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I was on Flickr yesterday (a regular online stop for me) and was checking out the Home-Made Maternity group, because at the moment, it is relevant to my interests. This one woman had posted a really cute smock she’d made for herself of an olive-green diamond-printed fabric with orange, floral appliques. She had noted that she had taken the “Seamless Pledge” wherein she swore to not buy any new things while pregnant, but to thrift or make whatever she wanted.

It struck me that I’m doing much the same, though I had never thought nor known to formalize it in such a manner. I’m just tight with a penny and not overburdened with the cash in any event. I also love the challenge of re-purposing castoffs, which probably hearkens back to my teenage years of modifying hand-me-downs to fit my ironing-board figure and whimsical fashion sense.

A few years ago, a friend who left the corporate world unloaded a bunch of his old White Collar clothes upon me. Tailored wool trousers, beautiful silk neckties, and more blue-striped cotton shirts than you could care to count. Since then, I’ve used a lot of the woolens either in cycling caps, or in my own irreverent “jacketshorts” designs. Some of the neckties became a Grand Marshall’s sash for the annual tweed ride, some of the others have been fashioned into an oddball woven tunic, and others yet have been sliced into appliques for trim on various projects here and there.

Just recently, it struck me that some of those shirts will be great for making baby clothes, both for the pending kiddo, and, as you will see below, for gifts.

IMG_2903 IMG_2905
One of my friends has a fresh, new baby girl, and I thought I could do something cute in cotton for her. Back in “the olden days,” blue was considered a particularly fetching color for little girls, especially delicate pastel shades. It was associated with the Virgin Mary and was considered a particularly dainty and chaste hue.

Because this little girl is the younger sister to a proud, two-year-old Big Sister, I didn’t want Big Sis to feel left out of the fun, so I made another sundress for her, using somewhat similar stylistics, but scaled up, and just a bit different, ’cause every girl likes to have her own distinct style.

I had some little cut-out Strawberry Shortcake figures I’d saved from some scrap fabric, figuring some day they’d make cute appliques. I thought it tied in nicely with the pink ribbon which forms the shoulder straps.
For the back of this dress, I re-used the front of an old shirt, so that it buttons up the back. One of the ribbon ties serves to keep the top of the placket flat.

I had enormous fun making these, and foresee this as a future favorite for baby-shower presents. This simple bell-shaped tunic lends itself very nicely to embellishment via applique or other applied trim.

And speaking of re-purposing, I have made myself a second white blouse for work. I was getting really tired of having to wash my uniform top every day (because invariably I get something horrible on it while I’m working) so I decided to modify an old Simplicity middy blouse pattern to an A-line shape to accommodate the baby.
Simplicity 9922

The results don’t suck, I don’t think.

As you can see, I modified it to short sleeves and topstitched it rather than using ribbon or braid trim, because I didn’t have any.
Joel considers it to be in questionable taste and perhaps slightly unsavory, but hell, I’m pregnant. Maternity clothes are often stupid looking and undignified. At least I’m doing this under my own free will, rather than just having to cope with whatever I find at the thrift shop or on the sale rail at Old Navy.

I have concocted my own “Sailor Moon” superheroine moniker to go with this blouse. “セーラー スーパーマーケット” (Sera Supamaketto, or Sailor Supermarket)


2 Responses to “I think they call it “up-cycling.””

  1. julie says:

    I think this blouse looks great. I don’t understand why Joel has such an aversion to sailor tops. I know he wore them as a baby, I just don’t know why he hates them so much?

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Dunno exactly. He just reckons it’s a bit pansy, I think. Maybe shades of Village People? Not rightly certain.

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