Rice Bags

DSC_0521-001This dress is made from fully recycled materials and was a major work project I completed for my textiles assignment last year. It was not a requirement that my garment was recycled, that is just what I decided to create.

The idea first came to me when I read an article in The Canberra Times, our local newspaper, around a year ago. A young girl had made a dress from hessian coffee bags. She had embellished it by dying and printing words on the bags, creating her own piece of wearable art. After reading this story I immediately wanted to create my own unique piece of recycled wearable art. The assignment I was given in my textiles class was the perfect opportunity to make my idea happen.

I chose to make the dress from Basmati Rice Bags, as this was a material easily accessible to me. I received many bags from generous friends and relatives. My Grandfather also had a number of ties he never wore, so he also generously donated to my project.

In all, 23 rice bags and 14 men’s ties went into the making of my recycled dress.

The project was to be a zero cost exercise, although regrettably I had to resort to buying six ties from the op-shop as my Grandfathers collection of old ties wasn’t large enough. These second hand ties ended up costing $10. Through this garment I chose to place an emphasis on sustainable fashion. I practiced the technique of ‘Up-Cycling’ , the art of using old materials to create something new.

The cape was sewn from the larger end of the ties sewn onto the dress. This cape was an afterthought, as a way to utilize the whole tie. However I believe the cape compliments the dress perfectly.

I am extremely happy with the outcome of my project and am pleased to report that I received 100% for the assignment. I am still not quite sure as to where I will actually wear the dress, however I had a terrific time sourcing the materials, coming up with the design, researching sustainability in the fashion industry and eventually making the dress, that I think it was very worth it, and I am proud of my achievements.



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