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Olesya Lane

Hi, I am Olesya, and I promote joyful upcycled clothing by teaching how to mend and upcycle.

Joy is something that we need more of in this current climate. Are you able to bring yourself sparks of joy? Do you look at things that bring you joy? Do you wear clothes that make you feel joyful? I have a solution: sewing and mending is a very joyful hobby and a useful skill to learn. It will help you to create your unique and joyful garments that you and others will adore every day. 

How it all started ...

It all started when I had my first upcycling project around 30 years ago, it was my dad’s t-shirt and I transformed it into a top for myself. 

Little did I know that this will become my passion.

If you are looking for a guest expert speaker for your FB group, online event, or a podcast (Sustainable clothing, textile waste, three main benefits of mending and upcycling), have a look at my one-page bio and get in touch! (Link here)

When I was small, we were learning how to sew at school. Looking back, I believe this was a start of my creative journey. I practiced, developed skills and my knowledge, and loved learning from my grandparents too. I enjoyed it all so much! But, unfortunately, as we grow old, we don’t spend time for any joyful activities, or very little.  

Be Joyful - Wear Upcycled!

Having tried so many different things when I was at school and all the way through University: making soft toys, creating compositions and bouquets with dried flowers (Ikebana); plus jewellery, sewing clothes and small bags, quilting and patchwork, and making decorative paper. Then I took a deeper interest in quilting, and then interior design from a very good friend of mine in Ireland. It was my blessing to meet her; we both share a passion to develop our creativity. She naturally became my mentor and teacher.

I absolutely love inspiring others, and I am so grateful for this! I teach upcycling, sewing and mending. This is a very joyful hobby to have! In addition, these skills are very beneficial: for our environment, our wallets, and even our mental wellness. To check info about my classes/tutorials and enroll, click here: 

I am happy and grateful I 've had a chance to learn!

Luckily, my mum had a sewing machine and taught me how to use it, which helped me as I worked on some of my early projects. We were working on some of my clothing together, creating designs and patterns. I was so happy to be re-sparkling, reinventing and customising my clothing, giving it a new life. This could involve adding some embroidery, beadwork, or develop them into a completely new style. I just loved it!

I developed my curiosity for new designs and ideas; experimenting and learning from the feedback. As a result, this continual development allowed me to express myself and search for my own style.

I believe fashion is someone else’s opinion about what looks good, and a marketing trick to convince us to buy new clothes under endless targeted campaigns. A interesting analogy is a major brand of toothpaste, which currently has 59 versions to choose from: just to clean teeth! 

I wanted to be different, and found that special something that brings me joy, and I can share it with others too!

Be Joyful - Wear Upcycled!

My education and career

My first degree was an English teacher, then I embraked on a corporate career journey, rounding off with an MBA at the University of Leicester.

A few years ago, we moved to the UK after working around the world; I noticed the increased number of charity shops. This became my catalyst for action. I began reasearching about the life cycle of modern clothing. 

 

When my husband and I started a family, I naturally started mending and restyling our children’s clothing, giving it a new look and extending its life. It inspired me to launch 7 Crafts Boutique in 2017. The idea for the name came from my experience, learning and working with different materials and textures, blending colours, materials, and fusing ideas.

I had reached a new stage of my creative journey, and I was working only with pre-loved items and re-inventing them or bringing a new life to home accessories: vases, jewellery boxes, wine bottles and glass jars. I loved the way how just some clay and paint could change simple and bland items into something extraordinary and beautiful.

I respect my clothes; I respect those who make them. So I give them the second chance and make them joyful again! Have look at my collection, this is my passion. 

Sustainable clothes style eco friendly upcycled clothes online courses how to upcycle mend online workshops learn to upcycle clothes

Be Joyful - Wear Upcycled!

I love the natural textiles: soft silk, cotton, cuddly but durable wool, texture of corduroy, bright colours of tartan and amazing durability of denim.

I respect my clothes; I respect those who make them. So I give them the second chance! Have  look at my collection here. 

Online Courses

I inspire others to be creative: I teach upcycling, sewing and mending. These are very beneficial skills: for our environment, our wallets and even our mental wellness. To check info about my classes/tutorials and enroll, click here: 

Give me, give me a second chance!

I don’t limit myself in what I work with and currently have a few furniture upcycling projects to complete. I create all designs and patterns myself.

I am so passionate about upcycling and re-sparkling preloved and vintage clothes. In addition, I am bringing back the legacy of a time gone by when clothing was made to last, and not to be a disposable, fast fashion item, like the western world has fallen for. 

I find it more exciting and challenging to work with readymade clothing, because it’s base colour, style and fabric are already in place. So, I work around this, adding more joy to redefine its existence. 

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I like working with thicker fabrics: tweed, denim, corduroy, wool, knitwear, tartan, velvet and upholstery. However, If I come across something bright and joyful, any type of fabric that can be turned into something nice, I would rise to that challenge too!

Joy is at the front of everything I do and I am so happy to share it with others.  

I love learning and experimenting, so I can teach others the best bits!

Sometimes, I receive fabric and clothing from my friends, and check for any good finds in charity shops or antique/vintage markets, and last item sales. I like using fabric swatches/samples for making accessories too. Above all, I do my best to make sure nothing goes to waste, as this is part of my mission and values! I use up smaller left overs at my classes, for appliques, textile art, fabric brooches or even simple things like tea coasters or makeup remover pads. At the end of the day, I love being sustainable and eco-friendly along with enjoying what I do!

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So grateful for my students

My creative journey includes never ending learning, development, and of course, experimenting, so I can share my knowledge and skills with others.  I have a great mini library at home, as my reference. I used to travel a lot and have seen so many different places and cultures, this experience and the nature around me are great sources of inspiration. In fact, having music in the background helps my inspirational journey too.

I am so blessed to be living in a small and lovely town in Northamptonshire, East Midlands, in the UK with my husband and two little boys. I am making different items and happy to share my love to upcycling and joyful bright colors with others. 
The culture and values of Slow Fashion Bus continue to revolve around joy and sustainability, and playing a small part in the tidal shift towards a more ecologically friendly future.
I love what I do and I am so passionate about sharing joy with others too! Check my online store and online course. I hope I will love them in the same way I do. 

Title photo: by the awesome J Smith Photography.