So it's been a minute since spring… Happy fall y’all! And that spring cleaning you did on your closet a few months ago has probably expired? Me too. Not to mention I'm just sick of most of the clothes in my closet. While it is expensive to replace your closet with all new, it's free to take your old clothes and alter them into something new! That’s upcycling in a nutshell, and it helps the environment (double-win). There are a ton of how-to videos and amazing inspiration all over the internet. What I noticed was that most people were cutting up clothing and not adding a lining or finishing out the hems, making the clothes just look cut up… not a good look. Below I have listed three different ways to transform a garment, two require no sewing and one that does.
Project 1 - Cutting up an old tee shirt:
For this transformation all you will need is fabric scissors and an old tee shirt. I love cutting up shirts to add a bit of my own personal style, and jersey is the perfect fabric because there is no need to add a finish because it won't unravel. However, I noticed that when finding inspiration ideas online, all the shirts looked more like something to wear to a rave. As I spend more time at mommy-and-me activities, that’s a hard NO. I wanted the shirts to still do their jobs… cover my body. I just wanted to add a little bit of an edge to a simple shirt, because you know I’m a “cool” mom.
Things to remember:
Measure twice cut once
After cutting firmly hold one end of fabric and stretch the cut line, this will give the final look a more professional look and hide any uneven cutting.
I cut the hem and stretched it out, i also cut about a ½ inch up the sides and stretched that as well. Then I decided to turn this into a tank so I folded the shirt inside out and matched my side seams and shoulder seams. I then removed the sleeves and stretched that out. Next i layed the shirt flat with the side seams matching.so the front was folded on itself and the back was folded to itself as well.i then decided how low i wanted the front to go and started there and cut to the back. The final step was stretching it all out and done! I will say it's best too err on the side of caution and cut less, you can always go back and cut more if needed. Things tend to go from trendy to trashy real quick.
This one was for the gym, so I am ok with showing a little more skin, a.k.a., cutting out more. I started by removing the hem and stretching that out. Then I folded the shirt in half and matched the sleeve lines and the side seams. I then cut the sleeves and stretched the fabric. I did a deeper cut so I could show off some of that athleisure-wear.
Project 2 - Tie dye Shirt
You are never too old to tie dye! I love the fit of this shirt, but I never really liked the print. So why not just add some more color! It’s best to do this in a secure dye-proof environment with gloves. I used a stainless steel pot in the kitchen. Depending on what dye you buy, the directions will be a bit different - so just read up on the container. The most important thing is that after the shirt is dyed, to machine wash it on cold by itself once. This shirt is ready for a night out - and so am I!
Project 3 - Sewing a man’s dress shirt into a tank
Ok, for this one I found a tank I like the fit of and used that as a pattern, being careful to save as much of the discarded fabric as possible. I started by removing the sleeves then used the tank to cut the front and back. Remember to add in your seam allowance (up to half an inch). Then cut the sleeves open at the seam. Remove all stitch lines and iron flat. Then cut into 2” strips; this is to make the binding and the straps for the tank. Once cut, lay strips right side to right side and sew on the end. Iron flat then repeat until all the strips make one big ribbon. Now it's time to make a fold line down the middle, fold in half and iron. Once the whole strip of fabric has been folded and ironed in half, open the fabric and match the outside to the fold line on both sides and iron flat. Then iron the fold line closed again. Now you do not have rough edges showing, but instead a pretty binding to finish out the tank. The last step is to pin the binding onto the rough edges of your tank and sew to shirt. I suggest using pins, lots of ‘em! Now measure the tank straps you are using as a pattern, and add about 1” for seam allowance. Cut and fold/iron edges up, then sew to shirt. That's that! You have a new tank that your hubby will find slightly familiar…