I have a problem. I see clothing as potential fabric for handmade dolls. Seriously. It is especially bad with men's button up shirts. No kidding. The other day we were watching Seinfeld and I turned to my husband and said, "I don't really like the shirt that Jerry is wearing, but I think it would make a really cute kitty or bunny." And that is just skimming the surface. I've been standing in line at the store and thought, "huh, That lace detail would sure be cool on a bunny". Or when I'm sorting laundry, I'll pull out a pair of pants and think, "Here's hoping you get a small hole or stain soon". It's bad, but also good.
Upcycle Those Clothes
Hesitating to throw something in the trash can lead to so much creativity. Especially when considering how to keep great details alive while also designing something worth keeping. It is this train of thought that lead me to dream up the Reclaimed Collection of handmade kitty and bunny dolls.
Handmade Kitty and Bunny Dolls From Thrifted Shirts
It took me a while to finally dive into the pile of shirts I collected from a local thrift store and start cutting the fabric to create my signature handmade kitty and bunny dolls. Once I did, though, I gained a whole new appreciation for the art of dress shirts. There are so many details that I hadn't really thought about before. For example, the way the yoke of the shirt often goes perpendicular to the rest of the shirt or how there are little pleats at the cuffs on the sleeves. Even on the inside of many shirts there are fun little surprises. Some have contrasting fabric along the inside of the collar to give it structure while others have various decorative stitches only seen by the wearer. These are the things I made special efforts to emphasize with each handmade kitty and bunny doll.
The Best Part is Giving Back
These stuffed animals have brought me so much joy throughout the process, but I really wanted to give back in some meaningful way. There are so many wonderful charities and non profits here in Utah that have incredible missions so I really had a hard time landing on one. However, I've been hearing so much about the housing crisis and felt that maybe that is where I needed to look, which is how I came across The Road Home. 30% of each sale from the Reclaimed Collection will be donated to The Road Home which "provides emergency shelter, supportive services, and housing assistance that help individuals and families step out of homelessness".
The Road Home resonated especially with this particular collection because this non profit organization is all about giving someone a second chance and helping pull people out of poverty. Each of these handmade cloth dolls breathes new life into a discarded article of clothing and are more than just toys; they are works of art.
The Reclaimed Collection