DIY: T-shirt into Macramé Market Bag

It's Earth Day, (although that's every day here) and what better way to celebrate than with an upcycled project tutorial!  Our goal at Trash to Couture is to inspire a less wasteful approach to the mass-produced fashion mainstream by designing tutorials using repurposed materials whenever we can.

Lately I've been inspired to upcycle unrepairable items that should be thrown out into practical items.  We've partnered up with Péla case to show you how to make this macramé tote bag from a worn out t-shirt.
Péla Case is on a mission to show people how a sustainable and eco-friendly plastic alternative can look and feel.  The cases are made from renewable plant-based and recycled materials, designed to be strong enough to protect your phone, but formulated to be 100% compostable after you no longer need it.  They're NSF tested to be free of BPA, lead, and cadmium because products you use should be safe for you, your family, and the planet! 

Make your own trendy macramé market bag with our video tutorial!


Knot the strings closer for smaller produce or go big for a beach day bag.  Even better make one to for your engraved Péla Case covered Iphone and carry inspiration with you!  Either way this cool bag will stand out and when someone asks where you got it from, you can say with pride my "husband's old t-shirt!"
Check out the new engraved cases and carry inspiration with you!

More at http://pelacase.com/upcycle


DIY: Embroidery on sheer fabrics with Sulky

Sulky products really opened my eyes to the possibilities of machine and hand embroidery.  When I first got my embroidery machine I’d experiment on all kinds of fabrics and get less than ideal results.  I figured you could only embroider onto medium weight fabrics for a successful outcome.  Then I was introduced to Sulky products and learned you can successfully embroider on light weight fabrics like knit and organza.  They have stabilizers for all types of projects.  I was initially nervous when Kelly from Sulky challenged me to do a post on embroidery with sheer fabrics.  Of course she assured me they have the correct products for this and introduced me to my now “favorite” stabilizer, Fabri-solvy.  This stuff is impressive.  It’s a fabric-like stabilizer that can be used as both a topper and backing.  Once you’re done with the embroidery it simply dissolves away in water.

Check out this quick video of the process. 

Tutorial below:


All About Sleeves: How to add the "cold shoulder"

In my last post for my "All About Sleeves" series, we discussed how to add the bell and flounce cuff to sleeves here.  It's the "year of the sleeve" and brands are taking advantage of this trend by adding     interesting cutouts, oversized ruffles, and off-the-shoulder looks to name a few.  The great news is you don't have to go buy new tops to get in on the trend.  In this post I'm showing you how to add a cold shoulder sleeve to a sleeveless top.  This is an easy update to a boring top or a fashion-froward way to add extra coverage.  I'm updating a sleeveless linen top I made as a sample from a old pillowcase.  I also updated the collar line using this tutorial here.

Supplies: sleeveless top
1/4-1/2 yard of similar material or completely different


"Cool Running" with Burda Style

When I saw Burda Style's "Cool Running" set it was only fitting as a runner that this be my first try at making my own active wear. Since the boom of athleisure I've been interested in trying a few myself but it can be somewhat intimidating at first. Being a runner who trains consistently I value pieces that offer comfort, support, and function. Bonus points for style and design. This pattern set checks all the boxes I look for in active wear.  

The fabric is just as important as the pattern. You'll need performance fabrics that have moisture wicking properties, coverage, and stretch. Fabric.com is my go to for performance fabrics, they have the coolest prints like this indigo poly spandex jersey offered in all kinds of colors and prints here. Their Telio Rayon Bamboo Jersey here has shibori and tie dye prints that would work great for loose tops. For solids you can't go wrong with their active wear spandex here.  

Burda Style has become my go to for sewing patterns. They offer fashion-forward looks that come with simple instructions. Even better they're downloadable pdf patterns you print at your convenience and are made for the modern day seamstress.  

I went with the sports bra and athletic leggings for this post. I plan to make the rest though soon. I wear tested the finished result and it was great. The paneling on the leggings create a nice fit that offers movement for activity. I like the larger, elastic waistband fit to my measurements. One of my pet peeves is when the waist line isn't tight enough so they sag or you have to constantly pull them up. I was able to adjust the straps to give ample support when training. I love the strappy back detailing and overall look can be versatile for a swim suit as well. Nothing better then a hot run followed by jumping in the pool. 

Check out the construction process below...

Print and tile your pattern. It's simple to piece together by matching the notches and numbers together like a puzzle. I then tape the sides and middle since you will be then cutting inner pattern out. Burda Style doesn't include seam allowances so make sure you add that into the pattern. I did 1/4 inch because I am using my overlock machine for extra stretch. 
Cut out your pattern. 
 With slippery polyester fabric I used my trust rotary cutter. This takes practice but it's easier for cutting knits and slippery fabrics out once you get the hang of it. 
 Pieced together everything with my overlock machine. 
Finished the edges with a double needle. 
 Sports bra pattern cut and ready to go. 
 Piecing it all together. 
 Fitting the straps for a perfect fit. The pattern does two larger straps but I went with 4 smaller ones. 
Fit is almost perfect now!



DIY Cuffs: Flounce and Bell

The statement sleeve trend is still ruling the runway from ready-to-wear to couture. Oversized cuffs and peek a boo shoulders are a few that come to mind. I'm going to be starting a new series “All About Sleeves” where I will be doing a tutorial each week about sleeves. In this post I'll be showing you how to add an oversized bell and flounce cuff to an existing sleeve. This will freshen up a basic top with a touch of feminine detailing. You can customize this to any length and style of sleeve. 

Add a bell cuff to a drop shoulder for more coverage...

You can alter the desired volume and length of your cuff. Do you want a shorter less puffy one, shorten the length and width. Try this technique on a drop shoulder to add more coverage. Try a completely different print or color for your fabric. Once you learn this technique you can have an oversized Bell Cuff for all your clothes if you want.


DIY: The Easy Peasant Top

One of my go to tops for spring and summer is a peasant top. I love the chic yet effortless look and they're versatile for all occasions. This is the simplest pattern and I love the outcome. I used a skirt for my bodice piece but you can simply make a tube top and then add the sleeves. 


DIY: Custom Patches and Embroidery with a Basic Sewing Machine

The embroidery and patch trend is here to stay for now and it's easier than ever to create your own with just some basic supplies and a sewing machine. I love the innovative products Sulky offers that make even the most intricate projects manageable. You don't have to own embroidery machines or spend hours hand stitching to get this look. Below I show you how to create your own designed patches to add to denim or anything you'd like and even how to embroider custom designs directly onto your project using a basic sewing machine. 

These old jeans had that bejeweled pocket going on and I hated that to begin with but it was made worse by the fact they started falling off. I love the fit though and you know how it can be impossible to find a pant that fits you perfectly. So I decided I'd update the bum with a mix of appliqué and free motion to create this patch look. Check out the full video below to see more of how "thread sketching" is done.