'm holding a Refashion Workshop tomorrow at my studio in Marrickville. This is the first workshop I've presented in Sydney and the first workshop I've done for a long time. I've got to admit I'm a little nervous!

I had the idea to run a Refashion Workshop as part of the Creative Edge Open Studio Trails as interest in sustainable fashion, upcycling and repurposing is becoming so much more talked about in the media. Refashioning is something I've been doing for years and I find quite natural but some people are just scared or just simply don't know where to start and often ask me for tips. We all have unworn items in our wardrobe that for some reason we just don’t wear. With attitudes changing towards 'fast fashion' we are heading back to the old idea of 'make do and mend' and people are searching for more sustainable alternatives. Slow fashion labels are great and I love the idea that accountability is a deciding factor for clothing purchases these days but a transparent supply chain, quality, sustainable fabric and sweatshop free factories can put eco conscious clothes out of price range of many people.

Vintage and secondhand clothing is a great place to start being more sustainable. There's a lot of clothing already out there and we dispose of it in vast quantities - Australians are currently disposing of 6,000 kilograms of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes (see ref here)

When I buy vintage clothing I often come across pieces that have a fabulous print or some nice details but is just not that fashionable in its current form. With my old label Me&Yu, I used to collaborate with Oxfam in Manchester, England and created ranges of upcycled clothes from their overflowing stock rooms. My racks are full of clothing I've 'tweaked' and restyled to a more wearable form. It can also be a great way to upcycle clothes which have been damaged in some way - take out the best bits and made into something new. I love the idea of taking unloved piles of vintage and secondhand clothing and saving them from landfill or burn off sites. 

So here's a little bit about refashioning your clothes:

Whether you call it refashioning, altering, customising, mending, tweaking, adjusting or re-making. Refashioning is basically re-sewing your old clothes into more wearable pieces. Sometimes it’s as simple as shortening a hem, taking out sleeves, adding elastic or drawstring or some kind of embellishment. Other re-fashions can be more complex and involve a bit more fashion and tailoring know-how but learn some basic skills and you'll feel more confident about cutting up a once-favourite piece so that you can fall in love with it all over again.

This 2 hour workshop is an introduction to the concept of re-fashioning. With a brief introduction and browse through the Kitten Vintage range to see examples showing different refashioning techniques. Attendees will have an introduction to the industrial sewing machines and everyone will get 1 to 1 guidance as to how to get a great refashioned garment.

Five ideas to get you inspired about refashioning:

  1. Love the fabric of a dress but think you’d wear it more as a skirt – refashion it easily!
  2. Have a crazy t-shirt - you love the print but hate the neckline – refashion the neckline and re-shape it!
  3. Fussy old granny shirt with an awesome print – combine it with some fabric and make it into a dress – it can be quite easy!
  4. Have a dress in an amazing fabric but it sits like a tent – reshape the armhole and nip into the waist with elastic – perfect for Spring!
  5. A plain garment can have contrast sleeves, pockets or embellishments added easily - a great way to add personality!
For further inspiration look up #refashion #recycledclothing #recycledvintage #upcycledfashion on social media or google images. Here's some great examples of items I've created over the years - Before & After!

I'd had great plans to blog about the event in order to get bookings but with only 6 places on this free workshop, they got snapped up the first day I shared the event around! If this style of workshop is a success in the space I have available I'm hoping to put together a longer full-day workshop with a bit more structure than this 'sewing surgery' taster session. Wish me luck!