I adore upcycling!! And, there are a few reasons why. The one that stands out, of course, is that it’s environmentally responsible to make something new from something old, rather than throwing it out. There are some other great reasons, too, though! First, it’s a great way to save your pennies! I so often hear that sewing for your children can get expensive, and it can. Salvaging fabric from used clothing is easy on the budget! Second, the aisles of thrift shops are a great place to find fabrics that are hard to come by elsewhere. You might even find yourself buying and working with fabrics that you wouldn’t have considered using otherwise. Perhaps my favorite motivation, though, for re-using old clothing is that you get to see how the fabric wears! When you purchase fabric new and unwashed, it’s hard to know what it will look like twenty washes later. With used clothing, the fabric has already been washed and dried multiple times, so you can see how it’s holding up!This week’s challenge theme at Project Run & Play was the “Hand-me-down Makeover”. With last week’s disappointing loss, I wasn’t planning to continue sewing along, BUT on the last day of voting, Jamie came running into my studio and excitedly exclaimed, “I know you’re sewing for Charlie this week, but next week, can you make me an outfit with a bow tie?” Apparently, I’d gotten my boys really excited about having a new handmade outfit every week for four weeks. Without even thinking, I started explaining to Jamie that his Inspector Gadget outfit was losing, and I probably wouldn’t sew the remaining outfits …. and he cried. And, then I cried. And, then I promised to sew the rest of the weeks. So, here we are!
The very first time that I sewed along with PR&P, there was an upcycling challenge — using men’s button-down shirts, I think — and I made a beach outfit for Jamie. You can see that outfit here: the Upcycled Beach Boy. When I was scouring the racks of a local thrift store and ran across a navy blue button-down shirt printed all over with bright red crabs, I thought it seemed fitting to go Back to the Beach this time around!For the camp shirt, I began with three cotton woven shirts which I chopped up and pieced back together to create a casual, fun, beach-y top. I modified my Everyday Camp Shirt pattern by shifting the shoulder seam towards the front, narrowing the collar and adding a collar stand. I also drafted up a western-style yoke for each shoulder. I finished the top with metal snaps, at Charlie’s request. “So I can do it myself!”
The back has a pieced, straight yoke.Charlie was so excited about the crabs on this shirt! As soon as we got to the beach, he started telling me this story about a crab and his family who live under the sand and the water. He’s such a great story-teller!Under the camp shirt, Charlie is wearing a tank top made from my free The Tank pattern with the addition of the pocket from my Honor Roll Raglan.The tank started life as a red cotton interlock mock-turtleneck.
The shorts are my favorite part of this whole outfit because of the cool side zipper pockets! I upcycled the shorts from a men’s khaki twill cotton shirt. (I used every spare inch of the shirt fabric!)I used my Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts pattern for these. I loved the way that last week’s zipper fly turned out, so I was going to do another, but Charlie begged for “pull-on pants”, so I went with the drawstring finish instead.I had the idea for this zipper pocket early in the process.I originally thought I would just work it into the knee panel, but after discussing it with a friend, I decided that it really needed to be on the side. So, I wrapped the knee panel all the way around and pieced the pocket into the center of it. (I can totally do a tutorial for it, if there’s interest! Maybe in the spring when those of you who don’t live in Florida are sewing shorts again?)It’s the perfect pocket for shell-collecting!I used the Everyday Camp Shirt pocket for the back pockets on these pants. (I actually did the same thing last week, and really liked the look.)This is a great Florida fall outfit! Charlie declared it just right for running …… jumping …… and bird chasing!Wait! One more … this is just before he got soaking wet from head to toe!Up next week, a denim bow-tie? My wheels are turning!