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  • Writer's pictureanupcycledartist

Weathered White to a New Blue

Updated: Apr 23

About 10 years ago, I purchased a really comfortable, loose fitting, white cotton top and loved it so much that I wore it often. Wearing it so much meant that it was also washed and bleached a lot, and this led to some yellowing and fabric thinning in areas. I didn't want to have to bleach it anymore in order save this great top, so I dyed it with a denim blue fabric dye. As you will see, the stitching on the bodice was polyester so therefore it did not accept the dye and remained white. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for me. I really like the effect. And actually, all of the stitching was done using polyester thread, so all the stitching shows rather than blending in.

With upcycling this top, I did not cut anything off, but I did remove the original boring white buttons and replaced them with these nice vintage buttons that I found in my button box. I like the color of them, and I find them complimentary, too.

Does anybody remember Artex paints? They were products that were sold at home parties like Tupperware, The Pampered Chef, Princess House Crystals, etc.? Does anybody remember any of the home parties where you would go and play silly games to win items, eat cake and chips, drink spiked punch or wine, and then be coerced into booking a home party so that the hostess of the party you attended would be able to get a free mixer or drinkware set? 😆 Anyways, back to the Artex paints. They were roll on paints in tubes that were primarily used on fabric. I don't remember who hosted the party, but I do remember that it was in the late 70s and I bought a fair amount of them. I basically just played around with them on muslin fabric and that's as far as I got. I then put the painted-on fabric in a box and stored them away for YEARS!!! A few years ago, when I started working on my minimalizing, I came upon the box and found the muslin. So, I took it out, cut out the paintings I did (the apple and the pear), and created patches that I further embellished with different pieces of cotton fabric, buttons, embroidery threads, and charms. I finished the patches by fraying all around the edges.

Having fun with these patches, I decided to make another one sans the Artex painting. I am quite certain that I tossed them all out because they had to have dried up in some decade!

A few years ago, I sewed a boho shoulder bag and purchased some beautiful, brightly colored trim to add on it. I ended up having some leftover, so yes! I used the rest of it on the top. I did the same thing with some leftover blue rick rack trim.

On the bottom edge of the back, I hand tacked on some old leftover ribbon I had available. Yeah, this top was great for eliminating leftovers that I had been saving for a really long time. It was very similar to our Monday night dinners! 😂

For the sleeves, because I always have to be different, I hand sewed a double row of beading on the right one.

On the left one, I dyed some natural gauze fabric fuchsia and sewed that on, along with some leftover blue cotton ruffle. I'm not a fan of ruffles, but being how it was used, how little of it used, and in conjunction with the gauze, I was okay with it.

And now for the unveiling.............................................................................................................

I still really love this top, but because I now have to hand wash it, I don't wear it as much. And when the day comes that the threads start disintegrating and the cotton fabric weave grows sparce, I will re-upcycle everything on it, including the fabric itself! I am already thinking that I will cut the cotton fabric in strips and use them on a greeting card, or a jar, or a can, or a wall hanging. I'm quite confident that I will think of something when that time arrives. <wink>

Until we meet again next Wednesday, try your hand at upcycling something and have fun with it!

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Apr 17


You are always thinking out of the box with your designs. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Apr 17
Replying to

Thank you very much, Lynda, for your inspiring words and for being a loyal reader. It's this kind of feedback that encourages me to continue.

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