Up-cycling your Clothing with Garment Designer: Take the Challenge

Happy Earth Day! 

Today, April 22nd, marks the anniversary of the beginning of the environmental movement which started in 1970. If you would like to learn more about the history of this day, go to this website: https://www.earthday.org/history/

It is a known fact that the fashion industry is one of the great culprits when it comes to harming our environment. Be it pollution, toxins or labor abuse, it is possible to find proof. Yet there are many movements within the fashion industry and outside of it that are directing us to be more responsible consumers. For example, as individuals, we can adopt clothing philosophies that help the cause. Some of these include:

  • Buy less
  • Choose quality over quantity
  • Dispose of your clothing wisely
  • Exercise proper care with minimal impact on the environment
  • Support companies who make an effort to be sustainable

The Cochenille Upcycle/Recycle Challenge. 
Due Date: May 8th, 2021

To honor sustainability, Cochenille is currently challenging our users to create a garment that involves Garment Designer and Upcycling/Recycling. This is our fourth design challenge.

What’s involved?

  • Create a garment using Garment Designer patternmaking program.
  • Submit a photo or photos of your finished garment and the Garment Designer file.

Entries will be judged by a group of fashionistas and the winner will receive a $50 gift certificate for Cochenille Products. The due date for submission is Saturday, May 8th, 2021, midnight.

Need some Inspiration and Guidance?

You can start by looking at our Pinterest board on recycled/upcycled fashions:

Different Approaches to Upcycled Fashions

There are various ways to approach creating an upcycled/recycled garment. Here are a few ideas:

Create Your Own Fabric

  • Start with several garments and cut them up and then re-stitch them together to create a new fabric. Then, create a pattern in Garment Designer and use it with the new fabric.

Use a Garment Designer Pattern and Cut Out your Pieces from Existing Garments

  • Create a pattern for all or part of a garment and cut it out of a sweatshirt/t-shirt or other garment. Build from there. Check out this blog entry to see how I started with a sweatshirt and a pair of blue jeans to create the dress below.
  • https://www.cochenille.com/upcycling-and-creativity/
Upcycle Project
The result of my fashion sustainable project

Restyle an Existing Garment

You can also simply recut an existing garment with your new Garment Designer patter. Check out this blog entry to see an example.  

Use a Pattern Template

  • Create a pattern in Garment Designer and use it as a template to build a garment by adding recycled fabric, piece-by-piece. 

Here is an example of using a template.

Join the Cochenille Upcycle/Recycle challenge

I was invited to an upcycle event by Joan Boucher, from Alameda California. She heads a group of women who get together on a regular basis to create. Our activity started with a visit to St. Vincent de Paul Distribution Center in Oakland. We were given 30 minutes to rummage through their bins and take what we wanted to in order to create upcycled clothing.

Here is the group of garments I decided to work with. In essence they became my ‘palette’.

I used a pattern I had created from Garment Designer, laid it down and studied its shape.

Then, I started to position, cut, and place various parts of the garments I had collected. I tried to take advantage of the fun parts of the original garments, like pockets, bottom bands, draw strings, finished edges, etc. A serger is a great advantage but it is not critical.

The start of the layout
Continued layout

Of course, I didn’t complete it during the afternoon we were together, as there was too much fun chatter, and camaraderie to be truly effective. But I ultimately did complete the project and now have a reversible (front to back) top. I trimmed all the edges using a row of single crochet.

Lastly, you can see how a model makes the upcycle even more glamorous. Thanks Kristy! And the photo team of Natasha Hayes, photographer, and Liese Hoffmire (stylist).

Our new sustainable fashion garment.

So, join the Cochenille Upcycle/Recycle Challenge and know that you contributed to a more sustainable world.

One thought on “Up-cycling your Clothing with Garment Designer: Take the Challenge

  1. Thanks Susan – that is so great that you gave strategies and choices for ways to develop the design challenge – I appreciate that. Love your pinterest boards too. Loooking forward to creating an upcycled garment. Rita.

Comments are closed.