Monday, January 31, 2011

The launch of "I {heart} re-designing"

As well as creating new projects from scratch, or buying glorious fabric to hide away and then deciding what to do with it later, a lot of my creative time is spent “re-designing”.

This realisation only hit me on holiday this year, when I started making a ‘to do’ list of my upcoming creative projects for the year. Most of them revolved re-creating something to give it a new lease on life. Generally it’s something old, that could be useful when used a different way; or could be prettier if it was recovered or repainted; or it could be a project partly made from something I saw and bought just the other day, and had to ‘improve’.

Sometimes my re-designing is because our little family is run on a tight budget. Sometimes it’s because we are forever renovating and fixing our old house. And sometimes it’s simply a time-passing away/busy fingers moment or a way to de-stress after my day job. But mostly, it’s because I love something, can’t possibly throw it away, and need to re-use it to justify keeping it. (That's when it counts as not hoarding, right?)

So I started talking to my wonderful partner in this blog, Greta, and we decided that between us, we have a million projects already finished and sitting around, under construction or on the 'to do list' this year that fit this bill. Some of them include:

• Reusing cool old boxes and Formula tins as kids toy tidies, covered in fabric;
• Rescuing abandoned rattan furniture in the inorganic collections, rethreading the twine in the broken seats, and repainting them (I’ve done this twice!)
• Reusing the old kitchen bench as a new computer desk in the study
• Recovering the old dining table chairs with a funky black vinyl, totally changing their look
• Rescuing old wooden furniture off family and friends, sanding and repainting it to give it a new life
• Reusing favourite clothing pieces or tea towels to make new cushion covers
• Cutting up an old Trelise Cooper top I can't throw away (but will never fit again) to make a sun hat for my baby
• Changing an old 80s pattern into a modern ‘sloppy joe’ sexy t-shirt
* Fabric painting designs on clothing or shoes
• Repurposing a little girls Butterick pinafore dress pattern into a strappy sundress and piecing together some favourite fabric offcuts to create a modern look.

So one sunny afternoon on holiday I decided that while they don’t always involve fabric, my projects always involve craft, colour, family and love, and they should count as writing fodder for this blog. And Greta agrees. Some of the above list (which we will come back to and hyperlink as we go) could even be ‘tutorials’.

We’ve designed a little button that will identify these “re-design” projects so they’re easy to spot (see left). We’d love it if you could use it too on your blog posts about your re-design projects, and link back to ours, leave a comment below, and share the ideas around. We'd love to create a master list of great re-design ideas (we've even made a special tab at the top of our blog to keep them handy). Some of our favourites by others we'd love to be there include:

Cotton Kiwi's Sock Monkeys and Vintage Tea Cup pincushions (I have made two monkeys, with two more half finished for presents)
• A Little Vintage’s custom made dolls that use heirloom fabrics and baby clothes (I have four so far made in my special fabrics)
Songbird Designs' fabric covered hair bobbles (I own TONNES of these)
Amy’s Button Necklaces.
Moon Mum’s vintage wallpaper and buttons birdie art (I used these in my baby's room)
* Turning your husband's shirt into a little girl's dress on Made by Dana (I promise to do this in Feb, this month coming! I have chosen the shirt)
• Turning a kid's t shirt into a dress on Make It or Love It
Made by Rae’s ‘altering’ of patterns from McCalls.

My first offical “I love re-designing” post will be “The One Hour Sloppy Sexy Joe” t shirt. Watch this space!


  1. Very cool. I love re-purposing things too or just re-loving something that someone else has hiffed. I'll be keen to see what you are up to!

  2. I am officially not buying any new fabric for months! Well, let's start with February...


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