Upcycling, Indonesian style

DIY is quite often a solitary exercise in front of a bonnet drama (anything by Jane Austen, or, lately, Poldark, although I have to admit I don’t get much done watching that as there is always so much happening.. smugglers.. illicit affairs with the doctor.. putrid throat.. copper auctions!) but sometimes it’s fun to craft with others. Recently Kangan Institute asked me to run a fashion upcycling workshop for some visiting Indonesian lecturers. After a trip to Savers to find clothes to work with, they spent half a day on their creations and came up with some innovative designs. This top was a pair of pants before…

20150527_114641… and this plain black shirt looks a lot more interesting with applique from a cushion cover and a tea towel added.


But for me, the biggest surprise of the day was that polar fleece vests can actually look fantastic. I’ve never been a big fan of polar fleece jackets but some gold braiding and vintage kimono fabric (yes, that was originally mine – a lot of my scrap fabric featured in this class!) does wonders when added around the collar.


I wouldn’t have thought polar fleeces were necessary in Indonesia but the guys said they wear them when they’re riding motorbikes. They’ll certainly stand out from the crowd in these creations! They said upcycling (and buying secondhand clothes in general) in Indonesia is not the done thing, but maybe once their friends see what they’ve come up with, it will catch on. Wouldn’t it be great if they can spread the eco fashion message all around Indonesia! 🙂