Eco-Crafting Interview Series: Deanna of Recycled Lovelies

I found Recycled Lovlies a little while back when I was really starting to get into repurposing. Deanna never ceases to inspire me with her truly lovely creations. I think you're all going to love reading what she has to say. Deanna 1

GGH: What originally got you started in repurposing/eco-crafting?

Environmental issues is where Recycled Lovelies stemmed from. I found it alarming that only 14% of clothes are recycled or donated and the rest are dumped in landfills. This is harmful for the environment, due to the use of pesticides, fertilizers, bleach and dyes that are used in the production of clothes.

GGH: What are some of your favorite textiles/materials for crafting besides mainstream supplies?

Everything I use is recycled, found at thrift stores or given to me. My favorite textile to work with would be old clothes, making them into something new. A favorite material would be silk, I don't find a lot of it but it makes beautiful flowers for necklaces or corsages.

GGH: How does eco-crafting fit into your lifestyle/life philosophy?

I am very much on the eco-friendly side of things. My family tries to live life simply (buy what you need) and sustainably (paying attention to how it's made and where it's made) and it isn't a hard way to live, it's something you have to wrap your mind around because as Americans we have been taught to buy until you can't buy anymore.

GGH: Who are some of your creative influences?

Lex from Made by Lex inspires me, she doesn't always use recycled items to change up or add to but a lot of the time she does and she has great ideas. I also am always looking at Anthropologie's site to get my creative juices flowing, they have so many things that can be recreated simply.

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GGH: What's been your favorite repurposing project?

The Mexican Wedding dress that I updated. I had lots of people against me changing any part of this dress but it really made it a wearable dress and not one that just sat in my closet looking pretty. {see original to left, and finished, above}

GGH: How do you get your kids involved in this sort of thing?

As we have learned more and more about the environment and how our practices affect the earth, we share that information with our girls. My youngest is constantly asking if something can be recycled or who she can pass clothes down to. We have made them very aware of themselves and that what they do really does matter. They don't mind shopping used or cutting apart old clothes to make into something new. I try to make shopping used an experience, we try to go to the more fun shops such as Buffalo Exchange instead of the boring Goodwill(although we do find stuff there often).

GGH: Do you have any recommended sources or advice for newbies?

Yes!Β First piece of advice - If there is something you want to make, chances are, someone else has, so get your computer out and start google-ing!

Two sites that I enjoy getting ideas from are...

Adventures in Dressmaking -She shops the goodwill outlet and uses material she finds there for her dresses, one thing to remember - she always uses patterns.

Sew Mama Sew has some great ideas too.

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Another piece of advice would be to just give it a try! Do not underestimate yourself when it comes to sewing or crafting. I hear people all the time say, "I can't sew" or "I am not creative" and the funny thing is most of the time that person is very creative and can do those things they are claiming not to be able to do. Β If you have an idea, please just give it a try, you will surprise yourself.

Thanks, Deanna, and I hope all of you were as inspired by this interview as I was!