Category Archives: Upcycling for Kids Series

Upcycled: 30 Tutorials for Your Kid’s Wardrobe

So…did you learn anything or get inspired to upcycle your entire wardrobe for your kids? Ok, maybe not that drastic, but next time you’re tempted to throw something out, see if you can’t cut it up into something fun for your offspring!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid’s Wardrobe Hosted by Feather’s Flights and Sew Thrifty

What Upcycling Can Save You by Sew Thrifty // Thrift Store Tips by Feather’s Flights // Maximizing Your Material by Sew Thrifty

For Boys

Colorblocked Muscle Tank by Sew Thrifty //  V-neck Tee by Feather’s Flights // Lime and Gray Raglan by Sew Thrifty // Basic Tee by Feather’s Flights // Striped Baggies by Sew Thrifty // Vest by Feather’s Flights // Cargo Pants by Feather’s Flights // Denim Shorts by Feather’s Flights // Two-Pants from One Shirt by Feather’s Flights

For Girls

Chipmunk Raglan by Sew Thrifty // Cap Sleeve Tee by Feather’s Flights // Cap Sleeve Cardigan by Feather’s Flights // Peasant-Style Dress by Feather’s Flights // Peasant-Style Tunic by Feather’s Flights // Khaki Capris by Sew Thrifty // Toddler Dress by Feather’s Flights //  Leggings by Feather’s Flights // Turban Headband Tutorial by Sew Thrifty

For Babies

Baby Lap Dress (+ FREE Pattern) by Sew Thrifty // Baby Shoes (+ FREE Pattern) by Feather’s Flights // Baby Shoes by Sew Thrifty // Turban Headband Tutorial by Sew Thrifty // Baby Leggings by Feather’s Flights // Baby Shorts and Bloomers (+FREE Pattern) by Feather’s Flights // T-Shirt Romper by Feather’s Flights // Two-Pants from One Shirt by Feather’s Flights // Circle Skirt by Sew Thrifty


Easiest Backpack Ever by Feather’s Flights // Turban Headband Tutorial by Sew Thrifty // Baby Shoes (+FREE Pattern) by Feather’s Flights

Free Patterns

Did you realize that ALL the projects Feather’s Flights and I did were made with free patterns?! Be sure to check out these amazing designers and thank them for offering these patterns for free.

{Disclosure: These are not our patterns, and we don’t claim any rights to them. They are kindly offered for free by the pattern designers. The patterns and tutorials must be obtained at the pattern designers’ sites.}

Baby Bloomers and Shorts by Feather’s Flights
Baby Lap Dress by Sew Thrifty
Baby Shoes by Feather’s Flights
Baggies Shorts
by Designs by Sessa
Cap Sleeve Tee Pattern by Shwin and Shwin
Caroline Dress Pattern
by Shwin and Shwin
Circle Skirt by MADE
Classic Leggings Pattern by Nap-Time Creations
Day Camp Set by Peekaboo Patterns
Harem Pants Pattern by Suburbia Soup
Peasant Dress Pattern and Tunic by Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Raglan Shirt by Nap Time Creations
The Tank by Fishsticks Designs
Turban Headband by Shrimp Salad Circus
Waistcoat Pattern by Barmy Beetroot

Thanks so much for following along and be sure to keep tagging your awesome upcycled creations #upcycledkid on Instagram!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

Upcycled: Baby Shoes (Free Pattern from Feather’s Flights)

Today is the last day of upcycling for your kids, and this project is such an easy one! Plus, Feather’s Flights has the free pattern over on her blog.

Upcycled Baby Shoes {Sew Thrifty |

Remember those khaki capris I cut up for my daughter? Well, I used the hems of those to make these darling baby shoes. That’s it! I love how Feather’s Flights makes use of the space in the hem to make this just about the quickest sew you can imagine.


FREE baby shoe pattern from Feather’s Flights.

I paired my baby shoes up with a Lap Dress (FREE pattern) and a turban headband to make a complete upcycled outfit for my Lioness.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Upcycled Baby Shoes {Sew Thrifty |} Upcycled Baby Shoes {Sew Thrifty |}

Here’s the breakdown:

Want the FREE pattern? Head over to Feather’s Flights today and snag it up!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

Upcycled: Baby Circle Skirt (From a maternity shirt!)

This upcycle cracks me up…it’s a baby circle skirt made from a maternity shirt! So, when you’re done with the baby in your belly, turn that shirt into a skirt for the baby in the bouncy.

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}


I used the tutorial from MADE here.

Additionally, here are my recommendations for sizing. These are based on averages and may not work for your baby or toddler. If you can measure them, do so, as that will give you the best fit.


Baby Circle Skirt Measurements {Sew THrifty |}


Grab a t-shirt. I used the bottom half of this maternity baby-doll-style shirt. It was a bit of a stretch (ha. ha. ha.) since the bottom half of this shirt was smaller than I would have liked, but it still worked!Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Cut down the side of the shirt to the sleeves (or in my case to the elastic).Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Then cut off that section of the shirt. I took my time with this to save as much fabric as I could. If you’re using a regular t-shirt or a larger shirt, you don’t have to be as careful, since you’ll have plenty of fabric here. Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

But now I’ve got two rectangles. Wait…I thought you were making a circle skirt?! Don’t you need a large circle? Yes, ideally. However, since I’m upcycling, I’m going with the flow. So, work with me here and follow along…two rectangles:Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Cut the hems off. You won’t need to save these.Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Take one of the rectangles and fold in half. You should have a square (or square-ish) shape. Then, using the measurements you have and MADE’s tutorial, construct your circle. Since you only have one fold, you’ll have a half circle when you’re done with this step.Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Take that half circle and place it on top of the other folded rectangle piece. Like so:

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity top to baby skirt {Sew Thrifty |}

Then cut out your second half-circle piece. Now you have two of these:

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

Sew or serge them together to create a circle. Yay, it’s looking like a circle skirt!

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

The next step is to add the elastic. I have tons of pretty (brand new) elastics. But, I wanted to make this skirt 100% upcycled. And well, my husband needed to trash his boxers…but the elastic was still good!Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

I couldn’t help myself. I snagged those bad boys out of the trash pile and salvaged the elastic. (And yes, he knows I’m airing his dirty laundry on the internets 😉 )Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

From there, I sewed my elastic onto my skirt and viola!Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}

I’ll be honest, the elastic was a bit stretched out. So, if you’re using upcycled elastic, you might want to decrease the length to compensate the extra stretchiness.

But, it still looks cute! And now the skirt will fit longer.

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}{Something isn’t right about my new outfit…}

Upcycled Circle Skirt: From maternity shirt to baby skirt! {Sew Thrifty |}{What?! I’m wearing Daddy’s dirty underwear?}

It was clean! Just old. She’ll be ok. I hope. 

If you’re looking for a little something different for your baby, check out Feather’s Flight’s baby leggings or toddler dress.

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty ( you upcycled anything lately?! Tag #upcycledkid on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see your creations!


Upcycled: Turban Headband Tutorial

I’m really not that mom who has her baby girl wear headbands with every outfit. Really, ask my friends. BUT, when you can make one to match her dress perfectly, and it doesn’t cost you anything, why not go for it!?

Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}


Based on averages, here is what I use to make turban-style headbands:

Infant/Newborn: 14″ by 3″
Baby: 16″ by 3″
Toddler: 18″ by 3″
Girl: 19.5″ by 3″
Adult: 21.5″ by 3″

These measurements are approximates. Depending on how stretchy your fabric is or how large your head is, you’ll need to make adjustments accordingly. I also personally don’t like tight headbands, so I make mine larger than any suggested pattern and use fabric that has some stretch – spandex, lycra, etc.

I have made countless turban headbands, and usually make the width about 6″ and then fold the piece in half and sew down the long side. However, when upcycling, you have to go with the flow and make things work with what you’ve got! All my measurements listed above assume you are working with a fabric (like t-shirt knit) that won’t fray and therefore the raw edges can be shown.

Also, check out this great tutorial on how to size specifically for you (or the girl in your life).


Cut the appropriate sized rectangles for the size you need. Since I was upcycling this small shirt, I only had enough to make a baby-sized headband. You can see that I cut off the leftovers from the hem (where I cut the sleeve for the Baby Lap Dress from) to create my first piece.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

My headband pieces – two rectangles measuring 15″ by 3″. I know I said 16″, but I could only squeeze 15″ out of this shirt and it’s pretty stretchy, so I’m hoping it will work fine.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Place one piece on top of the other and form an “X”.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Fold the bottom piece down over the top and match it back up with itself.
Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Do the same to the other piece (the piece originally on top). And match it back up with itself.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Gently pull the headband pieces out and you’ll get this. See? It already looks like a turban headband!Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Make sure your 3″ sides are matched up to each other.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Then take the headband and fold it in half, matching up all 4 ends.Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Then sew (or serge) connecting all four pieces. I then used this method to close off my loose serged ends. And done!Upcycled Turban Headband Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

The dress was already done, and now I have a matching headband!

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

You can make another one….Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

Or mix and match…Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}


Upcycled Turban Headband {Sew Thrifty |}

This hair is just begging for more headbands.

Upcycled Turban Headband {Sew Thrifty |}{Oh, hi there! I’m liking this whole headband thing.}

And don’t forget to see what Feather’s Flights has for your upcycled kid today: harem pants and shirt sleeve pants from the same top! She is so amazing!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (


Upcycled: Girl’s Capris

Today’s project was one of those that came together (finally) – not by intention, but it worked. And worked well!

Upcycled Girls Capris {Sew Thrifty |}

I was originally going to cut up these baby corduroy capris into bermuda shorts for River. Since I couldn’t find a free pattern that I liked, I referenced back to a self-drafted pattern I made last year for her (hope to make it available soon for everyone!). However, my end result was not bermuda shorts, (as you have already seen) but capris!


Any shorts or pants pattern. I used a self-drafted bermuda shorts pattern and lengthened the inseam by 2 inches. If you use a pants pattern, decrease the inseam accordingly. The inseam on my 3T pair of capris was 6 inches.


The details I was aiming to keep in this upcycle were the front pockets and the waistband. I wanted these shorts to have an elastic waistband for my 3-year old to easily dress herself (so I wasn’t concerned with keeping the zipper or button closure).

First, if the pattern you are using is a four-piece shorts or pants pattern, tape the front and back panel pieces together, as shown in this photo (you may want to overlap the pieces by the seam allowance so that the capris/shorts aren’t too baggy. I chose not to do that, so River’s capris did end up on the baggier side):

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Next, cut down the middle of the pants, right on the seam, not worrying about the zipper or button(s). Remember, I’m making these shorts with an elastic waist! Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Take your first pant leg and open it up. You’ll notice parts of these capris have already been cut out…you’ll have to wait until Friday to find out what they made. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Place your pattern piece on top of your pants/capris, lining up the seam line of the original pants to the middle of the pattern piece. Shift the pattern piece up about 1.5 inches to account for the waistband. Since you don’t have to add a waistband, you will need to make the shorts 1.5 inches shorter (save a little fabric and tons of time!).Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

I cut along the pattern piece and added several inches to the bottom to make sure the capris would be long enough for River.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Then I took that first panel and used it as my pattern piece to cut my second piece. Just make sure you line these up right side to right side or else you’ll be cutting two of the same shorts leg and that wouldn’t work out too well. Again, line up the seam lines here.
Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Now you can begin constructing the shorts. I ended up cutting off part of the back pocket, which was fine, but I did need to sew it back together before stitching the inseams together. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

This next step was the trickiest. I needed to make sure the elastic would slide through the waistband casing, so I couldn’t just close these shorts shut with a simple stitch. I placed the right sides together and stitched just the outside of the short’s back waistband together. You can see where I pinned; I just sewed that 1.5 inches closed. Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

After sewing the waistband back section together, I repeated that step for the front of the shorts.  Then, I sewed down the front and back seams starting from just under the waistband.

Then I measured River’s waist (20 inches) and cut elastic of 20 inches. I was going to use some upcycled elastic, but didn’t have the time to seam rip it, so I just grabbed some olive green. Not River’s color, but it will be hidden, so it doesn’t matter!

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

I threaded the elastic through the capris’ original waistband.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Now the elastic is all the way through the shorts and I just have to sew these two sections together, overlapping them by about an inch.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

All sewn together – you can still see the elastic through the front and back sections that are not sewn shut. I sewed these carefully with my sewing machine, taking care not to sew the elastic to the front or back of the pants. You could also sew these shut by hand. These sections will be on the inside of the shorts, so they won’t get seen.Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Then I finished the capris by sewing and serging the inseam. At this point I tried the shorts on River and measured how much I needed to hem to make them the perfect length. I love the way they turned out, plus since they are a bit baggy, they will make great bermuda shorts next year for her!

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}{I love my new capris, Mom!}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}
Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}
Upcycled Capris {Sew Thrifty |}{ok, Mama, I’m done}

Here’s the breakdown:

Upcycled Girl's Capris Time and Cost {Sew Thrifty |}

Head on over to Feather’s Flights today for some cute baby shorts and bloomers plus a FREE pattern too!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

Upcycled: Boy’s Baggies (Shorts)

Welcome back to week two of Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid’s Wardrobe. Today I’m going to share with you my new go-to shorts for boys. And you can make your own from a shirt, sweatshirt, or pants.  Are you ready?!
Upcycled Boy's Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

This is the third time I’ve made these shorts, and I love the results every time. My first edition ran a bit large since the pattern indicated 2/3 T, and Carpenter wears a 4/5. I enlarged the pattern, and the shorts were way too big on him. So, the next time, I kept the pattern just the way it was, and they helped complete my Project Run and Play look back in February.

Today’s version is slightly different since I upcycled them from 95% from this polo shirt and 5% from the lime green shirt I used for Carpenter’s raglan.  So, grab yourself a polo shirt and the pattern and make some awesome shorts!

Boy’s Baggies by Designs by Sessa

{Disclosure: These are not our patterns, and we don’t claim any rights to them. They are kindly offered for free by the pattern designers. The patterns and tutorials must be obtained at the pattern designers’ sites.}


I started with this short-sleeve men’s XL polo:

Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

Cut down the sides of the shirt:Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}Since this shirt was striped, I wanted to make sure the stripes would line up perfectly on my “new” shorts. It was pretty funny that the original stripes on the shirt didn’t even line up perfectly! Just another reason to give yourself some credit when sewing – not even mass-produced clothes are perfect.

I wanted to make sure I used the original hem of these shorts, so I started lining up the stripes beginning with the bottom and worked my way up from there.

Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

Here are the short’s front panels. You can see there’s a little bit of white stripe at the top of the right piece, but it will get hidden once I place the waistband over it. Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

Also, since I was using the same stripe fabric for the inside of the pocket, I wanted to make sure the front pattern piece’s stripes matched up with the inner pocket piece’s stripes. I simply placed the original shirt down first, then the pocket pattern piece, and then lined up the short’s front piece on top as you can see here:

Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

I maneuvered the pieces…and made the stripes line up!

Next, I cut off the collar of this shirt to use as the waistband. I love how Vanessa from Designs by Sessa also uses an old shirt for her baggies too – and here she uses the bottom of the terry pullover for the waistband.Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

And remember my son’s raglan made from this shirt:Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

I cut off the lime neckband to use as the ribbing/bias binding for the pockets. Other than that, I followed Designs by Sessa’s tutorial and finished my shorts.

Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Boy's Baggy Shorts {Sew Thrifty |} Upcycled Boy's Baggy Shorts {Sew Thrifty |}

Here’s the breakdown:Upcycled Striped Baggies Time and Cost {Sew Thrifty |}

Feather’s Flights has some awesome shorts and pants today as well! Go check out her denim shorts and cargo pants for some inspiration.
Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty ( you enjoying our upcycled series? Have you made any clothes for your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends’ kids out of thrifted or used clothing? We would love to see them! Tag #upcycledkid on Instagram and see what others are creating too.

Upcycled: Baby Lap Dress + FREE Pattern!

I’m so excited to wrap-up week one of upcycling with a FREE pattern! Introducing the Baby Lap Dress…

Upcycled Baby Lap Dress FREE pattern {Sew Thrifty |}

I wanted something that could save the neck binding of the original shirt, but also be easy to sew with no snaps or buttons (I still feel like a newbie sewer, so I like to keep things simple). There are plenty of baby dress and bodysuit patterns out there, but none quite fit what I was needing in order to save as much as I could from the original shirt. So, I created my own pattern! (This is my first pattern. **Insert squeal here**. I’m offering it free and as such, it hasn’t been tested. Please be nice if you come across any issues with the pattern.)


1. Free pattern (size 6-12 mos, approx.) {Print on US Letter paper with scaling set to “none”. This pattern has not been tested on A4 paper}
2. T-shirt (check your closet, thrift store, or garage sale)
3. Coordinating thread
4. Basic sewing supplies: sewing machine, pins, scissors, etc.


Step 1: Find a t-shirt to upcycle. See Heather’s tips here for finding great items to upcycle. I chose this super soft tee that I bought while vacationing in San Diego (pre-kids, so it doesn’t fit, and no, it never will. I’m over it). This shirt is a Small, so it’s a great one to upcycle for babies. Most upcycling garments need to be L-XL in order to best fit your pattern for bigger kids, but you can still get some great material out of any size garment. This baby dress is a great pattern to use for those smaller tees that you have lying around!

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Step 2: Prepare your shirt. Cut out the tag. Babies don’t need all that extra stuff rubbing up against them.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Cut the shirt down the sides. If your shirt has a side seem, just cut along that. If you chose a shirt with no seems, you might want to mark where to cut or just eye-ball it. I didn’t cut the sleeves off because I wasn’t able to use them to make the sleeves for the dress. However, you can cut the sleeves off at this point too, or wait until you’ve cut your front and back pattern pieces.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Step 3: Cut your dress front. Fold the original shirt front in half while the back of the shirt is up and to the left of the shirt front. I lined up the sleeves and side seems here to be sure I folded the shirt in the middle. Or you can eye-ball the graphic on your shirt to be sure it will line up in the middle of your dress when you cut the pattern. (Note: I use a rotary cutter for everything, so I don’t pin. If you don’t have a rotary cutter or don’t want to use one, simple pin the pattern at this step and cut using your fabric scissors). Cut out your dress front.Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

You can see in this photo that I made sure the top of the pattern piece and the neckband of the original shirt lined up as best as possible. You don’t have to line these up perfectly, as your shirt may have a slightly different shape, but it should still work in the end.Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Step 4: Cut your dress back. Line up the back pattern piece to the back of the original shirt on the fold and cut it out.

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Step 5: Cut your sleeves. You can use the sleeves of your original shirt to make the sleeves of your baby dress! In my case, the original sleeves were a bit short, so I used the bottom of the shirt. But most sleeves will be long enough for you to use. Line up the hem and fold line with the pattern piece as indicated and cut 2 sleeve pieces.BabyLapDressTutorial-8

OK, now you’re ready to piece the dress together!

Step 6: Line up the dress front and back. Don’t do what I did and line them up wrong. Be sure to place them WRONG side (dress back) to RIGHT side (dress front). It should look how you want the final garment to look. Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

I overlapped them by about 2 inches. Here’s a close-up:
Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Here’s a picture of how to do it the right way:

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

Ahh…much better!

Step 7: Attach the sleeves to the dress. Place the RIGHT side of the sleeve to the RIGHT side of the dress arm hole. Line up the middle of the sleeve to the middle of the arm hole (the the middle of where the front and back dress pieces overlap). Working from the middle, pin the sleeve to the dress until you reach the end of the arm hole. Do the same for the other section of the sleeve. Now you have the sleeve all pinned to the dress pieces. Go ahead and pin the other sleeve at this point too. (I like to double check that I’ve pinned correctly by flipping the sleeve over to be sure I pinned the right side. Cause, you know, I’ve been known to make mistakes 🙂 ) Sew these seams. I use a serger, but you can also use a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine ( set at .5 width and approx. 2.5/3 length). And always use a ball point needle when sewing with knits.

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Step 8: Pin and sew side seams. Placing RIGHT sides together, line up the sleeve hem and pin down the side of your dress. Line up your sleeve seams as well and the rest of the side should line up to the bottom of the dress.Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

Sew down both sides, flip the dress right side out, and you’re done!Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}

I chose not to hem the dress. Since it’s a knit, the ends won’t fray. I did tuck the ends of my thread back through the seams using the method I mention here.

If you wanted to go for a more polished look, you would hem the dress at this point. Simply fold under about 3/8″ (or 1 cm) and hem using your preferred hemming method.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

Add in a headband (made with the same shirt; tutorial coming next week!) and some cute upcycled baby shoes (that I will share with you next week – made from the hems of pants!) and you’ve got yourself a little stylish outfit for your babe.

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}

Then whip up another one because they are so fast and easy!

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty |}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}{What? The back of my shirt is wrong?!}

Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty|}{Oh well, I’m cute. No one will even notice}

Baby Lap Dress FREE Pattern 6-12 mos {Sew Thrifty |}{Plus I’ll just grin and my mom will make me another one}

Here’s the breakdown:

Baby Lap Dress Tutorial {Sew Thrifty |}


And for something a bit different for babies, check out what Heather has for them today. Plus, she’s got an amazingly quick backpack you can whip up from a used t-shirt as well!

Hope you’re enjoying this series. Keep tagging #upcycledkid on Instagram and be sure to come back Monday for another week of great upcycling tips and tutorials!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

Upcycled: Raglan for Boys

Do you ever realize how many free or event-related shirts you amass over the years? Today’s tutorial will show you  how to make use of those shirts for your kids.

This post is the second of my versions of  the Raglan Shirt Pattern by Nap-Time Creations.  You can view my girl’s version of the raglan here.

{Disclosure: These are not our patterns, and we don’t claim any rights to them. They are kindly offered for free by the pattern designers. The patterns and tutorials must be obtained at the pattern designers’ sites.}

Upcycled Boy Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Both the gray and lime fabrics came from shirts with over-sized graphics. These are very common with shirts you can receive for donating money, company shirts, or team shirts. Some of these shirts are sentimental, but others are just filling up your closet…or your trash pile. Now, there’s something you can do with them!

Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

This shirt was a friend’s that she and her whole family had worn in support of March for Babies. An awesome cause, but she didn’t need 5 of these matching shirts past the day of the walk. She kindly packed up this one and many others and delivered them free to my house. Free fabric! Free delivery! I have the best friends.

Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

Because the graphic on the back was so large, I could only use this shirt for the front in the size I needed. There was still some leftover on the back that I’ll use for other small projects.Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

As you can see above, I folded my t-shirt and lined up the bottom of the pattern to the bottom of the shirt. Since I didn’t have to bother with hemming the shirt, I could have slid the pattern piece down to account for not hemming. However, I like longer shirts (makes them last longer on my constantly-growing kiddos), so I kept the pattern piece as pictured above to gain an extra inch or so. Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

For the sleeve, I did slide the pattern piece off the edge of the t-shirt’s original sleeve. I wanted a short-sleeve shirt and nothing longer than that.

Upcycled Raglan for Boys {Sew Thrifty|}

I did the same cutting process for the back of the shirt and cut off the neckband of this gray shirt to use for my final raglan.

Also, since I used the original hem of the shirts, when I serged my shirt together, I ended up with a tail of additional thread. (This will also happen if you’re using a sewing machine, although if you back stitch your seams should stay put.) When using a serger, I use this method to keep my thread tails from coming apart:

Finishing Serger Hems {Sew Thrifty |}



And now the shirt is completely done and ready to be worn!Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty |}

And I know you saw those awesome shorts up there! Don’t worry, those will be coming next week.

Here’s the breakdown:

Upcycled Boy's Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Check out what Feather’s Flights is up to today with her peasant style tunic!

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

Have you upcycled any garments for your kids? Tag #upcycledkid on Instagram so we can see all the awesomeness you are creating! Or share a link in the comments.

Upcycled: Raglan for Girls

Have you ever held on to something for 20 years and then found the perfect moment to do something with it? No? Just me? OK, well, today is the day!

Welcome back to another day of thrifty sewing for your kids! Have you been following along here and at Feather’s Flights? If not, be sure to go back and see why we upcycle, tips for shopping thrift storeshow to get the most out of one item, and my first featured project – a colorblocked muscle tee. 

Now, onto today! I’ll be sharing two projects from the same FREE pattern – the Raglan Shirt Pattern by Nap-Time Creations.  This pattern is a unisex pattern offered for a wide range of sizes: 18 mos – 6T. Ladies first!

Upcycled Girl Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

{Disclosure: These are not our patterns, and we don’t claim any rights to them. They are kindly offered for free by the pattern designers. The patterns and tutorials must be obtained at the pattern designers’ sites.}

As I was going through my closet and my huge pile of clothes to be upcycled, I ran across just about every color…except pink. I just have never worn pink. But to my 3-year old, pink is her world. And because  I focus so much on making clothes for Carpenter,  I wanted to make something special just for her that she would cherish. Finally, in the depths of my storage, I came across this youth XL t-shirt I bought when I was 10! I still remember my youth and the love for chipmunks, and obviously I couldn’t bear to get rid of this shirt.

Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Since I really was focused on saving the graphic and not the hem (like here), I made sure the graphic was centered before I cut. Graphics can be hard to save in some shirts since adult shirts have graphics that can be quite large. Be sure to measure the graphic or the pattern before purchasing any thrift store graphic tees.

When checking to see if your desired graphic will work for your pattern, be sure to account for seam allowances. In the case of this raglan pattern, I had to make sure the neckline, sleeve seam, and side seam all were at least 3/8″ (1cm) away from my graphic. And they were! If this is not the case for your upcycled garment, try color blocking to keep your desired graphic.

Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Once you have your graphic ready, either pull the back of the shirt away from your cutting area or cut down the sides of the shirt. Then fold the front of the shirt and line up your pattern piece as indicated. Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

I always use a rotary cutter and weights, but if you use scissors, simply pin your pattern piece on and cut.Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Done! The graphic looks slightly off-centered, but it’s pretty close. I doubt my 3 year old will care. 🙂Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

The black sleeves are from a friend’s old shirt that I want to be able to use the logo for a future project. The neckband ribbing is from another black shirt (the first one had gray ribbing for the collar)

I was able to save the hem on the black shirt by using the existing hem to cut new sleeves. I started by folding the shirt and then lining up my pattern piece to the hem.

Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Since this shirt is for my girl, I wanted the sleeves a bit shorter than what was recommended. You can see below that I just slid the pattern down off the original shirt. Then I cut around the pattern piece there.Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

For the second sleeve, I cut around my first sleeve piece (to make sure the lengths of the sleeves were equal).Upcycled Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}Lastly, I cut out the neckband from another black shirt to use for the raglan neckband. You can choose to rip out the seams of a neckline, but that’s what too much work for me! I just cut as close as possible to the seam; the new neckband will be slightly smaller than the original, but for kid’s clothes it looks fine.

Then I followed the directions from the original pattern, and River has a pink shirt to call her own!

Upcycled Chipmunk Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Chipmunk Raglan {Sew Thrifty |}

Here’s the breakdown:ChipmunkRaglanTimeCost.jpg

And be sure to hop on over to Feather’s Flights to see her peasant style dress!Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty (

So….have you raided your closets yet to sew something up for your kiddos?! Feather’s Flights and I would love to see what you are sewing! Tag #upcycledkid on Instagram for your chance to be featured.

Upcycled: Colorblocked Muscle Tee

Today I’m going to share with you my first of many projects! I will be transforming two adult tees into a tank for my son – all for less than 25 cents.

But first, have you seen what upcycling can save you? And how you can get the most out of your material?
Colorblocked Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty |}

{Disclosure: These are not our patterns, and we don’t claim any rights to them. They are kindly offered for free by the pattern designers. The patterns and tutorials must be obtained at the pattern designers’ sites.}

Using Fishsticks Designs’ free Tank pattern, I mashed up two adult shirts to make this fun new one! The stumbling block I came across was that the graphic I wanted to keep from the original shirt was too close to the edge of the tank’s pattern piece. If I had cut up the original shirt, I would have sewed the graphic right into the seams, losing the look I was aiming for. Color blocking to the rescue! If you’ve ever had this same problem, read on to see how you can keep those fun (maybe even sentimental?) graphics from shirts past….

I snagged this long sleeve maroon shirt from my husband’s wardrobe long ago knowing Carpenter would love it one day. (Don’t worry, my husband gave me full permission!) And, today is the day!  I showed him the graphic on the back and he said, “Bam! Cars!” He is not one to shy away from crashing, smashing, and all sorts of collisions; this shirt fits him well. 🙂

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

You can see below that if I used only this maroon shirt, I would have cut right along the side of the graphic from the back of the shirt. And, I couldn’t move the pattern piece up, since there’s no more shirt to move to!

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

Luckily, I had a matching shirt in my stash of clothes to upcycle (it might just be larger than my fabric stash, but who’s counting?). So, I decided the best solution was to color-block the two shirts. Instead of making a new pattern piece or printing off another one, I simply folded down the piece, making sure the pattern matched up on the fold (this will ensure that the angle is at 90 degrees, and your pattern pieces will be perfectly horizontal).

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}(This is the top half of the pattern piece used for my yellow shirt)

You’ll then have the other part of the pattern to be used for the maroon/graphic part of the shirt:Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

First, I took the top part of the pattern piece and laid it on my yellow shirt to be upcycled. You can see the pin on the right – that is marking the fold in my pattern piece. I will add a seam allowance of approximately 3/8″ (or 1 cm) below that pin.

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

The top of my tank all cut out – the pin still in place, marking the original pattern piece, and you can see where I added seam allowance all along the bottom. (I repeated this step for the front pattern piece of my tank.)

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

Next, I prepared the bottom sections of my tank. (I’m showing you the front piece, but I did the same process for the back of the tank as well.) Using the bottom piece of my pattern, I placed it on top of my original shirt, making sure it did not cover up the details I was trying to save. I marked around the pattern piece with chalk to double check my work.

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}Looks good!

You’ll want to add the seam allowance to the top of this section of the shirt (as you’ll be sewing this piece and the top piece together). I, however, didn’t have any space to add a seam allowance, so I simply added some extra length to account for what I needed.

Now I have my main pieces cut out:

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}To complete the colorblocking, simply zig-zag stitch (width = .5, length = 2.5-3) or serge the top and bottom pieces to each other. Do this for both the front and back pieces. Then, you’ll have the front and back pieces just like in the original pattern.

For the neckband and armband, I love to use the ribbing from the original shirts. Since I have two shirts, there’s plenty of ribbing for both the armband and neckband. I like to cut as close as possible to the seam to get the ribbing off the neckline of the original shirt. You can save a little more fabric by seam ripping these necklines out, but, whew, it’s a job! Trust me, I’ve done it. It’s a whole lot simpler to just cut out, even if you do end up with a slightly skinnier piece of ribbing.Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty |}

From here, I followed the directions from the original pattern. Now my son has an awesome, unique, pocket tank. Thanks so much Bonnie for an awesome FREE tank pattern! Be sure to go check out the Tank pattern, available in sizes 12m-14!Colorblock Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty |{Colorblock Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty |}

Here’s the breakdown:

Colorblocked Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty |}

And be sure to hop on over to Feather’s Flights to see her cap sleeve cardigan and cap sleeve tee!
Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights ( and Sew Thrifty ( you upcycled any garments for your kids? Tag #upcycledkid on Instagram so we can see all the awesomeness you are creating! Or share a link in the comments.