Upcycler Spotlight #12: Macaira O'Connell--Indianapolis, Indiana-USA



My readers always ask:

​Do you know of 'Other Upcyclers/Refashioners' ?

So I decided to showcase a new profile each week, spotlighting an amazing textile creator from around the world.

I hope you enjoy this page as much as I do!




Macaira O'Connell--26

Indianapolis, IN





Gab's Gal




Macaira 's Creations & Interview:

How long have you been Upcycling/Refashioning/Recreating Clothing from thrifted textiles?

Technically I've been upcycling since high school, but I truly began to learn the ins and outs of sewing this summer once I started working from home.

How long have you been sewing?

I've know how to do super basic sewing since middle school, but I've truly become an advanced beginner sewist this past summer.

Split flannel:

Small flannels aren't as "in" as oversized ones, so I wanted to make these smaller ones more appealing by sewing them together and cropping them

How did you get started in Upcycling/Refashioning?

I've always had a more artsy style, and I liked the idea of creating something unique. I grew up going to thrift stores and estate sales with my mom. She and I are both artists, and we would always look at our shopping treasures and say "what more could be done with this?" She's currently creating jewelry out of old leather belts.

Why do you Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate clothing from thrifted textiles?

Over 80% of donated clothing ends up in a landfill, so I want us to make the most of materials we already have available to us. Plus I love paying less!

Painted jeans:

These are my Candy Shop jeans that a friend donated to me. I love interesting denim, so I spruced them up with some fabric paint! There are sprinkles on the front pockets, and a lollipop sticking out the back pocket.

What type of clothing do you like to create and why?

I like creating refashioned tops. Mostly because I understand the construction of tops better than pants, and I feel like I can be more creative with them. Hoping to learn more about bottoms though!

What is your favorite textile to Upcycle/Refashion/Recreate from? and why?

I love upcycling thrifted clothes that most people would deem as ugly, and then turning them into something awesome! It certainly helps the planet, and I think it's overall a great metaphor that shows you can turn something bad into something beautiful.

What was your favorite project?

My favorite project was taking a pair of white and blue gingham capris from Goodwill and turning them into a two piece set. Capris are typically awful (I've seen just a few that actually work), and I had to rescue that gorgeous fabric. I also loved that project because it was the first time I had refashioned a fitted top for myself using a pattern that I had created! (SEE BELOW!)

Another noteworthy project that I did not create, but wore: I used to work at David's Bridal in college, and the tailor knew I was interested in sustainability. He offered to make my wedding dress for me out of reused materials. I sourced some lace curtains and a tablecloth from Salvation Army, and he created the most wonderful dress! That was back when I still was a very basic sewist, and he certainly inspired me to learn more.



Macaira O'Connell!




Join our mailing list. Never miss an update!
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Check out SMT's

costume design website:


© 2023 by Fashion Diva. Proudly created with Wix.com