Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm modeling a vest made from an old t-shirt that I had mangled, cut holes in, burned, rusted (yes, rusted, like with nails - scroll down for directions for rusting a shirt), and appliqued with clothing labels and odd fabric remnants.  

 Close up of holes, labels and patching

Close up of hand-sewn pockets

 View of the back

When we moved to Bali, I gave this vest and my other trash art clothes to friends who like my crazy style, friends like Sabra, Rea and Alice Anne.  When I came back - surprise, surprise - Sabra asked if I wanted my clothes back.  Since I had again given most of my clothes away when I left Bali and didn't have much to wear, I answered Yes -- much to Sabra's chagrin.  She really hoped I would say No.  Well, she shouldn't have asked.  But trooper that she is, she gave them back, on the premise that if I ever got tired of them, I would return them to her.

Another outfit I got back from Sabra

Meanwhile, I asked for and received donations of old clothes and t-shirts.  My plan was, and still is, to fashion my whole wardrobe from used and donated clothing.  My dear friend Don Cole (see his art at sent me three of his favorite and well-worn t-shirts (they had holes in them already!).  One was printed with a picture of Elvis and Marilyn (the King & Queen), the other two were tie-dyed in lurid reggae colors.  They were extra special since they also carried smudges and splatters of Don's paints.  I patched up the Elvis and Marilyn t-shirt by applique-ing pieces from one of the reggae t-shirts over the holes and adding a pocket.
 It has since become my favorite t-shirt too. 
Always get lots of comments on it.
 View of the back

Collect rusting materials: paper clips, sheet metal, hooks, nails, screws, metal rings, scrubbing pads...
Dip shirt in water and wring excess water out. 
Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of vinegar and water.
Lay materials for rusting on the damp shirt.
Roll, fold or wad up the shirt until it's packed tight.
Fasten it with rubber bands and place in the sun.
When the shirt is dry, open it up, remove rusting materials, and rinse the shirt.
The rust stains are permanent.


  1. haha!!! Hilarious! I haven't the guts to wear such clothing!!! But, on you, it looks terrific! If anyone can wear it with aplomb, it's you, Elsha!

  2. Aloha Neighbor!

    "GiGi sent me"

    Aloha from the other end of Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral



  3. Thanks for stopping by, Cloudia. How about meeting up sometime in February?