Blog: Crossroads Style

December 12, 2023 Q&A with Unpicker from YouTube

Today we bring you an interview with Unpicker, a YouTube creator we connected with recently after his “haul” at one of our LA stores (see what he picked up in this video).

His YouTube channel documents his creative sewing projects focused on repurposing old pieces into new and innovative designs. We just had to learn more about him, so we sent a few questions his way.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m a middle-aged punk from Scotland, and for the past two years I’ve been sewing as a hobbyist and making videos about it. I’ve always cared about my clothes, but I lost my identity a little when I became a dad. Sewing has been a way to reconnect with that.Unpicker wearing one of his shirt creationsHow did you originally pick up your sewing skills? What were your very first projects?

My grandma was a Home EC teacher, so sewing skills were passed down that side of the family, as were her old machines. But for years I only did hand sewing like band patches on jackets or repairing rips in my jeans.

My first project was this box of old band tees that I was hoarding. They were too trashed to wear, but I just couldn’t throw them out. At some point I found a tutorial for making a patchwork blanket, one thing led to another, and I had made this useful thing that was imbued with really happy memories. I was hooked.

back of shirt showing patchwork

When and how did you decide to start repurposing pieces?

I had bought additional deadstock fabric for the blanket project. Virgin fabric was ruled out (you know, climate crisis). But by the end I had spent about £100, so if I was going to keep sewing I had to make it much, much cheaper. That’s when I turned to what was in my wardrobe and things that I could find in the charity shops. I was blissfully ignorant when I started: I was deconstructing garments, patchworking the small bits of fabric together, and trying to get enough material to make a panel. I’ve improved a lot since then, and I’m starting to develop a system.

Which of your YouTube projects are you most proud of?

The baseball shirt was a huge step for me. It was the first garment that I self-drafted and required a huge amount of learning. Although there are some faults, I’ll regularly wear it and feel good doing so. It did feel like a cheat using a bedsheet though.

But the forever jeans are my actual favourite. So much work had to happen for me to make those, and now I have a pair of jeans uniquely mine.

What do you dream of sewing up next?

My focus for 2024 is to rework some of the projects I’ve already done and improve on them, like my hanten jacket, the ‘Hamcus’ hoodie, and maybe the kilt. I feel like I have a handle on the basics and now want to refine my skills. I have this nagging idea to patchwork old rain jackets into something waterproof, but that could go very wrong.

I’m led by the gaps in my wardrobe, so the next project can go in any direction depending on the weather, the activities I need my clothing to facilitate, or what brand I’m currently obsessed with. I plan to continue making two videos a month and see where this takes me.

Follow along with Unpicker’s next projects on his channel @TheUnpicker. You can find us there too!