Make Clothes from Old Clothes

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Revamp those rags…

 If you’re  creative, and need new clothes, turn something old into something new! You can easily re modify old clothes to give a completely new look, in most cases this will work best with plain and simple clothing. Printed items of clothing are good for cutting up, making appliques out of them, and stitching the patterned fabric onto plain fabric. 

Some craft items to employ into your clothing creations are: beads, ribbons, lace, dye, sequins, and buttons. Simply add these things to old garments to add spice, experiment with dye, or take whole items apart and put them back together in a completely different way!

Lace is pretty great really. You can buy pre-made lace appliques and simply add them to plain clothing, for instant pretty.


If you have a t shirt which is too big for you, or you want to make a loose fitting t shirt more fitting, cut out a rectangle shape section in the middle of the back of the t shirt, or up the sides,from top to bottom. Replace the cut out section with a lace panel, this will easily tighten the top up, and make it interesting!

Another way to tighten up a loose fitting top is to cut a section of the top out, and sew ribbons along side either side of the cut, in a corset type way.

Turn a daggy old T shirt into a sexy mini dress! For plain shirts, you can add just about anything to improve the appearance or the garnment! Go for feminine looking materials like lace, or ribbon to simplify the transition from old t -shirt, to new dress. I recommend adding a lace trim around the hem, and possibly changing the cut of the t-shirt to a more singlet style top.

If you like to keep things simple, and are handy with a sewing machine, work with what you’ve got.

If you have a t shirt that the shirt itself you don’t like, but you like the printed applique on the front, cut it off! Cut around it neatly, and you can simply sew it onto something else! An interesting way of recycling printed appliques to give a whole new look, is to cut the applique up into random pieces. Sew it onto the front of a black boob-tube dress in a Mosaic type layout, or onto a a tight fitting singlet.

You can turn a t-shirt into a mini by unstitching the whole thing, cutting out a pattern and stitching the new pattern together. You can pin another mini to the fabric, and cut around it to get a pattern, or you can purchase a pattern for next to nothing. You would do the same thing to turn a a t shirt into a singlet.

Tie dye is a bit of an acquired taste. It completely transforms old clothing, making it look new, and it’s so easy!

There are many different ways that you can tie rubber bands around clothing to give different patterns. For rings, tie rubber bands around the fabric. For lines, you tie the bands how you would for rings, except you tie directly around the width of the garment, as opposed a to random piece of it.

There’s may other different ways to tie dye, which you can learn about in books.


One you have placed rubber bands on the garment ready for dye, put the garment in to a bucket with the dye and water in, and leave to soak. The amount of time you leave the garment to soak in the dye for, depends on how dark, or bright you want the color of the end result to be. If you only want a tinge, then leave for a few minutes, if you want a rich color or are not that fussed, then leave for half an hour to an hour.

For denim, use bleach to dye, which will take a lot less time than dye. A few minutes bleaching for denim will be effective.

When you take the garment out of the dye, hand wash in cold water. You might want to continue to hand wash your tie died garments in cold water, so you don’t risk the dye coming out in the wash and staining your other clothes. Same applies for lace, to prevent it from snagging, hand wash in cold water.


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