Rules Of Redesign

I need to share some thoughts about HOW TO redesign. Many people belive it is just taking something old or used and create something new with it but the WAY we do it is important to think about.

If we start redesigning from something that can be used the way it already is, or if we use SEVERAL items to create a ONE new. That would not be a sufficent use of resources or energy. In addition If we create more WASTE in the process that is not great, and I believe it kind of loses the whole point of redesigning.

In my redesign process I always check-in with my “Rules Of Redesign” before making a single sissor cut.

  • Is the quality good? To use quality fabrics is key to make something that will be long lasting. If you can steer away from polyester, acrylics, lycra, microfiber and opt for pure natural fibers instead,
  • Has the item fulfilled it’s puropse? Or would you use it as it is? If NO then remove and save everything that you are not going to use for later projects. Save buttons, zippers, rib hems, cool prints, labels etc.
  • Plan the design. Create something that will be used. Will I love it? This is important, loved things will be used and cared for; unloved, not so much.
  • Will I ruin more resources to create one thing? Is it worth it?
  • Will this design create more waste? I try to use as much as possible when ruining one item, or I save the leftovers for later. Zero waste would be the goal
  • Will I have fun doing this? Time is precious, there is not much point in doing something if it doesn’t give you a little tickle in your tummy ❤

By doing this I become more mindful of my designs, what the purpose of the item is, and what my needs and wants are.

I am going to show the process of when I redesigned a tunic I found at my local thrift store Fornebu Gjenbruk. I think the style is called Shalwar Kameez, and is a traditional combination dress with trousers, typically worn by women and some men in South and Central Asia. The trousers where missing so I only had the Tunic to work with. The quality I believe is pure cotton, with patterns stitched into the fabric. This is probably a homemade dress becouse it has no labels and several types of stitching on the inside. The seams have a lot of allowance which makes it useful during several stages in life, loosing or gaining weight or regifting.

My idea was to make this into a summerdress. To start with I made a sketch of the design I wanted. Unfortunately it got lost in the process, or else I would have shown it here. (Hot mess yes) I wanted to keep the main design of the dress, but make the dress cuter and more functional for HOT summer times in Mexico <3. So my plan was to cut off the sleeves, reuse the pattern on the bottom as a sleeve cap. Then I wanted to close the slits in the side, and make the dress shorter. Then I could’ use the bottom pattern as a belt.

So for me this checked everything on my Rules OF Redesign list. I would not use this design as it currently was. The quality was good. This was made to last from the beginning. The design was cute and functional, and redesigning it would not take any extra resources or create a lot of waste. Then I was ready to start cutting.

I ended up not using the details on the sleeve ends. They just did not work. The belt I made from the hems I cut off from the slits. In addition I added some tassels that I had saved from a blanket that couldn’t handle the realness of life. To make it coherent with the dress I just added a little piece of fabric with the pattern of the dress.

In the end the only leftover fabric was a tiny bit from adjusting the size of the dress, and the sleeves. The fabric is so pretty I will easily save it for later. ❤

What do you think about when you create your redesign?