Tag Archives: refashion

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Boy

I know, I know, my brother’s wedding was months ago, and you’ve probably forgotten that I even posted about my dress and my daughter’s outfit.  But we’re gearing up for another wedding this weekend, so I figured I had better get to posting about my son’s outfit before that wedding passes us by!

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

My brother’s wedding was this past summer and I knew for several months that I wanted to sew all the outfits for my family for the event. And, why not upcycle and use free patterns for everything too, right? Well, I was able to accomplish most of that. The pattern for my dress was free, the fabric for River’s dress and headband were free. Plus I found a dress that worked perfectly for Lioness, so I didn’t have to sew anything for her. But today, I’m focusing on Carpenter. We don’t get dressed up much at all, so this wedding was the perfect excuse for me to go crazy sewing something fancy for him. My son’s outfit turned out to be the best use of free patterns and upcycled materials.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew ThriftyThe original shirt was my husband’s favorite shirt, but the collar was coming apart and just wasn’t ok for him to wear to work anymore. He hated to give it up, so I snuck it away years ago in hopes of using it for a refashion one day. And today is the day! For the vest, I thrifted a pair of dress pants. The original intent was to find a jacket, but the pattern I used didn’t fit the jackets I found, so I decided on pants. And, I found these for 50% off – only $2! I tried to keep the original welted pockets, but they were slightly too big, so I had to sew my own. You can see here how the cuffs from the original shirt were used for my son’s shirt. I loved that I didn’t have to sew all that. And the buttons were reused as well! I did have to improvise on the collar, since I couldn’t re-use that section and I was running out of fabric. Luckily I had some spare white cotton that I used to line the inside of the collar, since that section wouldn’t really get seen anyway and the outside of the collar came from the back of the original shirt.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

The vest came together nicely, even though I wasn’t able to use any of the original pockets from the pants. I lined it with a khaki cotton someone had given me from their stash. Then I accented it with orange buttons. Yes, I went with orange.

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

The tie was made from a free pattern as well, along with scraps of fabric that was given to me. And his pants and shoes were given to me by a friend. His whole outfit came to a whopping $7, since I include the price of thread, buttons, and the clasp for the tie. Not too bad for a fancy wedding outfit. I might be able to afford to dress him up more often.Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty{so, how do you get a girl to like you?}

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

{ok, Mama, enough with all this wedding stuff, where’s the cake?!}

Here’s the breakdown:

Thrifty Handmade Wedding, a refashion by Sew Thrifty

Dress Shirt:
Pattern: Fishsticks Designs’ Everyday Camp Shirt (with length added)
Fabric: Upcycled men’s dress shirt + scrap of white cotton

Vest:
Pattern: MellySews’ free Holiday Vest (FREE)
Fabric: Upcycled pants and gifted khaki cotton for lining

Tie:
Pattern: Delia Creates’ Lil Mister Bow Tie (FREE)
Fabric: Blue and Green cotton from JoAnns (name unknown)
Light green cotton gifted from a friend

The other wedding looks:

Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Mama
Thrifty Handmade Wedding: The Girl

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

{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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}(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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}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 | www.sewthrifty.org}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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Colorblock Tank {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org{Colorblock Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Here’s the breakdown:

Colorblocked Muscle Tee {Sew Thrifty | ww.sewthrifty.org}

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 (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)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.

Tutorial: Update Baby Clothes for the Warm Season

UpdateBodysuitHeader

One of the best ways to be thrifty is to refashion old clothes into new ones. And this tutorial will show you just about the easiest way possible to do that! Follow along to see how you can change baby bodysuits from winter (long sleeve) into spring/summer (short sleeve) attire.

BabyBodySuitUpdate{Throughout this tutorial, I am updating 6-9 month bodysuits}

Materials necessary

Long sleeve bodysuits (search your previous baby’s stash, hit up your friends, go thrifting, or check out a local garage sale! Be sure to wash the garment first if it hasn’t been previously washed just in case there might be some shrinkage)
Scissors or rotary cutter
Iron
Thread (coordinating or contrasting, depending on what look you like)
Twin needle (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Cut sleeves
Step 2: Iron sleeves
Step 3: Sew sleeves

This is really so simple, so let’s get started:

First step: Cut off the sleeves. I measured another bodysuit of the same size that already had short sleeves. If you don’t have that, just give a guess (and add a little); you can always cut off more later if necessary.

BabyClothesUpdateTutorial

  I ended up cutting off 4.5″ on this one and a little less on the others, since their sleeves were a bit shorter in the original bodysuit.

Step 2: Fold sleeve under 3/8″ and press. You don’t have to do anything to the edges of these sleeves since they are knit. You could serge or zig-zag the edges if you’d prefer though.

BabyClothesUpdateTutorial2

Step 3: Finish/sew the hems. I wanted to try several methods for finishing the sleeves.

First up: single needle! This method is for those of you out there who haven’t invested in a twin needle. I highly recommend a twin needle and they aren’t much of an investment, but just in case you don’t have one, here’s another way to hem your knit edges.

As I usually do with knits, I chose a zig-zag stitch with the shortest width possible (.5 on my machine).  This stitch looks straight, but gives a bit of a stretch and is the best stitch to use when working with knits. Then I added a second stitch to mimic the look of a professionally finished garment. It’s nearly impossible to get the two lines to match up, but I did my best.

BabyShirtUpdateSingleNeedle

As you can see, this finish isn’t perfect. I think I might go back and use the tissue paper method (see below) while using a single needle.  But, I wanted to show those of you without a double needle how you can finish the hem of your bodysuit.

Next up: the double needle.

Double Needle

BabyClothesUpdateSleeve

This one turned out fine, but I definitely had to iron the hem to make it a bit straighter.

 Finally, I decided to try the tissue paper method I recently read about. I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, I like to get things done quickly and really didn’t want to add time to hemming. BUT, for the sake of showing different methods, I tried it. And can I tell you, I am a TOTAL convert! I will never sew a knit hem again without tissue paper. Once you finish sewing the hem, simply rip apart the attached tissue paper like so:

Tissue Paper Method

And be amazed at your incredibly professionally looking hem:

Baby Clothes Update Hearts Sleeve2

So. Much. Better!!

There you have it. Four “new” bodysuits all ready for your lovely baby to enjoy this spring or summer!

BabyClothesUpdate4

BabyClothesUpdate4Full

Then let your baby enjoy his/her new clothes!

BabyBodysuitUpdateG

Here’s the breakdown:

BodysuitsCostandTime.jpeg

So, what are you waiting for?! Go look through your kids’ baby clothes, bug your friends for some hand-me-downs or hit up the next garage sale and find some bodysuits for updating!

BabyBodysuitUpdateG-2

Your baby will thank you!

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