Ashley Dedin began her sewing business, AENDEE, in 2012, upcycling op-shopped clothes into fashionable accessories. When she realised heirlooms could be transformed in the same way, her passion for reinventing sentimental items was born.
‘Instead of having an item sit in a box or at the back of a closet, the material can be brought to life again, and with it, the memory of the individual can be celebrated,’ Ashley told Warcry.
Transforming shirts into eco-friendly bow ties, cufflinks, earrings, scarves and even pocket squares, Ashley does more than create new fashion accessories. She captures the original owner’s unique style and utilises as much of the original item as possible. When she’s finished, a loved one can wear their memories wherever they go.
‘When it comes to crafting heirloom items for a family from a beloved shirt, I am very interested in learning about the recipients of the heirlooms so that I can work with my customer to decide on the best items to make,’ Ashley says.
‘I feel like the new items that I make from that kind of material are actually worn and cherished, and that helps bring the memory of the person it commemorates to life.’
If you’re looking for ways to reinvent a keepsake, there is no shortage of options. People make quilts out of shirts, baby clothes out of wedding dresses, and jewellery from faded heirlooms. However, it can be scary cutting into these treasured pieces. That’s where professionals, like Ashley, can help out.
‘There was a woman who contacted me and asked if she could purchase a custom heirloom infinity scarf for a friend of hers who lost her husband,’ shares Ashley. ‘Her husband had passed away in a plane crash six weeks after their wedding and the shirts she sent had belonged to him.
‘I was able to make her a beautiful scarf and a set of earrings from her husband’s shirts and can only hope that they served as a small token of comfort for her.’
If you want to breathe new life into old clothes, browse the internet for fun, inventive ways to transform them into fashion accessories. Ashley’s innovation is proof that our memories can last longer than a lifetime, and when heirlooms are treated with care and a bit of ingenuity, they become priceless new pieces we can wear every day.
Find out more on her website www.aendee.com
This article was published by Warcry on June 11, 2016. Read it here.