Up-cycling is a 2000s term, but the concept behind the term is not. Taking old clothes and turning them into something new or decorated goes way back, even further than the 1970s. But like so many young crafters on etsy and 10 thousand DIY bloggers who think they invented the idea of re-using a garment, we girls of the 1960s and 70s thought we discovered recycling and crafting.
I usually don’t buy other people’s craft projects, but the shirt above is the quintessential 1970s crafted garment. It is actually a man’s shirt – a navy issue chambray work shirt. It’s very possible that it came from an army-navy store, one of the chief suppliers of clothing for all of us who were protesting the Vietnam War. I actually have a similar shirt, but in denim, that I embroidered flowers and butterflies and such onto in 1972.
Don’t you just love how the stem goes through the hole? What is that hole for, anyway?
There are even more appliqued flowers on the back, along with a speckled butterfly.
Nothing like a little eyelet edging to add a feminine touch!