It’s about breathing new life into discarded textiles.
On top of its ecological friendliness, up-cycling appeals to my practical roots, where thrift store finds were a source of ingenuity, not shame. And where linings from old fur coats could be transformed into gorgeous satin pants! These days, making new pieces from old ones nourishes my creative inpulse and supports new, one-of-a-kind designs. Clients appreciate wearing a hat or messenger bag with its own prior history, yet made new.
I especially favour wool tweeds from men’s jackets and vintage tartan skirts. Giving new identity to these classics simply brings me joy!
Interesting fabrics that happen to be new are not excluded from my arsenal though, because when I can’t resist making stuff out of it, well, I just do! My current love is waxed canvas, the stuff that outback coats are made from. It’s waterproof which is why I’ve chosen to make rain hats but also cross-body bags. It gets a distressed appearance when marked by handling – very neat and soft looking, almost like leather. (It’s known as oilskin, and it’s not the plastic coated material called ‘oil cloth’.)
Inspired by the Village of Gagetown in New Brunswick, a favourite holiday spot, the name AppleTowne Designs alludes to the area’s rich apple-growing heritage.
Here’s what I’ve been working on …