It’s finally here! It’s reveal day for the #sewunconventional challenge and to say I’m excited would be a total understatement. Needless to say I went overboard with this project and ended up making a four piece outfit! Keep reading for more details. xo
This challenge was hosted by Tabitha Sewer, Lynn of Lynnwardrobesews, and Sewing Bloggers on instagram. The whole premise of this challenge was to use any materials to make any garment that is not fabric. You could use muslin as a base, but the bulk of the garment had to be made out of non-fabric materials. Watch Project Runway?? Yup, it’s like that.
I knew going into this project that I wanted to use materials I already had on hand and I didn’t want to create any waste. At first I thought I might use cardboard but I couldn’t wrap my head around how the structure would work out. Then I notice that my recycle bin in my office was full to the brim and it hit me….. JUNK MAIL!! In spite of my best efforts to unsubscribe from all unnecessary mailings, we still get plenty of junk mail. So thats what I decided to use as my unconventional material.
For the bodice I used the insides of security envelopes because I love the fun geometric patterns they are printed with. I used the Chelsea Party Dress pattern to construct the bodice and it is held together with scotch tape and a prayer (I didn’t think I’d be able to stitch around those curves and have a good outcome). The straps are embellished with scraps from my paper shredder.
The skirt is made out of those newsprint sales announcements from the grocery store. I dyed them blue with water based ink for some extra color (and because I wanted to drown out all the pictures of food!). I pleated the paper in different layers to add volume and structure to the silhouette. I left a little overlap in the back so when I taped the back closed on my body it would have enough coverage. To watch more about my process check out these videos below:
Once my brain got rolling with this concept of using unconventional materials I got a little carried away. It all started with the earrings. If you follow me on instagram or are familiar with my handmade shop you know I’m OBSESSED with funky earrings. I have a bit of a collection. So I of course HAD to make some earrings to go with this outfit.
I had a bright red christmas card envelope in my recycle bin that immediately caught my eye. The paper was nice and sturdy and I knew it would be a great pop of color.
After the earrings I got it in my head that it would be fun to have a hat. I used the dimensions from a boater hat I have and constructed the hat out of cardboard, wrapped it in the same dyed blue grocery add paper, then added a fun little flourish on the side with more pleated paper and a shredded paper flower.
As I was making the hat I was thinking about functional items and something I could hold along with the outfit so I would have something to do with my hands. Then the idea for a purse was born. Its a classic frame purse with a flap and a peg closure. I turned a priority box inside out and used the printed inside as a design feature. Then of course I added more shredded paper to the flap (because I just looooooovee using massive amounts of Elmers glue apparently). The chain strap is made from braided strips of magazine pages.
The last one I blame on my husband. I was showing him my earrings, hat, and purse, when he jokingly commented “now you just need a pair of shoes!” I tried to laugh it off y’all I really did, but the gears were turning and I couldn’t stop them! I used the technique I learned from my sandals class at the Art of Shoes Austin. The front strap is made from more of the braided magazine strips, and the middle larger strap is cardboard coated in… you guessed it… MORE shredded paper! I’m really obsessed with the way it adds texture and everything is just tied in together perfectly! And y’all…. the shoes are ACTUALLY FUNCTIONAL.
And THAT ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary folks… is my Sew Unconventional outfit! Watch my final youtube video to see the dress in action and get an even more in-depth look at the finished garment and accessories:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and look at all my pics! I truly had such a fun time putting this project together that it was hard to narrow it down. Don’t forget to check out #sewunconventional today to see everyones finished makes and show your support!
Also, I know its not cool to leave comments on blogs anymore but I would LOVE to hear how you liked this project below!