I had a chat with Sustainable Fashion Dublin about how to easily upcycle your clothes at home.
I was going to start this article with a nice little "we all have more time on our hands now" kind of intro. But let's be real, I'm tired of saying it and you're tired of hearing it.
But we do have a lot of time to kill at home. And our attempts at making banana bread and sourdough have become quite tiresome.
I've noticed a lot of people on Instagram have started to get quite crafty at home, whether it's making outdoor bars out of pallets or tie-dying their clothes. And I think I fancy trying my hand at a bit of that upcycling. So I thought, "what better way to get inspired than by taking to the gals from Sustainable Fashion Dublin about their top tips and tricks on how to upcycle your clothes at home?"
Last week, I had a lovely Zoom chat with the ever-cheery Geraldine Carton, one half of Sustainable Fashion Dublin. She told me about some of the ways herself and Taz (the other, equally cheery half of the duo) give their clothes a new lease of life and make the most of what they have in their wardrobe.
"I've gotten into embroidery in a big way. It's one of those things where once you start, you can't stop. I have a bit of a frantic brain that would be buzzing all of the time. It brings me down a few levels and it's very calming.
"Although we [Sustainable Fashion Dublin] are doing that stuff ourselves, I'm getting so much inspiration from people within our community who are sending photos of what they're doing."
Geraldine told me what she and Taz have been creating while they're at home:
"I turned a pair of jeans into shorts and Taz actually turned a pair of curtains into a dress. Then, she transformed a lovely white dress into a stunning, musty pink dress using avocado scones. Nuts! It was such a gorgeous pink. She put more on our Patreon page using other natural dyes like cabbage and turmeric."
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@tazkelleher made this dress from an old white curtain lining and then dyed it using AVOCADO STONES 🥑 Full tutorial is on our story. Tomorrrow on our Patreon will be posting a step by step guide as well as a 3 more natural dye tutorials. Dying yellow with turmeric ☀️, blue with cabbage 🥬 and brown with onion skins 🧅. Link to join our Patreon is in our bio 🌸
"I just moved into a place before all of this started. I try to do as much of my interior stuff myself and as sustainably as possible. I got loads of different frames in different charity shops and from Adverts.ie, but that has somewhat dried up because people can't go to other people's houses and exchange stuff.
"If I can avoid it all costs, I never buy anything new, especially interiors. It's so much cheaper and charity shops are just great for adding a quirky edge."
When I asked Geraldine for some easy (and fun) ways to upcycle your clothes at home, she gave some fantastic ideas.
"Do it all in one go. Blare the music, pour yourself a pot of tea, or if it's a Friday night, maybe a glass of wine, and go through everything in the wardrobe. Open up all of the draws and take stuff out from under the bed. Put back everything that you wear and then have a look at the things you're not wearing.
"Make separate piles. With some stuff, you might think, "I'm actually never going to wear this again". Put that in a pile that might be for a charity shop. Then, there might be a top you love but it has a stain on it. How can you embroider that or dye it with natural dyes? Embroidery is a great way to cover up a small stain.
"I had this oil stain on a collar that I washed so many times but it never came out. I did that recently and now I love it. First of all, you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself. But also, it injects so much love into an item when you put in the time. We have a few embroidery tutorials on our Instagram and Patreon page.
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*Did you know* that your love for an item of clothing increases 700% when you add a bit of embroidery to it?? 🐝 ...Ok this is not a real fact - but it should be. 🌸 Injecting a bitta love and creativity into our clothes not only is just a nice thing to do, but it’s also a brilliant way to ensure that we actually wear them and subsequently decrease their carbon footprint.💚 What’s more, now that we’re on lockdown, time is one thing we all have a fair chunk more of, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a lovelier way to fill a quiet morning/ evening than by up-cycling a lacklustre shirt collar or pair of uninspiring trousers. 🧵 Therapeutic and incredibly relaxing; it’s like yoga, but without you having to leave the couch! 💁🏻♀️ There are soOooo many ideas out there, but for a few pointers on the basic tips & tricks to start you off, check out our tutorial in our instastory above☝🏻 Also! Be sure to tag us in any pics of your own embroidery creations - we’d adore to see how you get on!🌸
"There are simple things like cutting your clothes! If it's a pair of trousers that have lost their shape at the bottom, turn them into shorts or even a skirt.
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"Just chop it up and you end up with a whole piece of fabric. There are just so many different things you can do with it.
"There is so much clothing on the planet. We don't necessarily need to buy more. We just need to do more with less and actually use what we have.
"We've also got lots of zero-waste recipes around using what you already have in your cupboards and reducing loads of food waste where at all possible."
Enjoyed this piece on how to upcycle your clothes and become crafty at home? Make sure you follow the Sustainable Fashion Dublin gals on Instagram to get loads of handy tips and keep up to date with their class virtual events.
And if you're looking for more inspiration of what to get up to at home, then make sure you sign up to our Lovin Home Comforts Newsletter to get all of the tastiest recipes, handy home workouts and top-quality Netflix recommendations!