Greeny Crafter 29 - Mandy Made


It's the start of a week of school holidays for us in Singapore but there's still homework to do so my son won't be getting much of a holiday - poor him, and yes, he's only in the first year of primary school!!!

This week's Greeny Crafter is Mandy from Mandy Made.  She has a range of upcycles and tutorials, and my favourite is her clever swim suit refashion! Read more below!!

I started sewing when I was a girl. My mom taught sewing classes and she also taught me to sew. I was one of those kids who always had hand-made items to wear, and I soon started making clothes for my dolls. Crafting has always been a part of my blood and my soul. 

My Photo

Over the years I have picked up sewing off and on. I also started to expand my crafting into other avenues. I began knitting and tinkering with things. It really became an artistic process for me. I had ideas flooding to me, and I felt as if they were just waiting for me to make them. The challenge to create something new really ignites me.

Last year I came across the idea of making dresses for my daughter out of men’s shirts. So I opened up my sewing machine for the first time in a few years and I haven’t put it down yet. After clearing out some of my husband’s shirts, I realized that this would be a great way to re-use items that I no longer wear.

Soon I started shopping at thrift stores for items that wanted to be transformed. I started to view clothes in thrift stores as material, not just ‘old clothes’. Fabric is so expensive, and there is so much material just sitting in thrift shops and closets that is not being worn.

There is so much to love about upcycling clothing. Each piece is like a unique work of art; and I really feel it brings out more creativity in me. I have never been a follow-the rules kind of girl; so patterns don’t always get along with me very well. Upcycling allows me to find something different and new out something that is no longer used.

I’ve also started expanding my crafting to furniture. I am not as experienced in working with furniture, but I believe that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.

Mandy's faves!

I just finished making a princess dress for my daughter’s birthday. We went to a thrift store together and picked out an old bridesmaid dress. All of the other materials for this dress have come from things that I already had at home; an old stained costume, a hand-me-down shirt, and some ribbon I found in her closet. 

One of my simplest projects is also one of my favorites. I made a halter top from a skirt. This project literally took me about five minutes. It’s so fun to wear and I just love that I am finally using a skirt that had been just sitting in my closet for years.


Another favorite is my swimsuit refashion. I was always scared of swimsuit material, and I am so proud of myself for trying this. I was so upset to have a bathing suit that didn’t work well for me; and now it has become my favorite swimsuit!

bathing suit upcycle

And another favorite of mine is a girls’ dress made from a fleece. This was another really simple project, and I think the final result is unique. I love that my daughter has a dress to wear that is like no other. And I also love that this fleece did not go to waste. It just never fit me right, but I hated to get rid of it. I’m glad that I didn’t!

Any tips or mistakes you want to share?

I love mistakes! I was once told that Navajo rugs are intentionally made with slight imperfections. The intention is to reflect the nature of life; it’s not perfect, but it is beautiful. I honestly never researched this concept to learn if it is true. The message is important to me regardless.

Sewing and crafting are a process. Mistakes are there for a reason. Often a mistake leads to something better that I may not have thought of on my own. Embrace the imperfections and learn from them… Just make sure you have a seam-ripper too!


Thank you, Mandy. I love your attitude towards mistakes - embrace and learn from them, just like in life! :-)

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  1. Love Mandy's philosophy on mistakes. Refashioning is trial and error. Each refashion is a work of art. Each refashion has a story to tell and a history that unfolds. To hide the errors and mistakes is like hiding the truth. They exist for a purpose and a lesson is learnt from each one. Thanks for sharing Mandy's inspirational fashion philosophy.

    1. Wow, Mezzy. I feel like you summed up my feelings better than I can!
      Thanks so much for the feature Agy :)