"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Repurposed clothes

Thanks to some friends, we have found a fun way to have some new clothes for less money and to have the fun of sewing without the not-so-fun challenge of zippers, facings, buttonholes, etc.  We enjoy finding clothes at thrift stores and yard sales and remaking them to our liking. 

Here are some samples:

To do the skirts, we cut them off just below the pockets, as in the left photo, or longer, as in the right one.  The fabric strips are as wide as you like (ours were aboutt 7 inches thick), with the length of each strip being 20 inches longer than the previous level (also depends on how ruffly you want your layers to look).  Sew the short ends right sides together to make a tube and then gather and sew to the previous strip or to the denim, depending on where you are in your sewing.

This dress just took some very simple adding on to match the embroidery of the dress.

A too-short denim shirt became a cute dress by sewing the bottom of the shirt closed and then adding layers of gathered fabric.

So, if you find a cute dress or skirt that might just be too short for modesty, just add too it.  A note to novice seamstresses, you'll want to cut off the thick hems from denim skirts before you try to gather and sew to it.
I hope you get to give this a try.  It's lots of fun!


  1. Oh the dresses look great! I will have to try to do some for/with Elizabeth!
    I'm so glad you are joining Finishing Stitches this month! Let's get lots done together!

  2. Absolutely adorable! And what a fantastic idea!

  3. Great idea. I have done one skirt from a pair of old jeans, and am working on a second. I really enjoy making them into my own creations. I will have to try the strips next time.

  4. Great ideas! Thanks!

    Linda @ Linda's Lunacy

  5. Thank you so much for this post! Our daughter is at an age where she is growing out of many things that can be reworked just like you have explained. I believe these projects are simple enough for her to be involved in creating her own dresses and skirts, unlike the Amish dress I am currently working on for her.....too many tucks! Also, great blog! I will enjoy browsing through it, thank you for the time you have invested in it!

  6. Just what I needed. I made a tiered dress for my 3 year old daughter, the problem was I messed up the bodice but just didn't want all that fabric to go to waste so I separated the two pieces and kept the skirt part. My mind had been rolling this idea around in my mind but I just wasn't brave enough to try. I have two older sons and then there is my daughter!!! I am going to start saving their pants and shorts to make into skirts for her!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  7. What sweet skirts!!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I hope the cleaning solution works good for you. I am crazy about it. I am a missionary - I noticed you are a MK. I am looking forward to perusing your blog a bit more. I hope you have a great weekend.


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