How to host your own upcycling party {Singer VIVO Repair & Create machine}

Upcycling party with Singer
You know those times when everything in your closet just seems so boring? Whether you haven’t been shopping since you were in high school or your body has changed and you’re still wearing your old clothing, chances are you have a stack of clothes in your closet taking up space that you really don’t want to be wearing anymore. 

I know I did, as did my friends, so we decided to get together to make a negative into a very big positive. Instead of going shopping together and blowing a few hundred dollars between us while we updated our wardrobes, we did something a whole lot more fun and cost effective – we upcycled our clothing. 

For those not familiar with the term “upcycle”, the basic idea is that you use what you already have and are not using to create something new and fabulous that you would have otherwise had to buy. Think of it as the greener way to recycle.   

So, to start my party off, I had all of the guests create two bags full of stuff beforehand – stuff they like but want to make amazing in one bag and stuff they really don’t want any more but can still be used for parts in the second.

Welcome to Upcycling partyImmediately upon walking into the party, they were greeted with two felt bins – one to dump their discards into for everyone to use as material, and one for the clothing they would like to upcycle. Once everyone had arrived, we went through the contents of the first bin together so everyone could see what materials they had to work with.

The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind as digging through the discard bin quickly turned into a clothing swap where everyone grabbed a few new-to-them items. Hey, it's green and resourceful. 

But, our purpose wasn't just to swap clothing, we were here to make our clothing awesome, which is why we had this little baby by our side:

Singer Vivo

"Introducing VIVO™ by SINGER®, the handy household tool for creating and repairing. Add personal touches to fun Do-It-Yourself projects with trims, appliques and embellishments; repair, patch and fix your garments and other items on the spot. VIVO™ by SINGER® is a snap to use and quick to set up, and its compact size makes it portable and easy to store."

The Singer VIVO Create & Repair Machine is one of Singer's "very basic machines", which makes it perfect for a party with non-sewers, but there are a whole lot of features packed into it that even advanced sewers can appreciate. While it won’t replace machines that have 100+ stitches and isn’t for really delicate and/or heavy duty fabrics, it is a great starter machine or compact machine for when you don’t need a full-size sewing machine and perfect for learning on since everything is easy to understand right out of the box.

Once we had our items for upcycle, or materials, and our "new" swapped items, we were ready to start working and fire up the VIVO. We started with one of the easier upcycles: adding a little extra length to a too-short t-shirt.

Together we chose a shirt in a complementary fabric and then discussed how much extra length was needed. Once that was done, it was simply a matter of cutting a few inches above the hem of the complementary shirt, pinning it to the short shirt, and then sewing it together with the VIVO using the recommended stitch for fabrics that stretch. Easy, peasy.

Singer Vivo upcycling
One project down, we got to work on a more tricky task: adding a yoga top to an old skirt. The only thing that made this more complicated was the fact the the skirt was a cotton weave with no stretch and the shirt we were using was t-shirt material that needed to be stretched in order to achieve the yoga-look and still hold up the skirt.

Singer Vivo sewing machineWe improvised a quick mannequin using cardboard from a box waiting to be recycled, and that gave us just enough resistance to stretch the shirt for proper pinning. Once that was done, it was a matter of using a blind stitch to sew them together, and then the skirt was complete.

Yoga Top Skirt
For our third project, we added a stretchy bottom to a too loose top using a torn tank top as the under layer and it was also incredibly easy and done within just a few minutes after pinning.  The result was adorable, and the guest that was taking it home with her was incredibly happy to have rescued two items she wasn't wearing in her closet in one simple DIY fix.

Adding length to a shirt
Our last few projects were little fixes here and there – a side hem that was torn, jeans that had split at the knee, a skirt that needed new elastic, and then adding some appliques to items that just needed a little something to make them pop.

Torn seam
These last few projects gave even those who were resistant to touch the VIVO a chance to try it out without having complicated fabrics and stitches to worry about, and it was a great, fun way to finish because it showed just how quick and easy upcycling can be once you're on a roll. This was especially important to me as I would like to host an upcycling party every season and I want our group of ladies to see how easy it can really be.

Singer Vivo Create and Repair machine
Besides being a great way to reconnect with great friends, our upcycling party ended up saving us a ton of money that we would have spent replacing the clothing we repaired, and it gave us all a better idea of just how creative we can be together. So now instead of getting dressed every morning wishing "I wish this was longer" or "this shirt is boring, but it fits", I want them to see the vast potential in their closet now that we can upcycle with the VIVO so easily. Next time, we hope to have twice the stack of upcycle clothing and half as many items in the materials bin as we all start seeing even our rejects as having potential that we can bring about.

Who the Singer VIVO Repair & Create machine is for:

Portable sewers: anyone who sews with a group and needs a portable unit that they can easily transport will love the VIVO. I’ve borrowed machines my whole life and it was always stressful moving machines with small moving parts that weighed more than my children, so I love that the Vivo is easily carried – by the handle, even.

Upcyclers: the VIVO is basically made for upcycling. With all the basic stitches you could need as well as instructions on how to repair commonly torn/worn pieces as well as detailed instructions on adding appliques, patches, and more, the VIVO is perfect for upcycling an entire wardrobe.

Beginners: the VIVO is one of Singer's basic machines and has a great price point for those starting out. Since most beginners are inspired by looking at holes and tears in their own clothing and thinking "I bet I could fix that", the VIVO is a great starter machine.Kitchen_towels

If you fall into any of the above categories or are wanting to give sewing a shot, I would definitely  recommend checking out the new Singer VIVO. Add it to your wishlist now, pick up one for a gift, and host your own party or sinply upcycle on your own with the Vivo.

You can also see DIY tutorials on the Singer website, like these adorable embellished towels and you can find out more about the amazing Singer VIVO Repair & Create machine on the Singer website. Be sure and connect with Singer on Facebook, Twitter, and at

And Now For the Giveaway!

This giveaway is over. A big thanks to all who entered and a huge congratulations to our winner, who has been contacted and has claimed her prize.

Singer Vivo winner

A big thank you to Singer for sending the VIVO as well as offering a giveaway to our fabulous readers. Leanne Signature 2As always, all opinions are 100% ours.

95 thoughts on “How to host your own upcycling party {Singer VIVO Repair & Create machine}”

  1. You are so darn crafty and fun! Can you please hold the next Upcycling Party in my neighborhood so that I can come?
    I love Singer because it’s the only brand of sewing machines I’ve ever known. My mom has been creating all sorts of sewn projects, clothing, crafts and more my entire life and Singer has always been there! 🙂

  2. I love Singer sewing machines because they are such high quality! I also love that they have such a rich history!

  3. I’d really like to start learning how to sew to save money. Great looking party, never heard of a party like this before but it makes total sense and sounds like a great way to mingle and bounce ideas off of each other and to be inspired.

  4. My grandmother and mother both had Singer sewing machines. I learned to sew on a Singer and it is the only brand I have ever owned.

  5. I have a singer that I bought when I bought when I was 18 and have since passed on to my daughter. I have a Singer serger that has been a work dog for me now!

  6. My love for Singer sewing machines goes way back. My little grandmother owned the machine with the pedal foot and beautiful wooden cabinet. She and my mother are both gone now and oh how I wish I owned her machine. Don’t know what happened to it sadly.

  7. I love how durable these machines are. They seem to last a very long time!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  8. I love singer sewing machines because they are very reliable my mother and grandmother have used theirs for years I know my mother has had hers since I was a child and that is 40 years and it is still going strong

  9. this is a terrific idea – I have been to “naked lady parties” where we exchange our unwanted but still fantastic clothes and accessories. we’re a crafty bunch so this would work for us!

  10. Singer has been part of my family for many years… My Grammy, Nan, Mom, Aunts, cousins, daughter and Me have all been Singer sewers for many years. Its a family tradition… I even bought my grandaughter her first Singer machine

  11. I am pretty sure I need another Singer. I have 2 Singer featherweights now. I wore out 2 Singer Touch and Sew machines. Right now I have a Bernette Serger and a Babylock sewing machine. I also have 6 of those little battery-operated type machines, one of them is a Singer for little girls. Can’t ever have too many sewing machines.

  12. I just bought my very 1st Singer sewing machine! It’s an electronic one called “Curvy”. I absolutely LOVE it. At first I was intimidated by it and it ‘beeps’ at me when it doesn’t like what I’m doing, wrong bobbin size usually, but other than that I’ve been having fun trying out the new decorative stitches and it sews so smoothly and quietly, it’s wonderful.

  13. Singer is my choice always. A company that stands beside their products! My grandmother created some very nice quilts out of scraps on her Singer treadle machine. I’ve sown on other brands, and nothing is even close.

  14. The modern Singer machines are no where near the quality of their vintage machines and their support is essentially non existent in my opinion. I’ve read far to many negative reviews from Singer’s customers to ever purchase another Singer machine ever again.

  15. Great idea! It’s cool that you are helping to spread the idea of fixing clothing instead of just tossing it out and buying more!

  16. I have seen so many different Repurpose sites that have been amazing, and they all have used this sewing machine by Singer the Vivo. I haven’t even seen anything on it till today it seems quite effective for almost every type of sewing. I would LOVE to HAVE my OWN! thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas.

  17. I love Singer sewing machines because they have been around for dozens of years. I have my grandmother’s old treadle Singer but can’t get it to work. I would love to have a new Singer machine to get some of my “to do” projects completed. Thanks.

  18. I’ve never owned a Singer sewing machine, but I’ve heard they are top quality and are durable and made to last. That’s definitely a plus! And easy to use…perfect for the novice sewer like me!
    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  19. I have been sewing for 50 years and I am on my fifth sewing machine. All Singers and I still have three of them. That is why I love Singer-because they never quit working. A little maintenance and that will keep them sewing forever.

  20. Singer has always been the brand of sewing machines that my family has used all the way back to my grandmother.
    I still have the antique Singer sewing machine that was hers.

  21. I love singer because they are really user friendly and I love them because my grandma taught me to sew on one and my mom has one that we use together. It’s a family name.

  22. I love Singer because they’re a trusted brand that has been along forever. Our family has had a single for 60 years and its still going strong. Thanks for the opportunity to win.


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