Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling everything from curtains to jeans and transforming them into something new.
Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling everything from curtains to jeans and transforming them into something new. Julia Bartrim

Tannum Sands woman's rescued fabrics out shine plastic bags

TANNUM Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling everything fabric, including curtains, jeans, wedding dresses and leather skirts.

And the results are amazing.

With an up-cycled collection that's bursting out of her studio, Ms Wilkie said the process started as a hobby but she was now selling tonnes of her sustainable creations at a market, online and at Ocean Street Gallery.

 

NIFTY WORK: Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling  fabric items including curtains to jeans into bags.
NIFTY WORK: Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling fabric items including curtains to jeans into bags. Julia Bartrim

Her sustainable creations include up-cycled rugs, cushions, bags, clutches, coin purses and even serviettes fashioned out of old white business shirts.

"I've been sewing for as long as I can remember and when my kids were growing up I was the mum who made everyone's dance costumes," Ms Wilkie said.

 

"I would make the patterns and buy the fabric."

Ms Wilkie said her sustainable designs had changed her lifestyle and the way she thought about waste.

 

Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling everything from curtains to jeans and transforming them into something new.
Tannum Sands seamstress Teresa Wilkie has been up-cycling everything from curtains to jeans and transforming them into something new. Julia Bartrim

"I stopped buying fabric and started going to op shops and then I stopped going to op shops because people would just give me so much old fabric," she said.

"You can do so much with what you have."

Ms Wilkie said her tote bags were the best shopping bag she had used, and were double sewn for extra wear

"They come with a little button so you can fold them up and keep them in your handbag or your car," she said.

"I've been pushing the tote bags because they are so handy and you can just chuck them in the washing machine."

She said she avoided shopping as much as she could.

"Some things I have to buy like cotton. I try to use new zippers. But when I throw things away, I look at everything twice," she said.

"I have even been admiring people's clothes and thinking, 'hey that would make a nice bag!'."



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