October 23, 2021

Make old new again

Refashion event at Magpie Creations helps environment

Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Miranda Smith, 11, of Cortland, makes the initial cuts to a T-shirt during a free class on making handmade clothing Saturday at Magpie Custom Creations in Cortland.

As Stacey Goldyn-Moller, owner of Magpie Creations, pinned a pink shirt to the bottom of a gray and pink skirt with a floral design, Tammy Walwrath looked on intently.

Walwrath, a Homer resident, had decided to check out Goldyn-Moller’s class on upcycling from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday so she could learn how to repurpose a black shirt and spaghetti-strapped sun dress. She wanted to take the top half of the black shirt and pair it with the bottom of the dress.

“There’s a lot of different ways to make something old new again,” Goldyn-Moller said.

The class culminates with an event by the Cortland County Cultural Council to show the people in the community how to be more environmentally sustainable with their clothing. Plans are underway for second workshop in February hosted by the SUNY Cortland Fashion Club, with a fashion show in April, according to a news release from the cultural council.

The idea was to show people they don’t need to rely on fast fashion, or trendy and cheaply made products, when they can teach themselves to make a new piece of clothing out of things they already own, Goldyn- Moller said while showing off her shirt.

Stacey Goldyn-Moller of Magpie Custom Creations shows examples of upcycled garments made by combining two different styles of clothing on Saturday.

She had recently taken an old Peanuts shirt she had from when she was pregnant and turned it into a hoodie using an old pair of black stretchy pants. She calls it a frankenshirt.

“My goal is to keep as much fiber out of the landfill as possible,” Goldyn-Moller said. “We endeavor to make it last into perpetuity. We want our clothes to be passed down to other generations.”

In 2015, 10.5 million tons of municipal solid waste textiles ended up in landfills — 7.6 percent of all municipal solid waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agency also noted that most of the textiles that make up municipal solid waste are discarded clothing.

Brynn Hyde of Homer also liked the idea of finding new ways to use clothing. She attended the class to learn more about sewing and how she could make her thrift-store finds fit her better.

“A majority of my clothes are from the thrift store,” she said. Buying secondhand is just another way to help the environment.

Lisa Smith brought her 11-year-old daughter, Miranda, to the class so she could learn more about sewing basics after her grandmother taught her how to make a pillow.

“I know how much she enjoys making things out of other things so I saw this and thought she might enjoy it,” Smith said.

Miranda was excited to learn how to make a crop top for her dance classes out of an old neon green shirt.

And as people started making their clothes, Goldyn-Moller reminded them that as long as people let their creativity flow and they liked the design of something, then it wouldn’t matter what others think.

“There’s no wrong way to remake something if it fits you,” she said.