Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Repurposing Clothes

I've been mending a nightshirt recently and as I was sewing I remembered that I had bought this nightshirt (second hand of course!) originally to wear as a day time shirt. I never wore it much and decided it was better as a nightshirt. It has been a very succesful nightshirt to the extent that it was starting to fall apart. The mending project reminded me of the wisdom of the adage 'a stich in time saves nine'!

I've done this a few times, bought an item and then used it in a different way than I had originally intended. I've got a long sleeved V-necked t-shirt that I now more often wear as a thin jumper over a lacy blouse; a scarf that I use as a belt; a lacy sleeveless vest top that I never wear now by itself but always with a blouse underneath and a cheongsam that I wear over a long sleeved t-shirt and trousers.

Mixing and matching is fun and it makes me feel I have more clothes as well as helping to prevent waste (though as i always donate unwanted clothes to second hand shops then they wouldn't really be wasted!).

Have you given any items of clothing a new lease of life by redefining what they are?

Thinking Green

25 comments:

Deb G said...

I do this a lot. :)

Golden West said...

I've been turning some of my favorite dresses into blouses and tops. As I've gotten older, that seems more practical, as I'm wearing dresses less and long pants more often. Hemming by hand is a good project for a rainy day and almost instant gratification!

Eryl Shields said...

This is something I do a lot too. I wear summer dresses over jumpers in the winter; vests as tank tops; cut jeans with shredded knees into shorts, and am currently in the process of turning the leg of a pair of my husband's old combat trousers into a rucksack.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Deb - I thought you might!

Golden west - sounds like a good idea and i too like hemming by hand!

Eryl - the trousers into rucksack idea is a brilliant one.

Bill said...

mending a nightshirt
that used to be a dayshirt
almost spring

bunnygirl said...

I don't do as much altering and re-purposing as I could or should, but I buy nearly everything at thrift stores, consignment shops, or garage sales and I take anything I no longer need to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

I'm a huge fan of the Wardrobe Refashion website. They're always full of ideas over there. Some are a bit...odd, but no one can accuse that bunch of lacking creativity!

Titus said...

Erm... no. But I do steal a lot of my husband's Helly Hansen vests for my own nefarious purposes (i.e. keeping warm).

Eryl Shields said...

I'll post some pictures of it once it's done. I'm not the world's best seamstress so I'm glad of the trend for rough edges!

bobbie said...

I do it often too. My favorite to redo for myself is a man's shirt. So roomy and comfortable!

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Oh yes, I do it all the time. So did my mom, who was a whiz at transforming old into new.

Here is one I'll bet you haven't done. I had a plaid flannel shirt I wore until it was threadbare. I loved that shirt and not wanting to let it go all the way, I cut it into squares and use them as dust cloths.

Michelle (Shell) May said...

I think the coolest thing I ever did was with a wedding dress. This girl was getting married, but didn't want to wear her moms dress, but instead wanted to use it in unique ways. I made the train of the dress into a table cloth topper for the cake table. I made the back of the dress with all the buttons into a ring bearer's pillow and I took the puffy lace shoulder and sleeve and made it into a purse. She and her mom both cried with excitement when I was done with it. It made me feel so good.

Thomma Lyn said...

This is wonderful. I do this to a point, but I need to do it more. :) I tend to wear things until they have holes in them, ha!

Rabbits' Guy said...

First - with a buncha pet rabbits that like to be held, everything slowly turns to lace.

Second - what doesn't tends to wind up in the back of BL's closet, waiting for that repurposing. Better get cracking!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Bill - nice ku, thanks!

bunnygirl, I've not been to Wardrobe Refashion for a while, I'll pop over again and have a look!

Eryl - thanks!

Fourwinds - actually, while I was mending my nightshirt, I was thinking 'this will end up as dusters one day!'.

Michelle - that's incredibly creative, well done!

Rabbits Guy - oh i know, I have an old jumper that Anya kicked a load of holes into.

SzélsőFa said...

I'm quite bad with needles so all I can do is mend as long as it is possible.

we have a great amount of baby clothes packed water and mouse proof in the attic, for our grandkids :)
I usually buy second hand clothes and we transfer all unwanted clothes to the Red Cross, or similar organizations.

SzélsőFa said...

ah, and all unmendable clothes end up in a large pile, from where we from time to time, (re-) stuff the cardboard box we are shooting at (for fun, it's an air rifle that requires no license, since is relatively unharmful)

Captain Shagrat said...

Hmmm, well confession time here. I got in the other night late from badminton, had a bath and got into bed with zero on. However when I got up the next morning i sought out my tartan PJ top because it was really brass monkey's. However after taking Harry monster out for a walk,(see pics of black LAB on my blog:-)), I really didn't want to take it off, so I tucked the PJ top into my work pants and layered an assortement of woollies on top. So really my PJ top doubled up for a vest.But dont tell anyone ok ;_)

Cathy said...

I like summer dresses over short sleeved teashirts, especially if they are sleeveless dresses. (I don't think my upper arms stand up to close attention these days...haha). I buy lots of things from charity shops especially if they are of good quality and set to last a while. I like men's shirts too with the arms rolled up. I have just bought a linen and silk man's shirt in an M & S sale for £4, and it is in my favourite shade of delft blue.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Captain Shagrat - your secret is safe with me!

Hannah - Zukan said...

I donate or sell any usable items that I don't need/want anymore. I always remind myself that there's no point in holding on to things that other people can use.

As for clothes that don't qualify as wearable, I reuse them as rags. :)

Greenearth said...

Love your post. Yes I do the same. Also do a lot of recycling with friends. One friend with great taste and a generous budget did a clean out last year and renewed many wardrobes including my own.

Thinking Green said...

It was as interesting to read the comments as the original post. I had to look up cheongsam and can't believe that I didn't know what it was. I tend to where clothes far past where they probably should be used and then use them as cleaning rags...Michelle

Cynthia said...

Yes, I was given a huge scraf, very
pretty but so large form my skinny
neck, so I had the bright idea of
wrapping it into a halter top.

Also this fitted men's shirt I wear
as a blazer, unbuttoned with a
tee or sleaveless turtleneck
underneath.

gg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robin Rule said...

how insync we are tonight. I was just writing in my personal diary some clothes ideas because its all rags. since we live in a caboose, i had daniel make the double antique bed a bit higher off the wood floor, so i could slide containers underneath and I switch clothes twice a year, I am just pulling Spring clothes out and ashamed at how sloppily I put them away. I am promising myself to put the winter clothes away far more tidy.
I am going to have to write a blog about this.... 'pie