Now it's back to business as usual with my old wardrobe. The problem is, my body doesn't want to cooperate. Somehow I've gotten even wider love-handles and that post-pregnancy gut is harder to suck in. Some of the clothes that still fit well are more suited for work and teaching, and it's not like I want to have baby drool all over a pretty blouse. Right now with me staying at home, having to buy a new furnace, pay school taxes and home insurance, we can't afford to spend money on clothes.
So what's a girl to do, short of living in sweat pants--something I will never allow myself to own. How about reinventing my wardrobe? Not only will this save you money, but you'd be buying less stuff and recycling what you already have.
When I was teaching at a place called the Goggleworks, I created two teen classes called "Punk Rock Couture" and "Funky Fibers" where students deconstructed t-shirts and other garments into new clothes. I was amazed at what they created, from jeans with cuffs of different fabrics to necktie scarves to bags made from duct tape.
The photo above is from one of my examples, where I cinched in a t-shirt at the waist to make a more hourglass shape and cut apart and sewed a second tee to add longer sleeves. I also took some of the extra material and sewed a ruffle around the neckline and bottom and added ribbon on the cuffs. I made the screen print on the front, based on a Russian icon image.
We created those screen prints with old sheer curtains, embroidery hoops, and non-water soluble glue. There's a great tutorial here.
Since jersey material, which tees are made from, doesn't unravel, it's great to cut up and resew together without worrying about hems and such.
Here are a few other ideas for reinventing your old clothes.
- If you knit or crochet, unravel old sweaters you don't wear and reuse the yarn. Carefully unravel, dampen with a spray bottle, and wind into a big loop. Hang the loop with a weight on the bottom until the yarn is dry.
- Put those old scarves to use as head bands, belts, or as fabric embellishments to your jeans.
- strap an old belt around the waist of a sweater for a new look (not my personal style, but it works on some bodies)
- Turn a pair of too-tight jeans into a jean skirt.
- Sew some old neckties together into a skirt or a belt
- Turn old belts into leather cuffs. Raised in Cotton makes beautiful ones that are stamped and embellished
- add sequins, ribbon
- Raid your husband or boyfriend or brother's closet. That Annie Hall look of vests, neckties, and button downs shirts always seems to be in for Fall.