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Roundup: An Up-Cycled Wardrobe

At the beginning of the summer, I started to do a purge of my family’s winter wardrobes. Aside from the things my boys have outgrown, it’s a bit sad to see a pile of new-ish things that they wore through and things I no longer use due to moth holes (ugh!) or wear and tear. I’m good about donating gently-used wears, but it’s the pile of potential textile waste that doesn’t sit well with me. Luckily, there are so many great ideas out there on how to up-cycle and refresh pieces so that they can have a second life in your wardrobe and not an untimely end in a dump somewhere. Here’s a few of my favourites.

By: Tracy



1. This recycled t-shirt necklace is a great way to use up all the shirts I own that seem to get splattered or stained way before I’m done with them.  I love the idea of using up a little girls’ t-shirt that you’re *just* not ready to part with to make her (or yourself) a necklace, or even using up the sleeves of a tiny t and linking it together to create something like this. This is a super easy craft, and even little ones can get in on helping to make the loops.

2. This is something I’ve been dying to try – giving a old pair of shoes a new life inspired by these lovely re-fashioned pumps. I mean hello, think of the fabric possibilities? It’s a good use of all my scraps and off-cuts in my sewing stash that I seem to amass. Plus it lets me hang onto some shoes that I love the fit and shape of, but have become rather sad due to scuffed up wrapped heels or trashed pointy toes.

3. I feel like I’m constantly patching and mending the knees on not just my my boys’ pants, but mine as well. The don’t make jeans like they used to and when you’ve got little ones you’re always on the floor playing Lego (or picking it all up with them). These sashiko-inspired patches have been on my list of must-dos. I’m obsessed with the traditional Japanese embroidery and this patched knee has me inspired to do my own version.

4. This blog has tons of great projects, and my favorites are the one that completely refashion pieces of clothing to make them more interesting, like this boxy top.  I have a few of my husband’s shirts in my fabric stash, and I’ve done some refashioning of my own – I highly recommend giving this a try 😉

5. I like how this easy braided bracelet uses two things: scrap bits of fabric, and chains you no longer wear. So simple – it’s fun in this mix of color and pattern too.

6. I’ve tried a few times to take up knitting, but this jersey knit bracelet looks like a fun summer project I could get behind. You could make one with your leftovers from a t-shirt necklace!

7. Speaking of wearing out knees, I’m also guilty of wearing out elbows. I can’t lecture my kids on destroying their clothes as I’m just as bad! This sequin elbow patch tutorial is so fun I may even do it to perfectly fine new sweaters. In a contrast color, it’s so fun and I think completely office-appropriate.

Admit it, you’re off to see what you can upcycle, aren’t you?

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