Upcycled wonderment!

Last night I posted a new listing on my Esty Shop! That post prompted me to write this blog, mostly because I’ve never REALLY shared with you what I do and why I sew. Shame on me!

Ruby Alice Designs, started after moving to upstate NY, almost 2 years ago.

My goal:use fabric that lost it’s use to the original owner.

I’ve collected fabric from people’s grandmothers, stashes people wanted to sell, etc. Let me explain something, when you think “upcycled” or utilizing upcycled fabric, your gut says “don’t turn any fabric away.” After all, that is the premise behind upcycling, reusing something that would go by the wayside. WRONG!!!!!! I never realized how picky I would have to be! When people find out you will take unused fabric off their hands, they will give you ANYTHING! They are coming from a wonderful, thoughtful place, but sometimes you have to politely say “thanks, but no thanks.” Here are some examples of things I ended up with after not looking so carefully: fabric smelling of smoke and teeny tiny scraps hidden under a facade of lovely remnants. On the flip side, here is what makes upcycling so much fun: oddly shaped remnants, vintage fabrics, a variety of patterns that you wouldn’t match if you HAD THE CHOICE. When I say HAD THE CHOICE, I mean fabric shopping. Taking in fabric stashes, ironically, makes my life SO EASY. I am given a set collection, I don’t browse and choose what I want to buy. Walking into a fabric shop with all the choices is a bit VERY overwhelming for me. TOO many choices, I can’t ever decide. 

Another way I like to acquire upcycled fabric is from home decor fabric stores! NO JOKE, I know, I know, I just went on about how I hate shopping at fabric stores, and its overwhelming, blah, blah, blah, LOL. Well, I don’t go there to shop, per say. Let me ask you this- WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY DO WITH ALL THOSE FABRIC SAMPLES????? Let’s back up a minute. When I say “fabric store” I mean a shop, with endless sample books and remnants left over from custom projects. After a year under my belt, these two options have really been my “go to” for upcycled fabric. It’s worked great for me. I end up with TOP QUALITY, brand new fabrics, that had no future, except for the landfill. Pretty cool huh?  Here is the end result: Image

I am in love with this bag, and will be particularly sad when it leaves me. I think really it’s because of what I put into it and dreaming it up! The glory of upcycling is, no remnant or sample is the same size or shape. I do have a small pattern library (Peony Bag and the Lotus Bag), but I also get fabric pieces that don’t fit the patterns for those bags. That’s were this great cross body bag came from! I had great leftover pieces of Amy Butler polka dot cotton leftover from these dinosaur tails, and I have a 12×12 inch fabric sample of the brown fabric to use. VOILA! Now you have this beautiful fun, spring-y, and absolutely functional bag to swoon over! 🙂 Ok, at least I will be swooning over it!

Happy friday everyone! Have you sent your postcard yet?

xoxo

Amy

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