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Upcycle, Recycle Your Old Clothes!

Upcycle, Recycle, PP Central Market-clothing area
Upcycle, Recycle, PP Central Market-clothing area

Many of you have a closet full of clothes that are too something: small, out of date, big, ugly, short, long, etc. So what can you do with them? Change them into something new and get a whole new wardrobe! Raid your dad's or husband's closet too because there is a lot you can do with those clothes and a little creativity. And if you think you don't have a clue what to do, check out Pinterest where you will see some amazing clothing redo's.

First, take a t-shirt and cut off the sleeves, or lower the neckline. Add ruffles or split it up the back and add a piece of lace, or add a skirt to make a dress. There are many inspirational ideas on Pinterest but one of the cutest is from La Vie DIY where she took a tank T and added a triangular piece into the back to make a new flowy-looking top which was a copy of one from polyvore. This is also a good idea if your tank has become too tight in the bottom or bust, and if done carefully, will look brand new.

A lot of the items you will find on Pinterest are copies of Anthropologie pieces, which are often very unique and cute. One of the favorites is a striped long T with a polka-dot back and patch pocket, something that you can make simply by carefully ripping out the seams from one shirt and adding the back of another, sewing the shoulders and side seams, and then adding the patch pocket out of left over fabric. Cute, right?

Another upcycled idea is to make a pocketbook out of old pieces of lace and denim, finding a good use for grandmom's doilies or old pieces of leftover lace from another sewing project. A particularly pretty one can be found for sale on Etsy, the webstore for everything handmade. The store is called Tattered Delicates and she incorporated a bleached jeans pocket, denim from the legs of old jeans, and bridal lace. Very pretty!

If you like something girly and lacy to wear for the summer, cut up an old vintage tablecloth, add some lace and ribbons and create a free-flowing high-low top that is delicate and romantic. Not ready to cut? Take a vintage lace table runner and create a shabby chic scarf, very light and airy for summer. The Polka Dot Closet is where you will find these and you can use hers for inspiration or design your own!

One of the favorite items to recyle, upcycle is a man's shirt. There are many ideas including a skirt made just from sleeves to a dress made by simply tying the sleeves around your bust, to a total cut and remake of the shirt into a tunic or dress, or a really neat new shirt that fits perfectly. You can again see samples of these on the Etsy site and also on Pinterest. There are dresses for little girls too. Or combine two different shirts as was done on the All Glorious blog, making a cute two color dress.

So, has your creativity been nudged? Hope so. There are so many unique things that you can make! Try it, just one piece, and then you will be looking to make more. Guaranteed! Happy sewing!

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