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Road 2020 Class Spotlight: Upcycle Sewing

Not all classes at Road to California are quilting classes. We pride ourselves in offering a variety of classes related to trending fabric art design. That is why we have invited innovative upcycle sewing guru, Michelle Paganini, to teach her craft in two classes and one lecture during Road 2020.

Michelle Paganini Classes

1013G – Create The Perfect Recycled T-Shirt on Monday, January 20th

upcycle sewing

6065C – Cityscape Jeans on Saturday night, January 25th

upcycle sewing

8601C – Refashion, Upcycle, Re-Use: 3D Sewing Lecture on Saturday morning, January 25th

What is Upcycle Sewing?

Upcycle sewing uses sewing skills to turn something old into something new. For the past four years, Michelle Paganini has been teaching classes on how to take old, used articles of clothing and refashion and rework them to create new and usable fashion.

How did Michelle get interested in this fast-growing industry? “I heard that fashion is the 2nd largest polluting industry and was shocked.  I decided to forgo purchasing new fashion and buy only second hand or make it.” When she began modifying garments, “people loved them!  That led to developing new designs and a realization that others would like to make these designs.”

upcycle sewing

Upcycle Sewing Guru

Michelle finds inspiration for her upcycle sewing designs with Baby Boomers and curvy ladies. She believes that women can look great at any age and shape, but it can be hard for them to find flattering clothing. Paganoonoo designs are flattering for all figure types. It is easy to get a good fit by starting with a base garment that fits.

It’s no surprise that besides upcycle sewing, Michelle likes to go “thrifting.” She serves on the board of an independent thrift store. In her home office, she has a huge stash of secondhand garments, 3 dress forms, 3 machines, a big button selection, notions galore, and more.

What is the most unusual item Michelle has upcycled? “A dress (the Michelle) with inside-out sleeves for pockets.  The pockets can be super long – to your knees!”

The biggest challenge Michelle finds in the upcycle sewing industry is getting experienced sewists to realize that upcycle sewing is actually a different way of sewing — in 3D.  Providing an awareness and educating on how the process works, showing that it is easier than or equal to traditional garment sewing, is the basis of Michelle’s teaching.  Michelle says what she enjoys most about teaching is “seeing people gain skills they can use again and again. Seeing their faces light up in satisfaction at what they have created.” She hopes that students in her upcycle sewing classes get a “vision for how existing clothes are a terrific resource for sewists and easy to transform into flattering, beautiful clothing that is eco-friendly.”

Michelle Paganini and Paganoonoo

Road to California 2020 will be Michelle’s first time at the show. She will be traveling from San Jose, California to not only teach her classes but to jury for the show as well. Michelle commented that she is “thrilled” to be invited to Road 2020 because she has heard “wonderful things” about Road to California.

To learn more about Michelle Paganini and her business, Paganoonoo, please visit her website.

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