Upcycling Inspiration : The Great British Sewing Bee

At the Honest Department we’ve been keeping up with the Great British Sewing Bee in the run up to our launch. We all know that waste is a big problem in the fashion industry and this week the talented sewers were tasked to work with only recycled materials, taking second hand clothes and turning them into unique pieces. While our brands like Troo and All the Wild Roses use wasted fabric stocks from big fashion houses, helping clean up fashion on that front, there is still a lot of consumer waste that builds up in charity shops.  
     
In the spirit of the Sewing Bee we thought we’d put together a guide to get you putting together your own unique garments in no time. Before we can really get started though, the first thing you’re gonna need to do is get to grips with a couple of basic stitches. We think this video guide is super helpful but if you prefer to learn by reading there are plenty of text guides online too!
     
 
Once you’ve had a play with the stitches and it doesn’t feel totally alien head on down to the charity shop and see what you can find. You’ve got the basics of sewing now with a few pieces of second-hand clothing, some time and a dash of creativity you can create anything from twisted basics to statement pieces. In the video below you can see Hannah upcycling a couple of her thrift finds!  
           
 
     
By taking apart the old clothes, harvesting the best bits and making something new you get unique sewing experience that you wouldn’t if you were learning with fresh fabric. Deconstructing something is always the best way to work out how something is put together and with fashion it’s no different. Tear off that patterned pocket and attach it to something new or patch up a denim jacket to create a punky look, you’ll be learning along the way.  
     
You’ll surely make some mistakes, a few finger jabs or tangled thread, but at least you’re not playing with expensive fabrics. Getting the hang of it is the most important step but once you’ve sewn a couple of pockets on or made some booty shorts out of those old jeans you’ll be ready to take on more complicated projects. You could attach one loud sleeve to a white blouse or stitch up some jeans and create a two-tone look. The possibilities are endless and your new and personalised wardrobe will thank you. Fun, creative and fashionable - we can't think of a better hobby!