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I was really excited when a friend sent me a link to the Refashioners 2016 Community Challenge being run by Makery. So much creativity, not to mention some fantastic prizes. Since recycling denim is my thing, I was quick to check out the details, and equally quick to decide to enter. At this point I must admit that I didn’t make this garment specifically for this challenge, it was one of my entries in the Australian Sewing Guild’s Castaway to Couture competition earlier this year.

Since I have done several denim recycling projects before I have a dedicated box full of discarded denim, both whole garments which I haven’t taken the scissors to yet, and bits left over from previous projects. For this challenge I decided to re-visit a theme I have used before, which entails many hours with a seam ripper. I find the most interesting bits of old denim are the bits which have faded, hems, seams, waistbands etc, anywhere the denim has been folded or creased. The fading creates beautiful patterns in the fabric, reminiscent of Japanese shibori dying.

The downside of all this beauty is that it only happens where the denim has been folded. Whilst the rest of the jeans are attractive, the best bits to me are generally small, so it means lots of unpicking to harvest them, and then lots of patching together to make a new garment. I think it’s worth it though, what do you think?

I seem to have been so caught up in the creative process for this challenge that I didn’t taken many photos of the work in progress. There is a pile of bits left over –

Still raw materials for a few more projects here!

Then a few details of the finished garment –

The lining, which you can just see, and which saved me from having to finish all the seams, was a sundress from the op shop.

And finally me modelling it.