Transforming old clothes into new clothes and other items

A skirt turned into a child’s dressAmy Quarry dropped us an email this week with a link to her blog post on ten ways to repurposing old clothes, reusing as much of the original structure/shape as possible to save time.

Half the list take big clothes and turn them into little clothes: for example, with some pleating around the top and some arm holes chopped in the sides, an adult size skirt can quickly become a child’s dress (right). Or shrinking a woman’s blouse widthwise to make a baby/child’s dress. All very cute.

For those of us without small people (and/or willing cats) to dress, she includes ideas such as making a mini-skirt into a bag and sundresses into aprons (below).

A sundress turned into an apronI love these ideas because I’ve got quite a few items of clothing that I love but either which don’t fit any more or don’t suit me as they are any more – but could easily be repurposed like this. Time to unleash the sewing machine!

(Pictures with permission from Amy’s blog)

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9 Responses to “Transforming old clothes into new clothes and other items”

  1. Bellen says:

    Great ideas. Don’t forget making clothes/accessories out of other material. Sheets can become nightgowns, pillow shams can become window toppers, cloth shower curtains can become beach cover-ups (just did this with a narrow white/red/blue/green stripe) and of course bandanas can become skirts, summer tops, baby bibs, carry alls.

  2. Just Staci says:

    A childs dress can be sewn up at all the openings,and stuffed as a toss pillow,as can many items of clothing.A great way to keep using a childs favorite piece of clothing.You can also rip off trims and buttons and use for large doll outfits you can sew,to give girl’s dolls an extended wardrobe.

  3. Leah says:

    get all cotton clothes no matter the condition and cut into patchs to sew together as a patchwork


    cut up into patches so that if another piece of clothing frays you can patch it up (it would need to be the same colour)


    use it to make a rag doll i made one out of tights and sewed on buttons for eyes.

  4. stephanie says:

    if you have a mans over sized shirt, sew elastic just under the bust and you have an adorable shirt dress!!

  5. nelly says: then click on to twiggys frock exchange has ideas for wat to do with clothes that u rly dont like anymore. u could cut a long dress to make it shorter and put badges on they always jazz up a boring dress. Also if u have a plain top u could print out a kl pic on it
    if u had a mans shirt hed grown out of or didnt like anymore, if someone in the family liked unique but kl stuff u could cut the sleeves a bit and wear over trousers for a kl unique look! also look in magazines like elle or vogue they normally have good ideas! and of course never throw away if there is nothing u can do give it to the charity shop someone else might like that top that u HATE or is too small for u!

  6. Bad Monkey says:

    If you have an old Jumper or sweatshirt, make the sleeves into hats, cut them off and at the body end roll them up, and if its elasticated cuffs at the other end cut them off and then for woollen jumper best to sew the end closed to stop it from fraying. If you use a sweatshirt, cut the cuffs off, then cut down the length approx 6 inches at intervals around the sleeve and then knot at either end and leave them loose to make trendy decoration at top of hat.

  7. TaSunke says:

    I saw in some magazine how to make a short pleated schoolgirl-type skirt out of a pillow sham. I lost the magazine and now can’t find any directions or pattern or anything anywhere on how to make it! PLEASE HELP!!!

  8. Patty says:

    Cut off amd hem wimter pants to make shorts for boys. Add lace and buttons for the girls and use the legs of the pants for patches when they tear a hole in their knees.

  9. Ama B. says:

    A friend of mine’s mom made him a fairly large quilt out of old school or other kinds of T-shirts. I thought it was very interesting. She just cut the design into a square or rectangle. All of them were different sizes, though. It would take a long time to make it all work together.

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