A Fashionable Upcycle Story!

Happy Thursday!

Upcycling is all about creative reuse of any item previously owned.

This post is the result of a gorgeous pillow case sham that perhaps was made in the 70s/80s era which I transformed into my Everyday Tank Top pattern. Can you tell? I bought this a while back on my visit to the thrift store. I thought the print was unusual and it spoke to me at the time.

At the time, I envisioned a simple top but I did not imagine the exact process of how I would achieve it. Nevertheless, This is the final result.


I can safely say now I am a thrifter. Why? Because I frequent thrift stores often to find gems in the cloth/material section. I hope all my crafters out there know such a section exists? My visits started out as a quest for play fabric since as you know, fabric is not cheap. I would find yards of material for cheap that I could then use to test out pattern ideas. This allowed for inexpensive ‘fail efforts’ in event things didn’t always pan out as planned, if you know what I mean.


Gems would appear from time to time. So since it’s been about five years of doing this, I can safely say I am a fabric thrifter :)! Not only is it cost effective, but some of these gems were able to make me some amazing tester garments such as my bright green pants a few post back that were supposed to be testers. πŸ™‚

What it was before?

So this fabric that clearly dates itself and as mentioned before, was a sham pillow case. I didn’t think at the time that I will eventually blog about it, so I started taking it apart before I could take a ‘before photo’. When I purchased it, you could tell that it was not used a lot. It was not in the materials section of the store but since pillowcases were nearby It was hard not to miss this gem. Loved it at first sight!


The Process & Pattern used

Picking the seams out was the longest bit. Not fun at first, but I gained momentum that took me to the finish line! πŸ™‚
For this transformation I used one of my own self drafted patterns – The Everyday Tank Top. I thought it was perfect for this style and the amount of fabric available after I took it apart. I added two side slits to make it interesting.


It was the perfect top for a summer’s day out. Who would have ever thought it was once a dated sham from back then? Hopefully no one. πŸ™‚


I am usually proud of my makes, but even more proud of this one because it was upcycled.

Perhaps I have stumbled upon an exercise that will not be the last time?

What are your thoughts on upcycling?

After packing and organizing my sewing space these past few weeks, my focus is definitely heightened around sewing and creating from the stash! There are a few gems of thrifted fabric that are hiding in there.

Wish me well!

I hope your summer is going well so far. Thanks for stopping by.



4 thoughts on “A Fashionable Upcycle Story!

  1. Beautiful both: the model and her creation! A great pattern on this fabric, and suits you so wonderfully.

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