Tuesday, December 4, 2018

There is a terrific resource in San Francisco:

I've had the pleasure of visiting and the space is superb. There is a huge collection of reference books, many examples on the wall, and inspiration abounds!  An abundance of classes are available.
I'm impressed with and supportive of their Vision, Mission and Values: 
Please join me at the Needlework School on January 9th for a "Lunch and Learn" presentation.  Details below:
Bonus - they are directly next to Tiffanys (several floors up) on Union Square.
And just a few blocks from the new Britex Fabrics building.

If going to San Francisco is not in the cards for you, 
I will be presenting* in Puyallup at the 
Sewing and Stitchery Expo in March 2019.  

*On the Free Stage all 4 days!

I may also be coming to a Sewing Guild near you soon.
To get notifications, join the Paganoonoo mailing list, never sold or shared, and:
  • See new example garments, 
  • Get links to upcycle video tips
  • Get notifications about sales
  • Hear about new patterns
  • Get event info... and more!
To arrange a workshop and/or talk for your group or organization please contact me at michelle@paganoonoo.com.

More about upcycle sewing and Paganoonoo at www.paganoonoo.com.

Happy Upcycling! Michelle

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sew a new favorite upcycled flannel - Paganoonoo Patti style

Paganoonoo Patti upcycled
blouse features a
loose-hip and high/low hem
Paganoonoo specializes in a new kind of sewing, upcycled. Upcycling is kind of like recycling (using materials again) except in upcycling the material value is upgraded.  Time, materials and/or labor are used to make a change that increases the value beyond that of the starting material.  

For example, when a parts of a thrifted plain flannel shirt are added to two other shirts - the new design is more desirable (valuable) than the original shirts.
Paganoonoo Patti design
Made from a flannel shirt,
shirt placket & tie-dye cloth
Paganoonoo Patti upcycled blouse has a loose fit at the hip.
Upcycle your favorite flannel!

  Upcycle sewing is done using primarily existing garments as the starting materials instead of flat cloth.  

It is eco-friendly and good on the budget
  • You get a perfect fit - just by starting with a garment that already fits your shoulder, bust and upper arms the way you like. 
  • Everything below the bust is transformed into a loose fit.
  • Getting a custom fit is that easy for everyone from a XXS to 3X or larger.
A great place to get started is with Paganoonoo's easiest to make and most versatile design, the Patti blouse
Paganoonoo Patti blouse made from
3 flannel shirts. Loose hip fit. High low hem
Paganoonoo Patti blouse made
from 3 flannel shirts. Spray
of decorative buttons on the placket.
Paganoonoo Patti blouse made from
3 flannel shirts. Loose hip fit. High low he
A traditional dress shirt is modified to add a back panel, creating abundant hip and belly room.  The resulting blouse is magical, it looks great on every figure type, and it gently skims the body rather than straining anywhere.  

The loosely pleated back panel provides an opportunity to mix fabric colors or patterns for interest.

Paganoonoo Patti blouse made
from 3 flannel shirts. Loose hip fit.

How do Paganoonoo sewing instructions work?  The instructions walk you through the process of cutting up the garments and sewing pieces back together. There are no pattern pieces to pin.  Technical illustrations and instructions walk you through every step of deconstruction and reconstruction.  If you have successfully sewn an garment in the past you can make the Paganoonoo Patti!
Paganoonoo Patti Pattern Cover

This Patti blouse was embellished with
a spray of buttons on the front placket
With Paganoonoo instructions you are set up for success!

Get started upcycling today - instructions are available from the Paganoonoo Etsy shop

Purchase a:
  • PDF $16 (download and print on home printer)
  • Hard copy $22 (sent to your address in the US) 


Happy Upcycling! 


P.P.S.  Michelle's free upcycling video tips

Colors and patterns: https://youtu.be/4-pGp4-zmgk
Reverse appliqué: https://youtu.be/pl9jXDMmXBA 
Thrifted Notions: https://youtu.be/CkDNpavrnpU
Vintage Linen Gifts: https://youtu.be/8r92e0_81cI  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New child’s pattern and Pacific International Quilt Festival

It's Here!!
Starting Thursday, Oct 11:

4 days: October 11-14 at the Santa Clara, California, Convention Center

Not a quilter?  Go anyway if you are interested in art, in sewing, in wearable art.
This show is outstanding.  The quilts are jaw dropping works of art. There is a wearable art contest with all the entries on display.  Raffles abound.
I bought my sewing machine at this show and there are tools and notions for garment sewers.
Paganoonoo (booth 824) is introducing a brand new pattern for children, the Kendra top/tunic.  It is made using a child's dress shirt as the base, and the rest can be made from another dress shirt or two, or flat fold fabric from your stash.

I've had a blast making samples, as you can see below.  The garment lends itself to embellishment, such as the appliqued heart, and patches and buttons on other shirts.

This version was made starting with the yellow dress shirt.  The solid purple is from a second adult dress shirt.  The other three fabrics, including the striped band, are stash materials.  The striped flowered fabric is one I have had for at least 30 years if not longer!  I used some of the last little bits here.  The small circle is covering a stain.

This version was made starting with the small red plaid dress shirt.  The fabric on the lower back was left over from an adult shirt upcycle.  The band is stash fabric and features the front tab closure option with a red button. I could not resist the "See Jane run?" fabric as those are the exact readers I used in school.  


This royal blue version was made using all children's dress shirts.  The back section has a button placket because the front of a second shirt was used to create the lower back panel.  The empire waist band is also made out of plackets.

Also made from all children's dress shirts, this version features a front tab closure.  The back panel is made from two sleeves bracketing a piece of the same fabric that has been is topped with a bit of a placket.  A bit easier to see in the illustration above. Using sleeves makes it obvious that the shirt is upcycled.
 This version is the one I selected for the pattern cover.  It is made primarily from two children's shirts.  The band is a placket from an adult dress shirt.  The sleeve scrap is from my stash.  The patch on the back band is from other one of the sample shirts.  The button are all mismatched from my button stash.  I love the way they frame the center of the band.
The pattern will be available online (Etsy store) after the show, on Tuesday 10/16.

 Several folks have mentioned they would like to see upcycle patterns for boys too.  I'm working on it!

Another bit of fun... flannels.  It is that time of year and I made a whole bunch of "Patti" flannels for Artistry in Fashion.  They just about sold out.  I will be bringing a collection of uncut flannels for you to purchase at PIQF, along with patterns, of course.

I've been increasingly interested in using surface embellishments as a form of upcycling.  Here are some of the results on flannels:


The lions are cut outs from damaged quilts.  I love that the useable parts get salvaged, honoring the women who made them.

Hope to see you at the show!  Come by wearing your Paganoonoo and get 20% off and a handful of cards to give out to the people who admire your one-of-a-kind upcycle!

Happy Upcycling,

Upcycle Sewing Made Simple

P. S.  If you would like to be on the Paganoonoo e-mail list, never sold or shared, and see new example garments, get links to my video tips, hear about sales, new patterns and events, please click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Paganoonoo Events 2018, September & November, Artistry in Fashion and Pacific International Quilt Festival

Two of my favorite events are almost here!  The main reasons they are favorites are:
  • I get to be with you in person!
  • I get to see your creations!
  • We can share ideas, we both get inspired
  • I can answer questions (so much more easily in person)
  • It is always fun to share new samples and patterns 
  • You bring your friends along and I get to meet them
Event #1: Artistry in Fashion is one day only, Saturday Sept. 29, 2018.  
54 booths with designers selling their own creations! 

I will be selling Paganoonoo sample garments, so if you want a Michelle-made Paganoonoo garment this is a must attend event. There is a small admission fee as the event is a fundraiser.  Where?  At Canada College grounds, Redwood City, CA, just off 280 Freeway and Farm Hill Blvd, 10:00 - 4:00.

4 days: October 11-14 at the Santa Clara, CA Convention Center

Not a quilter?  Go anyway if you are interested in art, in sewing, in wearable art.
This show is outstanding.  The quilts are jaw dropping works of art. There is a wearable art contest with all the entries on display.  Raffles abound.

We will be selling upcycling instructions at the show. There will be plenty of examples on display to inspire you. 
I hope to see you at one or more of theses events!  Both are well worth going to just for the inspiration of seeing how creative artists can be.

Happy Upcycling,

Upcycle Sewing Made Simple

P. S.  

If you would like to be on the Paganoonoo e-mail list, never sold or shared, and see new example garments, get links to my video tips, hear about sales, new patterns and events, please click here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

An exercise in color choices, Peggy Blouse, Paganoonoo

Hi, I am Michelle, an upcycle sewing guru and patternmaker.

One of the things I love about using existing clothing to make new fashion is the mixing of fabrics from different garments.  Pattern and color placement greatly influences the look and "mood" of the final piece.

Recently I was in the process of making myself a top from one of my patterns, the "Peggy" blouse, and I arrived at a decision point about color choices. 
I decided to ask folks in my favorite (non-paganoono) Facebook group, the Up-cycled Cloth Collective, for input.

I started with these two photos and the question was: which band to use, blue or red?  The feedback seemed almost evenly mixed, with great comments:

In the Red Camp:

"Red, to pick up the red from the cherries/berries."

"I like the red better...otherwise the berry fabric isn't tied in to the rest of the design."

"Red, it lifts it and contrasts with the red in the flowers."

"Red is livelier, blue more conservative. I prefer the red."

"Red. There's enough blue already."

"I like the red best as it gives a contrast. I think with the blue band, the red bits in the cotton look a bit out of place."

"Red, or else the white background fabric will look out of place."

"Definitely red!! The contrast is very striking."

In the Blue Camp:

"Blue...doesn't interrupt the flow of the piece and would be more slenderizing."

"I think the blue because the red seems to cut the design in two. Jmo."

"Blue, that way the fruit stands out better"

"Blue! The cherries and apples pop more with the blue. Besides, you can always change it later."

"The red chops it in half drawing the eye to the horizontal red mark while the blue accents it but keeps it vertical."

"I think blue - the red is nice, but it emphasizes the horizontal and makes it look "chopped." Good work!"

"I love blue, it gives the blouse a delicate look."

"The great thing is that they all work so it really doesn't matter which you choose. 
My personal favorite is this one. It's hard to describe why. When I flip through the pictures my mind relaxes when I come to this one? I think if you do it with this band and the vertical striped band between the two panels it will be perfect."

And some with creative suggestions:

"I'd say all red. I looked at picture 1 first and barely noticed the blue. Alternatively, make all the trims, make them detachable like belts, and just change to whatever you feel like on the days you wear it. There! That's a total compromise answer, isn't it?" 
(I have been known to change things out later, even when they were sewn in.)

"Blue and put the red on the opposite cuff to the coloured panel to balance the design."

"...change the buttons to red ones or alternate the threads of the buttons for red and blue thread." (love the button suggestion)

"If blue, then add a red embellishment near shoulder, if red, add red to the collar."

"My preference is the red with a bit of a red accent on the top half."

"Half and half ... blue on cherries side, red on the blue side. Plus I like someone's comment above to change to red buttons - sweet!"

"I love both and I suppose it very much depends on you. Red looks more for warmer months whereas the blue looks warm and cozy for winter."

"Blue, maybe you have some red buttons the same size, could imagine that this would look lovely"

"Put white instead of blue or red."

"Maybe add a touch of the red or the cherry print as a faux handkerchief in the breast pocket?"

"Never trust a committee to make an aesthetic decision." (LOL)

At this point I could see both perspectives.  I like bold pieces, and did want to bring the red out to the rest of the garment.  I liked the half and half suggestion, so added two more choices:

    Some of the resulting comments:"Half and half, blue on the floral side, red on the blue!"Blue or red but not both together. There's enough mix going on. So one or the other. Very cute!!!!"Half and half last option, it completes the colour blocking.""Very cute; I don't know because I like every pic!!! Depends on the day, I guess!!""No half and half go blue""fully red, not half and half. Sets off the division nicely.""I am starting to like this one more and more (1/2 split, red on left)... The striped band down the center better bridges the two lower front panels.""Red trim with blue bottom & blue trim with red."
The folks who commented directly on each photo overwhelmingly selected the last one, 1/2 blue, 1/2 red with the red above the blue. That happened to be my preference as well, although I thought more balance was needed on the top half of the garment and a red accent might really help.  I liked the suggestion of a faux hankie in red.  P.S. The strawberry/apple print is a vintage tablecloth (stains and all).I use real hankies every day and have some red ones, so might not need a faux hankie.  My other thought was to use a favorite accent of mine, added circles, either appliqued or reverse appliqued.Here is the final version with red buttons.  In the same group I posed the question:  added circle(s) or not?  One or three circles?   
More great feedback: If in doubt - leave it out. NoneBeautiful! I vote for 1 accent circle as shown in the second pic. It balances the light color of the bottom right of the blouse.I would add either three or none: having just the one looks like some kind of badge.None. Optional flower pin perhaps?None. A red flower as suggested above.I like the red buttons.Now it's perfect. No circles Love the red buttons. No - to the dot(s) - but just a bit of red with green flower/pin would be a yes ( of course visual would be needed. BTW - I love the community designing projects you are posting - I feel so "artistic"... LOLMy preference would be a small bunch of cherries above the pocket with a leaf. To mirror the opposite side.I love the idea of the circles but from the pictures they read as a solid and to me they are too harsh. I would choose a red and white polka dot, a blue and white grid, and a smaller scale floral for example. I would also move them up a bit closer to the neckline so that the circles create a visual path that runs into the button band. 

This is such a cool use of the cherries and other fabrics. I have your pattern but as a plus size it’s hard to find a shirt to start out with. I came up with one I had previously upcycled and am thinking about beginning with it and adding the bottom pieces. I know how to sew but am not good at clothing. We’ll see! Thanks for sharing the process.
Too many round images - need something square/rectangleI think I would instead add patch pockets (2 or more!), rather than the dots. Pockets could be of contrasting patterned fabrics in red or blue, or even green (to pick up the green in the cherry fabric). (Which I love, btw! Also, who says pockets have to be square? Semi-circle or even the full dot shapes work, too! (So, you can still use your dots. Extra pockets or no, you could also replace the existing patch pocket on the bodice with a contrasting pocket from another blouse (you could swap the pockets, for a two-fer. Or, you could transplant the swapped-out bodice pocket to the skirt (I favor the "cherries" side for that), which has the added benefit of tying together the patterns from above and below. You could then also add another contrasting patch pocket--perhaps out of the cherry material--to the other side of the skirt (dark blue pattern). One can never have too many pocketses, just ask any Hobbit!I'd go for embroidered cherries or strawberries on the pocket instead!Maybe spray of small cherries on collar - one side? Cute anyway!!I really like this blouse; I think it's my favorite of the ones you've shown us here. But the accent dots aren't doing it for me. However, I think if you make one of your fabric flowers using red (and other leftovers from this project), and use it as a coordinating brooch to wear (or not, as the mood strikes), that might do it. I think the added dimension and texture would be more interesting than plain red dots.Like the red buttons! 3 or none or you make them into broches and can remove/ add them as you like it YES! I mean, I voted for the half and half waist and I like how it turned out. I am not sold on the accent circles because I like how it looks. Maybe on the animal print?Ah ha, so when I said both I was right 😉 I don’t think I would do circles, and perhaps one of your flowers as a brooch instead?I actually like the 3 circles! Lovely top!Summary:  the overwhelming vote was 1) for no circles, 2) three circles or none, 3) a removable accent like a Paganoonoo Judy Flower or cherry pin.I like 1 and 3.  I do not have a red Judy flower so it is time to make one.Here I am in the (for now) finished version:



If you enjoyed this post and would like more information on choosing color and pattern Click here to be linked to a Paganoonoo video tip. Also find out the one color guaranteed to look great on you!

P.S. To be added to the Paganoonoo mailing list, never sold or shared, and:

  •  see new example garments, 
  • get links to additional upcycling video tips, 
  • hear about sales, 
  • new patterns and events, please click here
To request to join the Paganoonoo Upcycle Sewing Group on Facebook, click here.www.paganoonoo.com, upcycle sewing made simple.