Friday, July 20, 2012

Salvaging a bleach disaster

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful $50 Anthropologie top, that made its owner feel extra pretty each time she wore it:

Then one sad day, I got sloppy with some bleach...

*Sob!*  My lovely, lovely shirt is ruined!  I mean, I wear things with lots of stains.  Probably waaaay too many, but I pretend that having kids gives me a free pass.  "Oh that?  Ha ha, my silly kids must have spilled on me again!  What can you do?"  That bleach, though, is a little too obvious even for me.  Ever since I did that I've been hiding that shirt in the bottom of my t-shirt drawer trying hard not to look at it.  So, so sad.

But fear not!  I finally found a way to (partially) redeem my stupid misdeed!  You can't really tell from those photos, but the fabric is a really nice slub jersey that I knew I could do something with.  The other day I came across an old Clinique bonus gift bag (hey, inspiration can come from anywhere, people!) that had a sweet pattern of butterflies and hot pink poppies, and I knew I had a use for my sadly abused Anthro shirt.

Some of my favorite (and best selling) items from my Etsy shop are my pillow covers, so I decided to try my hand at reinterpreting the Clinique design for a linen pillow cover.  Here's what I came up with:

Isn't that so bright and happy?  I love how it turned out!  My daughter saw it on our dining room table, which doubles as my sewing table, the morning after I made it and told Stephen that Mommy had made the prettiest pillow ever.  Why, thank you very much, you discerning almost-5-year-old :)  Here's a closer picture of one of the poppies:

I had fun doing the black stitching around the centers; I think it gives the poppies such a nice hand drawn look.  I just free-hand drew the poppies' shapes onto some of the shirt fabric that I'd backed with Wonder Under (an iron-on product that makes any fabric into an adhesive one).  I then simply ironed the poppies, stems, and center onto the linen and machine stitched them all to give them even more staying power.  This one is available here in my shop, but I love this pillow so much that I may have to make one for us to keep.  That would apparently make Lily happy, too.

So the moral of the story is, even if you do stupid things like ruining one of your favorite items of clothing, all hope is not lost!  You can salvage something from your mess, I promise.  Join the movement!  Upcycle!  (As an aside, I have such a love-hate relationship with that ridiculous word.  The English major side of me gags a little every time I hear/read it, but the creative, crafty side of me really loves the concept.  Alas, until I come up with a better word, I'll have to use that grossly over used one.)

Linking up here:
TDC Before and After


  1. thank you for sharing this very clever idea!!! I pinned it and I'm a new follower from a Hop
    have a nice week end

  2. That's a gorgeous pillow! Beautiful design, nicely done!