Green Eileen 3rd Annual Chop Challenge

At the end of August a friend of mine sent an email about the Green Eileen Chop Challenge.  I had never heard of it before and was intrigued.  After a little bit of research on the Green Eileen Facebook page I learned that it is a restyle challenge.  

Eileen Fisher takes donations of gently worn Eileen Fischer garments and resells them at their Green Eileen stores.  They just happen to have a store in the Columbia city neighborhood of Seattle.

They challenge local artists to take damaged clothes they aren't able to sell,
 and make them into a new item.

I took a trip to their warehouse and picked out five holey garments.  I wasn't sure exactly what I would make but the grey and turquoise sweaters and knits were calling to me.
The grey textured sweater knit is beautiful and I knew I had to incorporate it into the design.

After lots of pondering I decided to create a handbag.  
My first idea was to do a take on the hobo bag I made a while ago.  
A special trip was in order to find the perfect leather for the handles and tabs on the bag corners.  I had the bag all put together and tried to sew on the tabs at the corners.  I was so close to being done!
It just would not work!  The bag was too thick and the handles tabs refused to be sewn to the bag.
After about six tries I knew I had to come up with another solution.

I decided to add handles to the top edge.  I also added leather tabs to each end of the zipper.
I really like the way it turned out.  Sometimes your fail becomes a success with a little ingenuity and a deadline!!!  

The lining is a 100% cotton knit tee which I fused to batting and quilted in a diamond design.  The inside pocket uses the tubular knit sweater hem as the top edge.

Green Eileen is hosting an auction and gallery exhibition on October 3rd to support SeedArts.  It is a wonderful organization that supports the Arts in South Seattle.

You can find more about the organization {HERE}



  1. What a fun challenge! Your bag is beautiful.

    1. Thanks Amy! It was fun to challenge myself : )

  2. What a great bag...And a great idea...I have used recycled clothing and denim in my quilts, and hand bags that I make...I love the thought that she is using, or reusing her own fabrics or garments to recycle and have others create something also....and to use those re-creations to promote the arts......


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