Freak of the Week ~ RecoverGirl

04.23.14 Jennifer Moore1 My name is Jennifer Moore. I work part-time as a clerk at my local public library. I live in Kittery, Maine with my husband, two young boys and two cats, Cocoa and Scratch. I write a blog about sustainable style called RECOVERGIRL. My blog name is a play on the brand name Covergirl. I love fashion and style but what I like is an expression of individual style. I added the “re” to Covergirl to bring to mind -- reduce, reuse and recycle. My blog is an online journal where I collect examples of design and style that either makes creative use of up-cycled materials, or is mindful of our limited natural resources.

I blog about personal crafting projects. I like to craft with felted sweaters and vintage fabrics. There was a while where I was obsessed with turning adult wool sweaters into little girl sweater dresses.

I have never met Crispina but I have been inspired by her work via the interwebs for years. I made my own version of a sweater blanket years ago for a school auction.  The post about how I made my sweater blanket is the single most popular post on my blog. I also made a felted sweater wreath that I'm pretty proud of.  It is the second most popular post on my blog.

I love vintage clothing. My figure prefers a fifties day dress – fitted on top and loose on bottom. I especially like house dresses from the fifties because they were designed to work in. Clothing that can be washed, hung out to dry, and worn for decades is the epitome of sustainable style – to my mind anyway.

If you had the power to make one change in the world what would it be?

I would like to reduce suffering.  It doesn’t seem imaginable that suffering could be eliminated, but there is a lot of suffering in the world that just shouldn’t be. So. Yes. If I had the power to make one change in the world it would be to reduce suffering.

04.23.14 Jennifer Moore3 What is your current passion?

Hand dyeing. I am inspired by the work of Shabd Simon-Alexander. I love the colors, marks, and lines that she can achieve with dyeing. Dyeing also speaks to the recovergirl in me because it can give new life to a secondhand clothing and vintage materials. Liane of Enhabiten is also doing amazing things with hand dyeing.

How did you find that passion?

The hard way. I have hosted impromptu crafting sessions with kids in my neighborhood for years. Together we have tie-dyed shirts and tea towels. I haven't been able to achieve what I want. Amelia Davis of Folk and I have invited Shabd up to Kittery, Maine to teach a workshop on hand dyeing. I hope to learn more about color and folding techniques in that workshop. More details about the workshop are listed below.

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Who/What has been most influential in your work?

The internet. I seek constant inspiration. I can't get enough. The internet has allowed me to learn about other people's work all over the world. I subscribe to hundreds of blogs. I read them every day.

Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?

I am inspired by artists. It takes a lot of courage to be an artist. I appreciate art that I don't appreciate at first. Art that is disturbing and later enlightening. Erwin Wurm inspires me. I like when I don't get what is going on at first, or maybe I won't ever get it -- that is why I keep looking -- to try to figure it out. I am also currently infatuated with the Selby and his most recent book about fashion.

Aside from working, how do you spend your time?

I have two boys. My son Douglas is 13 and his younger brother Alex is 11. I spend time caring for them. I wash and shave carrots. I help with math homework. That sort of thing.

My best friend is my sister Diane. We go to events in Portsmouth, NH together. There is always an art opening or film festival to attend in Portsmouth.

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What is one of your most transforming memories?

Gosh. The memories of my sons being born.

Do you have a prized possession? What is it?

I have some original art by local artists in my home. I cherish the art I have collected over the years. But the art that was created for me by my boys is what I cherish the most.

Tell about a magical moment that comes to mind when you look back on your life experience.

I'm not sure this is magical but it is what comes to my mind. My son makes me laugh - hard. Not a "cute polite laugh," but a "I can't breath laugh." I didn't expect that. I thought only my sisters would be able to make me laugh that way. That feels like an amazing unexpected gift.

If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? What plans would you make for your outing?

David Byrne comes to mind. I would like to go to an art museum with him and have lunch afterward. I like to people watch. After lunch I'd like to sit with him for hours in an outdoor cafe and just watch people go by and talk about his work. I wouldn't mind if Lena Dunham could join us for lunch.

What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?

My main focus is to continue to raise my boys. A current personal goal I have for myself is to learn how to reverse engineer a vintage dress. I took a class at A Gathering of Stitches in Portland, Maine on how to create a pattern from an existing piece of clothing. I haven't started this project yet, but soon -- I hope. 04.23.14 Jennifer Moore4

What/who is your community?

I am active in my community. Five years ago I started an Annual Women's Clothing Swap at the Portsmouth Public Library. Women arrive with a bag of items from their wardrobe that they don't want anymore. Volunteers take donations and sort them immediately onto tables by color. Women leave with a bag of new-to-them items. Last year, over 200 women attended the swap and we raised nearly 2,000 pounds of donations for Goodwill Industries of New England.


How are you seen within your community? Do you see your role?

What comes to mind is my immediate neighborhood. The kids in my neighborhood think of me as the lady that can fix things. They come to me when they need pants turned into shorts, or to mend a plush toy. There are a a couple of girls that show up occasionally and ask to be set up with craft projects. If my schedule allows, I join in. If not, then I set them up with a project and continue with my chores. They are good about cleaning up after themselves.

Do you have an upcoming event or significant happening that you would like to promote with your blog posting? When? Where? Details and contact information please.

Yes!! The dyeing workshop with Shabd! Email me at with any questions.

May 10th & 11th: Tie-Dye & Hand-Dyeing Weekend Intensive with Shabd in Kittery, Maine!04.23.14 Jennifer Moore6

11-5pm each day : $250 for the weekend : Sign up with a friend (or your mom!) and pay $450 total for both people.

Class size limited to 13, sign up by May 1st and get a silk scarf to use your new skills on.

Join us in Kittery at the BUOY gallery space for a weekend of craft!

In this fun-filled workshop, Shabd will teach you the basic procedures for dyeing with Procion dyes on a variety of different natural fibers. You will learn various tying, dyeing and shibori techniques, as well as basic color theory and design concepts for dying. It will be fun, and colorful and bright! Discover the dyer in you and design your own dye patterns. Students will create swatches to perfect technique, and then have a chance to focus on individual projects. Materials are included, and students are encouraged to bring their own garments for personal projects.

Saturday's class will focus on immersion dye methods, and Sunday's class will focus on direct application and multi-colored dyeing methods. Each day will include instruction on all tying techniques, with a focus on the best variations to use for each dyeing method, and will include time for both samplers and personal projects.

This class is structured as a fun jumping in point for beginners, or a way for more advanced students to receive guidance and special tips on personal projects they've been wanting to tackle.

SHABD SIMON-ALEXANDER is an internationally renowned textile artist and designer. Her clothing line, shabd, is carried in high-end boutiques and art museums around the world. She is a professor of textiles, has led hand dyeing workshops all over the world, and taught Martha Stewart how to tie-dye. Her first book, Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It, came out in June.