Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sewing tip: reverse applique surface design upcycle sewing

I'm Michelle Paganini, upcycle guru and owner of Paganoonoo. I'm passionate about reusing existing fashion to create new fashions, a.k.a upcycling.

Upcycle means adding value to existing goods (like clothing) through the application of imagination, materials and labor.  Upcycle sewing means starting with existing clothing, not flat fold fabric.
I'm committed to successful upcycling being accessible to home sewers and have developed a line of upcycling instructions to serve that purpose. The Paganooonoo motto is "Upcycing Sewing Made Simple".  Details at 

Disassembly and reassembly is a common method of upcycling.  Another method I'm exploring more and more is surface design / embellishment, which is useful when a garment is okay, but not exciting enough to inspire wearing it very often.

Combining theses two methods, 1) disassembly & reassembly + 2) surface design, starts to create something more in the "art-to-wear" realm rather than just "upcycled."
In this YouTube video, courtesy of It's Sew Easy TV - show 1312, I demonstrate how to use free-form reverse applique to embellish an upcycled dress shirt.  

 In this case the motif is a circle.  Orange and blue are on opposite sides of the color wheel so the combination is exciting.

The varying size of the stripes adds additional interest.

Two layers of fabric have been placed on the inside of the garment and under-stitched with free form circles.  A layer of light interfacing has been fused to the bottom layer (prior to stitching).

The shirt material has been trimmed away, as well as part of the second layer.  A lip of fabric was left in both cases.  The edges are unfinished.  In the photo those raw edges are being clipped a tiny bit to help reduce fraying as the garment is laundered.
It is helpful to practice the technique on scrap fabric before using it on a favorite garment.  Here is a practice strip I made to try various methods:
Happy upcycling!  To visit the Paganoonoo store click here.

To view other Paganoonoo video clips to go the Paganoonoo YouTube channel.

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