Creative Reuse! Materials, medium and being open to what comes.

After reporting on the lovely Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse I started thinking about some creative reuse of my own.  In addition to the things I found at CCR, but also things from antique shops, vintage stores, friends…So here is a little story about what I did with the stuff I find and what’s up next.

Above is a vintage curtain, so lovely.  I am actually in the process of making a dress with this now and will post the results later this week.

Below is my go to everyday bag.  Yes with crazy recycled vintage feathers.  The fabric for the bag came from a pair of black pants I found at the Salvation army.  I cut about 2/3 of the pants and then cut them to fit the patterns pieces.  The top portion I used for shorts.  Another thing I like about this shot? It is from my old studio in New York, before Hurricane Irene.

Above:  More curtains from Sandy and Dawn at Jenkinstown!   I love the color toile pattern.  So the bottom is a pair of pencil slim pants I made (think Mary Tyler Moore on the Dick Van Dyke show) and also a below the knee pencil skirt.  I have a ton more fabric so will come with some more stuff.

It is tres Van Trapp aussi, no?  Do a dear, a female dear.

I really wanted a pair of dark dark blue skinny jeans.  But I didn’t want my butt hanging out the back when I sat down.  Why why are rises so short?  Anyway so I went to buy denim at the fabric store the quality was so bad I gave up.  Then I went to a Red, White and Blue a line of thrift stores in and around Pittsburgh.  I found a pair of men’s jeans the right rinse and opened them from the middle inseam then overlapped my jeans pattern over them and cut them down.  I also cut out the zipper and back seam as well – then stitched the whole thing back up, adding a new zipper in the back (I love that look).  Basically making a new pair of jeans.

Dawn found this piece of paste diamond jewelry. I love love it!  I just put a piece of leather and wear it as a choker though the leather is looped so I can also make it longer.  I get compliments every time I wear it I love it.  I also plan on wearing it in my hair.  Kind of the way I store it on top of one of my father’s sculptures.

From the Center of Creative Reuse I found this beautiful 1×1 applique piece of fabric, I figured it would make a great pillow….

then I bought a used pillow at the Salvation Army, cut it up and used the stuffing as the stuff for the new pillow.

Woohoo success, my dad likes it enough to put in the his living room!

Below is a skirt I made from amazing panel of embroidered silk again from Sandy at Jenkinstown Antiques.  What I did was double up the silk panels to make the skirt, you can see the mirror image of the design.  I also used portion to create a kind of silk cascade on the front of the skirt.

The perfect 2 yards of perfect black cotton fabric from Center of Creative Reuse.  This is the blouse in progress, the sleeve.  The finished top and more come soon….


5 Responses to “Creative Reuse! Materials, medium and being open to what comes.”
  1. vintagejenta says:

    Tereneh – your reuse ideas are so inspiring! Not to mention eco-friendly. Can’t get much more eco-friendly than reusing something that’s already made (which is why living in historic buildings is also awesome).

    You’re making me want to go peruse my scraps of fabric and thrift store wool sweaters to see what I can come up with!

  2. idiaDega says:


    Yeah! You’re so creative, I know whatever you make will be beautiful!

  3. Totally inspiring! I envy your talent for design, sewing, the way you see the world!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Handmade gifts are the best, especially when you get them, well making them can be pretty fun too! There are so many different gifts you can make. You can bake gifts, such as cookies, brownies or bread. You can print your photographs into cards, frame your images, or create a photobook. You can knit, crochet, sew, weave, the possibilities are endless! Check out some of these options and ideas from FarmHouse: Vintage T-Shirts into Bags, Perforated paper, Creative Reuse! […]

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