An upcycling article in Threads Magazine was the inspiration behind a member contest in the Central MA ASG chapter. Four chapter members participated in the contest and they were judged by two members the North New Jersey chapter, and one from the San Jose chapter. The criteria was to make a garment from one or two pieces of an existing garment. They could also use one yard of either purchased fabric or fabric from their own fabric stash. Read on to hear the members explain their projects:
First Place Winner – Denise Carlson
I was entering this contest with a lot of apprehension because I rarely alter clothes as I don’t like to do so. I used two of my late father’s shirts. I am proud of myself for completely reconstructing his shirts to make it my own. The shirt “called” for different seam finishes. The shoulder seams were flat-felled and one side seam (which one of his shirts had), serged seams and the armhole has seam binding. I made a blind hem, and I inserted an invisible zipper in the side seam. I can honestly say that from start to finish, I truly did not stress about this. I took my time and very carefully documented all the pieces. I measured many times and placed the patterns on the fabric and then waited a day or two before deciding if I wanted to use it in that manner.
I drafted my front and side front from my sloper which I already had from my Master Seamstress classes and used my flat pattern book to design the front. I already had my princess seam pattern for the back. I combined the two to make my shirt.
Second Place Winner – Barbara Hendricks
Given the guidelines for the contest (2 garments only, 1 yard of stash fabric allowed), Barbara decided to use a pair of men’s jeans from her denim upcycle collection, a partial leather jacket which she had already used for the soles on baby shoes, and about a half yard of fabric from her stash for the lapels. She also had a navy blue separating zipper in her stash to use as well. Barbara made a vest from Simplicity Pattern #1499, which she had used previously which meant she didn’t have to purchase anything.
She began the project with the back of the leather jacket which was largely intact, so she cut the back of the vest out of that, lining up the pattern CB fold line with the center seam of the jacket; therefore, I eliminated the need to sew the center back seam by using the original one in the jacket. I followed the pattern instructions to a great extent, using known techniques for denim and leather, especially needle types and sizes.
The upper collar is cut from the leather and the under collar is denim. The separating zipper is asymmetrical and the lapel linings (exposed), made from a heavy weight woven print, fall nicely, complementing the leather and the denim.
This was a fun and creative project – I was very happy to participate.
Stacey Smith – Runner Up
I bought this suit at Salvation Army – it was originally bought at a well-known store in Worcester MA, “Shacks”, that went out of business recently. I used McCall’s pattern M5936, and every stitch of fabric from the suit for the jacket. I really enjoyed doing this upcycle project – it got me out of my comfort zone.
Melanie Dumas – Runner Up
My entry to the Upcycling Contest began as a cotton yellow floral sleeveless jumper which I had made years ago. I deconstructed it for use of the top of my contest dress. The maroon skirt of the dress is a peach skin fabric. The neckline and armholes were bound in coordinating bias tape.
I placed green peridot shaded beading on the hot pink floral centers of the dress’s top. This beading does sparkle in the appropriate lighting. The front of the top of my dress curves and flares to the sides while the back comes to a centered point.
I am going to make a summer wrap to complement the dress for a summer wedding.
~ Thank you to Denise Carlson, Central MA Chapter President for this submission