Refashion Clothes: How to Upcycle, Recycle and Reuse Clothing
How to Upcycle, Recycle and Reuse Clothing
There is really no good reason to clean out your closet and throw clothes in the garbage. You can recycle clothing by donating them to a thrift store or other charity. If you gain or lose weight and can no longer use the clothing, they can be given away and reused by others. Even if clothing is not in great shape and seems like it can't be reused, consider using the material for cleaning rags or other craft projects. besides recycling or reusing clothing you can also upcycle or refashion clothes. Upcycle is to take clothing and make them new again my adding embellishments or changing the style.
Whether you choose to upcycle, recycle, or reuse clothing, shopping at thrift stores or your own closet is a great place to start. You may even want to get a group of friends together for a clothing swap. You can buy used clothes and sell refashioned clothes on Ebay and at a newer site called style.ly. (Both sites accept Paypal and many sellers offer free shipping). Even clothing with stains or rips can be bought or swapped if they are going to be upcylced or refashioned.
A Refashioned Shirt That You Can Feel Good About Wearing
What do you think?
Would you ever refashion or upcycle clothing?
Why do people refashion clothing?
There are many reasons why someone may want to refashion clothes. For some people their body style may not go well with the latest fashions, so buying items and refashioning them allows them to have clothing they like and feel good about wearing. For other people, recycling clothing and buying clothing from thrift stores helps them lead a greener lifestyle. Finally, many people want to reduce waste but still want nice things that seem new, so upcycling has become a reason to refashion their clothing.
My first exposure to reshioned clothing was a friend who posted some pictures on Facebook of a shirt she 'refashioned'. She had been refashioning clothes for some time because she is short and she can not find clothing that fits well on her body. When I saw some pictures of the stuff she refashioned, I was impressed! The refashioned shirts really flattered her body and they were so stylish.
Fortunately, I am 5 foot 7 inches and wear a size 8, so I have a lot of stores to shop at and can find the latest fashions and look stylish. I didn't realize that shopping wasn't as fun for other women until after I went shopping with a shorter and heavier friend. I quickly saw that not everyone is so lucky when it comes to finding clothes they like and look nice on them. I came to the conclusion that the clothes they have out there for petite and plus size women must be made by men because there is no way they flatter those women's body types. Refashioning clothing almost becomes a necessity if these women ever want to feel good about themselves when they leave their house.
Refashioning can be for anyone though. Lately, I started to think about refashioning for myself and my daughter. There have been some nice things on clearance racks that were a size too big and I was not going to gain weight to wear it. Could I refashion those items? What about my daughter, who is so skinny and wants the latest teen fashions but we have to stick to the children's sections due to the low necklines on the teen stuff. Could we use material to sew in under a shirt to look like a tank top underneath? Suddenly, I realized maybe learning to refashion clothes is something everyone could benefit from whether they need clothes that fit and feel good or they just want to try something new.
Before and AfterClick thumbnail to view full-size
How do you Refashion Clothes?
Once you have decided that you want to try refashioning clothing, you will need some basic materials to get started:
- sewing machine
- seam ripper
- iron/ironing board
- variety of zippers, buttons, bias tape, ribbon, and lace
If you can't sew you could try some simple refashioning with fabric glue, however it does help to have some basic knowledge of clothing construction. Most refashioners get clothing from thrift stores, eBay, clearance racks, and their own closet. For your first refashion you may want to use a pattern or have a person that has refashioned before, help you with the project.
Here are three easy ways to get started with your first refashion:
Sewing Machines for Beginners
Tips from a Clothing Refashioner/Upcycler
After talking to my friend Staci about her refashions, I asked her to offer some tips for people who might be interested in clothes refashioning. Here is what she had to say:
- Often, you can find a whole bag or basket full of assorted notions for just a few dollars. You can just add them to your stash, and when you want to work on a project, sort through the treasures while looking for the perfect details.
- When it comes to picking fabrics, it really depends on what you want to do with them. Flimsy fabrics like rayon or polyester may require interfacing or something heavier to give it some shape and stability, but again, it depends on your goal.
- Refashioing can help you save money and get the clothes you really want. Why spend money on new clothes when you have clothes in your closet you don’t wear for one reason or another? For short, round women, clothing options can be limited, as most stores believe that all large women either have bad taste or are octogenarians. Any woman can look great when they refashion clothes.
- Get ideas, but do your own thing! Have fun and own it! Make it yours!
Refashioned Clothing PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Picks for Great Hubs on Refashioning and Upcycling Clothing
- How to Make a T-Shirt into a Tank Top
We all have t-shirts that were just too good to pass up, even though they are a size too big. Why not turn these wanted, but large, t-shirts into racer back tank tops? Follow this tutorial and get ready to hit the beach or gym in unique style.
- Old Shoes: UP-Cycled, Not Just Re-Used or Re-Cycled
Add some glamour into an old pair of shoes and save them from the landfill: apply micro-glitter and not only rescue but up-scale your shoes. The same procedure can be used for many different arts and crafts projects.
- How to Sew Using Recycled Clothing
Great ideas for recycling clothes, including simple sewing ideas and embellishing cheap clothes. Photos and how-to videos included!
- Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle!
Next time you are ready to throw something away, consider if someone else might be able to use it. Freecycle keeps items out of the landfill. Join today and do your part to reduce, reuse and recycle!