Upcycling Roundup

Upcycling Roundup

Written by Theresa Corbin
Upcycle-infographicI am at it again. Upcycling. I LOVE upcycling.

For those of you who have never heard of such a strange animal, let me introduce you.


[uhp-sahy-kuhl]  verb up·cy·cled, up·cy·cling

to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original: I upcycled a stained tablecloth into curtains. dictionary.com

Words cannot describe the sense of accomplishment that you get when you take something old and seemingly ready for the landfill and give it a new life and a new purpose. Maybe it is just a part of me that hopes that when I am old and worn out, I won’t be considered useless. Maybe it is my desire to be more green. It is a good color after all. O

r maybe it is my cheapness. I hate paying full price for anything (blogging and freelancing don’t pay the bills as it is)! Especially when it is so unoriginal and uninspired, as most retail junk is. So I am sharing a small glimpse of my passion of taking seemly useless junk and turning it into inspired awesomeness.

1. More than Pin Storage

Have you ever been given one of those baskets as a gift filled with soaps and scrubs and the like? Have extra soap lying around and wrapping paper you saved because it was just too cute to throw away? You are in luck because I have a simple project for you.

Take said superfluous soap and deliciously decorative wrapping paper and make a pin cushion that actually sharpens your pins. It’s exciting to think of all the swashbuckling you can do with a super sharp pin, but let’s play nice and use our newly sharpened pins for good and not evil, like pinning a hijab or securing a sewing project.

realsimple.com Who knew Martha could be so crafty?

 Stick needles and pins in a wrapped bar of soap. The soap’s oils make the pointy ends glide through fabric “sew” easily.

2. Clutter Buster

Next on the list is the perfect fix for the hijab clutter problem. Everyone has seen the pin on pinterest where you use shower curtain rings on a coat hanger to organize your scarves. But what pinterest won’t tell you (sneaky pinners) is that the shower curtain rings slip and drag the hanger down to one side. Boo! And even if you get all you hijabs perfectly spaced and the coat hanger is level, they still weight the hanger down, bending it out of shape. Double Boo!

A better way to go about it is to use stationary towel bars on the closet door (an over the door version is an awesome idea if you have one lying around, but use what you already have). This won’t wobble around the closet or bend the hanger out of shape. It is also a great way to organize your necklaces. Am I the only one who has a ton of shower curtain rings and hooks lying around the house?


3. The Cowl

I am in love with this hijab look. It is part Celtic, part Muslimah, and that is right in my wheelhouse. The best part is that you can turn almost anything into a cowl: an old sweater, a t-shirt, a skirt, a piece of fabric you don’t know what to do with, a towel (OK, maybe not a towel. I went too far. But you know what I mean).

Another great thing about your own cowl is that it doesn’t have to be attached to one particular sweater/top/abaya so you can mix and match with anything. And you can make it long enough to cover your chest, just wear with an amira hijab underneath and you are good to go.

http://www.instructables.com beware: awesome tutorial, but there is some weird bathing suit lady gaga emulation going on here.
http://www.instructables.com beware the link: awesome tutorial, but there is some weird bathing suited, lady gaga emulation going on.

– Cut the fabric to 45″ x 35″ -Fold the fabric in half on the 45″ side so it is now 22.5″x35″- Sew the two 35″ sides together. -Turn it inside out so the seam is on the inside.  The fabric should look like a tube.

4. The Maxi

Everyone needs a maxi dress and everyone has at least a few shirts they were going to give a proper burial at Goodwill. Save the trip to the second hand store and whip up a must have closet staple. (if you steal your husband’s old shirts for this project, I won’t tell)

Pick the colors that go together from your pile of giveaways. Cut. Sew. Wear. It’s as easy as that.

clothedmuch.com Since it is DIY, you can make it with a long sleeve shirt at the top!
Chic Girl’s Tip: Anytime you plan to up-cycle jersey knit pieces, wash and dry the clothes before cutting them for your projects. For this project, I used the largest shirt as the bottom layer and smallest for the top to make sure the shape of the skirt portion was a-line.
You can find more upcycling and DIY projects when you visit islamwich on Pinterest. Put the fun back in functionality!
Find out more about upcylcing at hipcycle.com
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Summertime And The Livin’ Is Crafty: Crafting Hijab Friendly Clothing

Written by Theresa Corbin

This week I have been a busy little bee, sewing, baking, writing, editing. In my endeavors to be productive, I noticed something vitally important … it is flippin’ hot (this being my first summer since I moved back to Louisiana). Snowball stands are open for their delicious cooling  business, the heat is all anyone is talking about, and people are starting to peel back the layers of clothing.

Crafting Hijab Friendly Clothing

This is not really a surprise to me, and not really much different from the place I moved from to get back home to NOLA. It is hot all over The South, but the New Orleans area is just so humid. And since I refuse to undress for the heat for many reasons including  modesty (read my blog post about my hijab habit), I have decided to get off my sweaty you know what and get started on putting together a new wardrobe.

Sure I could order abayas off the internet, but I like to keep my own style. A quick look around the mall and Target had left me with the conclusion that the fashion industry wants to make women as exposed as possible.

Any shirt that you pick up is either see-through, or barely covers anything, and when you do, by some miracle, find a shirt that looks relatively modest, i.e.  long sleeve, it is either so low cut it is pointless or the moment you put it on it turns into shrink wrap, suctioning itself to the skin.

I remember wearing clothes like this in my pre-Islam days, but I guess I was used to the level of discomfort my clothing collection offered. These days if an article of clothing doesn’t offer a potential breeze to circulate between me and it, I cannot stand it.

I see people in short shorts and tight tees and cringe, not because of the amount of skin showing (I don’t judge. You do what you wanna do), but because I cannot imagine what kind of nerves-o-steel and tolerance for torture by clothing it takes. I would freak and run home for PJs.

ANYWAY, the wheels in my head were churning, the dust on my sewing machine was collecting, and then it happened. My sister asked me to join her on a fabric store expedition. I know good and well that when I get into a craft/fabric store I will not come out the same person. Usually the monster that emerges that was once me is loaded down with fabric and notion and tons of happy ideas about how wonderful life will be once I make such and such.

All my Pinterest activity sprang to life in my head and I bought two cuts of fabric. This was only the beginning. It was a gateway shopping trip. I won’t go into the details, but it got pretty ugly. And as of now I still have 5 projects pending.

I have managed, however, to make a pretty solid start to a summer wardrobe.

My first adventure was in the land of headscarves. I found a great hemming tutorial on Pinterest that has worked wonders on those slippery fabrics that I love to buy and hate to hem. This tutorial from cratsy.com works miracles.

And this was my first product, a minty green square hijab with black filigree looking patterned edges.

scarf hem

With one scarf over my head, I was well on my way to a new summer line. So, I started on a maxi skirt. This tutorial of course was also from Pinterest and I had been thinking about trying it out for a while. It’s from the blog Individual Rivalry and was super easy. I used linen (the official fabric of The South) in one of my favorite colors, mustard, and it turned out splendid.


But, a scarf and a maxi skirt does not a wardrobe make, so, what’s next for islamwich you might be wondering? More maxi skirts, for sure. One in sheer sucker-a light and breezy fabric for sipping alcohol-free  mint juleps on the veranda- and some upcycled men’s shirts like the one from cutandkeep.net, but with long sleeves.

All these tutorials and more crafty ideas can be found on the islamwich Pinterest board “Just DIY“. Stop on by and see what else islamwich is pinning on Pinterest.

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