I am starting a Make Do and Mend series that is going to feature projects I've made from upcycled materials.
Before anything else, let us first define what Upcycling is. It is when old and useless products are given more value, or converted into newly functional items.
The Make Do and Mend series is partially inspired by the past days when all I do is clean the house (the rains from typhoon Maring left our home flooded) and find old items, some of which I have salvaged (like old buttons and clothes) for use in my future projects, and some, I placed in bags to be given away to people who might joyfully find better use of them (i.e. shoes, bags, clothes, school supplies, etc.).
While cleaning, I actually found this Mother's Day handmade gift I did when I was still very young (Sorry I haven't cleaned it yet!). I remember how all of the items used for this were salvaged materials from our occasional general house cleaning. The base wood was certainly from my grandfather's woodworking den in the backyard. The eggshell frame is already broken and the right shell is already gone. I remember delicately placing this handmade gift in a box before wrapping it up and proudly presenting it to my mom.
|I loved making handmade gifts from used materials as a child. This is a Mother's Day gift I found recently while cleaning.|
|Another handmade Mother's Day gift I found. Made when I was 12 years old.|
When I started discovering the limitless number of projects I could do with my sewing machine, I did not have any box-full of fabric. What I had were items that I planned to alter. I had an oversized vest turned into a summer bag, and a long-sleeved top (I've never worn because I did not like the fit) turned into a sleeveless top. I actually blogged about this top, the first thing I used my sewing machine on, here.
Just this February, I worked with denim for the first time and turned an old jeans into an iPad case. It was a request by my boyfriend (who is a gadget freak! :)). Word of advice when sewing thick fabric, use the needle size for every fabric you use as indicated in your machine's manual. True, replacing needles may be a difficult feat (and it IS a lot more difficult with sergers), but trust me, the thickness of fabric, when sewn with improper needles, can cause your needle to break, if not while you sew, sometime soon. I know this because mine (needle meant for cotton and less thick fabric) just broke two weeks ago. hehe. Good thing I have extra needles. Another word of advice, keep a stock of needles of various sizes, always. You know....just in cases----oops, did you get that film reference? hihi.
|My favorite love story of all. :)|
Moving on (from film references and interconnected love stories), I retained the front pocket for both design and functionality. I used the top waist band for the enclosing detail. I had no interfacing at the time I created this so I relied mainly on the thickness of the denim to serve as cushion. It is, however, advised to always use interfacing especially when making items meant to contain delicate/fragile items such as gadgets, or, when you need to add structure to your project. I consulted with my client-slash-boyfriend and he assured me anyway that he did not need any interfacing as his iPad has a protective case already.
|The old, sad jeans.|
|Jack, the seam ripper, is my ever personal assistant. :)|
|Ripped the waistband for the enclosing detail. You can see the design/drawing I did on the notebook before I carried on with the project.|
|His new iPad case. Made from upcycled jeans.|
It IS amazing the things we can create from old materials. It is even more heartwarming to see people appreciate and use these upcycled materials. If we could take the time to look into our drawers and closets and forgotten spaces, we might find items just waiting to be picked up to be part of something valuable.
Just like love which can be found in the most unusual places, we can discover stories of stunning transformations from the things we have around us, and from the creativity we have within us.
So be ready with a list of things you NEED so that you may thoughtfully decide whether you have to buy them, or just source or create them from the things you already have. Also, always be ready with your creative ideas for upcycling-worthy items.
Just in cases. :)
With handmade love,