Making midwinter magic


A few days ago, I went outside to find my driveway strewn with old clothes and carrier bags. Someone had dumped a load of old clothes, mostly jeans, and had a good rummage. It was all a bit confusing and distressing.

Grey clouds loomed in the sky. Old soggy wet clothes would be even worse than dry ones. I gathered up the clothes into the carrier bags and put them on my veranda. They sat there in the carrier bags for two days, catching my eye every time I left the house.

I mulled over the event. On the third day, the sun was shining. I decided to take a look at the clothes and work out what to do with them. Gingerly, I opened the bags and looked through the tired and worn garments. All men’s clothes. All in need of a good wash. Just one pair of trousers looked in  good condition. The rest looked almost too tired and tattered for the charity shop.  

Then inspiration. What if this was a strange gift? How about I wash them all and give them a new life? A few loads of washing later, and some magic with the scissors and sewing machine and the first new garment began to take life.


Denim is tough to sew! Two denim needles bit the dust in the making. But slowly the once old ripped jeans began their journey to a new life. Grey tape handles saved from one of those fancy paper carrier bags with fabric handles became the waist ties. Meet Hipster Apron – ready for barista action in the most hipster Inner Sydney Café. 

The magic scissors and sewing machine have been busy over the last few days, working their magic on the old, tired clothes. A pair of faded blue jeans were the next #upcyclingstory. This now lovely garment was a pair of men’s jeans in his old life. He did good service in that role but was tired and worn out. His life was getting a bit, well, boring and predictable before he found himself with a pile of others lying on a strange driveway. You could call it a mid-life crisis. Or emergence. He wanted to make a difference ... and explore his feminine side. With the help of the magic scissors here she emerges from gender identity and career transformation to become #upcycled Love Heart Apron. A perfect companion for all activities of the heart like cooking, gardening, engineering an energy revolution, truth telling and crafting a new world that works for everyone. 

A pair of very worn black stretch denim jeans caught my eye – the tattiest of all the clothes. “What do you want to be?”, I thought. The bright yellow fabric I’d pulled out from my fabric stash caught my eye. Such a vibrant, cheerful yellow. Would its sunshine be wasted on the rather dour Gothic vibe emitting from the once black but now greying pants? I tried some other fabrics. Nothing compared to glorious glowing yellow fabric in cheering up the gloomy dark pants. It’s yellow radiance just kept drawing me back. Eyeing it more closely, I read the printed writing on the selvage edge, “Wizard of Oz.”  OK.  You’re in.


Today I’m wearing #upcyclingstory three. Most appropriate for the Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, the turning point from darkness to light, Wizard of Oz pinafore. Although it’s vibe is more Star Trek than Dorothy.

Wherever the yellow brick road may take you, follow your heart, use your head and find courage in the epic ride of 2020.


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