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Tue Dec 27, 2011, 12:03 PM

Anyone here "refashion" clothing?

I've noticed more and more blogs about it in the past couple of years. Some of it is the economy, some is that people are more environmentally aware and don't want to waste, some is even because there's a huge difference between some of the fabric now and how much sturdier older fabric can be.

Anyone here refashion old clothing or even follow some of the blogs? Any blog suggestions?

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anyone here "refashion" clothing? (Original post)
xmas74 Dec 2011 OP
badhair77 Dec 2011 #1
xmas74 Dec 2011 #2
badhair77 Dec 2011 #5
xmas74 Dec 2011 #6
badhair77 Dec 2011 #15
xmas74 Dec 2011 #16
Tansy_Gold Dec 2011 #3
xmas74 Dec 2011 #4
surrealAmerican Dec 2011 #7
xmas74 Dec 2011 #8
handmade34 Dec 2011 #9
xmas74 Dec 2011 #11
Tindalos Dec 2011 #10
xmas74 Dec 2011 #12
Tindalos Dec 2011 #13
xmas74 Dec 2011 #14
amyrose2712 Jan 2012 #17
surrealAmerican Jan 2012 #18
amyrose2712 Jan 2012 #19
xmas74 Jan 2012 #20
amyrose2712 Jan 2012 #21
xmas74 Jan 2012 #22
Tindalos Jan 2012 #23
xmas74 Jan 2012 #24
beac Jan 2012 #25
xmas74 Jan 2012 #26
polly7 Jan 2012 #27
grasswire Dec 2013 #28
polly7 Dec 2013 #29
grasswire Dec 2013 #30
polly7 Dec 2013 #31
Nay Dec 2013 #32
mtnester Jan 2014 #33
northoftheborder Mar 2014 #34

Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 01:25 PM

1. Do you mean to change the structure of the garment to update it

or simply repurpose the fabric and use it to make something else? I often use fabric from clothing or even leather jackets to make pillows or tote bags, or to make quilt patches. I'd be interested to hear what others are doing.


Lots of older textiles are definitely sturdier and has more interesting texture. Plus I always save the buttons. Gotta love buttons with personality.

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 02:34 PM

2. It can mean anything

from a simple hem/button change/ sleeve removal or change all the way to totally changing the structure of the garment or even repurposing the fabric for something different. (Pillows, patches, etc.)

I sometimes buy from the rag pile at thrift stores just for the buttons. They definitely have more character.

A few blogs that are very popular right now with clothing are http://www.newdressaday.com/ http://refashionista.net/ and http://refashionco-op.blogspot.com/

All the blogs have links to others, which means you can get hooked for hours on end.

Some are creative, some are simple, and some are just meh. I think that every one of them has at least the occasional good idea, with some better than others.

(As a side, I've noticed something over the past couple of years that I find really interesting. Young Mormon wives are running fashion blogs which tend to be about what they've thrifted and refashioned from thrift stores, garage sales, charity shops, even laundry room bins. I point out Mormon because most do make mention of their faith. Either way, it's very interesting that this is becoming the "in" thing right now.)

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 05:24 PM

5. This can be trouble - all those links.

I can see myself floating thru them endlessly. lol. Thanks. I'll be busy but I'm sure I'll pick up some ideas.

Nate Berkus does a lot of this repurposing, as in covering a chair seat with an old herringbone tweed skirt found as a thrift store. Too bad he's cancelled after this year.

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 10:03 PM

6. There are so many out there right now.

It's become the "in" thing to do right now. And with each site having links you find yourself looking around for hours on end.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:43 PM

15. I finally had a chance to look at refashionista.

That's a great site. I'm sure I was on there well over a hour for just a quick run-thru. lol. It's very motivating.

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Response to badhair77 (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:49 PM

16. And she really doesn't have any great skill with sewing.

She's just imaginative and does a great job with what she finds. She buys things for a dollar or two and really makes cute outfits out of them.

New Dress A Day really made a big jump a couple of years ago. Her story was that she lost her job, needed nice clothes for interviews, and decided that she would make something new every day for one year. She had $365 for the year to spend (basically, a dollar a day) and blogged every day, showing a before and an after. Since her first year she's been featured on quite a few DIY shows and is now writing a book.

Refashion Co-op is just a site that allows submissions from anyone who is into refashioning.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 04:14 PM

3. I'm philosophically opposed to throwing anything (even potentially) useful away.

So I recycle just about everything I can.

Some months ago i found a green and white print silk skirt at a thrift shop for $2 -- on a day when all clothing was 50% off. The elastic in the waist was shot and would have been virtually impossible to replace due to the construction, but there were at least 3 yards of lovely silk to be reclaimed. Not bad for a buck!



I'm dreading anyone suggesting blogs. I already waste enough time online. . . ... .

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Response to Tansy_Gold (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 04:22 PM

4. I posted a couple above.

I tend to enjoy the refashionista blog. It's simple and to the point, plus she tends to be a little more "funky" about what she does. Also, she just started sewing a couple of years ago so most of her refashions tend to be simple. And I like what she's doing this year-she's donating her refashions to a local shop, where all the sales will be donated to a local charity. She's also planning on making her own wedding dress from thrift store items.


The refashioning blogs and the Mormon housewife "fashion" blogs-I can spend hours on them.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 08:36 AM

7. I do.

I've become known among friends and family as someone who deconstructs old sweaters and knits with the resulting yarn. There are a few groups on Ravelry that discuss this topic, as well as things like making yarn from old t-shirts.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 11:42 AM

8. I have books about nothing but

what to do with old t-shirts. I really enjoy the ideas behind them.

I've heard of unraveling old sweaters and knitting with them-I just don't know if I'm at that level yet. It's a cool idea, though, and will hopefully keep some additional items out of landfills.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 11:45 AM

9. I love to

pick up 100% wool sweaters at thrift stores and felt them... makes very interesting stuff to work with... bags, slippers, etc...

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:18 PM

11. I have a book about felting.

Actually, it's about reusing sweaters but it does include felting.

http://www.amazon.com/Sweater-Surgery-Things-Sweaters-Domestic/dp/1592534201

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 03:23 PM

10. Me too.

Most of my clothes come from second-hand shops and I've always needed to alter them to fit. My sewing isn't very good yet, but I've managed to collect some nice vintage and retro pieces. I look for stuff that's well made, with good fabric and interesting touches, like fancy tucks and pretty buttons.

I've lost a lot of my bookmarks, but the book Born Again Vintage has some good projects.

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Response to Tindalos (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 04:25 PM

12. I posted a couple that were for a beginner sewer abovethread

I know a few recommend Sew, Mama, Sew http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/
and they all rave about BurdaStyle. http://www.burdastyle.com/

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 05:15 PM

13. Cool.

Thanks.



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Response to Tindalos (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 28, 2011, 06:44 PM

14. Np.

I really think that this will become a huge wave, considering how expensive clothing is and how cheaply made it is. It's a return to frugal living.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 01:50 PM

17. I have been thinking of trying to make reusable shopping bags

and possibly other things-scarves, hats, and such.... Just thinking though since I don't know hoe to sew to save my life. This is something on the 2012-Must Learn list. I will have to check out the links you posted. thanks.

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Response to amyrose2712 (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 01:56 PM

18. If you have access to a sewing machine ...

... shopping bags are a good, easy project, and can be made of any sturdy fabric. You don't even need a pattern.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:40 PM

19. I don't have one. Yet.

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Response to amyrose2712 (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 03:54 PM

20. The big thing with reusable shopping bags

is to skip the pattern and make them out of your old t shirts. It's easy-chop off the sleeves, cut the neck in a bit of a scoop, turn the shirt inside out and hem the bottom. (You can hem the neck if you want but the raw edge is considered just fine.) The scoop neck allows room to put the groceries inside and where the sleeves were cut off are now handles.

Use either your own old t shirts or pick some up at a rummage sale or thrift shop. I found one with a funeral home logo, which begged me to make something out of it. I have another written in Arabic (don't know what it says) but it screamed at me to buy it for a quarter and make it into a bag.


(You could do the same thing with an old tank top with no cutting.)

Here's a few links for you about t shirt bags:

http://www.instructables.com/id/FASTEST-RECYCLED-T-SHIRT-TOTE-BAG/
http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diybagsandpurses/ss/T-Shirt_Grocery.htm (this uses two shirts, has more cutting but makes a huge bag)
http://wildonionstudio.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/tee-bags-a-tutorial-to-recycle-a-tee-shirt-into-a-shopping-bag/

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:16 PM

21. Cool...Thanks.nt

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Response to amyrose2712 (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 04:28 PM

22. No problem.

They're super easy to make-a perfect starting point for you!

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 07:33 PM

23. That's a great idea.

I'm knitting some net bags for gifts, but it's pretty time consuming. Sewing t-shirts would be much faster.

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Response to Tindalos (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 2, 2012, 10:35 PM

24. They're so easy

and it takes just a few minutes, if you have a sewing machine. Cut the neckline in a scoop, cut the sleeves at the seams, turn inside out and hem the bottom. That's all there is to it.

Plus, it's a great way to use up old t shirts that you no longer wear or are stained.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 09:32 PM

25. I've bookmarked some of the links below.

I find myself wishing I'd kept some of the clothes that I yard-sold/donated last year. Thanks for the thread!

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Response to beac (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 11:24 PM

26. No problem.

I really think that for some, this will be the wave of the future-a return to learning how to make our own clothing and how to make do with what we have.

There are many blogs about refashioning (just google "refashioning clothing" but I included one of the biggest ones-New Dress A Day-one of the ones I prefer-Refashionista (I like her style and it's very simple to accomplish)-and one that offers a wide range-Rafashion Co op. New Dress a Day has been featured on talk shows and the writer is in the process of releasing a book. Refashionista has been featured on local tv in her area and in local fashion shows. (I can't wait to see her wedding dress-she's making it as a refashion.) And the third blog allows anyone to submit, so there are usually some interesting ideas.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:20 AM

27. Yes, I have a lot of fun remaking old things.

My latest obsession is tearing apart old jackets for felt and combining them with thick freeform crochet for really different looking blankets. Thankfully, I have some pretty understanding friends to give them to.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 03:20 AM

28. ooh, I would love to see a picture of your blankets.

I spose up where you live, another blanket is always welcome!

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Response to grasswire (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 11:46 AM

29. Aw darn, I don't have any pictures and haven't got one here left,

but they're super easy to make and look kind of cool. My mom uses hers for an emergency car blanket lol - it ended up being pretty heavy with all the felt. I've started cutting out different sizes of squares, triangles, etc. of velvet and silk scraps for my next one, and will join them with, and add, blocks of crochet, then quilt it. The scrumbing (freeform crocheting) for them is a lot of fun - no such thing as mistakes!, and uses up every bit of scrap yarn, ribbon or whatever you choose to use. I will take a picture once I get this one done. You should try it, it's great for stress, too!

This is just an example of a block using different weights and textures of yarn. You can also use ribbon, strips of most kinds of material, cording, etc. and go as structured or wild as you like. I've seen a full blanket with the crocheting only, and it was beautiful. Some day ....!

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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Response to polly7 (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 07:43 PM

30. WOW

I love that!

You could sell that on etsy.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 08:07 PM

31. I saw some gorgeous! handbags on Etsy once, I'm not sure if she/he still sells

them there though. Also, on Ravelry.com there are a few people who do this scrumbing and make some beautiful sweaters, etc. I'm too chicken yet to try to sell the things I've made.

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 08:00 PM

32. I just bought an unlined light denim vest from Goodwill for refashioning. I

measured and made a pattern for a lining. Then I went shopping at Goodwill again for a pair of any kind of pants that had lots of pockets and was made of thinner fabric, like cargo pants. I cut out the pockets (leaving some pants fabric around each pocket so I could tuck it under and sew the pockets to whatever lining I bought). Once I found a perfect pair of pants, I took them to the fabric store and matched its color (a grayish brown) to a beautiful yellow/cream/gray/brown print.

I cut out the lining using my pattern, making sure I left plenty of material to turn under when I finally sewed it to the denim vest. I arranged the pockets to my satisfaction, pinned them and sewed them onto the lining fabric. I even used a belt loop to hold a carabiner for my keys.

I sewed the lining in, and now I have a great travel vest with about 7 useful pockets!

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 08:37 PM

33. Pinterest, the best addiction in the world

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=reprurposed%20clothing

Sigh..so much Pinterest, so little time


You can do a "repurposed clothing" search on Etsy as well. Not my fault if we never see you outside again

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Response to xmas74 (Original post)

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 08:54 PM

34. Here's enough stuff to keep my eyes blurry all weekend!!!

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