NEW YORK — One step inside this clothing store in Brooklyn will transport you back to the twenties and thirties–But, this is not your grandmother’s closet.
The clothing racks are lined with trendy outfits made out of recycled antique lace, doilies, tablecloths, and anything else Liv Reinertson can get her hands on.
“This is an old napkin with hand crochet around the edges and this is an old tablecloth,” she says, holding up one of her handsewn tops. “Everything is completely one of a kind, completely unique.”
As a former preschool teacher, Liv was constantly trying to find a style that could suit both the classroom and getting after work drinks with her friends. When she happened upon a pair of ruined overalls, she decided to rip them up and turn them into something amazing. That’s when By Liv was born.
“People come in all the time and they say they feel like they’re in the thirties… especially with the way I dress, and the music and the sowing machine,” she says, wearing a custom-made white gown as she sews away on her sewing machine with Bobby Darin’s 1958 hit, Beyond the Sea playing in the background.
But Liv doesn’t mind being a little old school. In fact, some of her biggest fans just come to spend time in her shop. “There’s a little crowd of older women who come in who are very excited to spend some time here…Sometimes they get a little bit emotional because they look at pieces and they think, you know they say, ‘…this is just like what my grandmother used to do, this is what my mother used to do.'”
All of Liv’s materials are sustainably sourced from antique stores around New York, as well as donated by friends and family. “Sometimes I get emotional when I’m sewing, which seems silly because I’m just making clothes but…There is a huge story behind each piece and it’s so important to give these pieces a second chance,” she says.
This post originally appeared on ABC13