Tag Archives: upcycling

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

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

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: 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: 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.