Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Fashion:Remix Team Valentine's Day Remix

A selection of valentine themed items from members of the Fashion:Remix team. Pinks, reds and florals abound.

Don't forget to check out the selections in the team shop!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jeans and a Tshirt: A Classic Refashioned

Whether you refer to this ubiquitous cotton fabric by the name jeans or denim, the origins of the name are from Europe. Italian sailors from Europe (Jeans) and serge de Nimes (a town in France) are considered to be the birth place of these fashion staples. However, denim as not always considered common, fashionable or even made from cotton. According to The History of Jeans, denim wasn't even made from cotton until the 18th century. As cotton production increased denim was produced from slave labor. Cotton in a Global Economy notes that after the invention of the cotton gin the production of cotton exploded from 156,000 bales in 1800 to around 4 million bales 60 years later. As a result of increased production in the United States Great Britain was able to support the entire population on cotton textile production. The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution began cranking out cotton clothing and shipping it all over the United States and Europe. Cotton became inexpensive and easy to produce and jeans began to appear as 100% cotton and dyed with indigo. However, jeans were not seen as a sign of status or high fashion, they were clothes for workers. They grew in popularity thanks to the California gold rush. The miners needed strong, sturdy pants and denim was the answer. The addition of rivets to hold pockets on made them the perfect heavy duty pant. Next, the cowboys starting wearing them, then the rebels without a cause in the 50's and finally the 60's brought flower children and hippies. They wore embroidered, patchwork hand embellished jeans. Jeans grew in popularity and became a symbol of Western decadence (The History of Jeans). Finally, jeans increased in popularity and grew in status through the 80's until finally the development of fashion designer jeans sealed their popularity among everyone from toddlers to The President.

The reasons that jeans became so popular are the very reasons that they are great for refashioning. They are sturdy, easy to embellish and can be found inexpensively anywhere. Everyone owns jeans and designers change the popular style constantly. As a result, literally tons of jeans end up in landfills, thrift stores and the back of people's closets. Luckily there are plenty of books and websites on the topic, so there is no excuse for tossing out those faded blues. So grab a pair of scissors, a little needle and thread and get to work refashioning those indigo cast offs into something fashion forward.

Resources for Denim Refashion:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Year of Refashion

As 2010 draws to an end each of us has the opportunity to reflect on our challenges, opportunities and accomplishments. The Fashion:Remix Team on Etsy was begun in early 2010 and since it's inception has grown to 27 members. We have team members from all over the United States canvasing North to New Hampshire and South to Texas. East from New York to Oregon on the West Coast. We've had some exciting growth in our international presence with shops in Canada, England and Lithuania. As both a team leader and a member, the most interesting part of the experience has been to see the unique perspective that becomes infused in our craft from each corner of the globe. Culturally we can celebrate our uniqueness and together we can celebrate our common goals of promoting conservation, personal expression, and art in all of it's forms. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with and learn from some a creative, talented and resourceful group of Etsians. I look forward to 2011 and the future of our little team and all of the new and interesting ways that we can continue to support the handmade, sustainable fashion movement.

Green with Envy

A new treasury on Etsy featuring members of the Fashion:Remix Team

Thursday, December 9, 2010

look nook: EW: Wrap it up.

look nook: EW: Wrap it up.: "They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or a gift by its wrapping. I happen to disagree. The outside is an item's first impression ..."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sales on Etsy

This weekend after many put down their turkey legs they will turn their attention to shopping around for the best deals. Etsy will be supporting sellers participating in the following three promotions:

Free Shipping Etsy
Black Friday Etsy
Cyber Monday Etsy

Each shop participating will tag one or more of their items with these promotional search tags. Be sure to read the shop announcement for more information about what the shop is offering in their sale. Many Fashion: Remix Team members will be participating in these promotions as well, so look for us by searching for our tag: fashionremixteam.

To everyone in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Fashion:Remix Team Celebrates Winter Treasury on Etsy

Fashion:Remix Team Celebrates Winter

No Trash Wrap

In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million
tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags. The individual members of the Fashion:Remix Team are committed to help fight the trash by offering promotional items tagged "notrashwrap". Search for each of our unique solutions for a greener holiday season.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall Fashion:Remix Treasury

As summer comes to a close here on the East Coast of the United States I'm beginning to dream of comfy cardigans in anticipation of the cool autumn nights. I've created an Etsy Treasury featuring fall-themed items from members of the Fashion:Remix Team as my celebration of the end of steamy, summer nights.

Visit our treasury and leave us a note to let us know what you think.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Swap for Good- Hold your own clothing swap!

Alright, this post is inspired by my week-long No Impact Challenge, but I thought it would be great to share all of this information with you!
After doing my research with No-Impact Man, Colin, (not literally, but with his handy-dandy No Impact Challenge Manual), I ran across this fantastic idea- a Swap for Good to benefit victims of domestic abuse. Not only do participants go home with new (used) clothing, but the clothing that does not find a home eventually does, in a shelter of your choice.

The idea is to invite your friends to go through their closets and bring all of the clothing they would like to get rid of. Then, you can either have a free-for-all, or hold an "auction" where you hold up a piece of clothing and whoever wants it can shout for it! Super fun, free entertainment. If two friends can't seem to agree who receives the clothing, then have a "walk-off" to see who "wears" it better. All positive comments, please!

I have done this as a college student with all of my dance major friends. I have so many awesome pieces that I have received, and I love it when I see a friend wearing a pair of my pants!

Please check out my own blog,, for more information about the No Impact Challenge. Although it started today, it's still not too late! It's worth it just to read through the manual that you receive for signing up to get great tips and reminders on how to lessen your impact on our Mother Earth.

That's all, folks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interview with Garage Couture

Lovely Erin Stevens of Garage Couture shared the nuts and bolts of her clothing design with me, and so it is with pleasure that I share this interview with you!

Tell me a little bit about your shop. Where are you located?And how did you come up with the name for your shop?

My shop is located in Vilnius, Lithuania (I am American, but currently live in Vilnius). Recently, I changed my shop name to “Garage Couture”. I like how it sounds. I can’t make “Haute Couture”, but I can make awesome “Garage Couture”: one-of-a-kind, detailed, fashionable and affordable upcycled clothing.

How long have you been making reconstructed, recycled clothing?

For about ten years. At first, I made clothes out of vintage and retro fabrics I found on ebay and sold them at various boutiques in Seattle. Lately, I have been focusing on using recycled clothing. I love it. I like starting with a piece whether it is a button, shirt, necktie or whatever and creating something around it, from it, with it, etc. It is my canvas.

What was the first item that you sold for your business and how did you feel when you sold it?
On Etsy, it was a necktie camisole. Happy and honored that someone liked my creation and wanted to buy and wear it. The customer was from Seattle, and since I lived there for many years, I thought for sure it was a friend of a friend of a friend who bought it. But it turned out that she just found my clothes on Etsy and liked them.

What makes you excited about reconstruction or upcycling instead of using new materials? What inspires you to create? What is your creative process if you have one?
I like to fantasize that I am Andy (Molly Ringwald) in “Pretty in Pink” (teen movie from the 1980’s) and I am making the coolest prom dress ever and going with the hottest guy in school. No really, I am excited to know that the pieces I use have a past as well as a future. Plus it feels good knowing that my customers and I are playing our little part in helping preserve the environment.

Garbage [inspires me to create]…when I see so much waste, I try to think of ways to reuse things or make something from something. Just to clarify, I do not use any garbage in my creations, it is just my inspiration. As for my creative process, rarely do I have the end result mapped out in my head before I start my project. I usually just start with something and see where it takes me.

How do you balance you business with other things in your life, including other jobs, family, friends, or other interests? Do you find it difficult or have you found that you are able to balance everything?

I can’t do it, had to quite my day job first.

What has most surprised you about creating and running your own business?
I am surprised at how much I enjoy interacting with customers, helping them choose the correct size, color and even doing custom work. I love the fact that I have control over merchandising, product shots, copy etc. Everything is my vision.

Favorite kind of summery dessert?
Favorite summery dessert would have to be a margarita although I can’t get good tequila in Lithuania. Next best thing is dark chocolate, good anytime of the year and luckily widely available in Lithuania.

Where can we find your work?

I have my work in a Boutique in Vilnius, Gedimino 9.

What is your favorite way to connect with others?

Word of mouth. It is nice when someone tells me they saw my top on someone and want one too.

Last thing, what is one tidbit of advice you would give to anyone starting their own business?

I need advice. Anyone want to offer some?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweaters for Penguins- Crafters and Oil Spills

Sometimes as an artist I wonder what I would have done had I become a marine biologist or environmental scientist. Could I be of better assistance in times like today, when oil spills threaten and ice bergs are melting?

So, instead of bemoaning my lack of a science degree, I decided to do some research on practical ways that crafter and artisans can and are helping the environment, particularly related to the BP Oil Spill.

Of course there are the obvious ways.
Money is helpful.

Spreading awareness and writing to your local and federal representatives helps too.

Protests also are effective in getting out a message.

But there are other surprisingly useful ways that crafters can lend a hand to the cause.

Penguin sweaters, for instance.

After listening to an eye-opening report done by Nell Greenfieldboyce of NPR questioning whether oiled birds should be cleaned in the aftermath of an oil spill, I began to wonder the same myself. You can read the report yourself here. Some scientists argue that it does more harm than good, while others say it is better than letting them suffer.

However, these sweaters were created after a 2000 New Year's Day oil spill off of the southern tip of Australia. The sweaters helped the birds to stop preening their feathers, which causes them to ingest the oil, one of the most difficult parts of rehabilitation as it causes illness. The sweaters also kept them warm until they were well enough to be cleaned, and also helped to build up the natural oils in their feathers. Not too bad for a little sweater.

You can read more about these penguin sweaters at this website. You can also find a pattern for penguin sweaters at this website.

But, how can crafters and artisans who are now experiencing the BP Oil Spill help out the loons and pelicans affected? Not only this, what about other sea life below the surface? I am not sure of the answer yet... a new crochet pattern for pelicans may not work like it does for the penguins. However, I can continue to do the other things listed above to do something to contribute. Or, like Elizabeth of SerendipiT, I can donate proceeds from my sales towards the effort (Props to you, Elizabeth! I shall soon follow your example!)

So, do what you can, in whatever way you can, whether it is creative or mainstream. Every bit helps!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June: Save Our Seas Sale at SerendipiT

Inspired by the recent Gulf oil disaster and in recognition of the official United Nations' World Oceans Day I have committed to donating 50% of sales proceeds in June from my Etsy Shop to Thank you for supporting the Save Our Seas sale! Want to learn more about What Mission Blue Does? Keep reading...

About Mission Blue
Mission Blue's purpose is to explore and care for the ocean. We are committed to inspiring a sea change in public awareness, access and support for marine protected areas worldwide, ranging from the deepest ocean to sunlit reefs, and from the seamounts of the high seas to coastal seagrass meadows.

We draw inspiration from the vision evoked by our founder, Dr. Sylvia Earle: to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas--hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.

Under Dr. Earle's leadership, the Mission Blue team has embarked on a series of expeditions to further this vision and shed light on these ocean Hope Spots. We also bring the discoveries and stories of a network of ocean experts to the public through documentaries, social and traditional media, and innovative tools like Google Earth's "Explore the Ocean" layer. Additionally, we support the work of many conservation NGO’s with whom we share the basic mission of ocean protection and public awareness, most notably our global partner IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature).

Act Now

There is time, though not a lot, to take action to stabilize and reverse the global decline of the natural ocean systems that keep us alive. Although humans pose grave danger to the health of the ocean, we also represent hope.

Experts agree the major threats facing the ocean are overfishing and destructive fishing practices; trash pollution, especially plastics; habitat loss due to development; acidification; dead zones; and insufficient protection of sensitive areas. Mission Blue focuses on increased protection because it offers hope for alleviating many of these issues. While approximately 12% of land is protected through national parks and reserves, less than one percent of the ocean is under any kind of protection. More than 99 percent is under threat.

The ocean is our planet’s blue heart, yet we are protecting only a fraction of it. We can do better. Help establish a network of protected areas by creating a strong community of people who care.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Day Sale!

May is going to be a very exciting month for the Etsy Fashion: Remix Team because we are offering our first collective sale! Search for us by typing "MayDaySale" and then read each shop announcement for the sale items. Here are a few examples of sales available now through the end of May:

ErinsApparel - ATTENTION: Celebrate May with the Fashion Remix Team! We are all offering a "sale" during the month of May. My sale is a GIFT WITH PURCHASE plus FREE SHIPPING. Receive a VINTAGE Soviet barrette with any purchase. Visit my facebook fan page for barrette choices. They are listed in the album "Gift with Purchase". Thanks!

Refab - Refab is offering Buy One Get One Half Price for our May Day Sale. Check out your items and pay with PayPal and I will refund half the item cost of the lesser priced garment! This sale includes ALL INVENTORY ON REFAB!!

SavageFrocks - *I am offering free shipping and a free gift (handmade flower pins!)for the entire month of May. Just type "May Day Sale" in the convo to seller at checkout.

SerendipiT - Get a free t-shirt tote bag with every purchase through the end of May. Just type "MAYDAYSALE" in convo to seller during checkout.

ZurdaCrafts - One free brooch of your choice with a purchase of $20 or more. Just type "May Day Sale" in the convo to seller at checkout.

So, if you haven't checked out the Fashion: Remix Team yet, May is a great month to do it. Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interview with Elizabeth of SerendipiT

Hey, this is Molly Kay of "Rags by Sock Monkey". This is the first of a series of interviews that I will be featuring on our Team Blog. Our first interview is with Elizabeth of SerendipiT. She not only features fabulous refashioned clothing but beautiful yoga bags and recycled gift wrap bows. She also founded the group Etsy Fashion Remix Street Team, and so the team has decided to feature her in our first interview. Thanks for chatting, Elizabeth!

Tell me a little about your shop and how you came up with the name of your shop.

I am the creator of SerendipiT of Baltimore City, Maryland. I started reconstructing my own clothing about a year ago and opened my Etsy store in October of 2009. I wanted to come up with a name that expressed that I used T-shirts in new and interesting ways. I frequently use T-shirts because there are just so many of them available and they don't fray. As a new refashioning crafter this material is a real dream to work with because it is inexpensive, abundant, comfortable and looks so good on everyone.

I thought of the name SerendipiT because I had just cleaned out my closet and realized that I had about 25 t-shirts that I had no intention of wearing. I knew that there were a bunch of things that I did need though....a backpack, a comfortable and stretchy shirt, a cardigan, etc. It was one of those Eureka moments when I realized that I could use T-shirts to make all of those things. I turned to Megan Nicolay's series of books on how to refashion T-shirts and learned how to sew, how to work with the fabric and began to build from there. It was truly a fortuitous discovery that I could reduce, reuse and recycle just by cleaning out my closet.

What was the first item that you sold for your business and how did you feel when you sold it?
Well, I've only sold 2 items, so I remember both vividly. The first item I sold was a refashioned t-shirt tote that my very good friend purchased from my shop. I remember being so excited that someone really understood, appreciated and wanted to support me.
What makes you excited about reconstruction instead of using new materials?

I am really focused on reducing the consumption of raw materials as a way to positively impact my environment. I also love being thrifty and it is much less expensive to make or purchase refashioned clothing than to purchase something new.

What inspires you to create? What is your creative process if you have one?
I don't consider myself to be terribly creative, but I am pragmatic. I often gravitate towards clothing that is comfortable and accessories that are practical. I was tired of squeezing into tight, ill-fitting clothing and started making my own comfortable and casual wear. My creative process usually involves me rummaging through my fabric bin, at a local thrift store or clothing swap and finding a really cool looking garment that just doesn't fit me. I then look at the fabric and decide where it looks best on me to showcase the pattern or shape. Finally, I shop around in my closet for other items that fit me well and I remake the garment into something comfortable and fun.

I'm also an avid mountain biker, snowboarder, gardener, yoga practitioner, mom, etc. so I need practical clothes that move with me through multiple activities. When it comes to choosing a color palette I often just look at nature. In short, I'm inspired by what I see and experience in my own life and make things that I need because I suspect there are other women out there like me.

What has most surprised you about creating and running your own business?
Honestly I just didn't think I could do it. The thing that has surprised me most is how much I really enjoy it. It rarely seems like work and I try to have as much fun with it as I can. I enjoy creating far more than I ever realized and I have far more creativity than I knew.

Have there been any major challenges or even smaller struggles that you have overcome or are learning to deal with?
Space, time and money. I have a very small work area and only an old 1960's sewing machine. It can be very frustrating to work on such a limited budget, with little spare time. If it was up to me, I would work at home and create every day, but it just isn't practical at this stage in my life. I'm also learning to finish one project before I begin another, which has always been a struggle for me. I'm also learning to pace myself and not to take anything to seriously.

Silly question, but chopsticks or forks, and why?
Ohashi! I prefer chopsticks because they are just so much more practical and I'm less likely to shovel food into my face which helps me with portion control and to eat only until I feel full.
Last thing, what is one tidbit of advice you would give to any artist out there trying to share their work?
Have fun, love what you do and your passion will shine through.
Thanks Elizabeth!
You can find Elizabeth's shop on Etsy at Also, check out her blog at where she shares fabulous videos, recipes, and other great diy projects. Come back for more interviews in the future!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treasury East is Open for Business

Etsy has added a new wider format Treasury that users can curate at any time called "Treasury East". In the past users have had to wait for the main treasury to drop below 333 (which rarely happens) in order to submit their choices. In addition, users were restricted to only one treasury at a time. Many users have mixed emotions about the new treasury format because many feel that "winning" a treasury makes it more fun. Personally, I enjoy the ability to create at my convenience and since it isn't flash based I find it easier to use and I can view it more easily from a variety of devices. It was announced in the forums that the Treasury East was open and I immeidately created my first treasury. See it here; then create your own! (Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think about my new treasury of eco-friendly fashion).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review: “The Sweater Chop Shop”


The Sweater Chop Shop is my favorite book on clothing recycling and wardrobe refashioning.   It’s well written with clear instructions and illustrations.  It has a wonderful balance of introductory information and let’s-get-started enthusiasm.

Crispina ffrench’s basic method is to create felted fabric from good quality wool sweaters in your washing machine and dryer, and then using the resulting fabric to create garments and household items. 

You can make the Renaissance Top with Bell Sleeves pictured on the book cover.  Or a Basic Pullover, or an Empire Vest with Gathers.  For the home, how about this:   

The processes involved are so simple that one doesn’t even need a sewing machine.  All the projects are designed to be sewn by hand; in fact, the hand sewing is a design element. 

Also—and this is important—the designs in this book are just cool, fresh, and funky.  There are some truly new, innovative ideas here.   


Crispina ffrench photo from her blog,

Best of all, the designs are adaptable to pretty much any body, personality, age, or gender.  The author gives detailed instructions on how to make basic garments, then follows with a chapter on individual elements to personalize them, such as hoods, various pockets, etc.  If you don’t care for the rough-hewn, handmade look that’s pictured in the book, it would be easy to refine the designs by using a sewing machine and hiding the stitching. 


posted by Barbara from Blue Kimono Studio.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Threadbanger Tutorial: Make a Halter Dress from Old Tshirts

If you don't know about Threadbanger, but you are interested in joining the DIY scene or are just looking for a great way to "green" up your life then check out their website for great tutorials on refashioning clothes and recycling. It's free, fresh and fun. For those of you who are interested in a great tutorial for making a hip halter dress out of old-tshirts read on!

Threadbanger had a great episode this week titled, "Halter T-Dress How-to". This t-shirt refashion is an excellent way to turn some over-sized concert tees into a rockin' dress or bathing suit cover-up. It's soft, stretchy, lightweight and comfortable; everything you need and want in casual summer clothes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We Won! The Etsy Fashion:Remix Street Team is Awarded a Grant for April, 2010

Although recently formed, our team is continuing to grow in numbers. The Fashion:Remix Team now boasts 12 Etsy stores who focus on fashion-forward design featuring recycled materials. Be sure to check out our page and learn about each of our team members and take a look at what they have to offer. Our team represents a diverse offering of clothing and accessories and we have members from Baltimore, Maryland and North to Toronto, Canada and all the way west to Seattle, Washington! We held our first team meeting in the Etsy Virtual Labs and gave each member the opportunity to share why they chose to become crafters, designers, and ultimately sellers. We also discussed how each of us can contribute to the success of our team's goal of promoting refashioned clothing and accessories globally.

Now, onto the news I am most pleased to announce...drum roll please...our team was awarded an Etsy Team Grant for April! (Hooray!) I know that each of us is excited and busy planning how best to use our newly offered funds to generate lots of excitement and the opportunity to share our craft with others. This grant will afford us the chance to work together as a team to provide some really creative promotions for the handmade, refashioned movement. Look for our future updates on how we plan to use our grant and our resulting success.

If you have suggestions on how to spend our Etsy Team Grant, or if you have experience with promoting your Etsy Teams , please share your success with us in the comments below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Street Team is Born!

In 2009 I began crafting refashioned clothing and accessories and offered my handmade creations for sale on, a well-known website devoted to the purchase and sale of handmade products. Etsy offers many great opportunities for the global crafting community to learn from each other and callaborate within the Etsy community. I began searching for a team to join so that I could learn new techniques and tips and work collectively to promote the sale of clothing and accessories crafted from previously loved clothing. I did join several groups with similar goals, but ultimately chose to create my own team to ensure that the core concept of recycling materials to create environmentally-friendly fashion and The Fashion:Remix Team was born. New members have been joining weekly and I am thrilled with the possible growth and opportunity, but even more the fellowship that I share with my fellow team members. This blog will be the home to our ideas and creations, that will celebrate the handmade, recycled fashion we create.