Tag Archives: tips

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric} with Feather’s Flights

Today, we are kicking off our saving-on-fabric series with Heather from Feather’s Flights. You may remember Heather from our Upcycled blog series we did last month. And, she is no stranger to saving money – check out her awesome post she wrote last year. She’s going to tell us all about how to re-think buying fabric. So, let’s get started!


Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be in the sewing series! What a fun topic! I really love sewing, but I also love saving money by sewing. I know it is possible, and it has helped our family budget for a couple of years. I’d like to tell you some of my tricks. This family outfit cost us $9!

  • Check your stash first! There have been times where I have need of a certain color of fabric. I go to the fabric store and find the fabric, and I find other unnecessary things to buy only to come home and find the right color in my stash. If you keep your stash organized (one of my biggest struggles), then you’ll always know what you have, and you can be inspired by all your beautiful fabrics sitting next to each other.
  • Check your closet too! You might not know it, but I really love upcycling. Upcycling saves money and time, and time can save you money. We all have those pieces of clothing in our closet that never get worn. The item might not fit right, but you liked the item for the color or print originally, so upcycle it! You save money by not purchasing any fabric, and you feel empowered by cleaning out. Look through all the closets in your house, and you’ll be surprised at what you find! Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of the best five clothing items to upcycle.
  • Don’t be shy about your hobby! Tell your friends and family that you sew, and you will be the recipient of lots of fabric. I have been gifted lots of fabric and hand-me-down clothing from people because they knew I would use it. I’ve even had friends of friends give me clothing because they wanted to give it to someone who would use it. I often have to get rid of some because I get way too much, but I always find something special. Because someone knew I sewed, I was able to make a connection with a manufacturing warehouse that sells me their beautiful knit remnants for a deal.
  • Only buy what you love! It’s so easy to get caught up in buying all the fabric or thrifting all the cool items. But then you spend a lot of money (even if it was on sale) on stuff that sits in your stash never to be used. Was it really worth it? I took a pledge to be a lot more thoughtful with my wardrobe, so that I only buy the colors of fabric that I love, and I only make and buy the silhouettes I love. I bought a sheet set for $20 which seems like a lot of money, it was about $3 a yard. I used it to make a button up shirt for myself and the fitted sheet and pillowcase are perfect for my son’s bed.
1. I thoughtfully only thrifted a gray suiting and navy blue rib knit on a 50% off day 
  • Thrift it or swap it! I have found some awesome fabric and clothes from thrift stores that only cost me a couple of dollars. You can find a lot of basic items to upcycle or really unique fabric that you’d never find at a fabric store! If it grosses you, just throw the items immediately in the wash when you get home. You have to wash fabric from the fabric store too, right? Need some direction in upcycling? Here’s a giant list of upcycling tutorials for kids.
  • Set a budget and stick to it! I know this may be hard, but you’re not going to save money if you can’t learn to not buy all the fabric. It will make you really think about everything you put in your cart, use coupons when you can, and shop sales.


Have you successfully used any of Heather’s tips? Do you have a story to share or a project where you save money on fabric? I’d love to see it!

And stick around for tomorrow. We’ll hear from Mabey She Made It on whether or not to buy that fabric you’ve been eyeing.

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric}!

Are you ready? I am beyond excited for this series! Today we are kicking off our month-long series, “Savings Made by Sewing” – a place where you can find helpful tips and stories on how to save money in all areas of sewing. This week we begin with saving money on fabric!

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Fabric is my favorite! I may have been known to snuggle up with my piles of freshly received fabric or walk down the aisles touching each and every single bolt I can reach. Is that just me? Please tell me I’m not alone in my love of fabric…


I’m not made of money.

I can’t buy every fabric I want.

And I do like to find good deals.

So, how do I do it?!

I upcycle. A lot.

I splurge when it matters.

I catch sales.

I give good hints on what I’d like for Christmas…and birthday…and Mother’s Day…and World Textile Day (it’s real, seriously).

I resist. I practice the art of delayed gratification. And that is probably the biggest tip I have for you today. I’ve been known to place fabric in my cart at my favorite online shops only to let it sit there for days, even weeks. I return to it later and realize I don’t really need it after all. I’ve done the same thing in the store.

Back in 2013 I set a goal to not purchase any new clothes for myself or my two kids. I could purchase used, receive hand-me-downs or sew anything without restrictions. As you can see below, that saved me a tremendous amount of money on clothes! Going from spending about $450 to $112 – saving about $340 in one year! Since then I’ve added a child and gave myself a little leeway in 2014. But in 2015 I’ve been really convicted to not purchase anything new (except shoes), and have spent less than $20  all year so far for myself and my three kids.  I did purchase sewing supplies and fabric instead of clothing items (I’ll fill you in on all that later), but overall my spending was still less.

Saving Money on Fabric {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Clothing spending from 2012-2015. Sewing can save you money!


And yes, I may have had more fun making that graph than sewing some of the clothes for my kids. I’m a math nerd at heart. What can I say?

And, I’m not the only one with amazing ways to score inexpensive or even FREE fabric, so I’ve asked four bloggers to share their experiences this week.

Grab your virtual notepads and get writing because these tips are going to be just what you need to get you started!

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric}! was originally posted by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Savings Made by Sewing: Sewing CAN Save You Money!

Have you ever wondered whether sewing can save you money? Or perhaps you’re not a sewer, but you are looking for new ways to save some money. This month on Sew Thrifty, bloggers have come together to share their successes, tips, and advice on how sewing can save money!

Savings Made by Sewing, a series  to show you ways to save money while sewing {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Saving money sewing has been a topic recently brought up by many bloggers lately. Check out these awesome resources here
and here for saving on fabric, notions, and patterns.  There are general tips for those leery about whether sewing can save money here, here, here, and here. Additionally, several bloggers have done cost comparison of store-bought clothes versus sewn clothes and store-bought toys versus handmade toys. And for those new seamstresses out there, one blogger posted advice on buying a budget sewing machine. Plus, this blogger conducted a poll to see how well people save while sewing and admitted her own budget sewing successes and failures.

That’s a lot of great resources already and you’re about to have 15+ more tips and tricks to save you money. Have I convinced you yet that sewing is the way to go?

At the beginning of each week, I’ll start us off with some of my tips and ideas on each of the topics and then hand it over to the other experts in the field of sewing and saving. Throughout the month, if you have questions, chime in! Leave a comment with your questions, suggestions, or ways you’ve saved (or not saved) money while sewing.

I hope you’ll join us this month; there are some amazing bloggers contributing to this series, so be sure to check them out!

Savings Made by Fabric

July 6: Save on Fabric by Sew Thrifty

July 7: Feather’s Flights

July 8: Mabey She Made It

July 9: Phat Quarters

July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Savings Made by Patterns

July 13: Save on Patterns by Sew Thrifty

July 14: Sew a Straight Line

July 15: House of Estrela

July 16: Sew Straight and Gather

July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Savings Made by Supplies

July 20: Save on Supplies by Sew Thrifty

July 21: Bernina Representative

July 22: Pretty Practical

July 23: Finn’s Door

July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Saving Tips

July 27: Saving tips for Sewing by Sew Thrifty

July 28: From-a-Box

July 29: Willow & Stitch

July 30: Knot Sew Normal

July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewingGet ready for the awesomeness to begin next week! Or come visit me on Pinterest to see all the ideas I’ve collected on sewing and saving or check out some free patterns or tutorials.

Savings Made by Sewing: Sewing CAN Save You Money! was originally posted by Sew Thrifty

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern

Today I’m going to talk about investments. Not the hardcore financial kind with stocks and bonds and all that. No, today I’m going to share with you my secrets to investing…in patterns!

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

As a beginnner seamstress, I rarely bought patterns. I relied on websites offering free patterns or tutorials on how to make my own pattern. Even now I still frequent free pattern sites like Melly Sews, Shwin and Shwin and others to see if something free will work before I invest in a pattern.

However, there are many good quality patterns out there that are worth having. How do you know if it’s right for you? And when should you invest your money?

{Note: I have purchased (or was gifted) all but one of the patterns recommended in this post. I am getting no kickback or benefits from these recommendations – I just love these patterns!}

Here are 8 reasons why I invest in a pattern (for kids):

1. It’s unisex.

If you have boys and girls, it’s great to have a pattern you can use for both, right? I have 1 boy and 2 girls, so I’m definitely in the category of needing patterns for both. Even if you only have boys or girls, chances are you have opportunities to sew for the other gender – nieces, nephews, grand-kids, friends, gifts, etc. My favorites right now are the Bimaa and Mini Hudson Pant.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Upcycled Bimaa by Sew Thrifty  2. Bimaa Bimaa Bimaa by Sew a Straight Line

MiniHudsons1. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias 2. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias

2. It covers a wide range of sizes.

Kids grow. Fast! If you plan on making their wardrobes over the years, you’re going to need patterns that will fit them as they grow. Many patterns are offered through age 8, but there are some out there that span from toddler to teen. My favorites right now are several from Fishsticks Designs. Most of her patterns range from 12 months to 14 years!!

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} photos by Fishsticks Designs1. Downtown V-Neck 2. Hide ‘n Go Seek Hoodie both by Fishsticks Designs

And please tell me I’m not the only one out there who purchases a pattern and never gets around to using it until 2 years later. Anyone…? Bueller?  Well, if the pattern has a wide range of sizes, then I know I’ll get a chance to sew it up for my child, even if it’s not the same year I purchased the pattern.

3. It offers several pattern variations.

There are two huge benefits to pattern variations.  The first is obvious – the same pattern can give you totally different looks. I enjoy making my kids’ wardrobe varied. Plus, I get a bit bored making the same thing over and over. If the pattern already has built-in variations (short sleeve/long sleeve, square pockets/round pockets, zipper/no zipper), the second and third sews can be quite easy, but also fun to try one of the other variations.

The second benefit is that you can use the same pattern over and over again. This benefit is great since you know the fit of the pattern and can whip out some quick clothes without having to trace and cut new pattern pieces each time! My current favorites with loads of variation are the Recess Raglan and Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo  of Recess Raglan, pattern by See Kate Sew8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo of Fishsticks Designs' Sand and Sidewalk Board Shorts

1. Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew 2. Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants by Fishsticks Designs

4. It provides good instructions and photos.

This one may be hard to know, but can be vital if you’re a new(ish) sewer. Step-by-step directions on the pattern is key to learning how to sew. Unless you already know how to do something or search for videos, it may be difficult to sew up a garment without step-by-step instructions.

If the pattern designer is new or you’re not sure what the pattern looks like before purchasing, you might not be able to answer this one. However, there are numerous Facebook groups, Etsy reviews and other places that you can check to ask others’ opinions of a specific pattern. Some pattern designers offer blog tours of their pattern, and you can read reviews from bloggers and see many variations of the same garment. Since those bloggers have received the pattern free, their review may be tainted slightly.

Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty; pattern by new designer Stitch and Willow

Another great way to test out a pattern designer and get a feel for the way they make patterns is to use some of their free patterns (if available). Many designers offer free patterns as they get started, and others offer them only in one size. Those free patterns may not fit your exact need, but it will give you an idea about how the designer walks you through their patterns.

5. You’re going to make multiple versions of it.

It’s a bit expensive to spend $8 on a pattern if you only plan on making one item based off that pattern. However, the same can be said even if you only spend $1! Be sure you want to make multiples of the garment before purchasing a pattern.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Colorblocked Tank by Sew Thrifty 2. Alligator Tank by Sew Thrifty

And don’t limit yourself to just the pattern and its variations. There are so many ways to hack a pattern. My favorite pattern is the Bimaa and I loved hacking it for spring.

6. It’s timeless.

You’ll never catch me purchasing super trendy things. I’m not particularly trendy in the first place, so you might discount this recommendation, but I like to know I can sew an item for my first child and for my last (and who knows how far apart they will be?). I won’t purchase a pattern for something really trendy, because I just don’t see the value in using it over time. There are so many great patterns that fit the timeless description, but my recent favorite is Heidi and Finn’s Slouchy Cardigan.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Patter {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}Slouchy Cardigans by twelve2; pattern by Heidi & Finn

7. It’s something you can’t figure out on your own.

This one is huge for me. I’ve been sewing for 7 years, but I’m definitely still not advanced. I’m beginning to learn how to adjust patterns and this year have actually made my first pattern available for public! But there are many things I’ve never done and just don’t want to waste my time trying to figure out. That’s why people are pattern designers, right?! If it involves zippers, linings, or an advanced technique I’m not familiar with, I’ll be buying a pattern rather than figuring it out on my own.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} pattern by Fishsticks Designs1. Self-drafted trainers by Sew Thrifty 2. The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs

Or perhaps there’s something you want to make, but don’t want to waste time on trying to get the right fit. This past spring I was working on making my daughter some cloth trainers. I made a few pairs based off her underwear and diapers, but I just couldn’t get the fit right. Luckily, I was using scraps and used fabric, so I wasn’t wasting anything, but it took a great deal of time. Then my friend mentioned, “Wouldn’t it save you more money (and time) in the long run to just buy a pattern you know already has the right fit?” Well, yeah! So, I did. And now I have an underwear pattern that I can use for the rest of my children’s lives. It’s the The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs. And I love it!

8. It’s on sale!

Ha, you knew I was going to mention something about saving money, right?! But don’t just buy a pattern because it’s on sale. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they stocked up at certain fabric stores when they have their big $1 pattern sales. And then never open the pattern, and it begins to clog their drawers. Hey, if you’re going to sew it up, by all means get ten $1 patterns. But I’d rather buy one $10 pattern knowing I’ll make it multiple times because it’s a great pattern, and I’m comfortable with it than a whole bunch of $1 patterns.


But, if I just haven’t convinced you to invest in a good pattern, check out these great links for hundreds of free patterns:

For Babies | For Kids | For Girls | For Boys | For Women

Did I miss anything? Why do you purchase the patterns you do?

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern was originally posted by Sew Thrifty.

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}{I love my new capris, Mom!}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}
Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Capris Tutorial {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}
Upcycled Capris {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}{ok, Mama, I’m done}

Here’s the breakdown:

Upcycled Girl's Capris Time and Cost {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

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

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

Cut down the sides of the shirt:Upcycled Baggie Shorts {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

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

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 | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycled Boy's Baggy Shorts {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Upcycled Boy's Baggy Shorts {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

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

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 (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)Are 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: Maximizing Your Material

Ok, so I know upcycling is great and saves time and money, but adult shirts don’t offer much fabric, right? How can I turn them into anything substantial?

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

Today is all about debunking the myth that clothes don’t offer you much in terms of yardage. If you’re sewing for your 10-year-old kid, yes, it will be difficult to use anything other than a XXL adult garment, but there’s still plenty of sewing to be done for younger kids and babies. Plus, I’m here to give you some fun ideas for using up those scraps – and those can be used for any age!

When I first started upcycling, I would shop thrift stores searching for XL or XXL shirts since those items do offer the most fabric for your dollar. However, as I have upcycled more for my kids, my shopping has changed. While I still look for the largest shirt, sheet, pant, etc., I have learned that even small garments can go a long way for kid’s clothes. Plus, if it’s a graphic or pocket I am trying to save, the smaller sizes work better when cut down to sew up children’s clothing.

Heather used one shirt to make three, yes three (!) kid’s articles.


Later this week and next I’ll show you how to transform a size Small shirt into a baby dress and headband! Plus have a bit leftover for a fun applique or pocket.
Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Still have some leftover scraps of fabric? You can put it to good use! Here are some ways I have used small pieces of fabric:

Put on a Pocket

If you have a 5″ square of fabric left from any project, you can save it to use as a pocket! My son helped me design these pocket tanks and tees for my Etsy shop and now that he knows I can add a pocket, he asks for one every. single. time. These are all done with knit fabric, but you can use most any fabric to make a pocket on your kid’s shirts (or shorts, or pants!).

How to use up upcycled scraps - Put on a Pocket! {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Accent with an Applique

I LOVE reverse appliques! This technique uses knit fabric (my fav!) under the shirt (or pants) to create a slightly different look than a traditional applique. Here’s Lioness rocking a reverse applique as she takes on bad guys.

Captainess America {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org|Her headband is also made with knit scraps from old t-shirts.

If you have leftover fabric from a woven garment – dress shirt, jean, or something else, you can use those for a traditional applique.

Fill a Floor Cushion

Ok, you have tiny pieces of your upcycled garment left, can you just throw those out?! They won’t be too bad for the environment, right? Now that you’ve used up the majority of your t-shirt, don’t feel bad about throwing some fabric away. But, if you want to take your upcycling a bit further, consider using all those unusable, tiny scraps to fill a floor pillow.  I like this free pattern from Living with Punks.

You’ll have to wait until the end of the month to see mine, but the secret is out…I filled them completely with knit scraps from all my projects over the years!

How have you used your fabric scraps for clothing or accessories for your kids?

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

Beginning tomorrow I will be sharing specific projects using upcycled material and free patterns.  I hope you’ll join me and don’t forget to check out what Heather at Feather’s Flights has for you today: basic tee hems and basic tee neckline.