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

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid’s Wardrobe

This blog has been a bit bare lately, but there’s a good reason. I’ve given myself a little break in preparation for an amazing two-week series all about upcycling, being hosted here and over at Feather’s Flights.

Are you ready??! Come join us for:

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid’s Wardrobe

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

Throughout the next two weeks we will be showing you how to turn thrifted and used adult clothing into something amazing for the kids in your life. All of the patterns we are using during this series are FREE. Some are our patterns, but others belong to their designers.

{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.}

Upcycle means to cut up and reuse fabric to create a new clothing or accessory item. If you’ve never used adult clothing (or bed sheets, pillow cases, blankets, or purses) to sew for your kids before, you may be asking yourself: why upcycle in the first place? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Why Upcycle?

Upcycling is one of the best and easiest ways to make fun and unique clothing for your children (or yourself, for that matter, but we’re focusing on the kids right now).  Plus, there are so many tips, tricks, techniques, and tutorials that can help you – maximize what you can get out of your original garment, use existing hems, graphics, and professional features, 

Plus, upcycling is inexpensive, saves time, helps the environment, and decreases our slavery footprint.

Upcycling is... {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Upcycling Saves Money

Fabric can be very expensive; that might lead some of you to think that sewing is too costly and it would be cheaper to buy ready-to-wear clothing from big department stores. Unless… you know where to look for (some of the best) fabric: your closet, thrift stores, garage sales, or friends who are cleaning out (I may be known to hit up a friend or two…or five). 

Plus, since old clothing is practically free, it’s okay to make mistakes! Some of my first sewing projects began by seeing what I could do with old t-shirts. I practiced, messed up a little, learned, got better, and now most t-shirts I cut into end up as something awesome for my kids. All the while, those first tees I used cost me nothing and gave me confidence to learn a new skill!

Upcycling Saves Time

Yes, most of the time sewing a tee for your kid will take more time than running to the nearest Target and picking up their summer wardrobe. Unless you’re like me with three kids under the age of 4  – and it takes an hour to get out the door, $6 in food to appease them while I shop, 4 trips to the bathroom, then the realization that it’s almost dinner time and you might as well eat out since that will take less time than making something at home, and 4 hours have past and what did you go to Target for?! Ok, ok, I’m really more organized than that.  But to be honest, it does take me less time to whip out a basic shirt or skirt than to attempt that treacherous trip to the department store.  

And when you upcycle clothing you have the added benefit of saving some of the original details (hems!) which in turn saves you time. Your garment looks professionally finished, but it took you less time than making it from scratch. 

Upcycling Saves the Earth

There are so many ways we can help our environment. One is to reduce the amount of waste caused by textiles. In any given year, the average US citizen gets rid of 82 pounds of textiles but only donates or recycles 12 of those pounds. That’s another 70 pounds of fabric heading straight for landfills (EPA Federal Waste Study, 2009). As upcyclers, we can save the landfills of those textiles by refashioning old garments into new ones.

The next time you begin to trash or donate an article of clothing, think hard about what it might become – a tank for your son, skirt or dress for your daughter, cloth wipes for your baby, or even dust rags or filling for your kid’s bean bag! And I encourage you to clean out and think about each item of clothing you bought – how many times did I wear that oversized sweatshirt? do I really need 25 tank tops? (I’ll admit, I have more than 25 tank tops, :/ but hopefully soon they’ll become something cute for my daughters!) That process might help you save some cash the next time you desire to purchase something for yourself. And, hey, that goes back to saving you money again. (Did I tell you I like to save money?)

Upcycling Saves People

This is probably the most over-looked, yet most important reason why I became even more convicted to upcycle and sew all my own clothes. To give it to you honestly but without all the depressing details – the majority of clothing companies use slave labor to make their clothes. Ok, maybe that was news to you and maybe it was depressing. I’ve been doing a lot of my own research lately, and my stance on this topic is that this is something that people have to come to understand on their own.

So, I encourage you to check out Free2Work, understand the Fashion Revolution movement, watch the newly released True Cost Movie. You can even answer some questions to understand your slavery footprint. Upcycling is my way of ensuring no person is slaving away at the final stage of my garments. Plus, I’m saving additional workers by using fabric that has already been manufactured and processed.

Throughout this series we’ll show you tips and techniques for saving money and time by refashioning used clothes into fashionable clothes for your kids. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

First, hop on over to Feather’s Flights today and learn about how to make the most out of your thrift store shopping trip!

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

We would love to see your upcycled creations as well! If you’re on Instagram, use #upcycledkid so we can see all your fun refashioned kid’s clothes.

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