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19 Intelligent Methods to Refashion Your Garments

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19 Intelligent Methods to Refashion Your Garments

Sweater to Mittens = Smittens DIY

Looking for the perfect DIY gift? You can make a pair of cozy, warm, fleece lined mittens from a couple of outdated sweaters in under an hour. I like to call these “Smittens.” Your friends and family will love receiving a unique pair of earth friendly, handmade Smittens this holiday season.

 

 

Things You’ll Need

  • Two coordinating sweaters
  • 1/4 yard of fleece
  • Buttons

Cut off one of the sweater arms to use for the mitten top.

Pin and cut two mitten tops (pattern piece #3) from the sweater sleeve. If you’re using a striped sweater, be sure to match the stripes.

Cut 4 inches off the bottom of each coordinating sweater sleeve. Set these aside for later to use for the mitten cuffs.

Pin and cut two pieces of pattern piece #1 and pattern piece #2 from the coordinating sweater.

Your outer mitten pieces will look like this. It’s a good idea to lay them out this way to ensure you will end up with a right and a left mitten.

Place the right sides together like the photo. This is very important so you don’t end up with two left thumbs.

Pin together matching the marks on the pattern. Start at one pin and sew around the mitten to the other pin with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Open this piece and place it on the mitten top piece with right sides together.

Pin and sew around the outside edge of the mitten with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave the bottom open.

Repeat this process with the fleece lining pieces.

Turn the lining right side out and place the cuff over the bottom edge of the lining with right sides together. Line up the raw edges and sew a 1/4 inch seam around the bottom edge of the mitten lining.

Turn the fleece lining inside out.

Place the lining on your hand.

Turn the outside of the mitten right side out and slide it over the lining so now wrong sides are together.

Fold the cuff up over the raw edge and attach with a button.

And now you have the perfect, inexpensive, DIY gift- a unique pair of warm and toasty Smittens.

 

Transform a Pullover to Cardigan Sweater Jacket Tutorial

With a few snips of the scissors and a few new seams, you can easily turn an unflattering pullover sweater into a more wearable and versatile cardigan.

Things You’ll Need

  • Quality pullover that has a great pattern
  • Tape measure
  • Contrasting fabric
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • A button
  • A thick hair elastic

Step 1

First cut two strips of fabric that are 2 inches wide and 2 inches longer than the front of your sweater.

Step 2

Fold under 1/4 inch on the long side of each strip and press. Choose a button and cut an elastic hairband in half.

Step 3

Cut up the center front of the sweater.

Step 4

With right sides together, pin the unpressed sides of each strip to the raw edge of the center cut you just made.

Step 5

Determine where you will want the button closure then fold the hairband in half and pin it under the fabric strip with the ends facing in. Sew each of the unpressed sides of the fabric strips to the raw edges of the center sweater cut.

Step 6

Flip the fabric strips over and press a quarter inch down on the other edge of each fabric strip. Also fold and press each end of the fabric strips.

Step 7

Fold over each fabric strip so wrong sides of the strip and sweater are facing together and raw edges are hidden now. Pin in place.

 

Step 8

Topstitch around all four edges of the fabric strip. Add the button.

Stay toasty warm and look good doing it. Mr. Rogers would be so proud!

DIY Upcycled Clutch

You can upcycle an old thrift store blanket into a beautiful clutch in under an hour. This project is a perfect DIY holiday gift that is both affordable and practical. Your friends and family will appreciate the fact that you spent the time to make them a unique, earth-friendly gift this season. Even beginning sewists will be able to create this fun clutch.
DIY Upcycled Clutch

Materials and Tools

To create your own upcycled clutch, you will need an old sarape type blanket, a coordinating old sheet or piece of cotton fabric, a 4″ x 3″ piece of black leather, all purpose contact adhesive for leather, a 10 inch metal zipper, heavy fusible interfacing, scissors, sewing machine, zipper foot, iron, thread, pins, and a measuring tape. Optional tools: A rotary cutter and mat.

Materials and Tools

Cut Outer Fabric

Cut two 11″ squares from the blanket for the outer portion of the clutch. Use a rotary cutter to cut perfect squares. If you don’t have a rotary cutter, you can use scissors, a fabric marker and a measuring tape.

Cut Outer Fabric

Cut Lining Fabric

Cut two 11″ squares from the coordinating bed sheet or fabric for the lining of the clutch.

Cut Lining Fabric

Cut Interfacing

Cut two 11″ squares of the heavy fusible interfacing.

Cut Interfacing

Attach Interfacing

Use a hot iron to attach the fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of each outer fabric square. Before you start to iron the interfacing, make sure the side with the adhesive is facing down. The adhesive side has a shiny look to it.

Attach Interfacing

Pin Zipper

Place the zipper face down on the right side of the outer fabric. Place the lining fabric on top so the right sides are together. (The lining fabric in the photo is folded over just to show you that the right sides are together. Your lining fabric will lay flat on top of the zipper.) Pin the three layers together.

Pin Zipper

Sew One Side of the Zipper

Use a zipper foot and sew through all three layers down one side of the zipper.

Sew One Side of the Zipper

Flip Lining Over

Fold the lining piece over to the other side.

Flip Lining Over

Flip Lining Under

Fold the lining piece under the outer piece so wrong sides are together now.

Flip Lining Under

Pin and Sew Zipper

Repeat the process on the other side of the zipper. Place the zipper face down on the outer fabric. Then place the lining fabric on top of the zipper so the right sides are together. Pin in place, use a zipper foot and stitch down the other side

Pin and Sew Zipper

Press Flat

Flip pieces over so the outer fabric is on top and the lining fabric is on the bottom. Wrong sides of the fabric will be facing each other now. Use a hot iron to press the seams flat. Be careful not to melt the zipper if the zipper is nylon or plastic.

Press Flat

 

Pin Outside Edges

Pin Outside Edges

Now flip the pieces so the right sides of the lining are together and the right sides of the outer fabric are together. It is very important to make sure the zipper is open at this point. Pin around all the edges.

Sew Outside Edges

Sew Outside Edges

Sew a 1/2″ seam around all the outside edges, leaving a 5″ opening in the lining fabric. Slow the machine down when sewing over each end of the zipper. Be sure to back stitch at each end of your stitching so the seam will stay put when you pull the clutch through the opening. You will pull the entire clutch through the opening to turn it right side out.

Clip Corners

Clip Corners

Before you pull the clutch through the lining opening, clip each corner.

Turn Right Side Out

Turn Right Side Out

Pull the clutch through the opening in the lining to turn it right side out. Press all the edges with a hot iron.

Press and Top Stitch

Press and Top Stitch

Press, pin and top stitch the opening in the lining to close it. Put the lining back into the clutch and push out all of the corners with your finger or a chopstick.

Leather Fringe

Leather Fringe

If you’d like to add a fringe zipper pull, start with a 3″x4″ piece of leather. Start at the bottom of the long edge and use scissors to cut 1/4″ strips. Stop cutting each strip 1″ from the top.

Get Ready to Attach Fringe

Get Ready to Attach Fringe

Thread a thin scrap of leather through the zipper pull and fold over in half.

Adhesive

Adhesive

Place a line of leather contact adhesive down the wrong side of the leather without the fringe.

Attach Fringe Zipper Pull

Attach Fringe Zipper Pull

Place both sides of the folded thin scrap that you threaded through the zipper pull earlier on the edge of the fringe piece with the adhesive. Roll the fringe piece around the scrap. Secure the edge with more adhesive if needed.

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Set Clutch Fold

Set Clutch Fold

Determine where you would like the fold of the clutch, fold it down and use a hot steam iron to set the fold. You can use a pressing cloth if you have concerns that your iron might stain the fabric.

Finished Clutch

Finished Clutch

Now you have a beautiful clutch, made in under an hour for a very reasonable price. Perfect for a handmade gift or you might even fall in love with it and keep it for yourself to take to those special holiday parties.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Happy holiday sewing from Beth, The Renegade Seamstress!

Transform a Plain Shirt Into a Trendy Swing Top

When you see a cute shirt in a catalog that’s out of your price range, don’t just keep turning the pages. Instead, check out your closet or a nearby thrift shop for an item to transform into a similar look and feel. To make this trendy Anthropologie swing top, look for a button-down shirt with a gingham pattern.

$98 Anthropologie swing shirt and DIY swing shirt
catalog and transformed shirts
Picture of catalog shirt and transformed shirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You’ll Need

  • Plain button-down shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Washable marking pen
  • Sharp scissors
  • 1 yard of fabric that matches the shirt
  • Pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine with a 90/14 needle
  • Seam ripper
supplies needed for the project

Step 1

Start with a plain button-down shirt. To determine the new empire waistline, put the shirt on and look in the mirror or have a friend mark 1 or 2 inches under your bust. Mark this line with a pin.

Take the shirt off and measure the distance from the bottom of the shirt to the pin. Mark this distance around the shirt with a washable marking pen.

measure and mark new waistline

Step 2

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut along the marked line.

cut the bottom of the shirt off

Step 3

If your plain shirt has a collar, cut it off from the collar band with a sharp pair of scissors. Cut as close to the collar band as possible so you won’t have to worry about fraying.

cut off the collar

Step 4

Cut two pieces of matching fabric that are 45 by 14 inches. These will be used to create the new bottom of the shirt.

cut bottom pieces

Tip

If the fabric you’d like to use for the bottom is new and slightly stiff, you can soften it first by soaking it in white vinegar overnight, then washing and drying the fabric a few times. If it is still too stiff, try soaking it in salt water overnight, then washing and drying it.

Step 5

To finish the inside edges of the new bottom of the shirt, create a french seam by first pinning the short sides with the wrong sides together.

fold and pin

Step 6

Sew a 1/4-inch seam along both short sides using a 90/14 needle and a medium stitch length. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

sew ends together

Step 7

Fold the sewn edge over so the raw edge is on the inside now and press along the sewn edge. Repeat on the other short side.

press new seam

Step 8

Sew along the folded edge with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Do this on the other side also.

sew along fold

Step 9

Open the fabric and press the new seams to the side.

press fold

Step 10

Now press under 1/2 inch twice along the bottom edge of the new bottom piece to create a hem.

fold and press new hem

Step 11

Pin the new hem in place.

pin new hem

Step 12

Sew close to the inside fold of the hem. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

sew new hem

Step 13

Then sew again close to the bottom fold to create a double-stitched hem.

sew again

Step 14

Change the machine to the longest stitch.

longest stitch

Step 15

Baste around the top edge of the bottom piece. Mark the centers and the sides with a washable marker.

sew and mark centers and sides

Step 16

Pull on the basting stitch to gather the top edge of the bottom piece. Pin the top gathered edge to the bottom raw edge of the shirt with the right sides together. Match the sides and the centers.

pin top to bottom

Step 17

Sew the top piece to the bottom piece, removing the pins as you sew.

sew top to bottom

If your shirt has pockets, remove them with a seam ripper, and you now have a new top similar to the pricey one in the catalog for a fraction of the cost.

before and after of the shirt

 

How to Make Headbands Out of Shirts

Celtic knot headband
Celtic knot headband

Celtic knots represent infinity and eternity because they don’t contain beginnings or ends. In ancient times, if a gift was adorned with a Celtic knot, it was thought to give the recipient longevity or good luck in new adventures. This no-sew headband is made with a Shannon knot, which symbolizes balanced creativity, a fitting emblem because it makes creative use of old T-shirts.

Choose a large T-shirt in your desired color.
Choose a large T-shirt in your desired color.
  • Sharp scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Measuring tape (optional)

Step 1

Cut two strips from the T-shirt.
Cut two strips from the T-shirt.

Use sharp scissors to cut two 1 1/2-inch wide strips across both layers of the T-shirt. Do not use the hemmed bottom edge of the shirt. Each strip will have two layers.

Step 2

Pull the strips tightly.
Pull the strips tightly.

Stretch the strips. Do not unfold the two layers. Grab each end and pull tightly until the strip rolls into itself.

Step 3

Create a loop.
Create a loop.

Create a loop with one of the strips by crossing the right side over the left side. Keep the loop at the top.

Step 4

Add the second strip.
Add the second strip.

Lay the second strip in a U-shape on top of the first strip. Place the ends at the top.

Step 5

Weave the right side of the top piece under the bottom piece.
Weave the right side of the top piece under the bottom piece.

Place the right side of the top piece under the right side of the bottom piece.

Step 6

Weave the left side of the top piece under the bottom loop.
Weave the left side of the top piece under the bottom loop.

Place the left side of the top piece under the loop of the bottom piece.

Step 7

Pull the right side of the top piece through.
Pull the right side of the top piece through.

Place the right side of the top piece over the loop of the bottom piece, passing under the left side of the top piece and then over the other side of the loop.

Step 8

Pull the ends to create the knot.
Pull the ends to create the knot.

Pull on each end gently and slowly until a neat knot is created and you have loose strips of fabric on each side of the knot.

Step 9

Place the ends on top of the 2 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch piece.
Place the ends on top of the 2 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch piece.

Wrap the strips around the head of the person who will be wearing the headband to mark where to cut the ends. Or measure the person’s head circumference and cut the ends to that length. Cut a 2 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch piece of T-shirt and place both ends of the headband on top.

Step 10

Use hot glue on the headband ends.
Use hot glue on the headband ends.

Spread some hot glue onto the tops of the headband ends.

Tip: You could use fabric glue instead of hot glue, but it will take longer for the glue to dry.

Step 11

Roll the small piece of fabric around the glued ends.
Roll the small piece of fabric around the glued ends.

Roll the 2 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch piece of T-shirt tightly around the glued ends of the headband. Use caution when rolling the fabric to avoiding burning your fingers.

Step 12

Celtic knot headband
Celtic knot headband

Let the glue dry for a few minutes, slip the headband on and enjoy some balanced creativity of your own.

Source by hunnybeex

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