I was asked by Barnardo’s to join in with Recycle Week by up-cycling an item of clothing surprisingly sent to me, I automatically thought, WHAT A FUN CHALLENGE!
As an avid repairs and up-cycling seamstress with my brand, Soul and Flare, I was excited to receive my parcel. I opened up the box and to my delight there was an indigo wash, women’s denim shirt by Uniqlo. HURRAH!
Denim and shirts are so current with Soul and Flare’s trends at the moment so I was super happy to be up-cycling this item.
Straight away I knew I was going to turn the garment into, the design I call the ‘Upcycled Boyfriend Shirt’. This is an off the shoulder, tie waist, crop top. I cut the shirt to the design requirements and stitched the hemlines to create the shape.
This is a simple task for me as I produce these through my label so I knew this project needed something extra to make it special.
I’ve recently been educating myself on methods of repairing garments and what techniques I can do to create art with stitching. One method that has impressed me the most is Sashiko, a Japanese decorative reinforcement stitch that is done by hand. There are 2 styles, freehand or following a geometric pattern. I decided to opt for the freehand as my first attempt to practice my rusty hand sewing skills.
I decided to add some denim patched to the back for decoration. I simply wonderwebbed, then topstitched these into place; this wouldn’t be the tradition however it made the process easier.
I took a chalk pen and a ruler to mark out some horizontal lines 2cm apart, and then threaded a needle with white embroidery and started sewing. I love how the stitching of Sashiko does not have to be perfect, just sew and see what happens.
For my first attempt, I am pretty pleased with the outcome. This is a work in progress, I have a lot more to learn about the technique and I want to add more to the garment but it’s a good start!
From plain simple denim shirt to upcycled boyfriend shirt with a difference, I’m really looking forward to wearing this, thanks Barnardo’s for the challenge!