Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Crafter's Way 131 - Gearing Up with Denim

Here is this week's Messenger column  - Gearing Up with Denim

Keeping up with our green theme I thought would we visit with a Craft Artist who upcycles. Tracey Hopper from Denim Days uses recycled denim fabric in ways you never thought of.

Q: When did you start crafting?
A: My love of crafting is Mums doing; it has always been a part of our life. When I was a kid in the 70’s, Mum was one of the ‘craft ladies’ at school, teaching us all the good stuff- macrame, needle point, knitting, crochet etc.

Q: What made you use denim?
A: I love to wear denim, it is so easy and comfortable, and it looks great! Denim is such a great medium, it has so many different colours and textures….and using recycled denim we have pockets, zips, belt loops, hems –so much to inspire and work with!

Q: Where do you source your fabric from?
A: We all love to op shop, where you will always find an old pair of jeans, also with a large family and friends we are constantly handed a bag full of jeans- I love that we are encouraging people to recycle

Q: When did you decide that you could sell your creations?
A: There is definitely a transition as a crafter from just being proud you made it to making a practical product that other people will buy…I think the more people that see our products and give us feedback the better our products become.

Q: How do you sell?
 A: There is a great new site called Gearing Up, run by the lovely local ladies Jenny Gearing and Caitlin O’Keefe. The site is full of lovely handmade goodies mainly from the Brisbane area. I love a new venture, fresh and full of endless possibilities. I find the computer work etc of online sites are a constant struggle and I never can estimate the postage correctly, at Gearing Up, the ladies take care of all of that so I can concentrate on being creative.

Q: What advice would you give somebody who was thinking about starting a craft and or selling their craft?
A: Don’t spent too much time planning, get your product out there for some honest feedback to help you improve, Tough test everything, and use recycled materials where you can, it adds so much more life, interest and feeling to a product and also helps our planet.

To see more of Tracey’s wonderful upcycled denim creations visit

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