About

Hello! Welcome to Make It Feision, an Irish dance costume upcycling adventure. 

I am a longtime Irish dancer with a professional background in sustainability and waste reduction, and I’ve had a nagging curiosity over the years about what has happened to all the Irish dancing costumes no longer in use. There must be thousands out there, and it feels like such a shame to have all those incredibly intricate, often handmade beauties out of sight and out of mind as new trends continue to push them into the shadows.

SO, in a fun convergence of several of my passions and interests (Irish dancing, sustainability, thrifting, and resourceful crafting), I’m taking pieces of costumes that have fallen out of fashion and adding them as embellishments to secondhand clothing and accessories I source through various thrifting avenues. My hope is that this expands the enjoyment and appreciation of these costumes, truly works of art, which would otherwise likely be collecting dust in attics, basements, backs of closets, or under mattresses (if you know, you know).

Each hand-upcycled piece is one-of-kind and:

  • Extends the useful life of textiles
  • Keeps materials out of the waste stream
  • Adds unique pops of color & joy to your look
  • May take you on a trip down memory lane and/or spark conversation

Wins all around! Thanks so much for stopping by, it brings me great joy to share this with you. 

THE NAME

If you’ve ended up here without familiarity around the world of competitive Irish dance, then you may find yourself curious about the name: Make It Feision. The Irish term “feis” (pronounced “fesh”) meaning “festival” is commonly used to refer to an Irish dance competition.

The name is a play on a quote from America’s Next Top Model, “...but make it fashion” which became a popular catchphrase and meme.

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value.

THE APPAREL & ACCESSORY ITEMS

I source all the items to be embellished through secondhand channels like thrift stores, charity shops, and online resale marketplaces. Wearing secondhand instead of new is a fun and important way to reduce environmental impact of the apparel industry. There are loads of clothing and accessory items out there that have plenty of life left in them, and lucky for you, I absolutely love going treasure hunting to find them. I have a keen eye for finding secondhand items in great and often “like new” or “new with tags” condition. That being said, pre-owned items occasionally have small “imperfections” here and there, but perfect is boring, and pieces with a bit of a story look great on you.

THE COSTUMES

So far, the Irish dancing costumes I have been upcycling have been purchased through various online resale marketplaces. I also look forward to the days when I can search through racks of resale dresses at a feis, hopefully we’ll get back to that before too long.

I'm not always able to get the full history of each dress when I purchase them through online resale marketplaces, so if you ever see a costume on here that looks familiar to you, please reach out to me and share any details you may have! I love to hear the stories and memories.

Would you like to see your own retired costume(s) upcycled into something new and unique? Keep reading... 

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

In the next phase of this adventure, I will be creating an offering where you can send me your costume(s) and I will create custom pieces just for you and anyone else you may want to gift a piece of your Irish dance memories to, like former or current feis moms & dads, teachers, team members, family, friends, etc. Sign up to receive emails and stay tuned for more details!