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Wardrobe CPR: Shirts and Pants

July 28, 2011

Do you ever look in your closet and think, “Gah. I have nothing to wear. I hate these clothes,” or “I love those jeans, but that gaping hole in the butt area is not fit for public?” I do. All the time. Before I go clothes shopping, I always try to see what I can salvage. Last week I dug into the tops and jeans portion of my closet, and after a few changes I now have five “new” tops and three “new” pair of jeans – yip!

Here are my three faves. I didn’t take before photos, as all of the work was fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and I wasn’t sure if any of it would actually turn out right. Also, no pics of the jeans. All of the holes and tears were on the backside or the *ahem* crotchal region (I think this is because my main form of sitting is cross-legged?), and I thought I’d spare you the close-ups. However, I got inspiration for the pants mending from Sherri over at Daintytime.

fabric insert shirt

First up, this fabric-insert shirt. This blue shirt was a hand-me-down that was a little too big and it had some stains on the front. I loosely followed this tutorial by Natalli over at Sisterhood of the Crafty Pants to eliminate the stainage and tighten up the fit at the same time. I added some vintage buttons in place of the bows in the original tute, and I sewed some old eyelet lace along the bottom. Here’s a secret: any time I mess something up, I try to figure out how to make it look like I did it on purpose. I cut the fabric insert too short, thus the extra lace at the bottom. Ssshhh . . .crossback tank top

Next, this new, improved tube-turned-tank-top. This black tube top is extremely old (like 10+ years old), and the elastic is no longer functioning at full capacity. I need full-functioning elastic because I don’t have any natural holding-up help, if you know what I mean. I cut up some other trash-bin worthy shirts, braided the strips, and sewed them on cross-back style for the new straps. I used the extra shirt scraps to embellish the tank top with reverse applique – something I’d always wanted to try. I read all about it over at Katie’s blog, That Darn Kat, and did the simplest applique I could because: A) I’d never done reverse applique before, and B) I still haven’t purchased a ball-point needle for my sewing machine.

tank shirtFinally, and I know this barely counts, this no-sew shirt refashion. I had high hopes of lowering the neckline with homemade bias tape and adding flutter sleeves like this, but I didn’t like how the flutter sleeves were looking. So I finally scrapped the whole idea, made the original sleeves into ties, and that’s it. But I really like it . . . so it counts, right?

Are you a donator? A tosser-outer? A re-doer? Whatever -oer you are, I highly recommend giving your old clothes a second chance – you might be pleasantly surprised at what you come up with!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2011 8:13 am

    Congrats on your new tops! I like the black one with the stripes….beautiful!

  2. July 28, 2011 8:29 am

    Beautiful job! Inspiring! I saw this on wordpress tag surfer and noticed that the icon that appears next to your post, an S with 3 orange dots–sort of matches the 3 buttons sewn on the repurposed shirt with the front panel. Was that intentional, to do a project that echoes your gravatar icon?

    • July 28, 2011 12:59 pm

      Ha! No-totally an accident.

      I mean, YES. Yes, it’s intentional branding :)

  3. July 28, 2011 7:08 pm

    :) Cool!

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