Tambra’s Refashioning and Upcycling Resources

17 April 2021

tape measure, thread and material

By Tambra Nicole Kendall

Hello friends!

I wanted to share my favourite sewing and refashioning resources with you. One the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic is the chance to go and poke around in my local thrift stores. Recycling and upcycling items help my creativity while giving something a brand new life. To some people this sort of activity isn’t fun, but for me it’s exciting. So, if any of you are contemplating the joys of refashioning and upcycling come along with me.

I understand not everyone is excited about sewing, refashioning, and thrifting. If you know someone who is please pass the link to this post to them and share the love.

There is a difference between recycling and upcycling. RECYCLING is the destruction of waste and making something new. Example: Automobile windshield glass made into drinking glasses.

UPCYCLING it taking an item and creating something new from it in the current state it is in. Upcycling is creative and reduces the need for recycling. Example: My purse made from a pair of old blue jeans. I get lots of complements on this purse and I love it. Pinterest has lots of ideas for upcycling denim as well as other sewing projects.

Jillian of ReFashionista.net is the one person I credit with giving me the courage to even attempt refashioning. She gives clear directions and warns you of possible pitfalls along the way. I love her sweet, bright personality that’s bursting with creativity. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at all her wonderful creations. https://refashionista.net/refashions/dress-refashions/

After the ReFashionista got me enthralled with refashioning I found other ladies who are of the same mindset. I came across Beth of The Renegade Seamstress creates amazing refashions like Jillian. Beth has wonderful videos that show you step-by-step how to create a variety of projects for yourself, your family, and your home. If you’re looking for a book with a great variety of refashioning projects check out Beth’s book. I’ve already chosen the first project to make out of my copy. You can find the Renegade Seamstress here: https://therenegadeseamstress.com/

I wanted to add So Sew Easy is another fab resource. These ladies have a nice variety of projects and at various difficulty levels for wherever you are in your sewing journey. https://so-sew-easy.com/

On YouTube there are a number of women I watch and learn from. Coolirpa https://www.youtube.com/user/coolirpa, With Wendy https://www.youtube.com/user/withwendy, Annika Victoria https://www.youtube.com/user/AnnikaVictoria24..

Some of you know I love vintage clothing and I’ve found some amazing designer/seamstresses. Bernadette Banner has absolutely gorgeous Victorian/Edwardian period clothing. I think if I ever met her we would be friends. She made an Inverness coat and a Lady Sherlock outfit, an 1890s ballgown. If your interested in this era of fashion, please visit Bernadette’s YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSHtaUm-FjUps090 S7crO4Q/videos

For 1920s era on up, Evelyn Wood is fantastic. I believe she has course on Teachable, too. I just love her personality and the way she explains how and why she makes the decisions she does in her refashions or whatever garment she’s creating. I love learning about vintage sewing skills. You can find Evelyn here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ59owAiWL2IgaANbG-jm0Q

For dress eye candy on Instagram I always look at Molly Nguyen Designs. Her exquisite ballgowns and wedding dresses with floof and sparkle make me so happy.

If you’ve always wanted to try sewing or upcycling I hope I’ve given you enough places to encourage you to step in and give this a try. Or, if you have some basic sewing skills you’ll find plenty of places here to inspire you.

Take care until we meet here again! Tambra Nicole

2 thoughts on “Tambra’s Refashioning and Upcycling Resources

  1. Rae Longest says:

    Hon, I don’t see, but I constantly repurpose things. I love to cut up greeting cards and use them to create placemats, put them around five gallon ice cream containers you can get from stores usually free, and use oatmeal boxes, etc. etc. etc.
    Anything that is being discarded is fair game to drill a drainage hole in and convert to a planter.
    I love not to waste anything. Some of my best recipes are made from leftover ingredients I have on hand. LOL


  2. tambra nicole says:

    Hi Rae,
    Isn’t it fun to repurpose things? Just one more thing we have in common. No wonder we’re friends! I’d love to hear about your greeting card placemats.

    Using leftover pieces of scrapbook paper, muslin, bits of lace and ribbon with a batch of homemade Mod Podge you can make fabric paper. This is where I learned how to do it: miss ladypetal creations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvgCXFytrS0

    I take old hardback books and make junk journals or an art journal. I took an old wrist support and upcycled it to keep my fingers from being burned on my plastic travel cup.
    I don’t know about the 5-gallon ice cream containers. I could use some though.
    A plastic Lays potato chip container is now used for holding my clean watercolour brushes or using it to hold silverware when travelling.

    I’m always doing something with leftovers, too. Most of the time it works great. The few times it hasn’t…well, there’s always peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas!

    Tambra Nicole


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