CALL FOR DESIGNERS / Project Upcycle 2023

Get ready to stretch those creative muscles!

3S Artspace, in partnership with Recovergirl, invites applications to our 5th annual sustainable design challenge, Project Upcycle: New England Streetwear Edition.

CALL FOR DESIGNERS / Project Upcycle 2022

3S Artspace and Recovergirl invite emerging designers of New England to apply to compete in the sustainable fashion design challenge — Project Upcycle: New England Streetwear Edition.

Who is eligible to apply?  Designers (and aspiring designers), ages 18+, currently residing in New England, (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI), with less than 5 consecutive years of professional fashion design experience.  Everyone from students to self-taught designers to working designers and retirees is enthusiastically encouraged to apply.

What is the challenge?  Eight emerging designers are selected to participate in this fast-paced 2-day design challenge. Each designer will design and execute their vision of a New England streetwear look using deadstock fabric and excess materials from New England manufacturers. Prepare yourself for some twists!

More details are listed on the application webpage.

Application Deadline:  EXTENDED TO JUNE 10th!!!

Designers Announced:  Friday, June 24, 2022
Design Competition:  
Thursday, October 20 – Saturday, October 22, 2022

Project Upcycle Runway Event: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Video by My Friend Dan

Got questions? Ask me anything in the comments.

JUNE 2021 :: Kaftan

This is the sixth blog post in my 2021 Sewing Plans blog series. Click here to see the video where I share my inspiration for each month. My June project was to sew a kaftan.

I’ve long wanted a plain deep v-neck black kaftan. You’d think that would be easy to find — but noooo. There is always something I don’t like about versions I see online. Rag & Bone has a pretty great one but it is $500. And Universal Standard has a great one for $168 but it is made of satin and I really want my kaftan to made of linen or cotton.

Below are images from my Kaftan Pinterest Board. These images capture many of the elements I want: Minimalist design. All black. No extra surface design. Straight hem, not handkerchief style. Deep v-neck. Cocoonish shape. Midi length. Some upper arm coverage.

I shared my sewing process in my Instagram stories. Check out the JUN highlight for process videos and photos.

The image below on the right is me wearing the final dress. Please forgive the bad photo. It was actually the best photo of the lot and I think it does at-least give you a sense of the shape of the dress. I bought the fabric from JOANN Fabrics. It is a linen blend with a heavenly drape. So soft and comfortable. And washable too.

What I learned on this project:

What I’ve learned with this project is that secondhand fast fashion items can be used as patterns for home sewers. When I shop at charity shops I’ve ALWAYS ignored fast fashion items because they are made with cheap polyester fabric and because the construction is generally very poor …. HOWEVER…. often the silhouettes are more inline with what I’m interested in sewing than actual clothing patterns that I can buy in a store like JOANN Fabrics.

I know there are lots of independent designers that are selling clothing patterns online but — A) I don’t know how to search them all to find what I want, and B) I am not interested in printing out multiple 8.5 by 11 pages and taping them together to create a pattern. Store bought patterns come with directions but I personally learn so much about construction from seam ripping apart a piece of clothing. Also, secondhand fast fashion items are sometimes only a few dollars which is probably cheaper than buying a clothing pattern. It’s definitely not great that charity shops are filled with so much fast fashion but if home sewers can use them as patterns it’s better than it just ending up in a landfill, right?

xoxo recovergirl