Monday, September 13, 2021

Raw Edge Mandarin Collar Transformation

I scored a plain denim collared shirt recently at the thrift store.  It will make a great fall top or dress. I haven't decided which.  In the meantime, while on a zoom meeting and a bit restless, I picked up the shirt and seam ripper and picked out the top part of the collar.  

I'd done this before and just stitched it back up into a polished looking mandarin collar (tip on how to do that here).  This time I noticed the inside seam was a darker color as it had not faded in the laundry.  I like a raw edged look and the idea of a darker band on the top of the collar.  

I pulled up the seams, trimmed off the excess threads, layered them and hand stitched them together.  This makes the collar a bit taller and softer looking.

Next up - it is just a tiny bit too tight across the bust.  I think I will unpick the underarm seams and add a godet. 

More as it progresses!

Happy upcycling, Michelle

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Ellie Dress Hack - Turn your Paganoonoo Ellie T-shirt into a Dress!

The Paganoonoo Ellie t-shirt is flattering and comfortable, solving the common problem of not enough room in the hips and belly.  

Once you've transformed your t-shirt, it can also be made into a very comfortable and flattering dress.  This post provides links to the methods for the dress hack.

Here is an example of an Ellie t-shirt that has been transformed into a dress.  The bottom tier of the dress was made with another t-shirt and part of a vintage linen tablecloth.
Watch this video to see three examples of Ellie t-shirts, including the one above, that have been transformed into dresses.

There is also a one page instruction sheet that is a companion to the video. 
 A PDF copy is available here.

We also did a live zoom session with additional information. 
You can view it here.

What other Paganoonoo garment hacks would you like to see?
Let me know in the comments section.

Happy upcycling!


Monday, July 26, 2021

New Paganoonoo Design - The Carol Jacket

 Paganoonoo has a brand new design - the Carol Jacket! 

Based on a classic Japanese field coat, or Hanten, this versatile unlined unisex jacket can be made in 2 formats:  1) upcycled from dress shirts or 2) from denim jeans.

What is different about this design vs. typical Paganoonoo designs?  It is an actual pattern - printed PDF - you print tiled on your home printer or send to the print shop vs. deconstruction and reconstruction instructions.
With the Carol jacket you are cutting apart the starting garments to make color-blocked "fabric" that is then used to cut out each pattern piece. 

You decide how to distribute the shades & colors: light/med/dark.

Here pattern tester Lucy Sisson chose dress shirts in a muted palette of lavender shades.  Note that the dress shirt sleeves are used to make the jacket sleeves and the sleeve cuffs make the jacket cuffs.

Pattern tester Laura Fairchild also made her jacket from dress shirts but chose a bold palette.  It reminds me of Amish quilts.

Pattern Tester Marcia Mitchell made a multicolored denim version with large appliques and decorative ribbon.

Pattern Tester Kathleen O'Brien chose to add her embellishment to the front band and carried the original leather label forward to adorn a pocket.

The sleeves on the denim version are wider than the dress shirt.  This is to comfortably accommodate a sweater underneath without feeling constricted. 

Here I am modeling my version of the jacket made in jeans:

For a more in-depth overview watch this
YouTube introduction.

Make your own version today!  Perfect for any season, suitable for advanced beginners.
Purchase in Paganoonoo's Etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Introducing Noor Bchara and the Upcycle Design School

Noor and I have been following each other online and recently connected. It turns out we have complimentary businesses in that I design upcycled clothing that can be used to make small batch production and Noor's school is for folks who would like to know how to start an upcycled fashion business.

I will be doing a free zoom meeting with Noor on Thursday June 17, at 10:00. I will cover general info about Paganoonoo, have a video trunk show and a demo on how to make the Ashlee. register here

I'll let Noor explain more about her business...

Hi, I’m Noor Bchara

I am the founder of Upcycle Design School where I offer on-demand video classes specializing in the scalability of upcycling and repurposing. I’m also an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where I teach about Upcycling and Repurposed design. My goal as a designer is to keep as many garments out of landfills as possible. 


Upcycle Design School’s mission is to provide inspiration, knowledge and community to our fellow
creatives around the world. It's about sharing resources, ideas, materials and
inspiration about upcycled fashion. 


Upcycle Design Masterclass is about the opportunities and challenges of building an upcycled apparel or accessories brand. As the concept of upcycling gains popularity worldwide, I created this class to demonstrate how to successfully launch and scale an upcycled apparel or accessories brand, based on my own experience of founding NOORISM, a repurposed denim brand and teaching about Upcycling at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

This course promises to give you the tools to successfully launch and scale your idea for an upcycled apparel or accessories brand.

I made a lot of mistakes when I first started NOORISM, so I created this class to help others avoid making those same mistakes I did. Upcycle Design Masterclass is designed to teach people how to take their upcycled idea and turn it into a real business that can scale and grow. 

It consists of 4 modules of on-demand video lessons along with access to bonus reading materials, worksheets and templates.





Video Tour:


"Noor is truly the queen of upcycling! She has taught me so much about how to be resourceful and find the most efficient ways to create new garments from recycled materials. She has a ton of knowledge about the fashion industry and garment production and has dared to approach it in a more sustainable way with her brand NOORISM. She has also constantly encouraged me to think big and be a savvy business woman. She is an incredible innovator, and a great mentor to have!”

Aly Reinert, Founder/Designer, The Untrend Shop


"Before this class I had no idea where I was going with my upcycling business, now I have a purpose and direction to take it in. Noor was very supportive of everyone's ideas while still being realistic and providing helpful critiques."

Eileen O'Brien, Designer, Renew Embroidery


"Noor's in-depth approach to upcycling, both through her brand and her courses, is thorough, original, thoughtful and comprehensive. She takes into account not only the raw materials she carefully selects but also the production methods and how to consciously scale sourcing and manufacturing, a challenge when it comes to upcycling. Her course is a must for anyone interested in building a business focused on upcycled design and can be applied to fields outside of the fashion industry even."

Tara St James, Designer/Consultant, Study NY & Re:Source



IG: @upcycledesignschool 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Paganoonoo Upcycled Jeans and Belt Bag Class Online $35

 I love to upcycle jeans. 

They are well constructed, age beautifully and are plentiful.  Leather belts are also easy to find at thrift stores. A few years ago I decided to pair the two into crossbody bags.  

I wear them just about every time I go out, especially for shopping and travel.  People are fascinated and we end up discussing upcycling fashion and the possibilities. 

I realized the bags would make great gifts or projects for home sewists.  The bags can be plain & rugged, or embellished, are unisex, useful for all types of people, and are sturdy, lasting a long time.

The possibility to create something uniquely yours is endless.  These bags are the perfect palette for experimentation.

The great news...

I created an online bag making class that covers:

- how to sew starting with denim jeans
- selecting the best type of jeans and belts 
- how to plan and construct the bag 
- how to attach the belt
- the best time to add any embellishment 
- embellishment inspirations
- how to care for the bag

Best news yet - it is only $35 for 45 minutes of instruction! You can watch and work at your own pace.  Get started making your own bags now.

Happy Upcycling! 

Michelle Paganini