• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

! Upcycling clothes!

 
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great thread!
I love both knitting and sewing, and for both I like to use sustainable material: good organic wool, organic cotton or give-away clothing to repurpose.

From two dress shirts (belonged to the husband of my piano teacher, who manages to poke holes into the shirt elbows) I made two classic boxer shorts for my husband:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/two_tango/49247046446/in/dateposted-public/ (can't get an embedded pic for this one)

And some woven cotton tops she no longer uses (and once had sewn up herself) got converted into grocery bags.
Here you can see one of the original tops and one of the resulting bags.


I also make bags with donated jeans, or I convert biggish adult jeans to little boy jeans for my youngest son.
I am sure there is a lot more I did with donated garments, but boxers and bags are the things I most often do.
People know that I reuse garments and other fabric and save it for me - sometimes too much!
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is another project I wanted to show you because it really turned out cute.
A pair of corduroy pants ended up as a hat this summer (for a theme-based summer camp):


And I forgot to mention that I make most underwear for the family, not only boxers.
The panties for the rest is made out of old T-shirts.
 
Posts: 350
Location: London, UK
73
personal care medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I originally made this post under the 'making your own clothes' thread but feel it is more appropriate here.  (I have asked the mod to delete this post on that thread, to avoid duplication).

I like adapting clothes (obtained cheaply at charity shops/jumble sales so mistakes are not costly!) e.g. where I like the material but not the end product.

I transformed a long maxi skirt into a shorter skirt with a matching top....even had a little material over to make a matching necklace!  The straps were from some scraps I had.





my-adapted-outfit.jpg
[Thumbnail for my-adapted-outfit.jpg]
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As there were questions how to get started with sewing, here is my own story:

I took a sewing class in the year before going to uni (a gift from my grand aunt). I have learned valuable basics back then, a long time before the internet.

Then for a long time I did no sewing. I restarted with "real" patterns for clothing, somewhat frustrating as my bodysize and shape is not considered in the patterns from the big companies (I am too small and slim). This got better when indie pattern-makers offered a bigger range of sizes.
And when I changed my lifestyle to being (still) more sustainable, I started with repurposing clothes. What gave me a lot of courage was this book:
https://www.amazon.de/war-einmal-ein-Hosenbein-gebrauchten/dp/3258600090

I am not sure if you can access the "look into the book" feature from outside Germany. Well, that book deals about how to repurpose all kinds of garments: jeans, pants, blouses, skirts, tablecoths etc. to make pyjamas, children skirts, aprons, bags, pillows etc. It gives basics on sewing and pattern-making. I had a lot of fun starting to draft patterns on newspaper.
And when the fabric was gifted it is even easier to try out cutting and sewing.

Maybe there are similar books in English?
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6135
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Amy Francis wrote:
I like adapting clothes (obtained cheaply at charity shops/jumble sales so mistakes are not costly!) e.g. where I like the material but not the end product.


I think I have a piece of used clothing in my fabric bins of that same print because I liked it too! If not that exact one, so close I can't tell it apart without digging it out and comparing it. Good taste in prints!! :D and lovely upcycle work! :)

 
Amy Francis
Posts: 350
Location: London, UK
73
personal care medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:

Amy Francis wrote:
I like adapting clothes (obtained cheaply at charity shops/jumble sales so mistakes are not costly!) e.g. where I like the material but not the end product.


I think I have a piece of used clothing in my fabric bins of that same print because I liked it too! If not that exact one, so close I can't tell it apart without digging it out and comparing it. Good taste in prints!! :D and lovely upcycle work! :)



Yes it was a fairly familiar print a few years ago - maybe Monsoon?  I am also a fan of your creations; you come across as an interesting person!  I love eccentrics (I am one too, e.g. ex hippy and still celebrating colours!)  I take much delight in what makes us individuals rather than favouring conformity and living in dullsville!

🌈

 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6135
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Y'all may recall I made a pair of warm leggings out of a size 3x men's sweater a couple of years ago.


I made them to wear under my snow pants, and they are excellent for that. This winter I have been feeling cold, and I put them on in the house, OH MY, I'm addicted. I put a pair of sweats over them to keep them somewhat clean. Whoo! I need more of these, they are too comfy, I won't take them off to wash :D
I went to a thrift store yesterday and paid 25 cents each for two size 2 or 3X men's sweaters, both really heavy 100% cotton.

This idea is REALLY working well, I think y'all need to try it if you get cold.  
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6135
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This summer I'm building our home, and I always need more pockets when I work. I was at a thrift store and I saw this vest, it has 11 pockets!!



I need more big pockets, and all of those pockets are on the front and that vest (which is too big for me, which means good air flow on hot days) was dragging toward the front due to weight of pocket crap. So I added more pockets on the back. It's hard to see exactly how it works, so I marked them out on this picture:



At top is two deep pockets, they hold things like a hammer or channel locks really well, and are easy to get things out of, they work like a back scabbard for a sword. The bottom pocket is one huge pocket that runs the whole width and holds things like a T square really easily. There are a couple of smaller pockets on top of that one, for smaller tools.

This is what it looks like without the markings, it came out well. That fabric is one of the sturdiest cloths I have ever tripped over, I have about 5 yards of it stashed, I wish I had a 20 yard bolt of it, it's really sturdy, as well as lightweight, and flexes and sews easily. I make shopping bags etc out of it, and have not managed to rip one yet, despite putting all KINDS of things in them (like power tools....) It's my favorite, and i expect it will hold up well.


 
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
92
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:At a thrift store I paid 4.00 for the heaviest flannel sheet set I have ever met, queen, deep pocket.


Hi Pearl, you did an excellent job. How did you get the color so evenly? Did you use a washing machine?  Or you own a big tub that the dye won't  stain?
 
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Zone 8B Blackland Prairie, Tx
71
cat dog home care personal care urban books cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:My favorite petticoat started life as a thrift store dust ruffle :) The skirt part is over full circle, the lace is gathered on to it. It fluffs REALLY nicely! Got a lot of attention as part of something I wore to a Steam-O -Rama, Steam Tractor show a while back. Always a popular thing when I wear it, and I wear it a lot.

I saw a second hand store once that wasn't open (rats!) called Rust and Lace. That is SO my kind of place!! I hope to get back to it one of these days.



Oh man, that's genious! I'm a bigger gal and finding petticoats is always so expensive! Making them from scratch is a pain, but I never thought of using a dust ruffle as a starting point! That's brilliant and I can't wait to go rummaging through the thrift store bedding now!
 
Carolyne Castner
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Zone 8B Blackland Prairie, Tx
71
cat dog home care personal care urban books cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is such an awesome thread!!

Most of the sewing that I do on a day to day basis is repair-work: husband's shirt had a button fall off, daughter's pants ripped a seam, etc. But I do lots of projects around the house too. Our cloth napkins were all sewn from some fun scrap fabric, and our house-rags are all made from a nice thick purple towel set I found at the thrift store. I sew or crochet/knit lots of toys and bedding for our animals and foster-kittens.

My mom and grandmother started teaching me to sew when I was about 4 years old. I was given a giant blunt darning needle, some yarn, and some old knitted washclothes and they showed me how to sew to pieces together. From there I started sewing velcro onto my babydoll clothing, and helped with cutting pattern parts and piecing them together for my mom to sew. I did hand sewing until I was about 8 years old, then they decided I was old enough to start learning the machine. They also taught me embroidery and tried to teach me knitting. (The knitting didn't take, and I didn't get it figured out until my very patient aunt helped me one Thanksgiving when I was about 14).

By the time I was in my tweens I was sewing from patterns (with mom's oversight); The rule was I always had to be supervised when using her machine, but could sew anything I wanted if I was working by hand. I had a number of skirts and dresses in my closet that had been completely made by hand, and was always so proud when I wore them.

Both Grandma's got together and bought me a sewing maching for Christmas when I was 15. It wasn't an exceptional machine but I still have it. It is definitely one of those machines with lots of plastic parts, so I've had to get it repaired quite a bit over the years. My main workhorse is a Kenmore from the 70s that a friend gifted to me when she couldn't figure out how to use it.

I don't know that I have a lot of pictures of stuff I've remade from other clothing, but I've got lots of pics of repairs and handmade clothing! I'll dig some out a little later and get some pics posted.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6135
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

May Lotito wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:At a thrift store I paid 4.00 for the heaviest flannel sheet set I have ever met, queen, deep pocket.


Hi Pearl, you did an excellent job. How did you get the color so evenly? Did you use a washing machine?  Or you own a big tub that the dye won't  stain?


I used a washing machine. Those sheets are huge and thick, no way I was going to get a decent dye anywhere else.  I kept resetting it to agitate for a total of 45 mins or so. And that's a dharma proicon dye, deep purple :D
Lovely sheets, I adore them! :D
 
Carolyne Castner
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Zone 8B Blackland Prairie, Tx
71
cat dog home care personal care urban books cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here’s a skirt I made a few years ago out of an old too-small pair of jeans!

There’s also a pic of a fun little underbust waistcoat that was part of a ren-faire costume. Looks like the rest are all in boxes; lost a bunch of weight recently and haven’t had a chance to resize them yet!

1F78EE2D-0355-4481-B6D8-4E8A35A22CEC.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 1F78EE2D-0355-4481-B6D8-4E8A35A22CEC.jpeg]
2809C94E-869A-4D47-919F-F70AD6F4567D.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 2809C94E-869A-4D47-919F-F70AD6F4567D.jpeg]
D7C11330-22B8-4C29-AC06-B1D6CE507534.jpeg
[Thumbnail for D7C11330-22B8-4C29-AC06-B1D6CE507534.jpeg]
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6135
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought some stretchy pants cheap (.25 cents, I think) and put pockets on them. They are just a patch type, but I made them a bit narrower at the top, so they flex well with the pants, lay flat, and don't drop things. Due to the way the pants fit, I made them wider than usual. I'm really liking them!



 
master pollinator
Posts: 1545
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
479
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had to search for this thread. It wasn't in fiber arts but in recycling!

I changed a man's shirt into a lady's blouse.
I almost 'ripped' this shirt apart for the fabric. But when I saw how beautifully made it was, I decided only to change it a little, so I could wear it.
First removed all buttons. I didn't like them (white plastic). Because the shirt was so well made, I could use it inside-out. So the new buttons could come on the side that was the inside ... and so it became a real lady's blouse! Of course I did more, a lady's blouse needs to fit, to have the right 'curves'.


First with pins and then with basting stitches I made the needed seams. Tried them, they were right, then I stitched them on the machine (sorry, no photo)


I put on new buttons (see more detailed in 'PEP straw textiles: sew on a button'). Ready, new blouse!
 
Posts: 191
Location: New England
54
cat monies home care books cooking writing wood heat ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow. I'm not as talented as any of you. I wish you were closer or i had more talent. I do make things from old clothes. We're reupholstering our dining room chairs with fabric from overcoats (tweeds) and I used to make tshirt yarn rugs. The two best are supposed to be below. I can't get the images to load... ARG!

The problem with these rugs is that when they get used, they get dirty and the dirt just doesn't come out! On the other hand, the tshirt yarn is handy for tying up bundles of rags, sticks, etc.
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK, not strictly clothes upcycling but aprons:

My husband brought two of these aprons from a catering event, not sure how you call them: the only cover you from the waist downwards. Not enough coverage for me.

So I decided to convert them to aprons with a whole front.
The first one I cut into two rectangles. The result is ok although I shouldn't have trimmed the edges off the lower part.
The other apron I just switched from "landscape" to "portrait" and folded over the upper edges to form a tunnel for the bands. I like this style as on the Purl Soho website:
https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2017/05/24/adjustable-aprons-in-daily-linen/

Clean simple pattern with minimal sewing.
sch-rze_vorher.JPG
aprons before
aprons before
sch-rze_probe.JPG
trying out the proportions
trying out the proportions
sch-rze1.JPG
model 1
model 1
Sch-rzen.JPG
model 2
model 2
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My boy had outgrown a sweatshirt (which we had bought secondhand). I listed it online as a free giveaway, but in almost two months nobody inquired. So I decided to cut it up and sew him underwear.
I have a nice pattern that works great for him and I keep coming back to it.
DSC_5960.JPG
finished boxer
finished boxer
DSC_5962.JPG
boxer with scraps from the original sweatshirt
boxer with scraps from the original sweatshirt
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Southern Germany
159
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the apples, but there are far better sewing projects in this forum! But great that you like them :)

I also found a half cut-up T-shirt in navy and a too small sweatshirt in navy with print, so I got to use some colour combinations navy-chocolate. I made a total of four. That's enough for the moment... (next in line is oldest daughter).

The first model (no pic) was not so nice. I need some ramp-up time to do diligent sewing.
For the first pair of boxers I did the cutting out of patterns hurriedly, I didn't really match the thread colour and used too little pins, did not iron the leg openings. The elastic stitching shows some bobbin thread colour due to tension problems.

The next three got better and look good in my eyes.
For the latter three I also folded over the elastic in order to encase the raw upper edge (sew it from the inside, flap over to the outside, zig-zag around the lower edge).

DSC_5968.JPG
colour-blocking
colour-blocking
Innenseite.JPG
inside view
inside view
 
Gravity is a harsh mistress. But this tiny ad is pretty easy to deal with:
Call for Instructors for the 2021 RMH Jamboree!
https://permies.com/wiki/149908/Call-Instructors-RMH-Jamboree
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic