Rainy Day Diaries: Sustainable Fashion Edition

By: Lauren Crupi

During the last couple of weeks, I have found myself ridden with boredom. Scrolling through Instagram gets old quick, and thus has forced me to think of better ways to spend my time. As a fashion major, I’m constantly trying to stay up to date with trends as well as pieces in my own closet. There are too many times I buy something with a vision, but that vision never comes to life. During this freetime, I have taken it upon myself to rework some pieces I own into articles that will become weekly staples in my wardrobe. 

  1. The Recycled Rucksack

The first project I wanted to attempt involved many pairs of pants. On a few thrift trips, I gathered some awesome pairs of jeans, all of which didn’t fit me. The material was too good for the price so I purchased them anyway. After these sat in my closet for months, I finally found a use for these gorgeous pairs of pants: a backpack. I have attempted to make backpacks in the past but have failed miserably. This time around, I didn’t base it off of a particular tutorial, but instead picked parts from different videos I’ve watched in the past. I feel that tutorials can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re a rookie seamstress (like myself). If you have the mindset that the finished project doesn’t have to look perfect or like the one in the video, you won’t be as hard on yourself. This allowed me to take risks and design the bag to my liking, such as using the corduroy as pockets and straps for my bag. Overall, I’m more than happy with the turnout. If you would like to try to make a bag similar to the one I have here, I have found this tutorial by Dub Dub to be the most helpful:

  1. Distressed Denim

Although this is not something new, I find distressing denim to be timeless and worth the results. The distressing process alleviates my stress and allows for me to completely focus on the outcome. The pair of shorts pictured here were once a pair of jeans. I tried the jeans on and marked where I thought a good short length would be, and a bit further down to allow for some room because I like to cuff my shorts. After I cut them, I ran the edge of my scissors against the edge of the legs to fray the hem a bit. Finally, I  tossed them in the washer and dryer! Poof! A new pair of shorts! This is a great way to repurpose old denim in your closet that you want to keep, but don’t know what to do with.

  1. Easy Tie Dye Hoodie

This project is for the people who have too many hoodies that they don’t know what to do with them. While cleaning out my closet, I realized the hoodie abyss was real. This Post Malone hoodie was one of my favorites, but I haven’t found myself wearing it lately. I couldn’t depart with it, so I decided to bleach it instead. I pinched the center and twisted the sweatshirt clockwise until I gathered all of the fabric into a spiral. Then, I placed three rubber bands around the sweatshirt to keep the spiral intact and poured bleach all over the piece. Keep in mind that bleach can be messy to work with and can ruin the clothes you are working in. Whenever I bleach something, I wear a shirt that I bleached in the past so nobody can tell if bleach gets on it. I love the bleaching technique because you can apply it to so many articles of clothing and accessories,and it’s cheap!

  1. Simple 2 Piece Set

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I like to make things from scratch. As much as I love to reuse and upcycle clothes, sometimes I forget about the hoard of fabric I’ve accumulated over the past few months. In the pile of fabric, I picked this stretchy soft knit material that looked so cozy. I thought it would be the perfect fabric to make a cute and functional loungewear set. I made the tanktop based off of one I already owned. I folded the tanktop I had in half and placed it on the folded line of fabric. I traced the shirt but left a few inches for seam allowance. I folded the shirt in half the other way to get the backside of the shirt and repeated the same step. Finally, I made hems on the armpits, neckline, and bottom of the tank and sewed it together. It came out a little lopsided, but you can’t tell when it’s layered with a cardigan. As for the shorts, I followed ThePolkadotter’s tutorial on YouTube on how she sews a pair of shorts by only using 5 steps. I found this tutorial super easy to understand and follow compared to others. I am satisfied with the result and realized my errors. This will be a staple during these coming warm months.

ThePolkadotter’s Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyUktOAc7bw&t=299s

  1. Painted Denim Jacket

Everyone needs a little paint in their lives. I have seen painted denim jackets in recent drops, on Depop accounts, and all over Instagram. I painted this jacket a few months ago but still wanted to include it. There are so many ideas for painted denim. I chose the Magical Mystery Tour album cover by the Beatles. I also sewed on painted patches I made out of a canvas bag I didn’t use anymore. I used acrylic paint, which was my downfall. As a broke college student, that was my only option at the time. But, if I planned it out better I would have used fabric or textile paint. Acrylic paint tends to come out in the wash and also makes the denim stiff. Put on your favorite playlist and paint! I never paint, but I found this project super fun and relaxing.  

I hope these projects inspire anyone who is looking for something to do. Although we are going through a tough time right now, I want to remind everyone to stay positive and creative. Let any ideas you have flourish! Try something new everyday. Stay present. Stay focused.

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