Upcycling clothes scraps to Fashion

Zero Waste Daniel is a brand who take the material scraps thrown away by clothes manufacturers – and stitches them together into new garments, for sale.

Yes – I know – it’s called patchwork.  It’s been done by cost conscious mums down the centuries trying to eke out the life of a garment with patches, or make a new outfit from the salvaged parts of older garments which had worn through in places.  Hippies in the 1970s brought in a wave of patchwork clothes, and now a new generation even happier with clashing patterns, is discovering the delight of making the most of resources, trying not to throw away any raw material.

What I like about this story

  • I love that Daniel had made a heart-based decision to give up on the pressured unreal evening garment industry – but that at that point, he found a new purpose.
  • The new purpose wasn’t a million miles away from his existing skills and vocation, it was simply a new way of doing it.  More productive and less waste.
  • … but he wouldn’t have found the new without being willing to let go of the old way
  • The workers in the story are given a living wage.
  • The garments are made to order exactly to your measurements (via online or in the store)
  • the clients get to meet those sewing their outfit
  • there are “mosaics” available – portraits of famous people made out of cloth fabrics
  • it is carried out with style – it takes a keen design eye to piece together contrasting fabrics

See a little bit more, right here:


Similar stories:

Kaffe Fassett on knitting with wide range of yarns, previous post at http://bit.ly/2x41bDq

Fabric as truth teller – Quilting patchwork – in previous post at http://bit.ly/2uOWrAN


I’m feeling inspired – how can I start sewing a Quilt?

Glad you asked, Lesson 1 coming up next….




Pouffe! Household furniture thing of beauty

You can have the world at your feet….. or take the weight of the world off your feet… with this pouffe.

Hot air balloons, butterflies and rivers are just some of the intricate patterns on this pouffe designed by Kristjana Williams.


Picture from maker’s website: https://www.kristjanaswilliams.com

One of her largest scale commissions was a theatrical light projection for the Rio Olympics – for the beach fronted hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace.  Inspired by mapmaking and butterflies, it raised a spontaneous “wow” of delight and applause.  Before it appeared, there were butterfly balloons and kites given out on the beach.  (see a glimpse of it in this brief and beautiful one minute video).

Inside the hotel also contained more of her work, behind the reception desk and concierge desk:


If you’d like to see more of Kritjana’s work – or even, buy some – her website is:





Scandinavian home craft

Lotta Jansdotter has a worldwide reputation for handprinting patterns which are used on textiles, notebooks and household interiors.

“Can’t find what you want?  Make it!  Don’t know how?  Learn it!” is how her website describes her pragmatic approach, much of her printing based on simple potato cut prints, in repeating patterns.

Screen shot 2017-06-21 at 11.28.44.png

Her fabrics are stocked by Windham Fabrics but you can learn the techniques of (more…)

Broken promises/lives/fabrics

Fabric as truth teller.

“Broken Treaties” by Gina Adams is a display of quilts showing treaty promises made (and broken) by white settlers to Native Americans.  Gina herself is descended from both sides of this divide.

GA-3-360x433.jpgIf the lettering looks hard to read on the pattern…. this is intentional.  Gina found the words used difficult and almost contradictory.

A quilt of course presents broken pieces of fabric put together.  And a blanket was used by the white settlers as a ‘gift’ but also were instruments of death, as they were infected with European plagues.

“I’ve always had these two sides within me,” said Adams, “the inherited trauma of my American Indian ancestors, and also the colonizers, the founders of our country.”

Currently, five of Adams’s 16 completed quilts are on view in Its Honor is Here Pledged at Colorado’s Naropa University, where she is in residence. Throughout the course of the exhibition, she has offered weekly readings from the treaties, wrapping herself in the corresponding quilt — “language over language over language,” she called it. She hopes to eventually create a quilt for every recorded treaty.  (more of this story at http://hyperallergic.com/361418/the-broken-promises-of-american-indian-treaties-sewn-onto-quilts/)

Here she is, reading a treaty….

(video on Youtube account of Neropa University)