Friday, November 27, 2015

Clever, Charming and Easy Hostess Gift - only 3 seams!!!

Are you like me - with a stash of vintage linens you could not resist but you aren't sure what to do with them?  (or you could get your hands on some)...

And you would love to give homemade gifts but don't feel you have the time?  I have a solution:


One day when I was packing for vacation and putting my shoes in a plastic bag for the suitcase it occurred to me that there was an opportunity to use something much nicer to hold my shoes.

So I rummaged through my vintage linens and realized that some of the dresser scarves were ideal candidates for shoe holders. 
This dresser scarf looked promising.

I checked the sizing out by placing the shoes on top.  Just enough width, detectable by the appearance of extra room on both sides of the shoes.  A bit long, and long is fine, width is critical.

Press the dresser scarf well as wrinkles will distort the shape.  
Then pin the sides and mark the center line.
This is important - start with the middle seam, and begin sewing from the open end.  The reason for this is so that the open ends don't end up at different lengths.  Unless you have a walking foot on your machine all the time the feed dogs will shift the fabric slightly as you sew.  

Then sew the sides closed, also starting from the open end.  Clip the threads and you are done.  Only 3 seams!!!!  Yeah!!!

Slip the shoes in.  

Wouldn't that be much more pleasant to pack and unpack?  
Mine bring a smile to my face every time I use them.  

When I've given these as gifts the recipients are delighted.  
With all the different sizes of vintage linens it would be easy to make these for men and children's shoes too.  

Happy Upcycling!  Michelle

P.S. - Check out Paganoonoo upcycling clothing patterns here.




Thursday, November 19, 2015

My New Favorite Patti Blouse

I have a new favorite version of the 

I found a wonderfully soft dress shirt in this lovely pale aqua 
and fell in love with the texture, drape, and the color. 
Then I was lucky enough to find a silky soft cotton skirt lined with SILK! in complimentary colors. I know, Amazing.

So I substituted the skirt for the back panel and left in the yummy silk lining. 

The double collar added a third fabric.

Then I went crazy with my fabric scraps from other projects and embellished the front with a collection of circles sewn on with free-motion stitching, leaving off the pattern pocket and stripe.
As you can see I left the back section (skirt) quite long making the blouse a bit dramatic and eye catching.

And here I am wearing it with an upcycled skirt.  The skirt was originally a Britex knit fabric blouse I made from that never quite fit right.  The fabric was quite expensive so I wanted to re-use it.  Turned out all I needed to do was cut off the shoulders, sew up the side seam closing the arms holes,
and add a bit of elastic. 


 For size reference I am a truly average American woman, 5' 6"and a size 14.  I am also pear shaped. This blouse is quite loose (I like loose) and would accommodate a much larger and taller person.  

Happy Upcycling!  Michelle

Patti Pattern available for purchase here

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Puyallup sewing expo, Paganoonoo will be exhibiting!

I received great news!  I will be teaching a class on upcycling at the National Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Piyallup WA the last weekend in February 2016!  Expo website  Paganoonoo will also have a booth selling patterns and perhaps kits.

 If you haven't been it is a huge and amazing show with 4 day roster of classes running non-stop and every sewing supply you could possible imagine and many you may never have heard of before.  I hope to see you there!  More details come come as I learn them. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Magical Boro Inspired Jean Jacket with Belt Closure

Hello, I'm Michelle Paganini a fashion designer addicted to "upcycling", transforming existing goods, such a clothing, into something more desirable than the original materials.


This upcycled jean jacket was inspired by Japanese Boro clothing.  I find the utilitarian nature of the garments appealing and the patchwork and repair process fascinating.  

I ran across a white waffle robe with a Stanford University logo and thought it would be a good foundation for building a kimono jacket. I did not have garments that need extensive repair, but did have jeans in different stages of life.  I decided to use them to build this Boro inspired jacket by piecing them together on top of the waffle robe. 

The rugged nature of the jacket called out for a complementary closure so I used part of a man's belt. 

Read more about the process in the original post

I'm featuring the garment again because my husband George 
just took professional photos from all sides. 

The thing that is amazing, even magical about this jacket is that it looks good on such a wide variety of people.  I wish I'd taken pictures of all of the men and women who have tried it on and it seemed to look just right on large, medium and small people of both sexes. I will get some pictures of it on folks in the future.

I really love the subtle color blocking from the 
different shades of the jeans.



The circle on the upper back is to hide an ugly a grease stain. 
I always try to turn a stain into a feature, LOL.
Here is the inside front of the jacket.  The original waffle robe lining only extends part way down the sleeve.  This is so the bottom of the sleeve does not become too stiff and retains fluid movement. A pocket was added using an original jean back pocket.  The red stripe is bias tape used to finish off the join between the lining and jacket facing.
Here is the inside back.  You can see all of the sewing
attaching the pieces and quilting the sections.
Attention sewists: 
Although I do not have a pattern booklet for this design, I do for a number of my other designs, check out my Paganoonoo Etsy Shop and start upcycle sewing today!  



My goal is to make upcycling designs 
flattering, simple to make, and accessible to home sewists! Happy Upcycling!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Upcycled Holiday Gifts

Some of you have already completed your holiday shopping. Some of us have barely started.  I often have an itch to make the presents but rarely can follow through. However, this year I stumbled on...
embellishing a scarf as a fairly easy upcycled present for a woman, man or child.  

My local thrift stores seem to have a wealth of pashminas, wool, cotton, and cashmere neck scarves.  I check every time I go and have built up a collection.  

For embellishment, I've been screening the skirts (and some garments) for designs I can cut out with pinking shears and then hand or machine sew onto the scarves. 

As usual, I wash everything when I get it home (regardless of care tag instructions) and if it survives I use it.

In this case I found a cotton skirt with beautiful embroidery on a rich purple background.  I've already harvested some of the embroidered bits.
Here you can see the bits I added onto a cashmere scarf.


I sewed each piece on by hand with a running stitch.  I matched the thread to the color of the scarf so that the stitching on the back side would barely show. The purple pops on the pale green background. 

This scarf reminds me of painted easter eggs.  It sold in August at the San Jose Quilt Museum gift shop.  I hope the new owner is enjoying it!