WORKSHOP: Upcyling

So as mentioned I want to source the clothing for shoots sustainably. One of the ways in which I can do this is by up-cycling garments I already own and have no alternative use for to create something fresh and representative of the theme.

I took a pair of Diesel jeans and without really planning the outcome before cutting, took away large sections from the front to create a top. There wasn’t really much technical skill involved as I didn’t make or use a pattern and straight away used a domestic machine to straight and zig-zag stitch pieces together. I also had a book binding ring spare and felt the metallic detail looked really effective against the weathered denim.

The message behind the piece was really just to demonstrate how you don’t need to have excessive resources or skill to reuse garments. Up-cycling is a technique that can be so fun and also beneficial to the environment. I love being creative but my weaknesses are within technical ability and interests lie more in promotion and styling, yet this workshop was to my liking as there was no pressure for the outcome to be perfect. If certain pieces didn’t fit, I could take more fabric from the jeans or alternatively take from other garments which would only really add to the ‘recycled’ effect. The saying ‘beauty in imperfection’ sprung to mind at this outcome because it was completely unconventional but my point  was still put across and when I use the garment in styling I believe I can highlight the flawed design and take some really interesting shots.

The second garment that I transformed was an unworn leopard print dress from Zara. I’d bought it a while ago and tried taking it up but ended up taking the measurements wrong leaving the garment too short. Rather than throwing it away I knew there was more I could do to it to make some use and thought it was more than appropriate for the ‘Animal Products’ concept. Animal print is an absolute favourite of mine and due to the stretchy nature of the fabric it was really easy to put together a two piece design using just a spare bit of elastic. The process literally involved cutting off the bottom to act as a ‘skirt’ once given a waistband and hemmed, then I simply left the top as it was, cropped and strappy. I considered adding some lace to the bottom for a more conservative finish however realised that I didn’t have enough spare so would have had to of bought some, increasing my production and time costs.

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