Remake, Redo, Reuse

Perhaps I’m just inspired by earth day, or maybe I’m just inspired in that ‘special’ way but I’m in the mood to recreate stuff.

I’m in a craft show this weekend called Bloomin’ Earth and it’s at the Kitchener Market downtown.  It’s actually more of a earth-day festival and you can get all the info by clicking on this link – BLOOMIN’ EARTH.  The whole show revolves around handmade and the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) so it’s going to be a great show for all ages.

I make a line of kids clothing called Punkn’s Alternative Clothing.  I take a combination of new and recycled fabrics and findings and turn them into really cute onesies, t-shirts, bibs etc and that’s what I’ll be selling there.

Anyhow, on to the real subject of this post.

I was recently emailed information about a competition and a photo shoot opportunity.  Two separate events but the subject is the same.  They are looking for remade wedding dresses.  The photo shoot is pretty loose as far as what they are looking for and for budget.  They want some designers to take an old thrift-ed wedding dress and make it into something edgy and high fashion.  The competition is similar but more rules.  They have three photo’s posted and each entrant is to use one of those photo’s as inspiration for their re-design.  The budget is $75 and that includes the cost of the dress.

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful person from Kitchener Freecycle donate a dress to me.  (if you aren’t familiar with Freecycle, you can check it out here to find your local chapter: http://www.freecycle.org/)  Now I just need to sit down and decide how I’m going to remake it.  I plan to use only things that I already have and keep my budget as close to $0 as possible since the amount spent on the dress is one of the judging criteria.  I will try to take pictures as I progress and post them here for you to see.  For now, here’s the dress in it’s original glory.

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My other new project is sewing a new bra.  I hate bra shopping.  I am the type to go maybe once every three years to buy a new bra because once I’ve found one that fits, I don’t want to try on any more.  (Usually about that time my kids are running around like crazy people, hiding in the displays and sneaking peeks in the change rooms so you can understand my haste in bra shopping or any shopping for that matter)  Well, the last one I bought was so nice and comfortable you can imagine my dismay when I pulled it out of the washer and the strap was no longer connected to the bra.  And I know what you are all saying, but when you have to do at least one load of laundry each day, sometimes 2 or 3, ‘hand wash’ and ‘lingerie bag’ are just not part of your vocabulary. You can see the damage in the picture below.

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So, yesterday my friend and I made a trip to Hamilton.  We were told about how great the fabric shopping is there and all the deals and such so we decided it was time to check it out.  Before I left to pick up my friend I went online to check out the fabric shops so I knew exactly what area we were going to.  One of the sites that came up was The Bra Makers Supply.  Now, I’ve been to their website before and always wanted to buy stuff from them to try making my own bra but I hesitated because I didn’t really know what I needed and how much.  Well, to my suprise and delight, they are located in Hamilton!  I plotted out their location so if we had time, we could stop in and check it out.

The first thing you notice about Bra Makers Supply is it’s not your usual fabric store.  Infact, it’s located in more of an office setting.  All the bra findings, notions, fabrics and patterns are neatly laid out on the shelves.  The woman that helped us was Beverly Johnson.  If you don’t know the name, she is the expert at making bras.  She owns the shop, she has written manuals, she sources out the best patterns and supplies, she designs bras and she teaches classes.  She let us wander around and check things out for a bit and then approached us to find out what we were really looking for.  So I explained my dilemma and that although I could just reattach the strap to my bra, I felt it might be time to consider re-making it since it was obvious that it’s getting time to retire it.  I had tried to make my own from a pattern once and it was not good.  For some reason the idea of making a bra from scratch was extremely intimidating.  Mostly it was the fitting process and the lack of available notions.  Did you know that there are three standard lengths of wire and that you can get them in plastic?  Me either.  I’m pretty sure Fabricland just has one length and only in the metal wire type.  They also have around 100 sizes of bra patterns (yeah I was a bit stunned to hear that too).

Remaking a bra using one that I knew fit seemed less intimidating.

Anyhow, after discussing my old bra and what I was looking for in my new bra she helped me pick out fabric and make sure that I had all the proper notions.  She even told me that if I was having trouble I could call or email them, or if at all possible, I could come in with my bra and sewing machine and she would help!  That last part floored me.  When was the last time the staff at the local fabric store told you to bring all your stuff in and they would help you if you had trouble putting your sewing project together?

So I made a decision that I would try this.  I purchased everything that I needed in order to make one bra and it cost me just under $25(that’s with taxes for all you Ontario readers).  I have enough fabric though to potentially make 2 bras so if the first one works out I can either go back or order the findings from them online to make a new bra.  They also ship worldwide if you aren’t as lucky as me to live close by.

I’m so excited to get started and I will try to get pictures of the progress of this project too so you can perhaps be inspired to try it yourself, or maybe I can do it for you. 😀

Thats all for now, have a great Earth day, Earth week, Earth year!!

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