Sunday, November 9, 2008

Under Reconstruction

During my travels across the interweb, I come across lots of wonderfully altered articles of thrifted clothing which make me wish I was savvier with my poor neglected sewing machine. Luckily for us not-so-DIY-inclined (or just don’t have the time for DIY projects) types, there’s always the lovely folks of Etsy who are out there thrifting, altering, and embellishing for us.

I would love to be able to turn an oversized vintage dress into this cute little number, like Etsy seller NENEEE has done…

… or a baggy pair of overalls into an adorable jumper like this one by Junkhouse Dollyard Designs...

...and how sweet is this reconstructed vintage wedding dress from Etsy seller Lynn’s Rags?!?!


Customizing thrifted clothing with yarn is a new one for me, but I think it’s a great idea. I saw these reworked pieces (previously a basic full length denim skirt and fitted tee) on the blog NIBS the other day. They are from a spread in the gorgeous knitting magazine Rowan. You can check out the rest of the feature here.


While putting this post together, I also came across a darling Etsy shop called Photosynthesis. Megan, the seller and lover of ferns, hand prints thrifted vintage items using actual fern leaves that she collects, dries, and presses herself.


Myself being a scientist who once dreamed of studying botany, the fact that her inspiration to print ferns on clothing came from the specimens she collected for fern ecology studies in college, tugs at my heartstrings. The pieces she creates are one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly, and just plain lovely :)

But reconstruction is not just for clothes. In my experience, there’s no shortage of vintage jewelry out there for the thrifting, and jewelry reconstruction is one of those things that I’ve long wanted to try my hand at.

I found this NylonTV clip with Lulu Frost designer Lisa Salzer to be extremely inspiring and there’s even a little DIY project at the end. If you pay attention to the background there are also some lovely ideas for jewelry storage to be found.


How cool is her studio?! Oh, to have vintage card catalogs full of magical doo-dads and walls of vintage chains to choose from… *sigh*

I LOVE these gorgeous necklaces from Etsy seller Capricious Traveler:





22 comments:

ambika said...

I think reworking clothing is one of those things I still have to challenge myself at--seeing the potential in something that otherwise doesn't work. These are amazing finds--I'm off to heart those shops now...

Pretty Pirate said...

Oh my how I love that shirt with the laced up yarn, its gorgeous, I think I might try to DIY one for my self. Thanks for the fun inspiration. I love your blog btw!

Funny I just remembered a dream I had list night when I was taking old sweaters I was about to get rid of and lacing other colors of yarn through them to make them fun to me again. Wow..... Crazy that it took a blog post to stir up memories. Thanks again!

Violet Folklore said...

I am so in love with the Etsy community, and we are having the best time selling our clothes there.
On another note, I've been wanting to say that that is so cool that we have the same birthday Missa! I love that. I've only known one other woman and she is a beloved friend of mine with a son my daughter's age. She and I were smitten with one another well before we realized we shared a birthday :-)
No wonder I've felt so drawn to you and blog. And you know what? We just scored a motor home through some website-building work my husband did so maybe one of these summers we'll meet up at a CA thrift store...

amanda o said...

those fern items are beautiful!

Roberta Jane said...

I have about 3 vintage dresses at home right now that are waiting to be altered - I have great intentions but rarely get around to fulfilling any of them!

LOVE your blog!

Martha Joy said...

man the top with the yarn nearly killed me!!!! I have to learn how to do that!

Home Girl said...

fab post thank you really enjoyed the video - all inspired now - off to find all my jewlery sitting around waiting to be repaied post toddler grab!

Sal said...

Such fun! I've been hunting around for some vintage brooches to transform into a necklace. Just need to accumulate the right batch, and I can recreate the one that Banana Republic is hawking ... and it'll be so much more personal.

Caroline said...

that shirt with the yarn backing is so brilliant. I might just try it out!

a cat of impossible colour said...

So pretty! I wish I was better at sewing. A project for next year :)

Heidi Ann said...

I'm not a seamstress myself, but I surely do appreciate the work and creativity that goes into clothing such as those you have shown. They're all fabulous. Love the jewelry, too!

Skye said...

Aghhhh! I wish I had some time to do some sewing without the little dude underfoot - so much inspiration here!

Anderburf said...

I love finding vintage and eco-friendly items! My favorite spot for eco-friendly jewelry is All Wired Up http://www.allwiredupjewelry.com. Everything is hand made and a wearable piece of art!

ashley said...

just when i was managing my etsy addiction!
thanks for some great finds {am drooling over those overalls~ jumper}
x ashley

Diane said...

The reworking of clothing is endlessly interesting... always something new and different. I loooove those ferns. And those necklaces are perfectly new again!

muchlove said...

Those are amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Oh how I wish I wasn't so hopeless with a sewing machine. Thrifting would be even more fun knowing you could reconstruct clothes the way you want to.

I really enjoyed that video too. I think I have the mag issue that featured her, but I never actually watched the clip. I'm jealous of her jewellery finds!

Violet Folklore said...

Oh, this post is SO inspiring! I have to confess that I just don't have/make time for much sewing, beyond buttons... once I realized how time and labor intensive it was, and how darn EXACTING, I had to let it go. I am just a "sculptural" gal! But I am happy to pay others for their work, like on that re-done wedding dress-- mamma! makes me want to get married all over again!-- and meanwhile, jewelry re-working I can do, and now I am filled to the brim with ideas... geez, i LOVE how she photographed the peices om the old books, too! fabulous! (: Sasha at Violet Folklore

Spandexpony said...

I LOVE that wedding dress! I'm going to pop on over now and see if its in my size!

Amber said...

They are the most divine dresses i have ever seen...xx

Liz said...

i love that overall jumper!
how cute!!!
thanks for the links missa- you're on top of it :)

Caroline said...

love, love, love...I'm definitely making myself a bowtie necklace.

Hippy Chic said...

That is probably the best Nylon TV I've ever seen, LuLu Frost is awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing.