Published on June 9th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe3
Green Crafter Profile: So She Sews
Like a lot of crafters, Brooke grew up in a handmade household. Her mom even ran a crafty business in the 80’s selling handmade “hair poofs.” Mom’s craftiness didn’t stop there! She also made a lot of Brooke’s clothes, including “this crazy pair of poofy overalls” out of old curtains.
Now, Brooke makes clothes, accessories and housewares constructed out of repurposed materials, like vintage fabric and linens, for her own crafty business. She sees vintage and found materials as a way to avoid “contributing to the raw textile industries which aren’t always fair to their workers overseas.”
I’m also totally digging her clutches and pouches made from fused plastic bags that would have been headed for the trash bin. I couldn’t even tell that it was plastic at first glance!
Brooke says she draws her inspiration mainly from the materials she finds and her “love of indie style.” She takes some of her cues from “international street fashion blogs like hel-looks.com.” Put it all together and you get beautiful, unique pieces like this teal and black dress that I’m coveting:
Part of what draws her to recycled materials is a self-described pack rat instinct:
I have a strange sort-of inner panic whenever I’m about to throw something of substance away… I always run the gamut of things in my mind that I could possibly use this material or trash for instead of sending it to its demise[…]it’s more about the potential of the object… and I just feel so sad when I think of it (whatever “it” is) rotting away or just sitting for all eternity (not decomposing) in a landfill. It’s a waste of resources.
You can really see that philosophy in action with her fused plastic accessories, like this lovely little card case:
Not only does she use fused plastic for the body of the pouch, she makes all the seam binding by hand out of vintage fabric!
Brooke even wants to spread the word about keeping plastic bags out of the landfill! On the So She Sews website, you’ll find a link to the Etsy tutorial where she learned to make fused plastic material. If you want to learn, too, here’s the video: