Ideas to Upcycle Clothes

At the end of every semester, I take on one specific task: Go through my belongings and give away items I don’t use or wear anymore. Recently I had a few clothing items I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust or resize, so I decided it was time to give them away. After setting my affirmations for this month, however, I decided to pull out some items and see how I could repurpose them into something else. My Pinterest literally exploded as I searched for ways to upcycle my clothes! Here’s a short list of the projects I used to update and revitalize my wardrobe.

Lace Tanks

Cute DIY Project’s list of 20 Old Clothes Recycle Ideas That You Need to Upcycle Old Wardrobe Items had just what I was looking for when it came to updating some plain tank tops. With some extra stretch lace I had from past projects, I was able to open up the sides of my tank tops and add lace in without any fuss. I definitely recommend this simple project to add extra details to your wardrobe.

Repurposed Pink Tank Top

Pink Lace Top

Repurposed Grey TankTop

One Shoulder Top

If there’s anyone I know I should consult for T-shirt and clothing repurposing, it’s Wobi Sobi. Her tutorials always have me thinking about how I can reuse something instead of tossing it out or giving it away. For this specific project, one of my t-shirts had some underarm stains that I couldn’t scrub out. Instead of tossing my shirt, I decided it was better to use Wobi Sobi’s tutorial to cut off the sleeves and turn it into a one shoulder top.

Repurposed One Shoulder Top

Pillowcase Top

Even though I loved Lotus Bomb’s tutorial for making a top with a just a few items, I ended up putting it away for future use since I wanted to repurpose a top I currently had. Using All Day Chic’s Refashion Old T-Shirt To Tank Top-DIY, I found the opportunity I was seeking. With a few simple cuts and my serger, I was able to repurpose one of my favorite and well-loved tops.

Repurposed red top

Sweater Upcycle

Rather than giveaway a sweater dress that no longer fits, I decided to use this Sweater Refashion from guest blogger Tea Rose Home on Me Sew Crazy. First, I cut the hem of sweater dress off a couple of inches below my waist and then cut slits into the sweater to insert additional fabric. I used cotton fabric to cut triangles to insert into the slits. I was happy to have a serger so I could sew the panels into the sweater. This project was easy to follow and a great way to keep my sweater for future seasons.

Scarf Vest

I love scarves. Unfortunately, I haven’t made the time to wear all of them. Turns out, other bloggers must run into the same dilemma because there were tons of inspirational photos and ideas to transform scarves into other fashion items. Love Maegan.com showed the simplest way to fold a scarf into half and then fourths and reconnect it at the center to make a vest.

Batik Scarf

Repurposed Orange Batik Scarf

Tie Collar

When I found this tie at a used clothing store, I immediately knew it would be perfect for my wardrobe. Rather than wear it as a regular tie (which is definitely a stylish option), I found this photo from DIY Network that made me rethink my options. An old shoe buckle also seemed like a great design element, and I knew I had to use it in this project. I can’t wait to wear this to work and show off a new and refreshing accessory!

Repurposed Black Tie

Beach Wrap

Although tutorials from Wobi Sobi had suggestions on how to repurpose scarves into a wrap dress cover-up, my scarves were too narrow and long to do the same project. However, I found that by cutting two scarves in half lengthwise and sewing them together as panels, I could make a wrap cover-up skirt. I then sewed the completed panel to another scarf to create a waistband. Since my scarves were made of a light-weight material, I found adding interfacing to my seams helped strengthen them. If you want to make your own, consider this tutorial from Brit + Co.

Repurposed Scarves into Beach Wrap

So, there you have it and there it is! There are plenty of other resources for upcycling clothes, and Pinterest has a plethora of suggestions. I hope from my own experiences and results you can see how simple and fun repurposing can be. So, before you think to toss out or give away scarves, tops, or an old tie, consider some of these options and let your imagination soar!

What projects do you recommend for upcycling clothes?

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